Well-regarded as one of the most beautiful women on the planet, Dutch-born actress/director Famke Janssen has had one hell of an enviable career in Hollywood. From her early days with the Bond franchise to her award-winning rendition of X-Men's Jean Grey, it's easy to take notice as to why this actress is beloved by so many people all over the world.
Considering just how well she's proven herself as an actress that can do pretty much anything, it's almost inconceivable there was once a time when it might not have happened at all. The former Victoria's Secret model was, earlier in life, enrolled in college to study economics—before she came to the United States to pursue a career in modeling and acting. And since then, Janssen has demonstrated herself numerous times as a force to be reckoned with, on and off screen. As such, I've compiled a list of Janssen's most badass moments, spread across her incredible and distinct career in film and television.
1. Wreaking Havoc On 'The Blacklist'
Famke Janssen debuted in the final three episodes of season 3, just after the untimely death of Elizabeth Keen at her "official" wedding to her ex-husband, Tom Keen. Her character, Blacklister Susan "Scottie" Hargrave, shook things up in a major way when it was discovered she was responsible for the accidental death of Agent Keen. Janssen had been offered spots on the series for years, but continuously rejected them stating,
I wanted a character that could go toe-to-toe with Red.
And boy, did she ever. The end result, to no one's great surprise, saw Janssen being offered a spin-off of the popular NBC series. The new show is set to premiere during the 2016-2017 season and will be titled The Blacklist: Redemption.
2. Killing for Pleasure in Bond film 'Goldeneye'
Although Pierce Brosnan's time as the infamous spy and lady chaser wasn't necessarily the stuff dreams are made of, it certainly did leave an impact when Goldeneye hit theaters in 1995. But nothing left quite as much of a mark as newcomer Famke Janssen, who took on the captivating role of seductress/assassin Xenia Onatopp. Janssen's deadly femme fatale is still widely recognized as one of the absolute best Bond girls of the modern age. Fans to this day are still calling for a reprisal of the role in a future Bond film. *fingers crossed*
3. Biggest Bad That Ever Was in 'Hansel and Gretel'
Sure, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters wasn't too adored by the critics, but audiences loved it! The gore, the unfiltered action, the unique take on the classic fairy tale of an abduction gone horribly wrong, we ate it up. It was in no small part because Janssen showcased terrifying in a way we hadn't really seen her do before. I mean, she literally ripped a man's eyes and brains from his skull while he was trying to flee. No regard for life, no fear of any kind, sociopathic tendencies: all equal to an unparalleled roaring good time. Hey, not every movie is set as Oscar bait. Stop taking things so seriously, critics.
4. Queen B in the 1999 Remake of 'House on Haunted Hill'
I'm not typically a big fan of horror films or horror remakes in general, but I do have to give this film due credit as being one of my all time favorite guilty pleasures. The best part of this remake, without a doubt, is the comical dynamic between the married couple played by Famke Janssen and Geoffrey Rush. The two of them, endlessly flinging grade A insults at one another for nearly the entire film, makes this dud of a horror movie totally worth rewatch after rewatch every Halloween season.
5. Master Manipulator on 'Nip/Tuck'
I religiously watched Nip/Tuck from the first episode all the way to its last. And during that time, I don't think I ever saw a character do as much damage or shake things up so dramatically as Famke Janssen's Ava Moore. She completely ruined the lives of every main character on the show and then some. The most sadistic aspect of it all was that her character was initially brought in to help, but sought only to use the information she gained as blackmail and toward the eventual destruction of an entire family's blissful ignorance.
6. Becoming the Ultimate Power in 'X-Men'
Although we really only got to see Janssen display Jean's overwhelming power in two of the nine X-Men films, her transition from Jean Grey to the all powerful Dark Phoenix between the second and third film is a treat for any fan that definitely can't be missed. It is true that most fans regard The Last Stand as a total disgrace to the iconic Dark Phoenix saga, but in no way do they generally fault Janssen for that epic failure. She did the best with what she was given and the end result was a defining moment for her career, one we hope she'll get another shot to bring to life sometime in the near future.