Stuck On a Deserted Island: Female Actor Edition

Round 3:  Same deal as before, but for female actors.

You’ve been banished to a desert island, never to return.  In addition to food and water to survive indefinitely, you’re allowed to take a device to watch TV/film with and the collected works of any single female actor, but no other media.

What film/TV library do you select?

Additional Rules:

  1. You can choose an actor who has been in movies, television shows, or both.
  2. Cameos in television count, but you only get the episodes including such cameos, not the entire series.
  3. Voice-over for animation roles count (Choose Joan Cusack, and you get to take Toy Story with you).
  4. Other non-acting roles do not count. For example, the fact that Oprah Winfrey has acted in some movies does not allow you take The Oprah Winfrey Show.

For me, this is a really difficult category, because my preferences in TV & movies are heavily oriented toward SciFi, where I’ve struggled to think of many women who have consistently been featured.  If I stick to that genre for my cues, it basically comes down to a choice between Sigourney Weaver and Milla Jovovich.  Although Weaver is great as Ripley, it’s just not enough in the end.

Expanding my preferences to SciFi’s sister genre of fantasy allows me to consider Cate Blanchett, given her turns in Lord of the Rings, as well as the upcoming Hobbit films which hopefully won’t suck. I also really like some of her other films, including Bandits for the needed comedy.  Still, a vast majority of Blanchett’s films are serious dramas, and I just don’t think I could maintain interest for the long haul.

After considering many others–Judi Dench, Julia Roberts, Katherine Hepburn–I finally found the winner:

Kathy Bates

Next time: Stuck On a Deserted Island: Snack Food Edition

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40 thoughts on “Stuck On a Deserted Island: Female Actor Edition

  1. This is much harder than the male actors edition for me. Its hard to find an actress with the same breadth and depth.

    If I can get all future productions – Natalie Portman (Heat, Garden State, V for Vendetta, Black Swan)
    She keeps getting better and better, and I think she’s going to have an amazing career.

    If I just have to go with the up-till-now . . . I guess Sigourney Weaver. Wall-E puts me over the top for her.

  2. Great choice, Scott. My wife and are really enjoying Kathy Bates new TV series Harry’s Law.

    Since my wife watches lots of old movies, and we both remember lots of great movies from the 60′s and 70′s, I’d agree that Katharine Hepburn is a good choice, but Audrey Hepburn is also good. For just plain looking at, Grace Kelly wins hands down. Not a big fan of Julia Roberts anymore, even though she was great in Erin Brockovich, and also in Notting Hill, which I think was an underrated film.

    But maybe Ingrid Bergman should be considered. Casablanca, Notorious, Spellbound, Gaslight, and dozens of other films and a resume with almost 50 years of roles, and some really classic films.

  3. Nicole Kidman has been in a lot of really good movie, and she looks fantastic the vast majority of the time.

    But Kathy Bates has more longevity.

  4. Nicole Kidman movies would depress the hell out of me if I had to watch them over and over again. Rabbit’s Hole, My Life, Cold Mountain…

    And she’s not that good looking. Especially since her face hasn’t moved in the last decade.

    Natalie Portman’s not a bad pick. She was also in the Professional. Not sure I want the Star Wars Episodes 1-3 though.

  5. Taking the Oprah Winfrey show would be a fate worse than death. Trapped only watching Oprah on an island with nothing else to do but fish would be the seventh level of hell.

    Of course maybe we should have a desert island thread about what to leave for our worst enemies…

    Back to the thread at hand. It’s a lot harder with a woman for some reason. I’m inclined to say Audrey Hepburn but even that’s not great. Part of the problem is that Hollywood is pretty fickle with women, casting them aside before their time. And even major stars like Angelina Jolie aren’t exactly typically in a lot of good movies.

    Honestly looking at the films and the movies I’d want to watch over and over I can’t find much better than Sigourney Weaver. Not that it’s an ideal choice like there was with various men.

  6. Not sure I want the Star Wars Episodes 1-3 though.

    It doesn’t hurt to have a couple extra DVDs laying around when you’re stranded on a desert island. You know, for cutting things, signaling passing planes, or just as a mirror. I bet if you broke them down they could be useful as fishing lures too.

  7. Cate Blanchett

    The Hobbit: Part 2 (pre-production)
    Galadriel
    2012 The Hobbit: Part 1 (pre-production)
    Galadriel
    2011 Hanna (completed)
    Marissa Wiegler
    2011 The Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg

    2010 Robin Hood
    Marion Loxley
    2008 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Daisy
    2008 Ponyo
    Gran Mamare (voice: English version)
    2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    Irina Spalko
    2007 Elizabeth: The Golden Age
    Queen Elizabeth I
    2007 I’m Not There.
    Jude
    2007 Hot Fuzz
    Jeanine (uncredited)
    2006 Notes on a Scandal
    Sheba Hart
    2006 The Good German
    Lena Brandt
    2006 Babel
    Susan Jones
    2005 Little Fish
    Tracy
    2005 Stories of Lost Souls
    Julie-Anne (segment “Bangers”)
    2004 The Aviator
    Katharine Hepburn
    2004 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
    Jane Winslett-Richardson
    2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    Galadriel
    2003/I The Missing
    Magdalena Gilkeson
    2003 Coffee and Cigarettes
    Cate / Shelly (segment “Cousins”)
    2003 Veronica Guerin
    Veronica Guerin
    2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
    Galadriel
    2002/I Heaven
    Philippa
    2001 The Shipping News
    Petal
    2001 Charlotte Gray
    Charlotte Gray
    2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    Galadriel
    2001 Bandits
    Kate Wheeler
    2000 The Gift
    Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson
    2000 The Man Who Cried
    Lola
    1999 The Talented Mr. Ripley
    Meredith Logue
    1999 Pushing Tin
    Connie Falzone
    1999 An Ideal Husband
    Lady Gertrude Chiltern
    1999 Bangers (short)
    Julie-Anne
    1998 Elizabeth
    Elizabeth I
    1997 Oscar and Lucinda
    Lucinda Leplastrier
    1997 Thank God He Met Lizzie
    Lizzie
    1997 Paradise Road
    Susan Macarthy
    1996 Parklands
    Rosie

