ByViktorio Serdarov, writer at
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Viktorio Serdarov

You might remember my article on the most versatile actors in modern cinema. After writing that piece, it is only natural that I also provide a post on the most versatile actresses in modern cinema.

So, here is a list of actresses who have shown exemplary acting skills in the wide range of roles that they have played:

P.S. What about you? What is your opinion on who are the most versatile actresses in modern cinema? Share your views in the comment section below and thank you for taking the time to read this article!

10. Charlize Theron

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Most famous for: The Devil's Advocate (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), The Cider House Rules (1999), The Italian Job (2003), Monster (2003), The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004), North Country (2005), Æon Flux (2005), Hancock (2008), Young Adult (2011), Prometheus (2012), Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Charlize Theron deserves her place on the list for so many reasons. To begin with, in order to play serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003) (a role which allowed her to win the Academy Award for Best Actress), Theron had to gain 30 pounds of weight and transform herself from one of the most beautiful women in the world to a deeply troubled and physically appalling individual.

Secondly, when you add to this some of her other roles such as Æon Flux, Queen Ravenna in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) (where she was far more attractive than Snow White herself), the mentally unstable Mary Ann Lomax in The Devil’s Advocate (1997) and her role as the determined outcast Josey Aimes in the fabulous North Country (2005), you can see why Theron's place on this list is more than justified.

9. Helena Bonham Carter

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Most famous for: The Wings of the Dove (1997), Fight Club (1999), Planet of the Apes (2001), Big Fish (2003), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005), The Harry Potter Film Franchise (2007-2011), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Terminator Salvation (2009), Alice in Wonderland (2010), The King's Speech (2010), Dark Shadows (2012), Burton and Taylor (2013)

Helena Bonham Carter is such a marvelous actress, who can portray both crazy, weird & wonderful characters and more relaxed and laid-back characters.

It really does not matter if you look at either her portrayals of Marla Singer, Bellatrix Lestrange, the Red Queen and Mrs. Lovett or her portrayal of Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, the wife of King George VI and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II - each of her performances is more than solid.

8. Amy Adams

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Most famous for: Junebug (2005), Enchanted (2007), Doubt (2008), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), The Fighter (2010), The Muppets (2011), The Master (2012), Man of Steel (2013), American Hustle (2013), Her (2013), Big Eyes (2014)

It is a real shame that Amy Adams is yet to win an Oscar after five nominations because she was more than deserving to win for each of these nominated performances.

Furthermore, she is really an incredible actress and I am glad that she chose to be a part of the DC Cinematic Universe playing Lois Lane.

7. Natalie Portman

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Most famous for: Léon: The Professional (1994), Anywhere But Here (1999), Star Wars: Episodes I-III (1999-2005), Closer (2004), V for Vendetta (2005), Brothers (2009), Black Swan (2010), No Strings Attached (2011), Your Highness (2011), Thor and Thor: The Dark World (2011-2013)

It is almost hard to believe that Natalie Portman is only 33 years old because she has achieved so much success in acting that many actresses cannot accomplish in their entire lifetime.

Since her debut role as Mathilda in Léon: The Professional (1994), Portman has proven herself as one of the most versatile and sought-after actresses in the industry. Additionally, she has been a part of both the Star Wars Franchise and the MCU, as well as many other unforgettable roles, including that of Nina Sayers in Black Swan (2010), which brought her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

6. Kathy Bates

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Most famous for: Dick Tracy (1990), Misery (1990), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), Dolores Claiborne (1995), The Late Shift (1996), Titanic (1997), Primary Colors (1998), Annie (1999), About Schmidt (2002), Two and a Half Men (2003-), Midnight in Paris (2011), American Horror Story (2011-)

Kathy Bates is an extremely underrated actress, but this unfortunate fact cannot hide her acting prowess.

Perhaps best known for her acclaimed performances in Misery (1990), Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) and Titanic (1997), Bates has delivered many other iconic roles such as Charlie Harper's ghost in Two and a Half Men (2003-), Gertrude Stein in Midnight in Paris (2011) and Ethel Darling / Madame Delphine LaLaurie in American Horror Story (2011-).

