12 Stars Who Play Villains on Screen but Are Total Sweethearts in Real Life

year ago

Some antagonists are so memorable that we love to hate them. These actors gave such brilliant performances as villains, it’s hard to distinguish their characters from who they are as people. But in real life, these actors are lovely and couldn’t be more different than the dark souls they play.

Bright Side thought it would be fun to see the difference between these fantastic villains and the sweet actors who play them.

1. Jason Isaacs and Tom Felton as Lucius and Draco Malfoy

The Malfoy family members make great villains in the Harry Potter film series. This father-son duo couldn’t be further from death eaters. Tom Felton said, “He’d be this evil father, and when we’d say cut, he’d come and give you a cuddle and say, ’Oh, did I hit you too hard?’ Real Jekyll and Hyde, that one.”

2. Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen

Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection/East News, © chrisevans/Instagram

Chris Evans plays a sociopathic assassin for hire in Netflix’s The Gray Man. His character goes toe to toe with Ryan Gosling’s character. Evans said it was a little intimidating going up against Gosling, as he’s a presence. But when the director calls cut, he laughs with his co-star, Billy Bob Thornton.

3. Cate Blanchett as Hela


Cate Blanchett played the evil sister, Hela, to Thor in Thor: Ragnarok. In real life, she is an ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

4. Tom Hiddleston as Loki

Tom Hiddleston played Loki, the God of Mischief, in The Avengers movie. Hiddleston is an ambassador and works with UNICEF in real life.

5. Tom Hardy as Bane

East News, Invision/Invision/East News

The havoc-inducing, fearmongering Bane in The Dark Knight Rises seems very far off from the real Tom Hardy, who brought his dog Blue to a screening of his movie.

6. Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge


Imelda plays the cruel Dolores Umbridge perfectly. But she said, “I think she’s a bloody monster.” She also said she felt bad for a couple of days after filming the detention scene.

7. Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter

Orion Pictures Corp/Courtesy Everett Collection/East News, Mary Evans/AF Archive/Graham Whitby Boot./East News

Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar for his bone-chilling performance as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. When asked about his Oscar, he said, “What about the nurses and the surgeons and the doctors in hospitals and the caregivers? Where are their awards? They saved lives.”

8. Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna

AP/East News, Jen Lowery/Broadimage/Broad Image/East News

Charlize plays the evil Queen Ravenna in Snow White and the Huntsman. But she is an ally of the LGBTQ community and goes to Pride celebrations annually. She said, “I try to always get my family to go and support, these people live in my community and I love them.”

9. Rachel McAdams as Regina George

PARAMOUNT PICTURES / Album/EAST NEWS, Collin Xavier/Image Press Agency ABACA/Abaca/East News

McAdams is iconic as the head of The Plastics. But in reality, she’s very environmentally conscious. She said, “The environment is a passion for me, and has been for a long time. I try to introduce it into every part of my life if I can, always looking for a greener, lighter way to do everything.”

10. Christopher Lee as Saruman

EAST NEWS, Ray Tamarra/Everett Collection/East News

Christopher Lee was a genuine fan of The Lord of the Rings novels. He said, “The book is such a work of brilliance and majesty — Tolkein wrote an epic on the scale of The Iliad or The Odyssey.”

11. Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly

20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection/East News, NIKLAS HALLEN/AFP/East News

Whilst playing the fashion titan, Meryl Streep stayed in character as the icy-cold Miranda. But when she met Anne Hathaway before filming, she gave her a big hug and told her they would have the best time making the movie.

12. Jack Gleeson as King Joffrey

Image supplied by Capital Pictures/EAST NEWS, © JackGleeson_ / Twitter

The sadistic and ill-tempered King Joffrey couldn’t be more different from Jack Gleeson. In real life, Gleeson is an animal and dog lover.

Who are your favorite villains in TV and film? Are there any brilliant actors we’ve missed?

Preview photo credit Image supplied by Capital Pictures/EAST NEWS, JackGleeson_ / Twitter


Christopher Lee was the only LOTR cast member to actually meet Tolkien, who passed away in 1973, before several of the film's stars had been born. He said once, “I met him with a group of other people in a pub in Oxford he used to go to, The Eagle and Child. I was very much in awe of him, as you can imagine, so I just said, 'How do you do? '”

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