When Good Performances Make You Love The Bad Guy

While obsessing over Game of Thrones these past few weeks, the idea for this list occurred to me. I'm loving Tywin Lannister right now and that's terrible. Tywin is one of the worst people in the series and I shouldn't be excited to see him on screen. But Charles Dance plays him like such a fucking boss, I can't help myself. Tywin is a badass.  So here's 10 performances that made me love the bad guy.


1) Tywin Lannister (Game of Thrones)

Why: Tywin Lannister is the one of the most powerful men in Westeros. Even before he was Hand to the King he had his plots.

When things got real: When Tywin tells his youngest son, Tyrion how he really feels about him. How Tyrion doesn't have daddy issues is beyond me.

Favorite line: "We can arrange to have you carried."

Thanks to Charles Dance: He plays him with such authority. Tyrion has a line where he says "Seven kingdoms united in fear of Tywin Lannister." That sums up how intimidating Dance is. Also the way he tells Cersei "Yes you will." when he's forcing her into a marriage is borderline hilarious.

2) The Joker (The Dark Knight)

Why: He's chaotic, loves a little anarchy and some face paint. He's not the kind of guy that comes with a plan.

When things got real: When The Joker made that pencil disappear

Favorite line: "Why so serious?"

Thanks to Heath Ledger: This performance will go down as the greatest comic book villain ever. Even when he wasn't on screen, you are still thinking about him. He was enchanting, and he deserved every bit of the Oscar. I wish I could've seen him accept it.


3) Loki (The Avengers)

Why: Loki felt like an after thought in Thor, but he comes out front and center in the Avengers. He demands attention.

When things got real: When Loki needed that guy's eyeball. Ouch.

Favorite line: "I am Loki of Asgaard, and I am burdened with glorious purpose."

Thanks to Tom Hiddleston: Even with the slicked back black wig, Tom Hiddleston is insanely hot. It's easier to like a good looking villain.

4) Gus Fring (Breaking Bad)

Why: Breaking Bad's notorious drug dealer was all proper and professional when we first meet him. In fact, he's so business savvy, we tend to forget that he's committing a serious crime by running his operation.

When things got real: When Gus takes a box cutter to one of his employees just to prove to Walt and Jesse that no one fucks with Gus Fring.

Favorite line: "What does a man do, Walter? A man provides for his family. "

Thanks to Giancarlo Esposito: Watching interviews with this guy, he's so warm and friendly that it's actually a bit frightening when he get's into Gus's shoes and starts talking about killing babies.

 
5) Russell Edgington (True Blood)

Why: Russell had a bit of the Gus Fring thing going on. He seems pleasant enough, but he's the most powerful vampire on the planet and he's on a total power trip. Plus he's the only guy on this list that is getting laid, so what's his deal, really?

When things got real: When he decided to make a cameo appearance on the national news.

Favorite line: "We will eat you. After we eat your children. And now for the weather, Tiffany?"

Thanks to Denis O'Hare: Russell was meant to be the main baddie in season 3, but I wound up hating Franklin more. You just have to respect Russell when he decides to go ape shit on everyone. (I mean, Eric did stake his lover.)

6) Darth Vader (Star Wars episodes 4-6)

Why: Because he's motherfucking Darth Vader. We just pretend that Hayden Christensen didn't play him.

When things got real: The first time he force choked someone to death.

Favorite line: "I find your lack of faith disturbing"

Thanks to David Prowse/James Earl Jones : I have to credit both of them, Prowse for just looking threatening, and Jones for providing that famous voice of his. Efforts combined, this is perfect for the character.


7) Prince Nuada (Hellboy II: The Golden Army)

Why: Villains often steal the show, but Prince Nuana made Hellboy II a far better movie that it should've been. He's a skilled fighter, and he's got this weird connection with his twin sister that opens up so many opportunities for jokes.

When things got real: When he unleashes his "tooth fairies" on a room of innocent bystanders.

Favorite line: "Let this remind you why you once feared the dark..."

Thanks to Luke Goss: He was fascinating in this. Unfortunately I haven't seen a lot of Goss's work, but I'd watch an entire movie dedicated to Prince Nuana if they made it, because that's how good he was.

8) Silva (Skyfall)

Why: Silva had a sick obsession with M, but after what he was put through, can you blame him? He was going to die with M, that's kind of romantic in a twisted way, right?

When things got real: When he shows us what hydrogen cyanide does to you.

Favorite line: "You're hurt! You're hurt! What have they done to you? "

Thanks to Javier Bardem: Parts of his performance reminded me of another great baddie of his, Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men. Except Silva had more charisma. I never expected to like a Bond movie. They never could hold my attention. Silva had my attention and my anticipation.

9) Lord Voldemort (The Harry Potter Films)

Why: Because he's the most horrific wizard that ever lived in my favorite book series. He's not afraid to ruin lives to get what he wants. And he yells "Nyyyaaahhhh!"

When things got real: That time he thought he'd go on a routine kill and ended up turning a baby into a pseudo-horcrux and got side lined long enough for him to come back even more pissed off than ever.

Favorite line: "Kill the spare."

Thanks to Ralph Fiennes: He looks exactly like I pictured Voldemort in my head. I seriously pictured evil Fiennes (Hello, Schindler's List) and the first time I saw that scene in Goblet of Fire when Voldemort re-takes a human form, and the camera pans to him as he opens his eyes; I was in shock. I could've screamed like a little fan girl. He's pure evil, and I loved the fact that they made him so scary.

10) Bill the Butcher (Gangs of New York)

Why: He's a scary fuck that plays with knives. Amsterdam is our protagonist, yet I'd much rather hear more about Bill.

When things got real: Technically, when he killed Amsterdam's father, but I'll go with him burning his knife on Amsterdam's face instead.

Favorite line: "Somebody steals from me, I cut off his hands. He offends me, I cut out his tongue. He rises against me, I cut off his head, stick it on a pike, raise it high up so all on the streets can see. That's what preserves the order of things. Fear."

Thanks to Daniel Day-Lewis: It's DDL, how can you not be enchanted with him on screen? If Bill had been played by anyone else, I would've hated him like I should, but when DDL steps in his shoes, you can't help but enjoy the spectacle.

What villains do you love?

8 comments:

  1. Holy YES on the Darth Vader front. I wish the film had been about evil winning! And then again, the development of character helped show so many layers to his 'badness'...he wasn't really all that bad!

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    1. Yes! Although episode 3 really kind of ruined Darth Vader for me. "Noooooooo!!"

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  2. GREAT post. I love when an actor's villainous performance is so well done that we can't help but root for them. You listed most all of the ones I would. I still wish Bill the Butcher would've reigned supreme, but oh well.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, Bill winning at the end would've been a good one.

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  3. Oh, loving Dance on that list. Considering what Tywin does I should hate his guts but his will and persistence is very admirable. He doesn't get distracted, he is brilliant and it's kinda tragic how his legacy will fall because of the mess his children made.

    The Joker would definitely be on my list too. Another one would be Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, he is both scary and hilarious.

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    1. Ahh, I can't believe I forgot about Bateman. Damn! I should've put him on this list.

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  4. Anton Chigurh (No Country For Old Men)!

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.