Think of all the marvellous female characters who have graced our screens over the years – Scarlett O’Hara, Cher Horowitz, Holly Golightly, Miss Honey. Each one is brilliant, unique and utterly iconic, but according to a new poll from Sky Cinema, the most inspiring leading lady of all time is (no surprises here) Bridget Jones.
In light of International Women’s Day, they asked 2,000 British women to vote for their on-screen favourites and the world’s most legendary singleton came out on top.
While the character is the brainchild of Bridget Jones’s Diary author Helen Fielding, we first met the loveable Londoner in the flesh in 2001 when the first film was released. Bridget juggled her relationships, work and home life in the trilogy before marrying and having a child with Mark Darcy.
More than eight in ten participants cited ‘relatability’ as the main source of admiration for the film heroines, and two-fifths recognise traits of themselves, close friends and relatives in the characters.
Erin Brockovich took second place, Hermione Granger took third and Mary Poppins came fourth.
Here’s the full top ten:
- Bridget Jones (Bridget Jones’s Diary)
- Erin Brockovich (Erin Brockovich)
- Hermione Granger (Harry Potter film series)
- Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins)
- Matilda (Matilda)
- Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
- Miss Honey (Matilda)
- Mulan (Mulan)
- Merida (Brave)
- Princess Leia (Star Wars)
Commenting on the research, film-critic, broadcaster and podcast host Anna Smith, says: ‘The fact that Bridget and Erin are topping the list shows that women relate to complex, layered characters who overcome the obstacles of life with humour and compassion.
‘Even those in fantasy genre are fully rounded characters, not fantastical stereotypes. And I’m thrilled to see that so many women are rooting for more powerful female leads and that Sky Cinema is celebrating this too.’
Which leading lady gets your vote?