While movie audiences may love to root for the hero, many actors have built successful careers by playing the bad guy. Villains can be more complex - or more challenging - than protagonists. Sometimes, they are just more fun! This list sheds light on some of the reasons actors who typically play more sympathetic roles have decided to play villains.
Bad guy roles tend to be less age-specific than "hero" parts, which allows an actor to play bad guy roles when they might be thought of as "too old" to play the hero. Indeed, all of the actors listed below have been playing villains and antagonists since the '90s - and some of them for even longer than that.
Of course, these on-screen villains have their own unique backstories in terms of their career paths; for example, both Alan Rickman and Charles Dance originally planned to be graphic designers, while a near-fatal boating accident prompted Robert Patrick to quit his job and head for Hollywood. And as John Malkovich showed, even a movie bad guy can be a real-life hero.
Read on to learn some behind-the-scenes stories about actors who have played memorable bad guys.
- Photo: The Silence Of The Lambs / Orion Pictures
- Photo: Con Air / Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
- 3120 VOTESPhoto: Die Hard / 20th Century Fox
- Photo: Terminator 2: Judgment Day / Tri-Star Pictures
- 591 VOTESPhoto: True Romance / Warner Bros.
- Photo: The Matrix / Warner Bros.