Kate Beckinsale is rarely acknowledged as an action star whose credentials in the genre rival Sigourney Weaver’s, but she should be.
She held off wolves, vampires and assorted snarling lowlifes in Underworld (2003) and its underrated sequel, Evolution (2006). She forcefully avoided becoming the star of Frank Whaley’s next snuff film in the scrappy thriller Vacancy (2007). And early in Whiteout, long before she’s called on to tame a masked killer, she gamely hops in the shower, dutifully pandering to her male demographic.
Drew Barrymore will never forget her first all-girl roller-derby adventure, the rough-and-tumble spectacle that inspired her critically acclaimed directorial debut, the lighthearted coming-of-age drama Whip It.
“When I walked into my first game, I literally thought it was my Wizard of Oz moment, where everything was in black-and-white and the world became Technicolor,” says the onetime child star, 34, whose Flower Films production company helped establish her as a bona fide superstar with comedies like 1999’s Never Been Kissed and the following year’s Charlie’s Angels.