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Actors People Hated In Real Life Because Of The Villains They Played

November 25, 2020 6.5k votes 1.2k voters 126.8k views18 items

List RulesVote up the convincingly hateable villain performances that people took a little too seriously.

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. 

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  • 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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    Performance was a little *too* good?
  • Photo: AMC

    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. 

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    Performance was a little *too* good?
  • 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.

    That's what you get for trying to take out entire families, Cersei. 

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    Performance was a little *too* good?
  • Photo: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Harry Potter's nemesis Voldemort is a terrifying villain who's easy to hate. Actor Ralph Fiennes, recalling visits by children to the Harry Potter set, said in a Newsweek story that kids should be afraid of Voldemort:

    Sometimes kids would come to the set, and I could see them looking at me anxiously. I once walked past the young child of a script supervisor, and he burst into tears. I felt very good about myself.

    But Fiennes said he also thinks people should have a little more empathy for He Who Shall Not Be Named:

    Young Voldemort was an orphan and denied any kind of parental affection or love, so he's been an isolated figure from a very young age. But I always think there has to be the possibility of good in someone, too. It might have been eroded, repressed, suppressed, or somehow distorted within him after he was really damaged... Some actors enjoy signaling the evil in characters called "bad guys," but you want to be a human being first of all. Everyone has the potential to be corrupted. Everyone.

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    Performance was a little *too* good?