What makes a good bad guy? Is it when they’re terrifying, when they make your skin crawl? Or is it when they’re done so well that you actually like them? Well it’s no surprise that certain actors in Hollywood do bad guys better than pretty much anyone else. So here it goes, my choice for top 5 bad guy actors.
5. Danny Huston
I’m giving Danny Huston my number 5 slot based entirely on one performance; The role of Marlow in 30 Days of Night. His voice, the way he moves and the little subtleties that Huston brings to the role make the character shit-your-pants scary. He plays the “bad guy” in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People as well and it’s clear that he does the pompous ass bad guy just as well as the you’ll-never-sleep-again-after-watching-him bad guy. Enjoy the clip of Marlow getting his ass handed to him in the end scene of 30 Days.
4. Robert De Niro
Okay, De Niro is a bit hit and miss with his bad guys (let’s just pretend Hide and Seek never happened) but when he does it well, he does it really well. In fact, even his good guys are bad, take his timeless performance as anti-hero Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. But his most famous bad guys are typically gangsters. No one out there does it better than De Niro. Check out this clip of him playing Al Capone in The Untouchables to see what I mean.
3. Alan Rickman
Rickman is the kind of universal bad guy actor. Where De Niro’s bad guys are strictly for grown ups, Rickman’s portrayal of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series proved that he can be a children’s baddie just as well as a frightening, ruthless grown up one, a’la Hans Gruber in Die Hard. If you needed any more proof than that, check out his half way between role of the sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the best thing about that movie.
2. Jack Nicholson
Yeah he played a pretty good Joker… But this is what I’m talking about… Just watch Jack Nicholson do his thing.
1. Christopher Walken
Is it the voice? Is it the eyes? I have no idea. All I know is that Christopher Walken plays the greatest bad guys. I think one of my favourites has got to be Vincenzo Coccotti in True Romance. Oh wait… or is it The Man With The Plan from Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead? Or is it his creepy ass angel thing from The Prophecy? I can’t choose just one. In any event, here’s one of my favourite scenes.
There you have it. What do you think?