Thinking / Michelle Langston
Everybody loves a good bad guy, so when the team in the Entertainment Department put their heads together to compile a list of the “Movie Characters We Love to Hate,” the results were broad, often humorous, and reflect a diversity in film tastes that is indicative of our passion for film.
Here are the Top 25 Movie Characters We Love to Hate. We hope some of your favorites are on the list, too!
25. Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman), The Professional
When asked about the fear of being typecast, Oldman replied “But you see, I have played more good guys than I have played villains.” Yes, but it is Oldman’s role as a psychotic, corrupt DEA agent who orchestrates mayhem to the sounds of Beethoven that won him the spot on our list.
24. The Aliens, Alien franchise
Call them aliens or xenomorphs, this parasitic race of acid-bleeding badasses will forever be nightmare fuel. Facehuggers and Chestbursters…need we say more?
23. Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), The Karate Kid
When Daniel Larusso’s victory seemed within reach, enter bad guy Johnny Lawrence to “sweep the leg.” Aside from James Spader, Zabka may be the ultimate 80’s bad guy, also playing the high school jerk in Just One of the Guys and Back to School.
22. Col. Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson), A Few Good Men
Few actors play bad better than Jack. Nicholson’s portrayal of a decorated Marine Colonel gone rogue is iconic stuff.
21. Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), Inglourious Basterds
Christoph Waltz’s portrayal of a despicable SS officer won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Waltz brings the character to life with equal parts cruelty and charm, making Landa’s ultimate demise uncomfortably satisfying.
20. Sack Lodge (Bradley Cooper), Wedding Crashers
Whether shooting someone in the butt, or trying to strong-arm a woman to the alter, Bradley Cooper’s performance as a maniacal, over-aggressive frat-boy makes us wish we could all line up and punch Sack in the face.
19. Chucky (Brad Dourif), Child’s Play franchise
“Hi, I’m Chucky! Wanna plllllaaaaaaaaaaay?” That doll was creepy from minute one. Add Brad Dourif’s voice for the little killing machine, and you have a great horror villain.
18. Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks), Drive
We wonder if Albert Brooks realizes he was the victim of a crime this year. Seriously, Academy? No nomination for Brooks’ performance as mobster Bernie Rose? Robbery!
17. Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), Die Hard
Yippi Ki Yay, do we love Alan Rickman! Okay, I love Alan Rickman, but fellow Morochians love him as a bad guy. Rickman appeared on our list of nominees twice, with the other nomination for his role as Professor Severus Snape.
16. Tony Montana (Al Pacino), Scarface
Pacino’s powerhouse performance made Tony Montana a cinematic icon. Miami-based publicist Andrea Salazar says, “Not only did Pacino do an excellent job in portraying a Cuban immigrant, without having any Latin heritage, but his character also left such an impression on me that to this day, every time I see the film, a clip, or hear the iconic phrase ‘Say hello to my little friend,’ it gives me chills.”
15. Ghostface (Various actors), Scream franchise
Watching Drew Barrymore’s demise in Scream is one of the best opening sequences in a horror film, ever. The original film struck a chord with horror lovers that has sustained the franchise through four different films.
14. Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott), American Pie franchise
Though not technically a villain, we still love to hate Steve Stifler. We’re sure he looks amazingly cool to underclassmen, but we think Stifler is really just an annoying horndog.
13. Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), Harry Potter franchise
Who doesn’t love to hate the evil Lord Voldemort? Houston-based publicist Cristina Villareal says Harry Potter’s nemesis made her list because, “He has absolutely no redeeming qualities. There’s no real reason as to why he’s evil or what made him become evil, he just is.”
12. Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), Gladiator
Okay, maybe he’s just a little misunderstood? Or not. He killed his father. He forces himself on his sister. Really, he’s just a bad, bad man.
11. Dr. Evil (Mike Myers), Austin Powers
Mike Myers’ performance as Dr. Evil, a parody of James Bond villains (primarily Bond baddie Ernst Stavro Blofeld) is outrageously funny. We really wouldn’t mind more Dr. Evil, especially if he ever gets those sharks with frickin’ laser beams.
10. Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), No Country For Old Men
The epitome of evil, this ruthless killer shows no conscience, no remorse and a high tolerance for pain. Dallas-based publicist Sally Smolenski said, “I didn’t even have to think about it. When I heard we were doing this, I knew Javier’s Chigurh would be on my list.”
9. Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), Fatal Attraction
One of only four female characters to make our list, Glenn Close’s performance as psycho stalker and jilted lover Alex Forrest had a whole generation of men thinking twice about infidelity.
8. Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), The Wizard of Oz
The oldest film to make our list, The Wizard of Oz, is a classic that has remained a part of American pop culture for over 60 years. Margaret Hamilton appears on screen in the film for a mere 12 minutes, but manages to achieve more with her performance than many actors do in a lifetime.
7. Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), Misery
Good Lord, we can’t even see a picture of sledgehammer and not think of the brutality suffered by James Caan’s character, Paul Sheldon. Misery, indeed.
6. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), The Shining
Nicholson portrayal of Jack Torrance, a man who is suffering from writer’s block and massive case of cabin fever, is a chilling depiction of a seemingly normal man’s descent into seething rage and madness.
5. Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), The Devil Wears Prada
You know Streep is a great actress, because the bitchy Miranda Priestly couldn’t be further from the actress’ public persona. Dallas-based publicist Lawrence Wilczewski says, “Meryl Streep hands down deserved this role. She was brilliant in every way possible. Truly hated on screen, yet such an amazing actress off screen!”
4. Scar (Jeremy Irons), The Lion King
You know you are truly evil when you’re an animated character and you make this kind of list. Dallas-based publicist Roderick Stoker says, “Scar was one bad cat. It wasn’t cool that he killed Simba’s daddy.”
3. Darth Vader (David Prowse / James Earl Jones), Star Wars franchise
Is it the sleek, all-black get-up? Or maybe the heavy breathing. Or the fact that he wasn’t always a bad guy. Whatever it is, we Morochians love to hate Vader. David Prowse lends his imposing feature to the character, and James Earl Jones gives it the voice that commands your attention.
2. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), The Silence of the Lambs
Dallas-based publicist Marianne Mitchell says, “He possesses all the qualities that women find irresistible: he’s an enigma with a sense of humor and style, and a palate that is diverse and would render Gordon Ramsay speechless – or Hannibal would make a meal of him.” For me, there are few, if any, more frightening film villains than Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The shifts alone between polite, intelligent conversation, to full-on freak-out, murderous rage still rattles me, and makes me too uncomfortable to watch the film in the dark. I promise you, I’ve probably seen this film 50 times, each time thinking surely, by now, I’ve built up some kind of tolerance. Nope. Still hasn’t happened.
1. The Joker (Heath Ledger), The Dark Knight
There really should be no explanation necessary for the reason why The Joker, as portrayed by Heath Ledger, is the number one movie character we love to hate. The Joker is no simple thug. He’s a criminal genius, a villainous theologian, and an insanely brilliant orchestrator of mayhem for the sake of social experimentation and his own perverse entertainment. Ledger showcased the complexities of The Dark Knight’s nemesis with astounding skill, winning him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and ensuring the character a place in cinema history and American pop culture.
Michelle Langston is the Director of Social Media Strategies for Moroch Entertainment. You can follow her on Twitter at @WhenToyzAttack.