Viola Davis reigns as a 19th century general in 'The Woman King,' plus more female action stars over 50

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Hollywood has — and will continue to be — saturated with male action stars, many of whom are over the age of 50. (Tom Cruise, anyone?) But there are also some incredible older female action stars who deserve just as much praise! Join Wonderwall.com as we celebrate 10 female action stars over 50… starting with this powerful heroine. On Sept. 16, 2022, at 57, Viola Davis makes her debut as General Nansica in “The Woman King,” a historical drama that follows an all-women warrior unit called to protect Dahomey, an African kingdom in the 19th century. The Oscar winner followed an intense training regimen to prepare for the role that included sprinting, weaponry training, weight training and martial arts practice for four hours a day.

Keep reading to see more female action stars over 50…

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Michelle Yeoh is one of Hollywood’s most recognized Asian stars. Early in her career, she appeared in several martial arts films — in which she performed most of her own stunts. The Malaysia native has had roles in major flicks like “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (for which she earned a BAFTA nod for best actress), “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Reign of Assassins” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” In 2022 at 59, she starred in the buzzy critically-acclaimed absurdist film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (pictured) in which she played a Chinese American immigrant being audited by the IRS who works with parallel versions of herself to save the multiverse. Michelle performed most of her stunts in the flick, which grossed $100M to become A24’s most financially successful project to date.

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Halle Berry made her directorial debut with the 2020 sports drama “Bruised” in which she also starred. At 54, the Oscar winner took on the role of Jackie “Pretty Bull” Justice, a disgraced MMA fighter who, after leaving the sport following a humiliating defeat, reenters the octagon years later in an effort to redeem herself. On the second day of filming, Halle broke two of her ribs but kept her injury secret. “I knew I could puncture a lung, sure,” she told NPR. “But I took the gamble. Stopping never crossed my mind.” She continued, “I understand the spirit of a fighter… I’ve also been a fighter my whole life, my whole career.”

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While Robin Wright is a Golden Globe Award-winning actress best known for her work in films like “The Princess Bride,” “Forrest Gump” and “Moneyball” as well as her critically acclaimed performance on Netflix’s “House of Cards,” she’s also proved her mettle in as an action star. In 2017 just after turning 51, Robin appeared in the Gal Gadot-led superhero film “Wonder Woman” in which she played Antiope, Diana’s mentor and aunt. “It was a no-brainer,” Robin told Collider of agreeing to star in the film. “I was like, ‘That’s gonna be a hoot.’ And we got to get in the best shape of our lives training for that movie at 50 years old.”

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Having starred as Trinity in “The Matrix” film series since 1999, Carrie-Anne Moss is definitely no stranger to the world of big-budget action flicks. (The franchise has grossed more than $1.7B worldwide!) The Canadian actress also portrayed Jeri Hogarth on Netflix’s Marvel series “Jessica Jones” from 2015 to 2019 before reprising her “The Matrix” role in 2021’s “The Matrix Resurrections” at 54.

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Ming-Na Wen is best known for voicing Mulan in the 1998 Disney animated film of the same name, but in recent years, she’s made her mark in the “Star Wars” franchise. The “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” actress celebrated her 58th birthday in 2022, the same year “The Book of Boba Fett” — in which she played mercenary assassin Fennec Shand — aired its final episodes. Ming-Na has also portrayed Fennec on “The Mandalorian” and “The Bad Batch.”

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Linda Hamilton originated the role of hardened warrior Sarah Connor in 1984’s “The Terminator” when she was 28. Fast-forward three decades to when she reprised the role — at 63 — in 2019’s “Terminator: Dark Fate.”

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In 2022 at 52, Laurie Holden began portraying Crimson Countess, a Payback member who has heat-related superpowers on “The Boys.” Before joining the acclaimed Amazon Prime Video series, Laurie starred on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” from 2010 to 2013 — years after starring on TV shows like “The X-Files” and “The Americans” and in films like “The Majestic” and “Silent Hill.”

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Dutch actress Famke Janssen played Jean Grey aka Phoenix in the “X-Men” film series from 2000 to 2014. In 2021 at 57, the “Nip/Tuck” and “How to Get Away with Murder” actress starred as Agent Shaughnessy in the 2021 Scott Eastwood-led action thriller “Dangerous.”

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In 2020 at 50, Melissa McCarthy starred in the rom-com action flick “Superintelligence” as Carol Peters, an average woman who must prove to a sentient supercomputer that the world — and the people in it — are worth saving. The next year, she starred in the superhero comedy “Thunder Force.”



Halle Berry, Bruised








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