21 powerful women in film and TV according to finder

Finder 8 March 2017 NEWS


In celebration of International Women's Day, finder discusses the most badass women in film and television.

Whether Hermione was your muggle-born role model growing up or you sat in awe as Ellen Ripley completely eviscerated traditional gender roles in Alien, there's no doubt some total bad-ass from film or TV who has inspired and empowered you over the years.

It being International Women's Day today, all of us at finder.com.au have been discussing the characters on screen who have specifically influenced or impacted us over the years.

Without further ado, these are the 21 women in film and TV who empower and inspire finder.


Hermione Granger, Harry Potter

Elizabeth Barry, Senior Writer

"Hermione is the only reason Harry makes it through the seventh book alive and she isn't afraid to call out bullsh*t when she sees it. Plus, she's played by ultimate feminist and ambassador for women Emma Watson."


Samantha Carter, Stargate

Sofia Charalambous, Subeditor

"Carter is an astrophysicist and an engineer. She's absolutely brilliant, courageous and funny and actually made me want to be a physicist because she made it look so damn cool. She's the leading expert on the Stargate and can always solve the problem of the episode using her mad maths skillz. She's highly respected by her team and is such a positive role model for women wanting to work in engineering, physics and astronomy (fields women are sorely lacking in). She's also kickass at fighting the Goa'ulds and other aliens around the universe."


X-23/Laura, Logan

Brodie Fogg, Assistant Publisher

"While Logan's most recognisable faces are Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart in their iconic roles as Wolverine and Charles Xavier, it's Dafne Keen who steals the show as the berserk young mutant, X-23. For years now we've tossed and turned about who could replace Hugh Jackman as Wolverine when he finally hangs up his claws. Now we have an answer."


Moana, Moana

Sally McMullen, Journalist

"Moana is easily one of the best Disney princesses. She defies her royal responsibilities to follow her fate and venture onto the open sea to help save her village. Unlike many of her princess predecessors, while she has the help of demigod Maui, at no point does she need to be saved by a male suitor to conquer her quest."


Leia Organa, Star Wars

Hardeep Gill, Marketing Assistant

"Leia lead the Rebellion against the Empire like a badass. She never thought twice in the face of danger and has seen the best and the worst of the Rebellion. Leia never abandoned her friends and loved ones even at the risk of capture and certain death. She was force-sensitive, despite no Jedi training and was a wicked combination of compassionate and fiery. She had her home planet blown up and it was Luke who needed comforting. She killed Jabba the Hut with her own two hands and was key in the plans to destroy both Death Stars. RIP Carrie Fisher."


Eleven, Stranger Things

Kath Borup, Junior Designer

"Tough but full of heart, with special powers to boot. Millie Bobby Brown is brilliant."


Erin, You're Next

Adam Smith, Editor

"Sharni Vinson's character in this horror thriller turns the classic scream queen role on its head by being more threatening than the antagonists. From the word go she's totally in control and there's never any question that the bad guys should be more afraid of her than she is of them."


Xena, Xena: Warrior Princess

Sally McMullen, Journalist

"A sword-wielding and sexually-ambiguous warrior princess who dons a metal breastplate and boasts the world's most badass war cry. Need I say more?"


Kirsten Cohen, The OC

Mia Steiber, Senior Writer

"Not only was Kirsten making total bank and acting as the breadwinner for her family, she was also a dedicated mum and awesome wife. She managed a successful career while still being the glue that held her family together – even if she couldn't cook at all!"


Maeve Millay, Westworld

Brodie Fogg, Assistant Publisher

"While it took the other hosts in Westworld nearly a whole season to come to terms with the reality of their existence, our favourite foul-mouthed madame was on the money from the beginning. Watching her remove the shackles and manipulate her oppressors was a huge part of what made Westworld's first season so arresting."


Ellen Ripley, Alien

Marc Terrano, Publisher

"A total badass who doesn't take any guff from terrifying aliens."


Brienne of Tarth, Game of Thrones

Kelly Vieira, Marketing Specialist

"If I have to explain this choice, you must one of the 10 people left on the planet who has not watched Game of Thrones. A lot of people will praise Cersei or Daenerys in the show for being pretty powerful in a very male-dominated world, but they were kind of born into it and surrounded by strong male figures to nurture their passions. Brienne was raised around those who shunned her. She took what everyone else saw as a huge disadvantage and used it as her greatest strength. She became a standout badass lady, all without watering down her morals and while always standing up for her beliefs."


Fa Mulan, Mulan

Jonathan Choi, Assistant Publisher

"Mulan shows that success, leadership and problem solving are not defined by gender, but rather an individual's purpose and strength."


JJ Jareau, Criminal Minds

Jodie Humphries, Writer

"She is a badass who, even before becoming a fully-fledged profiler, was helping to put serial killers behind bars. She even survived torture at the hands of terrorists and still came back fighting. You can never keep JJ down."


Sarah Connor, The Terminator

Matt Corke, Publisher

"She's a badass, full stop."


Sun Bak, Sense8

Matt Corke, Publisher

"The Sense8 group of mentally-connected individuals would be dead a million times over if not for the brutal self-confidence and Kung Fu skills of Sun."


Jessica Pearson, Suits

Richard Laycock, Senior Writer

"She's the boss."


Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

Amy Bradney-George, Senior Writer

"She knows how to take responsibility for her actions, balances her own goals as well as her daughter's and slowly gets better at sucking it up and asking for help. Through everything, Lorelai still manages to have fun and make the people around her smile."


Claire Underwood, House of Cards

Nick Broughall, Publisher

"The real brains/power behind the Underwoods. Graceful, intelligent and ruthless."


Kensi Blye, NCIS LA

Stephanie, Senior Writer

"Tough, smart, uncompromising and yet feminine, she knows how to play with the boys and she loves doing it too. She's unrelenting in improving herself and proving herself – not that she has to."


Captain Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager

Graham Cooke, Insights Manager

"Janeway was the first female Star Trek starship captain. She held together a ragtag bunch of characters who came and went through seven years in the Delta Quadrant, while always being very much in charge. She even battled with the Borg Queen and came out on top."

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