This month, we are celebrating FANGRRLtopia, gazing toward an idyllic future of joy, love, and, obviously, the dawn of the matriarchy. And in our utopian ideal, the women of Hollywood who have long been underserved and under-utilized would be the biggest stars on Planet FANGRRL.
These ladies deserve better, and in our new world, they have all that and more. These are the biggest stars in the FANGRRLtopia.
Look, I shouldn't even have to tell you why Melanie Scrofano deserves a chief spot in the pantheon of talent that exists in our FANGRRLtopia — but, since I've got the talking stick now, lemme take a minute to tell you all about the trajectory of our Girl On Top. In an ideal world, she's held that spot uncontested, the reigning champion of the title for countless years running. After making sure the world knew her name with her breakout starring role on the wildly successful TV show Wynonna Earp (which will run for an impressive number of seasons), she captured the hearts of horror fans everywhere with a memorable performance in last year's Ready or Not. But her ascent to stardom wouldn't stop there — because she'd earn leading lady spots in not just sci-fi or horror films but reinvigorate the rom-com with that irreverent, hilarious energy we love her (and her Twitter feed) for the most. What I'm saying is she deserves ALL THE ROLES, and in our FANGRRLtopia she'd land every single one of them. - Carly Lane
In FANGRRLtopia, Gwendoline Christie would not have to do the leg work and submit her own work to be considered for an Emmy, particularly when she delivered one of the defining performances of the Game of Thrones final season. And in FANGRRLtopia, everyone would look at Christie with the same dreamy gaze that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has on his face whenever he is in her company. In both Game of Thrones and Star Wars (Phasma would have a bigger role, too), Christie has shown she can wield a weapon and looks great in metal. However, both Christie's red carpet and runway appearances have showcased her fantasy fashion side, which has yet to be utilized on screen. Killer couture is the next step, which will lean into the dreamy feminity of her sartorial picks. Her height is always referenced, which might be why she ends up in battle attire, but here the choice is whatever she desires. - Emma Fraser
In our utopia, Sleepy Hollow is still on the air because Nicole Beharie's character, Abbie Mills would still be alive. There is even an Abbie Mills spinoff in the works. Beharie deserved better and gets better in our world. She's an underrated gem of an actress no more. She’s without a doubt the best part of the “Striking Vipers” episode from Season 5 of Black Mirror, and they had no choice but to give her every episode in Season 6. In our utopia, she was not only up for an Emmy for her performance but she also won it. An actress with the kind of emotional range as Beharie has would be a multiple genre titan in the industry. All the sci-fi, romance, thriller, action, and drama roles to the incomparable Ms. Beharie. Both the MCU and DCU have her starring in their movies and we love each and every one. You wouldn’t be able to go six months without seeing her in something. Beharie is a household name in our utopia. - Stephanie Williams
Kelly Marie Tran
Kelly Marie Tran did her due taking on guest roles in several mediocre tv shows before really bursting on to the scene with her role as Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And while she was a central cast member in Sorry for Your Loss, she was tragically and criminally underused in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. In FANGRRLtopia, Tran would not only have a significant role in the final Star Wars movie, but she would be loved and adored by every single fan. And that will be the final springboard needed to launch her into superstardom. From there, Tran will go on to star in multiple blockbuster hits and be a part of the X-Men entering the MCU by taking the role of Blink. After that, she'll go on to take a role that stretches her limits and snags her a coveted Academy Award nomination. And in addition to her on-screen achievements, Tran will spearhead a successful campaign to crack down and eliminate online bullying and harassment. Kelly Marie Tran is a treasure, and in our FANGRRLtopia, we joyfully celebrate that. - Sarah Brown
At just 35, Jena Malone has already spent more than 20 years in Hollywood. Throughout her career, she's played a pregnant teenager in the brilliant comedy Saved, became the perfect bratty younger sister in Pride & Prejudice, made audiences cry in Stepmom, and helped take down the Capitol in The Hunger Games series. But while she's acted in more than 40 movies and become an indie darling, she hasn't hit the level of stardom that she genuinely deserves. But that all changes in our FANGRRLtopia. She's proven that she enjoys genre roles, so in our utopia not only were Malone's scenes not cut from Batman v. Superman, but it went on to be a massive success. It would form the basis of a solid DCEU where Malone was one of the anchor characters as Barbara Gordon/Oracle (the role everyone thought she had when details started leaking). But despite her rise to the top, she never lets go of her "weird" roots and her love of cult movies, and she goes on to take a role as a werewolf (not a swearwolf) in Taika Waititi's follow up to his hit What We Do in the Shadows. Offscreen, Malone is just as busy as she continues to develop her music career. She's formed a new band with her friends, and they're touring the country, selling out unique venues, playing to small and intimate shows. - Sarah Brown
It’s actually really mind-blowing that Linda Hamilton isn’t as big of a star as she should be. The Terminator franchise would be her franchise in our utopia and it wouldn't have taken almost three decades for her to make a return to it, either. She would still star in the Beauty and the Beast television series — because this is a utopia, after all. Hamilton would have been a volcanologist in Dante’s Peak yelling at the top of her lungs for everyone to listen to her about the pending eruption. She would go on to star in two more disaster movies and play the bodyguard to a president in some movie we never got but deserved. Many awards and years later, she would team up with Geena Davis, Charlize Theron, Regina King, Lucy Liu, and Angela Bassett to give the world the Expendables trilogy we really deserved. In our utopia, Hamilton’s role as Sarah Connor is only the tip of the iceberg that is her greatness and storied movie career. - Stephanie Williams
