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  • Kyle Pratt on Random Iconic Female Roles That Were Original Played By Men

    (#9) Kyle Pratt

    The role was originally written as a father looking for his missing daughter on a plane. “We sort of took one shot with an actor, and then we had the idea that this is maybe [the wrong story] to do with a man - maybe we need to do this with a mother," director Robert Schwentke said. "It’s much more archaic; the bond between a mother and daughter is a different one than the father and the daughter. Thinking along the lines of how we can make this the most emotionally impactful movie possible, we started thinking about Jodie and, thank God, she was interested in doing it."

    They did keep the original name of the male character, though.

     

  • Delacourt In 'Elysium,' Played By Jodie Foster on Random Iconic Female Roles That Were Original Played By Men

    (#11) Delacourt In 'Elysium,' Played By Jodie Foster

    Foster had wanted to work with Neill Blomkamp since she saw District 9. As he was casting Elysium, he decided to make Defense Secretary Delacourt female. But once he made the decision to change the character’s gender, he didn’t know if Foster would do it. “I thought, ‘That would be f*cking awesome, but there’s just no way,'” he said. “But then, within, like, a day, I had a meeting with her and she said, ‘I want to play it.’ I was like, ‘Holy sh*t!’” 

    Foster’s Delacourt proves women can be just as elitist as men when it comes to sharing snooty orbiting space real estate.

     

  • M on Random Iconic Female Roles That Were Original Played By Men

    (#2) M

    Dench has played M in eight Bond films. Before Dench, M was played by Bernard Lee and then Robert Brown. Ralph Fiennes picked up where Dench left off. 

    When she learned that her time in the role would wrap up after Skyfall (she then made a cameo in Spectre), Dench wasn’t thrilled. “They told me gently and I laughed through my tears. Seven films is a long time. But MI6 would have given her the push by now, don't you think?”

    Dench’s Bond films as M:  

    GoldenEye (1995) 

    Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) 

    The World Is Not Enough (1999) 

    Die Another Day (2002) 

    Casino Royale (2006) 

    Quantum of Solace (2008) 

    Skyfall (2012)

    Spectre (2015)

     

  • Ellen Ripley on Random Iconic Female Roles That Were Original Played By Men

    (#1) Ellen Ripley

    Weaver made Ripley one of the most iconic scifi characters to date. When Ridley Scott changed Ripley to a woman, he changed very little. Running from an acid-spitting alien pretty much takes wits, toughness, and knowing the ship corridors and hiding places by heart. Weaver added a whole new dimension to the character, which exponentially increased with each film.

    This is all despite Scott's sort of sexist comment on his creating Ripley: “I just had a thought. What would you think if Ripley was a woman? She would be the last one you would think would survive - she’s beautiful.”

     

  • Starbuck on Random Iconic Female Roles That Were Original Played By Men

    (#6) Starbuck

    When Ronald D. Moore resurrected Battlestar Galactica, he wanted to avoid any comparison of Starbuck to Han Solo. "Making Starbuck a woman was a way of avoiding what I felt would be 'rogue pilot with a heart of gold' cliche,” Moore said. He also wanted to update Kara Thrace and bring her into the modern world, explaining, “the whole notion of women in the military is a relatively new idea.” 

    Starbuck was still a highly sexual, hard-drinking fighter pilot with blond hair.

  • The 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Gals on Random Iconic Female Roles That Were Original Played By Men

    (#17) The 'Ghostbusters' Reboot Gals

    The making of the new Ghostbusters with women in the lead roles caused quite a stir. Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones will not kill anyone’s childhood. They are comedy pros, and director Paul Feig knows what he’s doing.

    There’s room for everyone in this world. It was awesome.

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About This Tool

When we think of “Women in speculative fiction, ” we often think of the roles once called “scream queens, ” actresses who appear in the second act of the next day and escape alien invaders from Earth or scuffling with aliens on an alien ship. You’ll find one or two regulars on the list below, but our intent is not to stir up familiar faces from sci-Fi genres but to honor the actors who have created some of the most distinctive and iconic roles.

The random generator tool collates 17 entries, recording 17 iconic roles that should have been played by men, but was instead played by women. As Ellen Ripley, M, Paula, Evelyn Salt, Starbuck and others, but they were very successful and impressed the audience.

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