  8. My initial inclination was Julianne Moore, with some Coen offerings in her book and a great stint on 30 Rock, but a review of her imdb profile doesn’t show a lot of other stuff I would want to watch (although, I liked Children of Men.)

    What about Jodi Foster?

  9. RE: Blanchett, other than LOTR, it’s a big meh. Sure, she’s done some quality stuff, but not really deserted island material IMO.

  10. I already said in the other thread I’d go with Ruth Gordon, but if not her, I’d probably choose an old-time actress like June Allyson or Doris Day.

    Judy Garland! Or Ginger Rogers. Back when they cranked out a million movies a year. I never get sick of that old cheesy stuff.

    Or maybe Lucille Ball. She was in an old movie I love called Stage Door (along with Ginger Rogers and Kathryn Hepburn among many others). Plus I’d get her tv show, which I still enjoy.

  11. Meryl Streep is a good pick. She is a fantastic actress. Arguably the best actress ever in terms of range. But few of her movies are ones I’d really want to see again.

  12. I was tempted to go with volume, and choose Lillian Gish, whose career spans from the silent shorts to “The Whales of August” in 1987, with quite a few TV stops on the way.

    In the end, I have to choose Katherine Hepburn, both on quality, and on the range of movie genres she’s excelled in: comedy, drama, action. Most of her movies are worth seeing multiple times.

  13. “Keira Knightley”

    Current actress most in need of being hooked up to a Ben & Jerry’s IV.

    To even out this post, I think Matt Damon is kinda good looking.

  14. Susan,
    I also think Streep is annoying. Actually, I really can’t stand her. I thought her role as Julia Child was perfect for her because she got to play an awkward, annoying person.

  15. I’m surprised there has been no mention of Uma Thurman. You’d get a bunch of Tarantino movies, plus Baron Munchausen.

  16. Going to have to go with Courteney Cox. Then I get all of Friends, Scream, several episodes of Family Ties (21 according to IMDB) and maybe with all this time on my hands, I’ll get around to watching Cougar Town.

    (ooh, bonus: Misfits of Science!)

  17. Susan M,
    Although I agreed with you that Meryl Streep is annoying, I’m starting to worry about you; your list of annoying female leads is getting longer and longer.

  18. I thought about Uma, she’s a good choice. You’d also get Gattaca and Be Cool. Two great, underrated movies. Paycheck is also an entertaining sci-fi flick.

  19. Be Cool isn’t underrated. It was hugely disappointing. Didn’t capture the feel of Get Shorty at all. I love the interview with Leonard where he points to it as how not to adapt his work. Leonard points out that they played the characters for laughs where to do it right you have to play them straight and serious and then the humor comes out. Like Justified.

    Paycheck to me is one of those films that shows how John Woo really is overrated.

    However Thurman has been in some great flicks. She’s also been in some real stinkers. (Batman and Robin; The Avengers; My Super Ex-Girlfriend)

  20. I’m annoyed by just about all well-known actors. I prefer movies with unknowns in them, so I’m not spending most of my time thinking about who the actors really are.

    Except for the quirky/interesting ones, like Steve Buscemi or Jodie Foster.

  21. Oh, they pull me out of movies, too, but I enjoy the actors as themselves enough to not care. Brad Pitt I find annoying; Steve Buscemi I find interesting.

  22. I like Jodie Foster sometimes, and hate her sometimes. Silence of the Lambs: Good
    Nell: Bad
    I liked the two thriller movies she did recently , neither of which can I remember right now (both involved her having a daughter–one with burglars, one on an airplane), but hated Contact.

    Brad Pitt is good as long as he’s not the lead actor.

  23. I thought both of Jodie’s recent movies were terrible, but I liked to watch them because she was in them. I’m thinking of Panic Room and The Brave One, I think it was called?

    I tend to dislike any movie that has a diabetic character (Panic Room). Seems like such an obvious and overdone plot device. But that’s mainly because I’m diabetic.

  24. Panic Room was a really long time ago. (2002) I didn’t think it was bad. It was just kind of average. Which considering the previous movies that Fincher had done was a bit disappointing.

  25. Be Cool isn’t underrated. It was hugely disappointing.

    Meh, to each his own.

    Paycheck to me is one of those films that shows how John Woo really is overrated.

    I agree, I definitely didn’t say it was good. But it qualified as entertaining in my book.

  26. The only John Woo movie that I think holds up is Face Off. That was fun, if a bit silly at times. And it took place before Nick Cage became a self-caricature.

    To me the part of Be Cool that demonstrates its problems are The Rock as the gay enforcer and then that whole scene between Stephen Tyler and Uma Thurman about her days as a groupie. Painful. Whereas somehow Get Shorty transcended even the source material.

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