15 Good Guy Actors Who Portrayed Great Villains

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON April 4th, 2016

15 Good Guy Actors Who Portrayed Great Villains

Movie villains are often type casted by actors who have a knack for making the audience utterly hate them. However, there have been some rare instances where Hollywood dared to make a change by selecting typical nice guy actors that play villains. Despite well-known for portraying people with a heart of gold, the following are the 15 good guy actors who portrayed great villains:


15. Robin Williams (Walter Finch)

Robin Williams Walter Finch

Christopher Nolan loves to experiment in his movies and Robin Williams was his test subject in his very first feature film Insomnia. As one of the most loved performers of his generation, the movie showcased a never-before-seen side of the actor as a villain.

As the prime-suspect in the murder of a 17-year-old girl, Walter Finch must escape the wrath of LAPD detectives. Unlike the previously cheerful and jolly roles he is famous for, Williams brilliantly portrayed the silent and cold-hearted killer to the point of director Nolan calling it a “flawless performance.”


14. Elijah Wood (Kevin)

Elijah Wood Kevin

Who would have thought that the man who saved the entire world by throwing the One Ring in Mount Doom would one day become a cannibalistic serial killer? A strong contrast from Elijah Wood’s iconic hobbit role.

It just so happened that The Lord of the Rings star played such a ruthless villain in the 2005 film adaption of Sin City. Do not let his unassuming look fool you as one of his victims revealed that Kevin ate her hand right in front of her.


13. Hugh Jackman (Robert Angier)

Hugh Jackman Robert Angier

You might remember the Australian actor fighting vampires in Van Helsing and mutant oppression in the X-Men franchise, but Hugh Jackman excellently served as the villain Robert Angier in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige.

As a magician competing against rival Alfred Borden, things got too personal. It was not about performing better tricks anymore, it was about destroying the other and Angier succeeded.

In fact, Angier definitely had the audience repulse him as he got Borden arrested for his apparent murder, got him executed for the crime he did not commit and even took his daughter as an adopted child.


12. Tom Cruise (Vincent)

Tom Cruise Vincent

He is an actor who needs no introduction and has inspired millions of people with his heroic roles in Top Gun, Legend and of course, the Mission Impossible installments. A role of a villain may sound unsuitable for Tom Cruise but the actor took it as a challenge and nailed it perfectly.

As a professional hitman hired to kill four witnesses, Cruise immersed himself as Vincent in the psychological crime thriller Collateral and proved that he can make any role great thrown in front of him. The movie received positive reviews and so did Cruise for his villainous role.


11. Matt Damon (Tom Ripley)

Matt Damon as Tom Ripley

Known for his clean-cut roles, the attractive Matt Damon is one of the most loved and idolized actors in Hollywood so the role of a villain was met with hesitation. Nonetheless, the actor accepted and the fans never looked Damon with the same feelings again.

As Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr. Ripley, the character hid his cruelness beneath his handsome looks and killed people who got in the way of what he desired. Purely a monster, it was incredible to see Damon doing work unlike never before.


10. Bill Murray (Frank Milo)

Bill Murray as Frank Milo

Image Source: pricedoutblog.com

Among the several great actors known for their attachment with comedic work, Bill Murray is one of them. It was unlikely that the man who saved New York from ghosts (twice) as Peter Venkman would one day star as a villain in the future.

With a star-studded cast of Robert De Niro and Uma Thurman, Mad Dog and Glory received positive reviews and owes a great deal to Bill Murray. As Frank Milo, it was definitely interesting to see Murray executing his acting skills by terrifying the audience by portraying the villain.


9. Denzel Washington (Alonzo Harris)

Denzel Washington as Alonzo Harris

Image Source: carboncostume.com

With all honesty, Denzel Washington proved that he can pull off villainous roles as good as he does with heroic ones when he portrayed the corrupt narcotics officer Alonzo Harris in Training Day.

Regarded as one of his best movie performances, Washington was absolutely convincing as the bad guy and even won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the role.


8. Jim Carrey (The Riddler)

Jim Carrey as Riddler

Starring as a happy-go-lucky character in dozens of movies throughout his career, Jim Carrey has made countless people laugh with his funny antics in several comedy movies.

As a great actor that he is, Carrey was able to utilize his knack for comedy to make the audience hate him when he starred as Edward Nygma aka Riddler in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever.

Deducing the Dark Knight’s secret identity of Bruce Wayne, kidnapping his side-kick Robin and destroying the Batcave, Carrey served as Batman’s worst nightmare in the movie.