Tick tock goes the clock, you say?
The roles written for a badass woman usually fulfill one of the following: the exotic martial arts master hailing from East Asia, the beautiful assassin who happens to be a woman of few words, the Eastern European who hardly ever smiles, the kickass brunette who eventually goes home with the leading man, a slender government agent working undercover.
Whether the role fits the bill precisely or is a little out-of-the-box, these badass women in film and television have a common denominator: they’re all under 30. The ass-kicking, the gun-wielding, the slow-motion beauty-in-the-middle-of-battle scenes all seem to be reserved for ladies in their 20’s (translation: the perceived age bracket for a woman in her prime). Where are the badass ladies in their 30’s and 40’s are, who knows, really. Mainstream Hollywood obviously has a different plan for them. (Maybe in an office? Or somewhere doing groceries?)
This is just one of the many formulas that has kept Hollywood in a rut that it appears to be in love with, an indication of the much bigger issue that is society’s obsession with youth. Luckily there are players in the industry who dare to challenge this norm. And here, we pay homage to roles written for women that either managed to side-step the stereotype or, even better, made it a point to ditch it altogether.
Danai Gurira as Okoye in Black Panther at 39 years old.
Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in Terminator 2 at 35 years old.
Jessica Chastain as Elizabeth Sloane in Miss Sloane at 39 years old.
Helen Mirren as Victoria in RED at 65 years old.
Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich at 33 years old.
Viola Davis as Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder at 39 years old.
Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta and Robin Wright as Antiope in Wonder Woman at 52 years old and 51 years old, respectively.
The Bride (Uma Thurman) in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 at 33 years old.
These women are strong and skillful, without whom the storyline wouldn’t be the same. If they don’t literally kick ass, of course, they show their badassery in another way: through intelligence, confidence and brilliance. Who run the world again?
Art Alexandra Lara