What's New NetflixNews10 Times Movies Cast Nice Guy Actors as Surprisingly Dark Characters

10 Times Movies Cast Nice Guy Actors as Surprisingly Dark Characters

Best of 10: In 2023, Times Movies Cast Nice Guy Actors as Surprisingly Dark Characters

Engaging storytelling is all about keeping the audience on their toes, and one thrilling way to do this is by casting actors in roles that defy expectations. Imagine an actor known for playing the bad guys suddenly stepping into a story, initially appearing menacing, only to later reveal a surprising twist, just like Alan Rickman did in the spellbinding Harry Potter movies. On the flip side, an actor renowned for their “nice guy” persona can be utilized in a way that shatters audience assumptions.

Throughout the captivating history of cinema, there have been countless instances where casting against type resulted in pure movie magic. Take, for example, Anthony Perkins in the iconic Psycho or the delightful surprise of seeing Dick Van Dyke in Night at the Museum. These talented actors took on roles that were completely unexpected, leaving viewers in awe.

Now, let’s delve into some recent additions to this extraordinary list. And one name that shines bright is Bo Burnham.

1. Chris Evans In ‘Knives Out’

Chris Evans In 'Knives Out'
Chris Evans is no stranger to playing a bad boy. We’ve seen him embrace this role in movies like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and even to some extent in Fantastic Four. However, his return to this character archetype in Knives Out was the most mainstream one since his portrayal of Captain America. And let’s face it, Steve Rogers is the ultimate nice guy.

When asked about his role, Evans mentioned that it was refreshing to play someone a little more vile. He expressed how he doesn’t always get the opportunity to portray someone who is so despicable, but he found it fun. In Knives Out, his character Ransom Drysdale is anything but nice throughout the movie. Yet, when he tries to win over Marta Cabrera, we can’t help but want to believe he’s actually the good guy. This is where Chris Evans’ fan goodwill comes into play. Another actor may not have been able to pull off that ambiguity without the support and trust Evans has earned from his fans.

2. Dick Van Dyke In ‘Night at the Museum’

Dick Van Dyke In 'Night at the Museum'
Dick Van Dyke is a legendary Hollywood star, widely recognized for his role as the lovable chimney sweep, Bert, in the classic film Marry Poppins. Throughout his illustrious career, he has captivated audiences with his talent and versatility.

In the family favorite Night at the Museum, Van Dyke showcases his acting prowess in a fresh and exciting way. He takes on the character of Cecil, an aging security guard who is retiring and passing the torch to Ben Stiller’s Larry Daley. At first glance, there seems to be no hint of any wrongdoing lurking beneath the surface. After all, Van Dyke is known for his friendly and warm demeanor.

However, the plot takes an unexpected turn when it is revealed that Cecil and his former security guard colleagues have been scheming to steal from the museum. Their ultimate plan is to frame Daley and exact revenge for losing their jobs. This shocking twist leaves audiences astonished and adds an unexpected layer of complexity to the story.

3. Jason Bateman In ‘Juno’

Jason Bateman In 'Juno'
Jason Bateman is a really likable and charming guy, and he brings that natural charm to his role in the movie Juno. The film follows Juno MacGuff, a 16-year-old girl who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and has to figure out what to do next.

When Juno first meets Mark and Vanessa Loring, the potential adoptive parents played by Bateman and Jennifer Garner, it’s easy to see why the audience warms up to Bateman’s character. Vanessa comes across as uptight and cold, while Mark’s smile and love for pop culture make him relatable, cool, and fun. But as the movie goes on, it becomes clear that Mark is not the fun and charming adult he initially seemed to be. In fact, he’s more of a manchild who needs to grow up. This becomes evident when he confesses to Juno, while slow dancing, that he plans on moving out and makes a pass at her.

Fortunately, just as Juno (and the audience) starts to dislike Mark, their love for Vanessa begins to grow. In the end, Juno decides to give the baby to Vanessa, who plans to raise the child on her own.

4. Elijah Wood In ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’

Elijah Wood In 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet portray the characters Joel and Clementine, who were once lovers but eventually experience a deteriorating relationship. In order to move on, they both turn to a technology that wipes out all memories of each other. Enter Elijah Wood, who is widely recognized for his kind-hearted and courageous role as Frodo in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as Clementine’s new partner, Patrick. Initially, the audience is led to believe that Clementine is happier with Patrick than she was with Joel. Given Wood’s reputation as a nice guy, no one could have anticipated his hidden agenda.

