Killer leading ladies

Some have power thrust upon them, some go to extremes to achieve it, all of them will do anything to keep it; and none of them are waiting for a man to save the day. Today we celebrate the women of power in movies and TV.
Elizabeth Sloane, Miss Sloane

Miss Sloan

If you take the best bits of all the killer leading ladies listed below, you still only get half of what Miss Sloane is. Miss Sloane is Washington’s most sought after and formidable lobbyist. She is hired to win. She is always one step ahead of the competition. She will do whatever it takes. And all she has to do is the impossible. 

Cunning, conniving, rat-smart, ruthless, successful, desired, feared, Miss Sloane is the embodiment of strength and empowerment. Her mantra: “The winner plots one step ahead of the opposition and plays her trump card just after they play theirs. It’s about making sure you surprise them, and they don’t surprise you”. #boss

Claire Underwood, House of Cards

Claire Underwood House Of Cards

Frank might be a conniving, two-faced murderer, but Claire is the real killer – killer brain, killer bod, killer haircut, killer heels. She is possibly the most complex and multi-dimensional leading lady (and First Lady) ever put on screen.

The way Robin Wright plays her is a sight to behold - how does she pull off the delicate balancing act of making us terrified of Claire, whilst also feeling sympathy, awe, wonder and compassion? Wound so tight that sometimes it feels like she’s going to shed her own skin, Claire is like a White Pointer circling its prey... and you don’t know whether she’ll strike or simply glide away in her impeccable wardrobe. Grace and stealth in motion.

Daenarys Targaryen, Game of Thrones

Emilia Clarke Game of Thrones

She first appeared in the series as a servile weakling, manipulated by her despotic brother, sold off into a Dothraki marriage and generally bossed around by the men of Westeros. But Daenarys’s power grew in stature just as quickly and surely as her Dragons grew in size. 

Now she’s an unstoppable force and has learnt you don’t need to raise your voice to be heard. Her power and killer attitude come with poise, quietness, stillness and that Sphinx-like face. When you can walk through flames naked, you know you are practically invincible.

Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady 

The Iron Lady

If anyone thought politics is a man’s business, take a look at Margaret Thatcher as played by Meryl Streep - probably her most dead-accurate portrayal of a real-life figure. From the steely bouffant to the billowy voice, Streep nailed the ironess in the iron lady. 

She ruled the House of Lords like a motherly tyrant. Sometimes she killed with kindness, other times she killed with a brutal policy stance, but she always slayed other political leaders in the aisles. Some say she made Britain great again but everyone froze in her presence.

Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games Trilogy

Katniss Everdeen

Katniss is just a country girl who has power thrust upon her - she didn’t ask to be the Mockingjay, but her prowess with the bow and arrow, sense of justice and hatred for President Snow, meant she had to stand up and fight for her country and her beliefs. 

Reluctant killer, hero to the people and rejecter of a Hemsworth. We can’t all be perfect.

Ripley, Aliens

Ripley Movie

The benchmark by which all killer leading ladies are judged. Singlehandedly, Ripley not only saved Mouse but the future of mankind.

Her face-off with the Queen Alien is a post-feminist slugfest that shows women aren’t afraid to fight dirty, fight hard and fight to the death.

Selina Meyer, Veep

Selina Mayer Veep

Has there ever been a more shameless and entertaining power-grabber in TV than Selina Meyer? Selina is First in Command at Dropping the F Bomb. Audiences have never seen a Leader of the Free World like her before and The Oval Office will never be the same again. The first female POTUS can kill with a filthy putdown.

Queen Mary, The Crown

Queen Mary

Queen Elizabeth II may hold the throne, but her grandmother, Queen Mary, holds the power behind the throne. For evidence of a truly killer leadership, simply look into the icy soul and cold eyes of Queen Mary, who believes with utter conviction that duty comes first, The Firm always wins and displaying any emotion is tantamount to treason. 

The old Queeny has a soft spot for the young Princess Elizabeth and guides her (or manipulates her) with a gentle yet firm touch. She is truly old school and her lessons usually involve aiming to be less human and more like a robotic, godlike vessel of the monarchy.

Furiosa Mad Max: Fury Road

Charleze Theron in Mad Max

Furiosa by name, furious by nature. She could be Ripley’s daughter. Many of our killer leading ladies above use language and tactics to get what they want. Not Furiosa, she kills literally. Not one for long conversations or thoughtful contemplation, Furiosa believes action speaks louder than words... and boy, does she get into the action. 

Furiosa will attack you, shoot you, stab you and rip you to shreds, no questions asked.  Her physical appearance is a manifestation of her soul and intent: she is a killing machine.

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