What's New NetflixNews10 Best Actors of 2023 Who Excel in Portraying Villains

10 Best Actors of 2023 Who Excel in Portraying Villains

10 Best Actors of 2023 Who Excel in Portraying Villains

Actors have fascinating journeys to success. Some only skyrocket to fame after bringing to life a couple of captivating villains, while others never dabble in the dark side throughout their entire careers. Then there are those actors who specialize in portraying villains and absolutely thrive at it. They possess a remarkable range, effortlessly embodying a variety of roles, including unforgettable villains, or they may predominantly take on characters that you just can’t help but despise. In this collection, we shine a spotlight on some of the most exceptional actors celebrated for their mesmerizing performances as villains.

These actors proudly showcase their talent for playing the baddies. Many of them have even earned prestigious accolades, like the Oscars, for their incredibly convincing portrayals of villains. So, get ready to embark on a thrilling journey as we explore and celebrate these actors who have truly mastered the exhilarating art of being bad…

1. Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman, the talented actor, is widely recognized for his portrayal of iconic villains in various films. Although many people may associate him primarily with his role as the complex Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series, where his villainous nature is debatable, Rickman had already established a reputation for playing sinister and cunning characters long before he joined the world of wizards and magic. However, it was his performance as the notorious terrorist mastermind, Hans Gruber, in the original Die Hard that truly catapulted him to stardom over a decade earlier.

2. Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman is a versatile actor who has portrayed a wide range of characters, including some of the most memorable villains in film history. From Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK to Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, he has brought these characters to life with his exceptional talent. One of his breakthrough roles was in Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Dracula, where he mesmerized audiences with his portrayal of the iconic count. Oldman’s performance was enhanced by intricate makeup and Victorian costumes, as well as spine-chilling transformations. He even shared the screen with another legendary villain, Hannibal Lecter, when he took on the role of the sadistic Mason Verger in Ridley Scott’s Hannibal. Gary Oldman’s ability to embody such diverse and captivating villains is a testament to his remarkable acting skills.

3. Christoph Waltz

Christoph Waltz
The villains portrayed by Christophe Waltz have been nothing short of captivating. From Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds to Chudnofsky in The Green Hornet, Cardinel Richelieu in The Three Musketeers, Walter Keene in Big Eyes, and Ernst Stavro Blofeld in Spectre, his performances have left a lasting impact.

Waltz, an already established actor in Germany, burst onto the American movie scene with his role as the villainous Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. This breakthrough performance earned him his first Academy Award and opened the doors to numerous English-language film opportunities.

In 2015, Waltz took on the iconic role of Blofeld, James Bond’s infamous nemesis, in Spectre. His portrayal of the cunning and sinister character showcased his versatility as an actor. He reprised this role in the climactic film of the Daniel Craig era, No Time to Die.

Waltz’s ability to embody these villainous characters with depth and nuance has solidified his reputation as a formidable talent in the film industry.

4. Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson, known for his portrayal of iconic villains in movies such as The Shining, The Witches of Eastwick, Batman, A Few Good Men, and The Departed, among others, has had a long and successful acting career.

Starting off in the 1960s, Nicholson began working with Roger Coman in horror films like Little Shop of Horrors, The Raven, and The Terror. His breakthrough came when he won an Oscar for his lead performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. However, it was his role as Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining that truly transformed his career.

Nicholson, always known for his portrayal of outsiders and rebels, started taking on villainous characters more frequently after his role as Torrance. One of his most notable villainous roles was as the Joker in Tim Burton’s first Batman movie in 1989. This marked a significant shift in Nicholson’s career, showcasing his versatility as an actor.

5. Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee
Sir Christopher Lee is a true legend when it comes to portraying cinema’s most iconic villains and monsters. From his unforgettable portrayal of Dracula in the Hammer Dracula films, to his chilling performance as Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man, Lee has brought numerous sinister characters to life. But his villainous repertoire doesn’t stop there.

With his commanding presence and towering stature, Lee has taken on an impressive range of roles. He has embodied the evil wizard Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and wielded the dark side as the Sith Lord Count Dooku in Star Wars. But it doesn’t end with these notable characters.