In the film, Wood’s character, Patrick, works as a technician at the memory-erasing company. However, it turns out that he has taken his work a step further. Using the information he acquired from Clementine’s memories, particularly her past relationship with Joel, he manipulates, confuses, and seduces her. It goes without saying that this behavior is incredibly unsettling, to say the least.

5. Paul Reiser In ‘Aliens’

Paul Reiser In 'Aliens'
In the movie Aliens, Paul Reiser portrayed the character of Carter Burke, who is considered despicable. Despite appearing calm and sincere, Burke actually has hidden motives. He was trying to secretly transport alien embryos back to Earth. Shockingly, he was even willing to let the aliens impregnate one of the crew members to bypass Earth’s quarantine.

When asked about his casting in the role, Paul Reiser explained that he was chosen because the filmmakers wanted to challenge expectations. They were looking for someone who wouldn’t be immediately suspected of having ulterior motives. Due to Reiser’s background in comedy, he turned out to be a perfect fit for the role.

6. Matt Damon In ‘Interstellar’

Matt Damon In 'Interstellar'
Matt Damon first gained attention in the acting world with his endearing performance in Good Will Hunting, portraying a young man with a promising future overshadowed by a troubled past. He continued to captivate audiences in Ocean’s Eleven and The Bourne Identity, leaving no doubt about his likability and charm. It is precisely these qualities that make his casting in Interstellar a stroke of brilliance.

Interstellar revolves around a mission where twelve astronauts are dispatched to explore potentially habitable planets for future colonization. However, only three of the explorers report back with positive findings. The film’s main character, Coop (played by Matthew McConaughey), leads a team to locate these three remaining astronauts and assess their progress. When they encounter Damon’s character, Dr. Mann, his amiable demeanor instantly wins the audience’s trust. As he describes his planet, viewers believe his words and begin to harbor hope that it could become humanity’s new home.

The revelation that Dr. Mann had been deceitful and had fabricated positive test results, solely to ensure his own rescue, comes as a genuine shock.

7. Henry Fonda In ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’

Henry Fonda In 'Once Upon a Time in the West'
According to Roger Ebert, Once Upon A Time In The West broke the mold by casting Fonda against type and making him “the bad guy for once in his career.” Fonda, who was accustomed to playing the protagonist, found himself as the antagonist alongside Charles Bronson as “Harmonica.” This decision added a layer of complexity to the villainous character, which is often one-dimensional in westerns.

By having Fonda portray the role, the film demanded the undivided attention of the audience.

8. Steve Carell In ‘The Way Way Back’

Steve Carell In 'The Way Way Back'
Steve Carell’s portrayal of Michael Scott in The Office has truly captured the hearts of audiences like few others have. However, in The Way, Way Back, Carell takes on a completely different role.

The movie revolves around Duncan, a teenager who is on vacation with his mom and her new boyfriend, Trent, played by Carell. What makes Carell’s performance remarkable is his understated demeanor, allowing Trent to constantly make subtle digs at Duncan without anyone really noticing or acknowledging them. This character gets away with a great deal of cruelty, and if it weren’t for Carell’s talent, viewers might question why Duncan’s mom doesn’t step in and address the situation.

9. Tom Hanks In ‘The Circle’

Tom Hanks In 'The Circle'
Tom Hanks, as he himself stated in his Saturday Night Live monologue, is truly America’s dad. In The Circle, he takes on the role of Eamon Bailey, the CEO of a tech company that aims to establish a level of transparency that borders on dystopian. Hanks’s charm and likability play a crucial role in the film, as it allows his character to gain the trust of both the audience and the protagonist, Emma Watson. This cleverly masks Bailey’s sinister agenda for a significant period, making us question the true intentions of the tech giant. But hey, it’s Tom Hanks we’re talking about here.

10. Michael Cera In ‘This Is the End’

Michael Cera In 'This Is the End'
Michael Cera is seriously one of the most down-to-earth adults out there. Seriously, this guy is just so humble and unassuming. You’ve probably seen him in Arrested Development or as the cutest rocker ever in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – and honestly, how can you not adore him?

But hold on, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg totally flipped the script in This Is the End. They had the genius idea of casting Michael Cera in a role that goes completely against his usual type. And let me tell you, it is pure comedy gold. In this movie, Cera plays a twisted version of himself – a total womanizer and a hardcore coke addict. Yeah, talk about a major departure from his usual lovable characters.

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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