Heartwarming Behind-The-Scenes Stories About Actors Who Played Villains

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Vote up the stories that make you want to give the bad guy a big hug.

When watching a film or television show, it sometimes can be way too easy to confuse the actor with the role they are portraying. In a way, it's really a credit to the actor's ability if a viewer says they "hate" them for what their character did in the film because that suggests the actor did a good job portraying their characters' feelings or intentions.

But that doesn't mean the actors themselves are evil or mean-spirited. In fact, as the stories below suggest, actors who play villains on film are often very nice people in real life.

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    895 VOTES

    Louise Fletcher Used Sign Language To Address Her Parents (Who Were Both Deaf) During Part Of Her Oscar Speech

    Louise Fletcher Used Sign Language To Address Her Parents (Who Were Both Deaf) During Part Of Her Oscar Speech
    Photo: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest / United Artists

    In 1976, Louise Fletcher won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of the rigid, cold-hearted Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Forty-five years later, her emotional acceptance speech is still one of the most memorable in the history of the Oscars, as she spent part of it addressing her parents - both of whom were deaf - in American Sign Language.

    "I wanted to say thank you for teaching me to have a dream," Fletcher told her parents, as she made the sign for the word "dream" next to her head. "You are seeing my dream come true."

    Fletcher's mom had been born deaf, while her father lost his hearing as a child. After attending the seminary, he opened 42 churches for the hearing impaired throughout the US South.

    "We had the most amazing childhood, my brother and sisters and I,” Fletcher told The Wrap in 2021. “My parents would tell us, ‘You can do anything you want with your life, whatever you choose is fine with us.’ I didn’t fully realize it until later how rare that is.” When she learned of her nomination, she knew she wanted to thank her parents if she won the award. "I was compelled to thank them. I don’t know how to impress on you what it meant to be their child. It was such a beautiful, rich childhood for all of us. I needed my parents to know that they were the reason that I succeeded."

    895 votes
  • 2
    635 VOTES

    Alan Rickman Regularly Invited Little Kids To The ‘Harry Potter’ Set

    Alan Rickman Regularly Invited Little Kids To The ‘Harry Potter’ Set
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Alan Rickman was well-known for playing antagonists and/or villains in films, including the terrorist Hans Gruber (Die Hard - Rickman's first film role), the Sheriff of Nottingham (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), and of course, Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series. In the latter, Snape's hostility towards Potter is rooted in the fact that the latter's father reportedly bullied Snape when they were children and later married the woman Snape loved.

    Rickman passed in 2016. Two years later, Evanna Lynch - who played Luna Lovegood - recalled to Entertainment Weekly that the child actors were scared of Rickman because he was a method actor who stayed in character on set. But that he showed a completely different side when he brought guests to the set.

    According to Lynch, the actors had to ask the producers for permission to have visitors on the Harry Potter set and were discouraged from doing this very often. But "Alan Rickman, pretty much every day of filming, he had a whole troop of little children [visiting]. It was the most bizarre scene to see Snape in this black robe, usually with, like, a bib on - we had to wear these bibs so we didn’t ruin our costume - surrounded by all these happy little children who were just chatting away to him."

    635 votes
  • 3
    564 VOTES

    Bill Skarsgård, As Pennywise In ‘It,’ Made Sure His Young Co-Stars Were Okay In-Between Takes After His Character Terrorized Them

    In the horror film It, Bill Skarsgård played Pennywise, the physical form of the supernatural being "It" that terrorizes and eats children.

    As the actor revealed to his brother Alexander (also an actor) in a 2017 piece for Interview magazine, some of Skarsgård's young co-stars were truly scared when filming scenes with him. "...And then I come out as Pennywise, and these kids - young, normal kids - I saw the reaction that they had. Some of them were really intrigued, but some couldn’t look at me, and some were shaking," Skarsgård recalled. "This one kid started crying. He started to cry, and the director yelled, 'Action!' And when they say 'action,' I am completely in character. So some of these kids got terrified and started to cry in the middle of the take, and then I realized, 'Holy s**t. What am I doing? What is this? This is horrible.'"

    Skarsgård explained to his brother that he tried to reassure his young co-stars when they weren't filming. "But then we cut, and obviously, I was all, 'Hey, I’m sorry. This is pretend.'"

    564 votes
  • 4
    349 VOTES

    'Harry Potter's' Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) Sent A Kind Birthday Tweet To Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Addressing Him As His Son

    'Harry Potter's' Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) Sent A Kind Birthday Tweet To Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Addressing Him As His Son
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Jason Isaacs played Tom Felton's father in six of the films in the Harry Potter series. The two men have become good friends, and when Felton turned 33 in September of 2020, his film father was quick to wish him a Happy Birthday on social media.

    "Holy hairy heroes, son - you're Jesus's age today! In these strangest of dark days, you're always a ray of light to me," Isaacs tweeted. "Thanks for making mischief, music, and magic for this fan (and all the others, too). Happiest of Birthday Bonanzas! Love ya, kid. Fake Dad x."

    "Love you, dad x." Felton tweeted in reply.

    349 votes
  • 5
    577 VOTES

    When Heath Ledger, As The Joker, Dressed As A Nurse In ‘The Dark Knight,’ He Wore A Nametag With His Daughter's Name On It

    In 2009, Heath Ledger won a posthumous Academy Award for the Best Supporting Actor for his critically acclaimed portrayal of the villainous Joker in the Christopher Nolan-helmed feature film, The Dark Knight

    In one scene in the film, the Joker dons a stolen nurse's uniform to sneak into the hospital and confront Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). The nametag on the nurse's uniform reads "Matilda," which was a sweet way to give a shout-out to Ledger's young daughter (with ex Michelle Williams). At the time of the actor's untimely death, Matilda Ledger was just two years old.

    577 votes
  • 6
    293 VOTES

    Tom Hiddleston Said Hello To A Crying Baby Who Interrupted An Interview He Was Doing For ‘The Avengers’

    Tom Hiddleston has had quite a successful career, winning a Golden Globe Award (The Night Manager) and being nominated for an Emmy (The Night Manager) and Tony (Betrayal). The 40-year-old British actor has appeared in many successful films, including portraying Thor's adoptive brother/nemesis Loki in six feature films, as well as in the Disney+ television series of the same name.

    While doing an interview promoting The Avengers, Hiddleston showed he was much nicer than the villainous character he portrays in the film when he briefly interrupted the interview to say hello to a crying baby.

    293 votes