Sometimes, actors just hit that sweet spot. They find the perfect role, directed by a great director, and they become that character. In a recent discussion, people share their choice of actors who nailed the part so well they made us hate them.
1. Kathy Bates in Misery (1990)
“My friend is scared of Kathy Bates because I made him watch Misery,” jokes the first thread poster. Anyone who saw Kathy Bates in Stephen King’s amazing story about a fan-turned-kidnapper will know she can dig deep into her dark side. She is the master of playing dynamic, easy-to-hate characters. Boy, doesn’t she do them well?
2. Clancy Brown in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Captain Hadley, the warden, is such a force of dark nature in this movie: an absolute rogue who shows nothing but violent contempt for his prisoners. “He’s part of what makes that movie so great to watch,” adds a fan. I love him in the flawed yet oddly watchable reboot of Dexter, where he plays the town’s local magnate.
3. Tim Curry in IT (1990)
While the 1990 original made-for-TV movie is rather bad, you can still appreciate how magnificent Tim Curry is as Pennywise the Clown. His demented delight seems almost true as he torments his chosen clique of innocent children in the small town of Derry, Maine. I was terrified watching this two-part movie series as a 12-year-old kid; a recent rewatch confirmed that I was being a wimp, but I couldn’t help but marvel at Curry’s excellence — it is a shame he couldn’t be in the remake.
4. Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones (2009)
If there were a prize for being the creepiest creep on film, Stanley Tucci’s despicable neighborhood child-killer George Harvey would win it. “I enjoyed The Lovely Bones book immensely,” notes a commenter. “After the movie came out, I found it difficult to watch him in anything else.” I have never despised a movie character more — now, that is the mark of a true great.
5. Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List (1990)
In response to someone’s suggestion of Ralph Fiennes’ wild-eyed concentration camp commander in Schindler’s List, one commenter feels grateful they saw the movie late. “Thank God you told me this now and not before I watched the Grand Budapest Hotel,” gasps the perturbed netizen. “That would have been an entirely different experience.”
6. Kevin Spacey in Se7en, (1995)
Thankfully for Kevin Spacey, his recent legal woes are behind him, and hopefully, a positive future lies ahead. However, let’s see if he becomes typecast as an evil villain again after studios let him back onto the A-list. “I always hate his characters but love how well he portrays them,” notes a balanced viewer.
7. Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator (2000)
Who remembers the scene when Joaquin Phoenix’s Emperor Commodus uses innuendo to threaten his nephew’s life? “That was one of the best scenes of that entire movie, hands down,” asserts a self-declared Gladiator fan. “The facial expressions that followed were one of the best parts.”
8. Jack Gleeson in Game of Thrones (2011)
From a horrible little prince to a puppet child-king, the rise of Joffrey Baratheon is nothing short of epic. Like the Mountain, he was one of those characters who amps up the ill feeling in every scene until his (expectedly) nasty death. “Sadly, he stopped acting,” adds a King Joffrey fan. “He was fantastic.”
9. Zachary Quinto in Heroes (2006)
Quinto played Sylar in Heroes, an underrated show that missed the viewing-on-demand gold rush that followed a few years later. He also slayed it in American Horror Story, though most people will remember him for his first breakthrough role. “He’ll always be Sylar to me,” declares another fan.
10. Denzel Washington in Training Day (2001)
“Favorite movie of all time, and one of my favorite performances of all time,” declares a Denzel denizen. “Denzel murdered every scene he was in.” Fittingly, Denzel won the Academy Award for what can only be described as the baddest police training officer ever.
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