5. Kate Winslet

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Most famous for: Heavenly Creatures (1994), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Titanic (1997), Iris (2001), Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Finding Neverland (2004), Little Children (2006), The Holiday (2006), Flushed Away (2006), Revolutionary Road (2008), The Reader (2008), Divergent (2014), Insurgent (2015)

Described by the critic David Edelstein as "the best English-speaking film actress of her generation", Kate Winslet has been nothing short of a revelation and there really isn't a role of hers, in which she has not excelled.

Consequently, it is only natural that she is the recipient of an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, three Golden Globe Awards and a Grammy Award. Moreover, she is the youngest person to acquire six Academy Award nominations and is one of the few actresses to win three of the four major American entertainment awards (EGOT). Finally, she has won awards from the Screen Actors Guild, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association among others, and an Honorary César Award in 2012.

In conclusion, Kate Winslet is not even 40 years old yet and she has given us some of the most memorable performances in the last two decades. However, she is far from finished.

4. Helen Mirren

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Most famous for: O Lucky Man! (1973), The Long Good Friday (1980), Excalibur (1981), Cal (1984), The Madness of King George (1994), Gosford Park (2001), Elizabeth I (2005), The Queen (2006), The Last Station (2009), The Debt (2010), RED 1&2 (2010-2013), Hitchcock (2012), Monsters University (2013)

When Helen Mirren won the Best Actress Award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, it was hardly a surprise to anyone because she should have won the award far more earlier with her amazing performances, spanning over the course of more than 40 years.

Her portrayals are truly a hallmark in the history of cinema and moreover, she has shown an impressive versatility in the many roles that she has played.

3. Julianne Moore

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Most famous for: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), Boogie Nights (1997), The Big Lebowski (1998), Magnolia (1999), The End of the Affair (1999), Hannibal (2001), Far from Heaven (2002), The Hours (2002), Children of Men (2006), A Single Man (2009), The Kids Are All Right (2010), Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011), Don Jon (2013), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 & 2 (2014-2015), Maps to the Stars (2014), Still Alice (2014)

Seeing Julianne Moore winning the Academy Award for Best Actress earlier this year was an absolute delight, because although it is something that should have happened much earlier, it was a well-deserved honour.

Whether she is playing a 1970s pornography actress, an unhappy, mid-20th century housewife, Sarah Palin, an Alzheimer's patient or President Alma Coin in The Hunger Games, it is certain that her performance will be nothing short of spectacular.

2. Meryl Streep

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Most famous for: The Deer Hunter (1978), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), Sophie's Choice (1982), Silkwood (1983), Out of Africa (1985), A Cry in the Dark (1988), Postcards From the Edge (1990), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), Adaptation (2002), Angels in America (2003), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Doubt (2008), Julie & Julia (2009), The Iron Lady (2011), August: Osage County (2013), Into the Woods (2014)

Meryl Streep is arguably the best actress in the history of cinema. Much has been said about her incredible performances and since the late 1970s she has been the true embodiment of what it means to be an immensely successful and versatile actress.

In addition, Streep has more Academy Award nominations than any other actor or actress with 19, winning the awards for Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Best Actress for Sophie's Choice (1982) and The Iron Lady (2011).

1. Cate Blanchett

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Most famous for: Elizabeth (1998), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–03), The Aviator (2004) , Little Fish (2005), Babel (2006), Notes on a Scandal (2006), Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), I'm Not There. (2007), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), The Hobbit trilogy (2012–14), Blue Jasmine (2013), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014), Cinderella (2015)

Putting Cate Blanchett as number one on this list was almost a no-brainer. Although, Meryl Streep is certainly worth of this honor, for me Blanchett is the clear winner. She has excelled in both fantasy and more dramatic roles, including history figures and always manages to put into her roles such an elegance and gracefulness.

For these reasons, I am of the firm belief that Cate Blanchett is the most versatile actress in modern cinema.


Who is the most versatile actress in modern cinema?


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