Many people don’t realize what an important role villains play in television shows, movies, and other forms of media. Not only are they a central figure in the main protagonist’s progression in the film, but without them, there’s nothing for good to triumph over. Funny enough, there are some films where the villain steals the spotlight from their arch enemy. They’ve performed so brilliantly that they struck a chord with many audience members, thereby gaining a large following. Here’s a list of villains who outperformed the heroes.
1. The Joker From The Dark Knight (2008)
Over the last few years, we’ve seen many actors take up the roles of both Batman and The Joker. They all did a good job but when the late actor Heath Ledger agreed to be Bruce Wayne’s arch enemy (played by Ben Affleck) in the 2008 film, The Dark Knight Rises, he took the infamous villain to another level. His performance was so amazing that it earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His portrayal also came as a surprise to many as the character couldn’t be further from the actor’s personality which just goes to show what a great actor he was.
2. Darth Vader From the Star Wars Franchise (1977 – 2019)
The Star Wars franchise, specifically the original trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), had its fair share of heroes, but if you ask people to name one character from the series, they were most likely to mention Darth Vader, and for good reason. His iconic outfit, voice, and the fact that no one knew who he was until he revealed that he was Luke’s father, are some of the reasons why he stands out amongst the other characters.
3. Anton Chigurh From No Country for Old Men (2007)
No Country for Old Men is a 2007 neo-Western film that tells the story of a hunter who after finding money from a transaction gone wrong, is hunted down by a merciless mercenary named Anton Chigurh. The role of Chigurh was taken up by Javier Bardem, who did not disappoint. At first glance, you may want to burst out into laughter when looking at Chigurh with his ridiculous haircut and weapon, but his cold demeanor quickly makes you do otherwise. Bardem’s portrayal was so well received that he won an Academy Award, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe for his performance.
4. Annie Wilkes From Misery (1990)
The 1990 film Misery, based on Stephen King’s 1987 novel with the same name is one of the best psychological thrillers to have ever been created… and it’s all because of Kathy Bates’ portrayal of Annie Wilkes. It all begins when her favorite author finds himself and his car stuck in a snowstorm. The devout reader goes to look for him and when she finds him, he quickly realizes that she is more than just obsessed. Wilkes goes from being a kind-hearted nurse to an angry fan who goes to great lengths to get her happy ending. Wilkes was Bates’ breakout role, and it earned her an Academy Award.
5. Loki From Thor (2011)
Thor is one of Marvel Comics’ strongest superheroes so many people were happy to hear that he was getting his own live action film, and some were even happier that the hero would be played by Aussie Chris Hemsworth. Fans were expecting a lot from the movie, but they didn’t expect Loki, played by British actor Tom Hiddleston, to steal the show. Loki was selfish, conniving, and ruthless, but there were also some traits that made him more relatable. Additionally, Hiddleston’s wittiness showed in his character portrayal making him one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s greatest anti-heroes.
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