An Oscar nomination in 2006 for Babel was not enough to launch Rinko Kikuchi into the Hollywood stratosphere, nor was a standout performance in Pacific Rim. As the heart of Guillermo del Toro's monster movie, Kikuchi grounds the action and pulls focus whenever she is on camera. When she isn't on screen, you wonder where she is. An established career in both Japan and the US, Kikuchi recently appeared in the second season of Westworld, proving once again that action and genre is her forte. But while she is certainly recognizable, in FANGRRLtopia she is a global star with her own monster-sized franchise. “I wanted to be a superhero and now I’ve done my dream role," she mentioned while promoting Pacific Rim, I think we can go one better and get her a leading comic book movie role. - Emma Fraser
One could look at Thandie Newton’s resume and wonder what else we could want from her. She’s appeared in supporting roles in major franchises like Mission: Impossible and Star Wars, and attempts at them like Chronicles of Riddick. She’s managed to effortlessly step back and forth between that popcorn fare, Oscar-bait films like Crash, and even comedic work and serialized television. Her range as an actress is summed up perfectly by her Emmy award-winning work on HBO’s Westworld as Maeve Millay, a world-weary brothel owner turned desperate mother turned self-aware pleasure resort robot who brings the world down around her as she realizes nothing is as it seems. It’s exactly this intense versatility that makes us greedy for far more from her. Newton deserves better than playing the forgotten second fiddle to Tom Cruise or the tragic early death so Solo can have a story. In FANGRRLtopia, Newton has her own vengeance action franchise. She’s getting buzz for her impending Oscar nomination for her performance in a cat and mouse period piece about a spy behind enemy lines not sure who to trust. In FANGRRLtopia, a Disney+ series is being developed about Val before she got saddled with Woody Harrelson’s Becket. And a lot of girls, both big and little, are trying to nail their cosplays of her iconic characters before the next con. - Riley Silverman
Dressed in red for revenge, Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus steals every scene in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds — yep, even from Christoph Waltz (who would later win an Oscar for Django Unchained). There is a quiet intensity to this performance, which Laurent uses to mask Shosanna's unbridled rage before she unleashes it in all its firey cinematic glory. While her career hasn't stalled, her best role since was in the 2010 Mike Mills indie Beginners (Christopher Plummer won a Best Supporting Oscar for his performance). Magic caper Now You See Me is probably her biggest movie, playing a French Interpol agent investigating the Four Horseman, and sadly the biggest trick of this film is how they got a cast this good to be in a film this bad. She can currently be seen in the Michael Bay-directed Netflix movie 6 Underground. This will likely get a lot of eyeballs, but she deserves to have her name on the marquee. Not only that, but she also has a terrific singing voice as her 2011 debut album En t'attendant proves. In FANGRRLtopia, I foresee a whimsical musical using the songs of David Bowie, marrying magical realism with a dash of the fury she displays as Shosanna. Then she will be a headline star. - Emma Fraser
Academy Award nominee Virginia Elizabeth “Geena” Davis is one of the biggest action stars in our utopia. The Long Kiss Goodnight didn’t flop; instead, it was turned into a trilogy which later leads to Davis starring as Captain Marvel alongside Samuel Jackson. Davis and Charlize Theron would be the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone of the action stars, except they’d be in a number of movies together. Davis didn’t give us the comedic gold in Beetlejuice, the performance of a lifetime in Thelma & Louise, and then follow it up by becoming an ice skating assassin for us to not celebrate her every other day. If her work on screen isn’t enough, then most certainly her off-screen is deserving of flowers. In our utopia, things like gender equality would already exist; however, Davis would still keep her foot on everyone’s necks to make sure it stayed that way. - Stephanie Williams
Awkwafina (Nora Lum) made history at the Golden Globes this year by becoming the first performer of Asian descent to win in a lead actress film category. An award that she more than deserved for her outstanding performance in last year's The Farewell. Since going viral back in 2012 with her YouTube hit "My Vag," Awkwafina has used her unique brand of comedy to appeal to audiences of all ages. But with her role in The Farewell, she proved that she can be so much more than just the comic relief or quirky sidekick. In FANGRRLtopia, Awkwafina is given a chance to occasionally shed her brash and often vulgar persona to take on a broader range of roles. In just a few years, she'll have become a Hollywood staple, appearing in a wide variety of movies and the occasional special guest-starring role in a beloved tv show. She's far too talented and too full of energy and excitement to stay in one place for long. It won't be long until she's conquered both Hollywood and the music industry, and we crown her Queen of Entertainment. - Sarah Brown
Carrie Coon first caught my attention as Nora Durst on The Leftovers, a woman trying to make sense of the world after her husband and children vanished in the series’ rapture-like inciting incident. If her work on that show, spiraling in and out of reality and taking to hiring sex workers to come over and shoot her in her bulletproof vest-clad chest wasn’t enough, she followed it up with the completely pitch-perfect turn as Officer Gloria Burgle in the third season of Fargo. Perfectly shifting from the slow-paced smolder of The Leftovers into the Coens-by-proxy tone of Noah Hawley’s anthology series showed that CC was an acting force to be reckoned with. While she got to play with swords and mask acting as the villainous Proxima Midnight in Avengers: Infinity War, and she’s due to be afraid of no ghosts in next summer’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, we can’t help but feel like Coon is due for something even bigger. In FANGRRLtopia, she’s not some lackey to Thanos, she’s been given the queen of evil role of her own in a major tentpole film. Not afraid of a little character makeup, she’s getting the Twi’lek treatment to play Hera Syndulla in a live-action follow up to Star Wars: Rebels. And knowing just how good she is at playing someone in their wheelhouse, the Coen Brothers have tapped her to lead their next genre-bending romp, perfectly setting up her first of many Oscar nominations. - Riley Silverman