One of the best parts of thriller movies is the surprising element. Directors use various tricks to add plot twists and surprise the audience. One of the cleverest tricks is casting against type. It is always exciting when actors we are used to seeing as heroes play a sinister character. This new experience feels odd to process since our minds are trained to trust these faces. Even the actors take it as a challenge to step out of their comfort zone and play something different. Here are the 10 times when ‘nice guy’ actors starred as villains in movies.
Elijah Wood in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Most of us have grown up watching Elijah Wood as the harmless and meek hero from “The Lord of the Rings”. So, casting him as the creepy boyfriend of Kate Winslet in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” was a masterstroke. She breaks up with Jim Carrey and uses technology to erase her memories with him. It is almost believable that she is happy with her new boyfriend, Elijah Wood since he has to be the good guy. But he was the scary dude who worked at the same tech firm and used Kate’s memories with Carrey to manipulate and seduce her.
Tom Hanks in The Circle
Tom Hanks played an industrialist with a great vision in “The Circle”. Since it was a trustworthy actor, Hanks, we never saw the malevolence that his character was set to bring. Even Emma Watson ended up getting fooled by the agreeable deception of Hanks’ character. She plays Mae who is happy to join the big tech firm, only to learn later about its true motivations.
Matt Damon in Interstellar
When you think of the ideal actors to play heroes, Matt Damon comes in the top 5. After watching him in “Good Will Hunting” and “The Bourne Identity”, we are convinced that he was born to play the good guy with exceptional acting skills. We expected him to be a good astronaut when he reported positive results about the planet he was on. But he was only lying about it as he thought it was the only way to be rescued.
Paul Rudd in Mute
Paul Rudd is one of the most likable and charming actors of Hollywood. His goofy sense of humor in “Friends” and “Ant-Man” had us all swooning over him. So, out of all the actors and people in the world, we’d never expect Rudd to break our trust. Just look at that harmless grin! And that’s how his story began in “Mute” where we thought him to be a loving father who’d do anything for his daughter. But just when the audience gets comfortable with his usual charm, he transforms into this ruthless and violent psychopath.
Chris Evans in Knives Out
If there is one man we can trust more than anyone else in the world, it is Steve Rogers aka Captain America. He is the personification of goodness and integrity. And the moment we think of Cap, we can only picture Chris Evans. The MCU actor is the ideal face of a superhero. But after stepping out of Avengers, Evans decided to break away from being typecast and he started with “Knives Out”. It was a murder mystery where Evans deceived us with his ‘good guy’ face. For the most part of the movie, he played the hero until Daniel Craig’s detective lifted the curtain. We were still not over Captain America when Chris delivered the cocky murderer so brilliantly and left no room to trust him. To be honest, it kinda’ broke my heart to watch him as Ransom.
Jason Sudeikis in Colossal
Jason Sudeikis is widely known for his comedic roles in “Horrible Bosses” and “We’re the Millers”. It’s one thing to cast good guys as villains and a completely whole other game to use comedic actors to deceive us. Jason was introduced as the warm and helpful friend in “Colossal” against the heartless ex-boyfriend of Anne Hathaway. But with time as his charm came off, we discover that he controls a destructive robot in Seoul.
Michael Cera in This Is The End
The apocalyptic comedy starred all the actors as themselves. James Franco is throwing a party in his Hollywood home when the town is suddenly hit with the apocalypse. Michael Cera hilariously portrays himself as a Hollywood brat. He is not a villain in its truest sense but plays the mean boy of Tinseltown which completely in contrast to his lovable film characters.
Jason Bateman in Juno
The audience was instantly deceived by Jason Bateman’s usual charm in “Juno”. He and Jennifer Garner play the couple who were willing to adopt Juno’s baby. When the couple was introduced at first, we thought that Jason’s character was the agreeable and light-hearted husband. But by the end, he turned out to be a selfish man who wasn’t ready to grow up and start a family. While his wife was all excited to welcome the baby, Jason was planning to leave her and also had the audacity to kind of hit on Juno.
Steve Carell in The Way, Way Back
This comedy is about a teenage boy who has to spend his vacation with his mom and her boyfriend, played by Steve Carell. Carell easily gets away with his dubious character who shows a lot of interest in the young boy. Since the actor is known as everyone’s favorite from “The Office”, none of the viewers saw what was coming.
Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West
In most of the cases, the audience is convinced to hate the villain from the beginning without paying much attention. But when an actor known for playing hero is cast as a villain, people are bound to pause and focus on him/her. That’s what happened in the case of Henry who participated in a western-themed film as the bad guy. The audience showed interest in knowing the character.