The Hollywood Reporter has put together a list of the Top 50 female characters in film and television – voted for by Hollywood professionals – and naturally, Elle Woods features in the Top 10.
Do you think any of Reese’s other characters should have made an appearance?
(link via Rachel McAdams Online)
Hollywood’s 50 Favorite Female Characters
No good roles for women? Not always. THR’s industry survey shows how Olivia Pope to Annie Hall become possible when the industry actually writes with 51 percent of the population in mind.
Whatever else one can say about gender equality in Hollywood, there’s clearly no shortage of female roles for space princesses, alien hunters and flying nannies.
For THR’s latest intra-industry poll, the editors asked Hollywood professionals — actors, writers, directors and others — to take an online survey of their favorite fictional female characters. More than 1,800 participated — twice as many women as men — but the results proved there isn’t such a great divide between the sexes after all, at least when it comes to what types of females we enjoy watching on screens. By comfortable majorities, both genders picked a certain Hogwarts know-it-all as their No. 1.
Naturally, the poll was anonymous, but some industry pros don’t mind sharing. “The tough Angelina Jolie characters in Wanted and Salt — and whoever Ava Gardner played in capri pants,” offers Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Hunger Games franchise producer Nina Jacobson confesses to having a “soft spot for Katniss Everdeen,” while Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy admits that as a child she worshiped Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. “I used to think I was her,” she says.
Chances are, there’s at least one character on these pages who you once imagined being, particularly if you’re female — and maybe even if you’re not. After all, who hasn’t dreamt of bitch-slapping an alien, owning a pet dragon or even traveling by umbrella?
9/50 – Elle Woods, ‘Legally Blonde’
Played by: Reese Witherspoon
Witherspoon nearly turned down the role of Elle, thinking the 2001 part was a “frivolous sorority girl.” Then she saw Gloria Steinem in a documentary praising Goldie Hawn’s turn in Private Benjamin. “She spoke about how seeing a different side of feminism changed people’s ideas of what women could accomplish.”
Witherspoon, who played Woods in the sequel Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde as well, tells THR that fans from all over the world still come up to her to say they were inspired to go to law school because of her performance as the perky modern feminist character, “a sorority girl who valued her femininity and her own strength.”