Some actresses work better in sci fi and fantasy than others. They have that special X factor, the ability to fit in to bizarre landscapes and plot situations, and handle futuristic weapons and strange creatures with aplomb. They can create female characters that fans of both sexes can admire, and women can relate to. They are women of courage, authority and resource Ė but they are still very much female.
Mila Jovovich is the epitome of the great science fiction actress. As she strides through Resident Evil, zapping zombies without batting an eye, she fulfils all the criteria. She looks like a woman who can take care of herself and others without being a muscle bound wrestler. Alice is smart, strong and fearless, and Mila gives her dignity, humor and warmth as well as beauty. But Alice is not the only science fiction character Mila has created and brought to life. In The Fifth Element, she played Leeloo, the perfect being, with charm and grace and high class warrior skills.
Michelle Rodriguez is one of those women that looks so right in a science fiction setting you almost believe she canít be from this time and place. Yet she is in every way a modern woman, beautiful, and with attitude. Itís just that she looks so good in uniform. Michelle has appeared in almost everything that counts, from Resident Evil to the TV hit Lost. In fact, itís something of an omission if she isnít there Ė so, naturally, James Cameron had to cast her as the daring helicopter pilot in Avatar.
Sigourney Weaver got her big break in science fiction, playing the iconic Warrant Officer Ripley in Alien, and she never forgot it. As Ripley in the Alien follow up movies, she cemented herself into a permanently honoured position in the annals of science fiction movie awesomeness. Her ventures into fantasy included the Ghostbuster movies and the wicked stepmother in Snow White: A Tale of Terror. She even managed to send herself and the whole genre up in Galaxy Quest. Truly a science fiction star, she is as beautiful and believable as ever in James Cameronís Avatar.
Michelle Pfeiffer is not primarily remembered for her contributions to fantasy, yet she played one of the screens most beloved fantasy characters, Isabeau in Ladyhawke, and gave a shimmering performance as Titania, Queen of the Fairies in A Midsummer Nightís Dream. As well, she played the cute witch Sukie in The Witches of Eastwick. Of course, we cannot forget her stunning turn as the Catwoman in Batman Returns, and her fine performance in the horror movie Wolf. It is not a large portfolio in the genre by any means, but it is a hand picked one which represents the best. Indeed, her role as isabeau, Ďthe face of loveí, has already made her immortal among fantasy fans.
Linda Hamilton will always have a place in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame because of her great role as Sarah Connor in the Terminator movies, and her role as Catherine Chandler in the Beauty and the Beast TV series. As Sarah Connor she created an extraordinary character, progressing from the girl next door to a fit fighting woman who passes on her knowledge of weapons and tactics to her son John. In Beauty and the Beast, she starred opposite Ron Perlmann as the Beast.
Zoe Saldana is a newcomer to the science fiction and fantasy movie scene, but she is one to watch. She got a head start with an impressive recreation of Uhura in Star Trek Ė her short skirt, cool demeanour and sarcastic attitude to James T Kirk were delightful, and so was her budding romance with Spock. But it was in James Cameronís Avatar that Zoe truly revealed herself as the science fiction actress the new century. Her performance as Neytiri was brilliant. Who can forget her hissing and spitting like an alien cat? The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of fame has a new, shining star.
Of course, these are just my choices Ė this list is in no way authoritative. If your favourite isnít here, why not pop over the Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum and share your thoughts.
Resident Evil Trilogy 1-3
Alien Quadrilogy (Alien/ Aliens /Alien 3 /Alien Resurrection)