Jane Levy (Evil Dead)
Previously known for her role on twee family sitcom Suburgatory , Jane Levy decided to move as far from her telly persona as possible for her break-out movie role.
In Evil Dead , the 23-year-old actress plays Mia, a withdrawing heroin addict who becomes possessed by a demon while staying in a remote cabin with her friends.
But it wasn't just the character choice that demonstrated Levy's bravery.
On-set Levy was tortured, buried alive and was forced to crawl around on her hands and knees in a forest all night long… ouch!
Mia Wasikowska (Stoker)
Alice In Wonderland and Jane Eyre are worlds apart from Mia Wasikowska’s most recent performance in Stoker , where she plays introverted teen, India, who is being beaten at home and bullied in school.
When her father dies on her 18th Birthday, an uncle who she never knew existed comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother, leading to a perverse love triangle between them.
Diving into the dark side, Mia experienced her first on-screen nudity in a shower scene where she violently pleasures herself after witnessing her uncle dispose of her lecherous classmate.
Mia has established herself as not only one of the finest but most fearless actresses in Hollywood.
Charlotte Gainsborough (Nymphomaniac)
We've heard of people putting on a bit of weight or learning to drive a taxi for a film role but French-English actress Charlotte Gainsbourg has taken method acting to another level for Nymphomaniac , king of controversy Lars von Trier’s latest epic (sexual) adventure.
In the explicit drama described as 'a woman’s erotic journey from birth to the age of fifty,’ Gainsburg plays Joe, a self-confessed nymphomaniac looking back at her erotic life.
The film contains real sex scenes and threesomes, and is so explicit that von Trier will be releasing hardcore and softcore versions.
It sounds as though it'll be as revealing emotionally as it is physically - we'd say that was pretty brave.
Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
She broke your hearts, she cut off her hair and she won an Oscar. It would be hard to deny that Anne Hathaway’s performance as Fantine in Les Misérables was fantastic - and fearless.
Raw, harrowing and mesmerising, her role as a jobless mother who turns to prostitution brings the already accomplished actress to a whole new level.
Gemma Arterton (Byzantium)
In Byzantium Arterton plays Clara, a vampire carrying 200 years of secrets. But when people in the seaside neighbourhood she's retreated to start to die, the past starts to catch up with her.
Not only does her fiercely maternal role demand a vulnerability way beyond her years (oh, and some pretty stripping scenes), but the movie features a gushing blood-filled waterfall scene, which Gemma described as “the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever shot.”
It looks amazing on film, but it must have taken a lot of guts to acheive.
Emma Watson (The Bling Ring)
Emma Watson goes wild in The Bling Ring , a crime drama about a group of fame-obsessed teenagers who track the whereabouts of celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Megan Fox in order to rob their houses.
Emma plays materialistic, superficial leader Nicki, who's loosely based on real life Bling Ring member Alexis Neiers.
Harry Potter fans be warned: Watson is no Hermione Granger in The Bling Ring , she's chucked a vanishing cloak over that character for this one, and there's a huge amount, credibility-wise, on the line as Watson makes her first major steps into a post-Potter world.
Kristin Scott Thomas (Only God forgives)
Kristin Scott Thomas is particularly bad-ass in the latest trailer for Only God Forgives where she plays a mother seeking revenge after discovering the murder of her first-born son.
In the film she stars alongside Ryan Gosling, who plays her other son on a mission to bring his brother’s killer to justice.
Domineering and scary as hell, Kristin owns the role, screaming: “If the tables were turned your brother would have found your killer and brought me his head on a fucking platter.”
Thomas has had edge before, of course - but this is arguably her bravest role to date.
Spring Breakers Disney Girls
Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens’ vacation with a difference has launched their characters into a life of crime in Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers .
More commonly associated with High School Musica l, Vanessa Hudgens plays Candy in the film, one of four good girls gone bad after robbing a restaurant at gunpoint in order to fund their spring break vacation.
Even Selena Gomez who plays Faith, a good Christian girl, gets wrapped up in the dream of the gangster lifestyle, although she admits to having had a break-down on set after being ogled at in her bikini.
Both Gomez and Hudgens could've played it safe in rom-coms for the rest of their lives - it's good to see them working on more interesting projects.
Chloe Grace Moretz (Carrie)
Chloe Moretz takes on Carrie this year, playing a sheltered teen who unleashes telekinetic powers at her prom after being pushed too far by her religious mother and cruel classmates.
Here, the fearlessness comes from Moretz taking on such an iconic role. It’s not her first horror remake, that was Let Me In , but this is a far bigger property.
We can’t wait to see if she’s pulled it off.
Amy Adams (Man of Steel)
Amy Adams also has some big boots to fill as Lois Lane in Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, Man of Steel.
The pressure on Adams must be enormous - most comic-book movie stars have only the eight-panel incarnation of the character to live up to, Amy also has Margot Kidder's memorable take to equal.
But, seeing as she's held her own in some of the 21st century's biggest dramas to date ( The Master, The Fighter , erm... The Muppets ), we'd say she's got a pretty good chance of being the definitive big screen incarnation of the character.
One thing's for sure, she's braver than the last son of Krypton to take it on.