Eight British Actors Who Make the Perfect Movie Villains

January 21, 2014

1. Tom Hiddleston

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Tom Hiddleston has proven himself to be an extremely versatile actor, playing roles from Shakespearean drama to romantic comedy and dashing leading man.

But lately he’s proven he can bring out the evil side of a character in his portrayal of the cruel and megalomaniacal Norse god Loki in 2011’s movie adaptation of Marvel Comics superhero Thor. It’s the eyes, which when Hiddleston chooses can bore straight through an ice-covered granite cliff.

2. Jason Isaacs

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Jason Isaacs first gained popularity in America with his brilliant portrayal of the ruthless and vicious Col. William Tavington alongside Mel Gibson in The Patriot.

Character based on the real life Lt. Col. BanastreTarleton who bedeviled colonial troops and civilians during the Revolutionary War. But he really shone as Lucius Malfoy the Death Eater in the Harry Potter movie series. Again, it’s the eyes.

3. Anthony Hopkins

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Anthony Hopkins, or rather Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins CBE, earned his knighthood as one of the most accomplished British actors ever of both film and stage.

He most memorably chilled and disturbed audiences as the sophisticated, cultured and bloodthirstily psychotic and cannibalistic killer Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs and it’s sequels Hannibal and Red Dragon.

4. Alan Rickman

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London native Alan Rickman demonstrated his mastery of the art of the villain as the criminal mastermind Hans Gruber in Die Hard and the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Alan is best known as the suspiciously sneaky and slimy Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series.

He recently won an Emmy and a Screen Actor’s Guild award for his portrayal of the blackhearted and perverted title character in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny.

5. Daniel Day-Lewis

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One doesn’t usually think of Daniel Day-Lewis as a villain but he turned in an Oscar-winning performance as the crazy-as-a-loon and not in a nice way oilman Daniel Plainview in 2007’s There Will Be Blood.

He also exposed his darker side as William ‘Bill the Butcher’ Cutting alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Gangs of New York in 2002. He was considered for the role of General Zod in Superman: Man of Steel but was inexplicably passed over.

6. Ralph Fiennes

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It’s hard to understand how someone can look so baby-faced and innocent one moment and evil as hell the next.

Ipswich native Ralph Fiennes has pulled it off over and over again, most memorably as Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and as the about as evil as one can get Hades in Clash of the Titans, and has played the heavy in several other great films.

7. Christian Bale

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Christian Bale delivered a blood-chillingly fantastic performance as everyone’s nice guy next door who happens to be a psychotic killer Patrick Bateman in 1999’s American Psycho and again as a well-heeled psychotic killer in 2000’s Shaft.

8. Jeremy Irons

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Jeremy Irons joined the elite ranks of animated film villains with his performance as the voice of the despicable Scar in Disney’s The Lion King in 1994 and was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain for it.