Lee’s versatility knows no bounds. He has portrayed the devil himself, dabbled in cult leadership, and taken on the role of various vampires, leaving no shortage of bloodsuckers in his filmography. His career has seen him tackle diverse parts such as Fu Manchu and Rasputin. Additionally, he has faced off against formidable opponents like Hercules and James Bond, and even took on Captain America in a less successful television movie in 1979.

It is astonishing to consider the sheer number of villainous roles that Sir Christopher Lee has undertaken throughout his prolific and extensive career. With nearly 300 films under his belt, he has cemented his status as one of the most iconic and versatile actors of all time.

6. Tim Curry

Tim Curry
When it comes to villains on the silver screen, there are a few names that immediately come to mind. One such name is Tim Curry, an actor who has become synonymous with playing the bad guy. Just like Vincent Price and Boris Karloff before him, Curry has mastered the art of charmingly terrifying audiences.

Perhaps Curry’s most iconic role is that of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. However, his villainous repertoire doesn’t stop there. He has also brought fear to our screens as The Darkness in Legend, Pennywise in It, Hexxus in FernGully, Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers, Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island, and many others.

With over 200 credits to his name, Curry is undeniably one of the most prolific actors in the industry. He has left his mark in both live-action and animated roles, lending his voice to numerous cartoon villains who have faced off against beloved characters like Scooby Doo and even Jedi knights. Curry’s versatility knows no bounds.

In conclusion, Tim Curry has rightfully earned his place among the greats in the world of villainous performances. His ability to captivate audiences with his charm and send shivers down their spines is truly remarkable.

7. Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken, with his distinctive voice and mannerisms, has become a renowned actor, even before taking on major villain roles. In 1978, he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Deer Hunter. However, it was his portrayal of Max Zorin, a deranged tech entrepreneur and product of Nazi medical experimentation, opposite Roger Moore in A View to Kill, that marked his first significant villain role. Zorin’s nefarious plan involved the destruction of Silicon Valley. Walken then continued to portray a wide array of mobsters, hitmen, and other criminals, as well as sleazy record executives and even the occasional headless horseman.

8. Charles Dance

Charles Dance
The Villains: Sardo Numspa in The Golden Child, Benedict in Last Action Hero, Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones, Alan Jonah in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and more.

The Actor: Charles Dance, known for his role as the ruthless patriarch of House Lannister in Game of Thrones, has long been recognized as a villain. He’s had this reputation even before his iconic portrayal, as evidenced by a joke in the 1993 film Last Action Hero. Even at over 70 years old, Dance continues to excel in his villainous on-screen performances. In fact, he recently played an eco-terrorist in the new Warner Bros. Godzilla movies.

9. Hugo Weaving

Hugo Weaving
Hugo Weaving, the distinctive British actor, has portrayed various characters throughout his career. From Elrond in The Lord of the Rings to the masked vigilante in V for Vendetta, he has showcased his versatility. However, it is as Agent Smith in The Matrix that he truly made a lasting impression. This role catapulted Weaving into the spotlight and paved the way for his subsequent villainous performances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Michael Bay’s Transformers series, where he lends his voice to Megatron. Despite his villainous portrayals, Weaving has also taken on non-villainous roles in films such as The Wolfman, Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, and even showcased his talent for Shakespeare in the 2019 adaptation of Measure for Measure.

10. Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem
When it comes to villains in movies, there are several notable ones worth mentioning. Some of these include Felix Reyes-Torrena in Collateral, Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, Silva in Skyfall, Captain Salazar in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and many more.

One actor who stands out when it comes to playing villains is Javier Bardem. He has made a mark in the Bond films, where anyone who plays a villain is often remembered. Bardem’s portrayal of Silva in Skyfall is particularly memorable. However, even before that, he had already gained recognition with his iconic performance as the laconic hitman Anton Chigurh in the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men. This role earned Bardem an Academy Award, solidifying his status as an exceptional actor.

Emma Isabella
Emma Isabella
Emma is a regular contributor to WhatsNewNetflix. She likes delving into the world of Netflix TV shows as well as studying films, especially comedies.


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