"Hot" Stars As Villains...

@anniepa (27279)
United States
October 18, 2009 1:32am CST
It's always seemed, for as long as I can remember and even in older movies that were made before I was born (I KNOW, that's OLD!!) it's relatively rare that you see an extremely attractive leading man or lady play the villain. They're more likely to be cast as the hero or heroine, no doubt at least in part because of their looks and "star-power". There have always been exceptions but they're few and far between, as I said, relatively speaking. Actually, there probably are more beautiful female stars who play the "b1tch" than there are gorgeous guys for some reason...lol! I know I've often read and heard in interviews with actors that they really love to get the chance to play the bad guy or girl because it's somehow more challenging, which I can understand that it may be. My question and what I'd like to discuss here is whether or not you have a hard time "accepting" someone you're used to seeing as the hero in an action/adventure or the romantic lead in either romantic comedies or tear-jerker love stories playing a really horrid character, like maybe a cold blooded serial killer or rapist? Not to take anything away from their acting ability but in a way I think their job is much more difficult than a character actor who can really slip into the part and not be thought of as "So-and-so", the hunky, sensitive guy whose girlfriend died of cancer in his last movie or "Such-and-such" who saved the day in a disaster flick. I'm not talking about the "lovable cad" type that often gets the girl and then changes his ways but someone who is truly EVIL, who has no good qualities except may his good looks and, of course, his ability to turn on the charm in order to get close to his potential victims. I thought of this discussion when I recently watched two older movies which I had recorded on my DVR, "The Watcher", starring Keanu Reeves as a serial killer and "Bad Influence", with Rob Lowe as a cold-blooded killer and con artist. Coincidentally, James Spader played the "good guy" in both movies. What do you think - when you watch a movie do you just lose yourself in the characters and not give much thought to the actors playing the roles or what you know about them or have seen them in before or is it hard for you to be convinced that some stars could really be THAT bad? Annie
2 people like this
4 responses
• United States
18 Oct 09
Back before you were born, the movie studios would deem who was to play the hero or the villain.When the actors were freed from the studio system there were some brave souls who tried to break from their initial image. Henry Fonda played the villain in Once3 Upon A Time In The West. The movie failed. People couldn't see Henry as a ruthless killer.These days there are two types of people in the business,actors and movie stars. The movie star is married to his or her image, They wouldn't even think about playing a role that is different than the ones they did before. But an actor Wants the challenge and the fun of playing all different types of roles.My best example of an actor is Kevin Spacey. He has played Everything from a ruthless killer to a dull dad!Thankfully the audiences now will except an actor in different roles. But then again Kevin raely plays the same role twice or at least in a role. For me ,it is hard for me to accept an actor as an good guy if I have seen him as a villain first.Case in point,Robert Ryan. He usually played an a**hole with a capital A. so by the time I saw him in King Of Kings as John The Baptist,I was wanting to chop off his head myself!I think Kevin Spacey is doing it right, Keep switching from good to evil and then back so we can see him as both or in either role.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27279)
• United States
18 Oct 09
I've read quite a bit about the old Hollywood studio days. They also tried to control their stars' personal lives. Considering the trouble some of them get into today that sure was different! I remember Robert Ryan also and he WAS a great villain, wasn't he? Kevin Spacey is one of the best actors of all-time, I think. His career really has run the gambit. I loved him in "Beyond the Sea' as the late, great Bobby Darin. Annie
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Oct 09
Iloved him in that film too but my favorite is Usual Suspects.My second? I saw him in Long Day's Journey Into Night.
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@Opal26 (17686)
• United States
18 Oct 09
Hey annie! Great discussion! I think that it really depends on the movie and the how well the "star" is playing the role! Take for example Heath Ledger. He played one type of role in "Brokeback Mountain". Then he played a completely evil villan in "Dark Knight" and aced that role to get an Oscar! So it really depends! I have seen many actors play the "good" guy in one movie and play a "bad" guy even better! Sometimes it is a bit hard to digest at first, but if they are really good in the part and you can really get into the movie and the story line and they make it believable enough then it can work! It's all in their acting ability and the director being able to get what they can out of the actor! And of course the story itself has to be believable too!
1 person likes this
@irisheyes (4372)
• United States
18 Oct 09
I think it all depends on how well the actor plays the part and whether or not I believe in their authenticity. Mostly, they are just better in the genre where they are most experienced. I'm not much of a movie person but one old time actor I do remember going somewhat out of type and taking me with him was Tyrone Power in "Nightmare Alley". What a powerful transformation that was.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27279)
• United States
18 Oct 09
I'm thinking I've probably seen that movie but I can't really remember it. I know I've seen Tyrone Power. I love to watch the old classics! Annie
• Australia
18 Oct 09
I'm not much of a film buff, so I can't recall the name of the movie, but Travolta played an evil criminal in one movie I saw on TV. I'm not sure that Donald Sutherland passes as "attractive", but he has certainly played several psychopathic roles, again I can't remember the names of the films. On the other side of the coin: serious actors who play semi-frivolous roles or comedians who play serious roles. For instance, we watched "Mama Mia" last night, a there was one of the great serious actors, Merryl Streep, playing a major role in a musical, and I have seen Robin Williams play serious roles, again in films whose names I don't recall. Lash
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27279)
• United States
18 Oct 09
I think I probably know what Travolta movie you're talking about but I can't think of the name either...lol! Donald Sutherland was "sort of" the leading man type very early in his career but for the most part he's been a character actor. It seems like in recent years he's either been the villain or someone's father. Thanks for an idea for another discussion! It's always interesting to see actors "cross genres" like Meryl Streep did in "Mama Mia". I think Robin Williams is a genius. He can play any type of role. He started out as a comedian and then starred in the comedy "Mork and Mindy" and still makes a lot of comedies but I've seen him in some fantastic dramatic parts. I just watched "The Awakening" a few days ago and it was an excellent movie. Rober De Niro, an actor known mainly for dramas, was also in that but I've seen him in a few comedies where he does a great job. Annie