The list of actors that can bag themselves big-deal Hollywood leads based on their name alone is a lengthy one: Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Fassbender, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Robert Downey Jr, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Hugh Jackman all of these blokes and more could get a project greenlighted should they have just the promise of a presence as the film's lead. If a year goes by when any of them is not headlining at least one major movie, you'd have to assume the matrix was on the fritz again. Even unconventional male stars, character actors think Michael Shannon, Brendan Gleeson or the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman can find themselves leading up their own movies. But anyone with even a passing interest in film will know this isn't the case for the women. Michelle Williams dominates the XX-chromosome side of the indie scene, Jennifer Lawrence could play the lead in the Gandhi biopic and people would watch it, while Meryl Streep is still the queen of everything, exerting a stranglehold on any leading female roles going and asserting her dominance like some 15th century feudal baron. But these types of actresses are rarities. Marion Cotillard, Emily Blunt and Carey Mulligan, for example, are considered three of the best actresses of their generation they're certainly three of the most famous right now but any meaty roles they might find as they jostle for Hollywood's scraps are likely only to be in a supporting capacity. And yet they haven't found their way into this list because the roles they manage to bag still have some substance to them, despite Hollywood's insistence on keeping them away from top billing. Instead, here are ten actresses who have the talent (and, if we're going to sink to Hollywood's standards, the requisite looks) to do more in Hollywood, who, if they were male, would probably be major headliners by now. And it's all in the aid of making it really easy for the studios who think only men can take centre stage, and who are currently wasting the potential of some impressive female acting talent. So come on guys turn it around and give these actresses more of a chance, yeah?
Lover of film, writer of words, pretentious beyond belief. Thinks Scorsese and Kubrick are the kings of cinema, but PT Anderson and David Fincher are the dashing young princes. Follow Brogan on twitter if you can take shameless self-promotion: @BroganMorris1