Know an actor who plays bad so well that you can’t see him or her as anything else? Bet you do. Hollywood churns out tons of bad guys, so many that there are whole groups of actors who are known to play only one type of character over and over again. Here’s our list of the actors who played a bad guy so well, people can’t see them as anything else.
1) Tom Hiddleston
Tom Hiddleston is one of the most famous actors working today and it’s thanks to his performance in Marvel’s The Avengers. There he played Loki, Thor’s brother who was trying to take over Asgard. The character was more than just an adversary for the superheroes; people loved him so much that they were even rooting for him to win. Hiddleston has had plenty of other roles where he played baddies and people can’t see him as anything else. In HBO’s War Horse, for example, he played Captain Nicholls opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
2) Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne is the perfect example of someone who’s playing the bad guy so well that people just can’t seem to see him in anything else. He’s been in everything from Les Miserables to The Danish Girl and Fantastic Beasts, but audiences still know him best as Marius Pontmercy. Even if he had tried to become an actor without being typecast as the bad guy, it’s hard to imagine what type he could have played that would have set him apart from his previous roles. However, there are other actors on this list who made it their mission to be anything but the bad guy after proving their acting chops.
3) Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch is an English actor who has been in many films and TV series. He played Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness and Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series Sherlock. One of his most famous roles is Dr. Strange from Marvel’s Dr. Strange film. Benedict played the bad guy in these movies, but people can’t see him as anything else because he’s so amazing at portraying them! He attended boarding school at Harrow School and University College London where he studied Classics. He began acting in school productions, then with theater companies such as The Globe Theater. His first big break came when he got a role as Stephen Hawking for a BBC drama about the physicist’s life.
4) Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield is most known for playing Spider-Man. However, there’s something about him that just screams bad guy. His role in The Social Network has a lot to do with this. He played Eduardo Saverin and was one of the main antagonists of the film. In 2012 he starred in Mel Gibson’s movie The Beaver which also features his character being antagonistic towards others. But it doesn’t stop there! He also plays the villainous type in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). He played Dr. Curt Connors who was the one responsible for turning people into lizards. Basically, if you want someone who can play a bad guy flawlessly, look no further than Andrew Garfield!
5) Jared Leto
Jared Leto is one of the most recent actors to play a bad guy so well that people still can’t see him as anything else. His character in Suicide Squad was so compelling that many fans were left wanting more of him. He played a cold-hearted villain with enough passion and charisma to keep people on the edge of their seat. He was Joker’s right hand man and before he died he stabbed Batman’s side with his knife (twice) then laughed maniacally before he blew up himself and the rest of the gang. He also has an Oscar for his role in Dallas Buyers Club.
6) Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds played the snarky and highly opinionated bad guy in Deadpool. In Blade 3 he played Hannibal King. In Buried he was the only guy in the box, playing an American truck driver who wakes up to find himself buried alive inside a coffin. Ryan’s ability to play a range of bad guys is so well-respected that some people can’t see him as anything else but one of these characters. For example, when Ryan shows up on set for Blade 4 filming with Wesley Snipes fans can’t help but scream Hannibal King! from across the set. He has mastered the bad guy persona, but his true talents lie behind the camera directing movies such as Paper Towns and Darkest Hour.
7) Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger is an actor who played one of the most iconic villains of all time in The Dark Knight. As Joker, Ledger was terrifying and his performance is still regarded as one of the best ever. Unfortunately for Ledger, people had trouble seeing him as anything but Joker after his death. His role in the movie Nine Lives only added to that problem. But there are plenty of other actors who have taken on bad guy roles so well that people can’t see them in anything else. James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken and Robert De Niro are just some of the stars who have been able to avoid typecasting by playing such memorable villains.
8) Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of Commodus in the 2000 movie Gladiator is one of the best examples of an actor who played a bad guy so well that people can’t see him as anything else. In fact, Phoenix is one of only two actors to ever win both an Academy Award and a Razzie for the same role. The other? Tommy Lee Jones for his performance in Men in Black as Agent K. A series of sequels followed, cementing Jones’ place as anything but a bad guy in the public consciousness.