Who are the most attractive film stars of all time? Any list would have to include a selection of people like Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Paul Newman, Grace Kelly, George Clooney and Nicole Kidman. Apart from being unreasonably gorgeous, these stars have something else in common: They are frequently the heroes of their respective films. Sure, the characters they play may be somewhat more flawed than others, but rarely do these stars play the role of antagonist. Even when Clooney played world-class kleptomaniac Danny Ocean in the “Ocean’s 11” series, audience members still rooted for him.
Cinematic villains have a tendency to be more, um, unkempt to put it politely. Think about it. The wicked witch of the west? Freddy Krueger? Jabba the Hut? These are not actors you are liable to find on the cover of People Magazine’s most beautiful people issue. The Coen brothers even uglied up international sex symbol Javier Bardem with an awkward haircut for his menacing turn in their 2007 film “No Country for Old Men.” Every now and then, however, movie producers rebel against the norm and make the villain the most attractive character in the picture. Here are five examples of that.
Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in “Fight Club”
Who better start this list than a man who has scored the rare achievement of being labeled People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” twice? Pitt’s Tyler Durden may think himself more of a societal rebel than a villain, but it’s hard to think of a man whose actions are tantamount to that of a domestic terrorist as a hero. To take on the role as the charismatic pugilist, Pitt spent months training in boxing, tae kwan do and grappling. Let’s just say that when he removes his shirt, it shows.
Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson in “Double Indemnity”
The femme fatale role is one of the more iconic roles in cinema history, dating back to the studio days of the 30s and 40s. No one has ever embodied this role better than the legendary, and stunningly beautiful, actress Barbara Stanwyck. In Billy Wilder’s “Double Indemnity,” Stanwyck seduces an insurance salesman into a scheme to kill her husband in order to collect on insurance. As despicable and deplorable as Stanwyck’s actions are, it’s not hard for audience members to be seduced either.
David Bowie as Jareth in “Labyrinth”
For a legion of fans, the thin white duke is one of the sexiest rock stars to ever pluck the six strings. He has used his mass appeal to cross over into other mediums, including film. One of his most famed performances comes in this 1986 fantasy classic as Jareth, the goblin king. Per the usual with Bowie, there is a certain degree of androgyny involved. But per the usual, fans wouldn’t want it any other way.
Michelle Pfeiffer as Selena Kyle/Catwoman in “Batman Returns”
Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway are no slouches in the beauty department, but even they couldn’t match the extremities of sexiness that Pfeiffer brought to her interpretation of Batman nemesis Catwoman in Tim Burton’s 1992 blockbuster sequel “Batman Returns.” For many comic book nerds across the age spectrum, there is no costume in film history better than the skin tight leather outfit that Selena Kyle sported when she was feeling a little catty.
Glenn Close as Alex Forrest in “Fatal Attraction”
In this 1987 classic, Michael Douglas engages in an extramarital affair that will lead to some pretty intense psychological torture, not to mention the gruesome murder of a rabbit. The filmmakers had to be sure to cast a woman who would be worth the hassle. A slew of actresses were considered for the role, including head turners like Kim Basinger, Heather Locklear and the aforementioned Pfeiffer. Glenn Close was eventually cast, and she brought her standard exemplary acting chops to the role. What Close had never displayed before was a blistering and unpredictable sexy edge. Close has never been this attractive in a film, prior or since. No wonder Douglas was willing to sacrifice the rabbit.
As I said before, Hollywood history is filled to the brim with repugnant villains, repugnant in both spirit and appearance. These five actors just went the spirit route.
Zack Mandell is a movie enthusiast, writer of movie reviews, and owner of www.movieroomreviews.com which has great information on actors such as Brad Pitt. He writes extensively about the movie industry for sites such as Gossip Center, Yahoo, NowPublic, and Helium.
[#ff entbuddha] “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”