When a superhero movie is released, the main focus of most people's attention is the hero or heroes who kicked the supervillain's butt all over the screen. That being said, it's far easier to stand for truth, justice, and the American way than it is to command Superman to kneel while portraying someone so evil that they live in infamy in most viewers' minds.
Playing a villain is far more difficult than playing a hero, and playing them well is even harder. Some of the best actors and actresses have taken on the role of supervillains over the years, but despite seeing them in theaters, there are probably more than a few things you didn't know about some of film's most beloved supervillain actors.
This list takes a look at some of those bad guys and gals who may have been beaten by a hero but managed to instill a sense of loathing in the audience. The actors who have done this well have lived interesting lives, and the most fascinating details about them are listed below.
Michael B. Jordan And Chadwick Boseman Played The Same Character On 'All My Children'
In 2018, Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa/Black Panther fought the good fight against Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger in Black Panther, and it was an epic engagement. The two actors hadn't worked together prior to the movie, but they did have the exact same role on the popular soap opera, All My Children. In 2003, Boseman played Reggie Porter on the series, but he remained for only one week.
Boseman refused to play a character he felt was little more than a negative stereotype, and he explained his thinking in a joint interview with Jordan for The Wrap's awards season magazine:
It's one of those things where you get a role, and you don't really know. When I got it, I was like, "This is not part of my manifesto. This is not part of what I want to do. How can I make it work?" Because with a soap opera, you don't know the full scope of what's gonna happen - you don't know where they're gonna take the character because they don't always know where the character is going. And because of that, there's possibly room for me to adjust this and change it and make it so it's stereotypical on the page but not on the screen.
After he left the role, Jordan stepped in and continued playing Reggie for three years.84Cool fact?
- Photo: Batman/Warner Bros. Pictures
Jack Nicholson was the subject of research by Time magazine in the early 1970s, and in 1974, researchers uncovered something unusual about his parentage. The magazine informed him that his sister June was actually his mother. He was also told that his other sister Lorraine was his aunt. By then, Nicholson's mother and grandmother had passed in 1963 and 1970, respectively.
When Nicholson was informed of the researcher's results, he said, "I was stunned," and that it was "A pretty dramatic event, but it wasn't what I'd call traumatizing - I was pretty well psychologically formed." The woman he believed to be his mother, Ethel May, was his grandmother, who posed as his mother because the woman who gave birth to him was only 17 years his senior. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he discussed the revelation and mentioned that he never learned the name of his father.51Cool fact?
As Two-Face in The Dark Knight, Aaron Eckhart had a very special coin. Two-Face flips the coin to determine whether or not he should do something, and it's one of the most prized movie props from the whole film.
Eckhart said he returned the coin to Warner Bros., then explained where it ended up:
I did a movie called The Rum Diary in Puerto Rico, and Johnny Depp and I were somewhere on the set one day, and Johnny said to me, "Aaron, what happened to the coin [from The Dark Knight] that Two-Face flipped?" And I said, "Oh, I gave it back, and Warner Bros. has it." And he goes, "Oh, yeah, no, they don't. I bought it." [Depp] said, "My kid saw The Dark Knight and loved Two-Face so much that I bought him the coin." It never occurred to me [to] grab the coin, but I'm glad it's in good hands.40Cool fact?
Years before he took on the role of Ulysses Klaue in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Black Panther, Andy Serkis brilliantly adapted Gollum for the silver screen. In creating Gollum, Serkis used an unusual source for the vocalizations of the character. In the books, Tolkien established that Gollum is the name given to Smeagol due to the guttural coughing sound he makes, but instead of coming up with a sound out of the blue, he said he looked to his cat:
I actually watched one of my cats, Diz, cough up a furball on our kitchen floor, and that was a really significant moment. Because, you know, when a cat coughs up furballs, he goes hack hack hack from the top of the head to the tip of the tail, and this kind of movement happens, which I began to use. And that was how the sound began to emanate.
Originally, Serkis wasn't even going to play the character - he was hired only to provide the voice for the computerized version seen on screen. When he started moving about and getting into character, Peter Jackson saw something, telling CBS, "We started to look at Andy, thinking: is there a way that we can get what he's giving us actually in the film?"
Ultimately, Serkis provided the motion capture and the voice for Gollum, bringing him to life in The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as The Hobbit trilogy.40Cool fact?