Some actors are so good at their jobs that everyone hates them. Every good story needs a villain, but fans who see them as real haven't always figured out how to hate the character but respect the actor. According to the following TV and film actors, people have despised them because of the characters they've played. Whether it's film or TV actors who play bad guys, villains, or just plain old jerks, or even if they play a decent person who makes a one-time egregious mistake, some fans can't separate what they watch on the screen from real life.
Some actors have not only received hate mail or mean tweets, but also physical blows and barbs when they're out and about. Whether it's because their characters bash beloved characters into a pulp, make poor calls about their children's welfare, or seduce someone else's love interest, all these actors have encountered fans who loathed them in real life.
- Photo: HBO
On Game of Thrones, Jack Gleeson played Joffrey, an awful yet powerful twerp fans loved to hate. He was so despicable that even Thrones author George R.R. Martin feared the role was the impetus behind Gleeson quitting acting altogether in his early 20s. Martin told Entertainment Weekly:
He created someone that everyone hates, and everyone loves to hate, and that’s a considerable feat of acting. I feel a little guilty that he’s quitting acting now. I hope that playing Joffrey didn’t make him want to retire from the profession because he does have quite a gift for it.
Gleeson said he decided to quit purely for personal reasons. But walking around looking like the guy from GoT everyone wants to punch can't be easy.
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Although his character has seemingly softened over time on The Walking Dead, Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan has been a detestable villain ever since his first appearance on the show. He told Entertainment Weekly that during the hiatus between the Season 6 finale and the Season 7 premiere - in which he was in the process of beating his co-stars' faces in - a woman flipped him off while he was out with co-star Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl. "It was crazy," he said, sharing the details:
[W]e had been riding motorcycles all day and we were in the middle of nowhere and stopped to get a coffee. And this lady is at our car, and she’s probably 80 years old, and she comes up and just flips me off and says, "F*ck you!" And Norman falls off his chair, laughing, and I’m like, "Whoa! Whoa!"
The woman, who was with her children, apparently also wanted to know where the star lived. Luckily, he was smart enough to keep some things private.
- Photo: Game of Thrones / HBO
Nearly everyone on Game of Thrones was out for their own personal interest, and perhaps no one more so than Cersei, played by Lena Headey. Although her character could sometimes be sympathetic, she was largely hated by most of the fanbase, which Headey noticed when the cast was out promoting the series. Headey said in 2012 that she was blown off by fans at San Diego Comic-Con:
I was sitting between (Peter) Dinklage and Emilia (Clarke), who are the most beloved characters on the show. I literally just got ignored. People were giving Pete the books to sign and they kept moving away from me as if I was going to curse them.
One wonders if the Daenerys fan group thinned just a bit after that final season…
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Most people remember Ghost for its steamy pottery-making scenes, but for actor Tony Goldwyn, who played Sam's evil friend Carl, the film led to years of hurt feelings because people were so mean to him in public. He said in a 2017 interview that he once visited a restaurant during a rehearsal break for a play he was doing in New York, but the waitress "was being really mean to me, really rude, and I had to go back to rehearsals, so I was like, 'Excuse me, can I order?'"
She then asked if he was an actor. When Goldwyn said he was, she asked if he was the guy from Ghost. When he again said yes, the woman apologized: "I knew I hated you for something. I thought you were a guy that I slept with but I couldn't figure it out."