Bridesmaids showed us all that women can have as much fun as men when it comes to comedies. Paul Feig’s next outing as director comes in the form of The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy – two of Hollywood’s funniest – as uptight Special Agent Ashburn and the recklessly outrageous Detective Mullins. With The Heat’s Blu-ray and DVD release on 25th November 2013 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, we count down our top 10 funniest women in Hollywood.
Sure, she may have an Oscar for making us cry in The Blind Side, and she may be queen of the box office for kicking butt in Gravity, but Sandra Bullock is at her best when she’s making us laugh. Though she usually plays a similar character – the uptight control freak with quite a mouth that’s pushed far outside of her comfort zone – it never fails to entertain us. Whether it’s Miss Congeniality, Two Weeks Notice, The Proposal, or The Heat, Bullock’s comedic chops always provide a rollickingly good time.
Aniston first stole our hearts as Rachel on the sitcom Friends, but her biggest lasting impact may have been the infamous “Rachel haircut” that became an iconic 1990s ‘do. In the decade since the show left the airwaves, Aniston has redefined her legacy by starring in some of the most hilarious comedies of recent memory. Whether pushing Ben Stiller out of his comfort zone in Along Came Polly, taunting her subordinate Charlie Day as a nymphomaniac boss in Horrible Bosses, or stripping to save her fake family in We’re The Millers, Aniston shows she’s got the comedic goods to match her good looks.
She may not have the marquee name or sheer star-power of some of the other women on this list, but that does not make Leslie Mann any less funny. Some might accuse her of getting her best roles through nepotism as she’s married to director and comedy mogul Judd Apatow, but she never fails to steal every scene she’s in. Try not to bowl over laughing at her blowing up at a bouncer in Knocked Up or trying to homeschool her airheaded socialite daughters from New Age spirituality in The Bling Ring.
Rose Byrne’s biggest credit of the past few years has been a decidedly dramatic role as Ellen Parsons on TV’s Damages opposite Glenn Close, but don’t let that fool you. She’s got one heck of a funny bone, too. Byrne has shown remarkable range too, playing characters from a fictional East London pop star Jackie Q in Get Him to the Greek to a wealthy and narcissistic trophy wife in Bridesmaids.
Now that her career has taken off, Emma Stone has begun to diversify her résumé with projects like The Amazing Spider-Man and Gangster Squad. But let’s not forget that she built her stardom through some outstanding comedic work. From her earliest roles as Jules in Superbad and Wichita in Zombieland to her breakout role as the uproariously witty Olive Penderghast in Easy A, Stone became one of Hollywood’s newest golden girls because she figured out how to flex some mighty comic muscle.
Though Jane Lynch only recently entered mainstream consciousness thanks to her character Sue Sylvester on TV’s Glee, she’s been quietly making movie audiences laugh for many years. From a quirky dog trainer in Christopher Guest’s Best in Show, to Steve Carell’s bold boss in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, all the way to her riotous performance as the reformed drug addict Gayle Sweeny in Role Models, Lynch is always dependable to deliver some belly-aching laughs.
Poehler’s comedic work has been mostly confined to the small screen; however, she packs more hysterical moments into her relatively limited movie selection than many lesser actresses can get in an expanded catalogue. She’s notorious as the infinitely quotable Mrs. George in Mean Girls, the coolest mom there ever was. Not to mention, she’s soared into the comedic stratosphere with her turns as absurd figure skater Fairchild Van Waldenberg in Blades of Glory and the infantile expectant surrogate mother Angie Ostrowski in Baby Mama.
This list couldn’t be complete without mentioning Poehler’s BFF and partner-in-crime, Tina Fey. She could read the phonebook and entertain us, but she gets hilarious material in films like Baby Mama and Date Night that she just knocks out of the park. Not to mention, she has the additional edge of being a great comedic writer as well, penning the script for teen movie Mean Girls.
Kristen Wiig is only just beginning to emerge from the halls of Saturday Night Live and into the world of Hollywood, but she’s already made a huge splash. She was Golden Globe nominated for her pitch-perfect comedic performance in the infinitely re-watchable Bridesmaids and she received an Oscar nomination for writing the script for the movie! She undoubtedly has an exciting future as a leading woman in comedies – heck, Wiig was already stealing them as a supporting player (see Knocked Up, Adventureland, Whip It, Extract, and Paul for evidence).
It’s not often that a strictly comedic performance gets noticed by the Oscars… so when it happens, you know that actor has really got something special. And when you factor in that Melissa McCarthy had very few screen credits to her name when she scored an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, it only confirms her place at the top of the comic food chain. Since taking the awards circuit by storm two years ago, she’s proven herself to be quite the audience favourite with triumphant star turns in Identity Thief and The Heat. Have no doubt about it, McCarthy is no one-hit wonder.