Name the villains you love to love!
February 6, 2014 6:35 AM Subscribe
I'm looking for examples of charismatic and likeable villains. By which I mean the audience likes to watch them, not necessarily that they are liked by the other characters. Intriguing background with character development beyond establishing who the hero needs to kill is good too, though I'm not particularly after sympathetic villains
unless they are also fun to watch/likable in their own right. I realise that charisma and likeability will mean different things to different people so I have given examples that I like under the cut. Looking at my examples I think I might just be looking for villains who are rich and/or powerful and portrayed well by the actor.
posted by pianissimo to Media & Arts (80 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'm thinking along the lines of the Sheriff of Nottingham played by Alan Rickman in Robin Hood Prince of Theives (don't judge me, I was young when that came out!), Alexei Volkoff in Chuck (the inspiration for this question actually). To a lesser extent - Alan Rickman's character in the first Die Hard, Christof in the Truman Show, Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor, and, hmmm I remember quite liking the Lex Luthor from Lois & Clark (*ahem* I was young!). I suspect a fair few Bond villains qualify but I can’t name any, so if you have a fave, do tell.
What I’m not looking for are examples of protagonists who are less than morally pure (eg Tony Soprano, Dexter). It's perfectly fine, in fact preferable, if the villain gets killed or is otherwise dealt with by the hero.
My examples are from tv and movies and are fairly lowbrow but books and more highbrow stuff is fine too. Thanks, Ask!