The Dude, Erin Brockovich And More Of Richard Kelly’s Favorite Badasses

'Donnie Darko' director lists his faves before we crown the Greatest Movie Badass of All Time.

The search for the Greatest Movie Badass of All Time is on! MTV News has asked accomplished filmmakers, actors and you, the audience, to vote for your favorites. Now we’ve tabulated the results and found our 10 finalists for the top spot. Who will reign supreme as the Greatest Badass of All Time? Find out on February 6 at 7:15 p.m. when MTV announces the winner live at New York’s Comic-Con and right here at MTV.com.

Until then, we’re profiling the 10 contenders for the Greatest Badass mantle every day, in alphabetical order. Check out our first contenders: “Star Wars” bounty hunter Boba Fett , “Alien” astronaut Ellen Ripley , vigilante cop Dirty Harry , “Die Hard” detective John McClane , Vietnam War vet John Rambo , “Star Trek” tyrant Khan , post-apocalyptic nomad Mad Max and “Wild Bunch” outlaw Pike Bishop . Keep checking back to see if your favorite made the list!

[movieperson id="264085"]Richard Kelly[/movieperson] is the writer/director of ”
[movie id="190150"]Donnie Darko[/movie]” and “[movie id="275381"]Southland Tales[/movie].” His upcoming horror film, “[movie id="355563"]The Box[/movie],” starring [movieperson id="163664"]Cameron Diaz[/movieperson], will be released later this year. He offered his top 10 favorite movie badasses:

10. Remy (Patton Oswalt) in “[movie id="294842"]Ratatouille[/movie]“
Remy isn’t just a mouse ahead of his time, he’s beyond his species. He’s every kid who grew up eating Denny’s food among people with no aspiration to ever eat much of anything but Denny’s food. I identify with Remy on so many levels (I can’t cook, but I see cooking as a metaphor for any art form), that this mouse trumps most human characters in the badass department.

9. Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) in “The Big Lebowski”
Yes, he’s lazy and doesn’t do anything other than bowl and smoke pot, but that’s the point. He rejects all of the bullsh– archetypes the world has made us believe we must aspire to be. He has now inspired significant parts of America that it is cool to be just like him. Middle-aged, unmarried, childless, unemployed and free to do whatever makes him happy. And that makes him a badass for these tough times.

8. Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) in “Tootsie”
Dorsey’s transformation from desperate, out-of-work actor into soap-opera sensation and feminist icon Dorothy Michaels is a wish-fulfillment fantasy for any artist who understands the pain of rejection. Go, Tootsie, go … get on with your badass self.

7. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in “Alien,” “Aliens” and the vastly underrated “Alien 3″
This film series ends with number three in my book, as I refuse to acknowledge the fourth film or the “Predator” crossover nonsense that came after. Ripley’s journey from blue-collar space trucker to warrior, and finally Christ figure, makes her the ultimate female badass of science-fiction history.

6. Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) in “Fargo”
My second Coen brothers character on this list, and I pick Marge. So kind, so decent, so not one to judge poor Mike Yanagita. And then her summation of the downfall of man at the end: “all for a little bit of money.” Spoken like a true badass. A pregnant badass.

5. Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) in “Kiss Me Deadly”
Anyone who would avenge the untimely death of a character played by Cloris Leachman is a badass in my book. But tracking down the mysterious power harnessed and boxed away from the Manhattan Project and removing it from the clutches of evil men? In a Malibu beach house? Bad. Ass.

4. Jack Twist ([movieperson id="25961"]Jake Gyllenhaal[/movieperson]) in “[movie id="251583"]Brokeback Mountain[/movie]“
I am biased to put Jake somewhere on this list because he played the badass Darko, but his portrayal of Jack Twist was groundbreaking and about as brave as it gets. It sucks to live in a world where people can have their lives ruined for being honest about who they are.

3. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) in “The Shawshank Redemption”
When Warden Norton throws the rock through the Raquel Welch poster in Dufresne’s prison cell, so began one of the great, unexpected plot twists in movie history. As an innocent man convicted for a crime he didn’t commit, badass Robbins provides inspiration to get busy living.

2. Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) in “Million Dollar Baby”
Out of all of Clint’s career badass characters, I pick this one. As someone who ends the life of a woman (Hilary Swank) enduring unspeakable suffering and risks his eternal soul in doing so, Dunn achieves badass status that trumps Dirty Harry or William Munny.

1. Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) in “Erin Brockovich”
This is my favorite Steven Soderbergh film. There is something so cathartic watching this poor single mom take down a gigantic corporation responsible for poisoning hundreds of people. That’s about at badass as it gets in my book.

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