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It’s A Fact That The Best Villains Are Always Played By British People And Here’s The Proof


It’s A Fact That The Best Villains Are Always Played By British People And Here’s The Proof

No one does evil like us Brits.

Yeah sure, The Joker is iconic, but there’s truly nothing better than a good ol’ British villain, amiright? Need proof? Well, here are 21 of the best examples from movie history.

1. Anthony Hopkins as Dr Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs.

Orion Pictures

Anthony’s turn as forensic psychiatrist/cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal back in 1991 is the stuff of legends, and firmly put Brits on the map as the go-to guys for creepy movie villains!

2. Tilda Swinton as the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Buena Vista Pictures

As callous as she is fashion-forward, Tilda killed it as the despotic White Witch in the 2005 fantasy epic, and was lowkey responsible for holding the whole movie together.

3. Ed Skrein as Ajax in Deadpool.

20th Century Fox

Ed’s unfeeling portrayal of Ajax, I mean Francis, took the classic sadistic scientist trope and turned it up to a hundred. Layer on top that lovely articulate English accent and you’ve got creepy movie villain for the ages!

4. Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

Warner Bros.

Alan is well known as two of the best British villains of all time, and although his portrayal of Hans Gruber in Die Hard is iconic, it’s his portrayal of the unscrupulous Sheriff of Nottingham that comes out the worser of two evils.

5. Ian McDiarmid as Sheev Palpatine in the Star Wars movies.


The mastermind villain behind the entirety of the Star Wars saga, there’s nothing more iconic than Ian’s gleefully evil voice emitting from the hooded figure of Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious or simply The Emperor.

6. Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.

Columbia Pictures

Christian really had the perfect mix of sexy and psychotic going on in this film, and it made for one of the most memorable movie villains of the 2000s!

7. Idris Elba as Shere Khan in The Jungle Book.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

It may have been a kids feature, but I was NOT ready for how scary Shere Khan turned out to be! And let’s be honest, it’s no doubt down to Idris’s deep, commanding tone of voice.

8. Pam Ferris as Agatha Trunchbull in Matilda.

Sony Pictures Releasing

Generations of movie-goers remember Matilda for its outlandish characters, but none are more iconic than Pam Ferris’s ruthless and tyrannical Miss Trunchbull!

9. Jason Isaacs as Colonel William Tavington in The Patriot.

Sony Pictures Releasing

Jason played Tavington, based on the real life British general and slave trader Banastre Tarleton, so villainously that there was a public outcry that the movie had assassinated Tarleton’s character. I mean… really?

10. Ralph Fiennes as Amon Göth in Schindler’s List.

Universal Pictures

Now I know Ralph had a little part in Harry Potter as the most evil dark wizard of all time, but it’s his portrayal of Nazi commandant Amon Göth that’ll really turn your stomach. Trust me on this.

11. Christopher Lee as Saruman in The Lord of the Rings movies.

New Line Cinema

He’s played evil more times than anybody’s business, with iconic performances ranging from Dracula to Count Dooku, but as the power-hungry warlord and white wizard Saruman, Christopher really slaps.

12. Gary Oldman as Norman Stansfield in Léon: The Professional.

Gaumont Buena Vista International

13. Malcolm McDowell as Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange.

Warner Bros.

Twisted, unhinged, and terrifying, Malcolm McDowell plays the mindlessly violent gang leader Alex DeLarge with a depth and commanding presence that cinephiles still can’t get over.

14. Jeremy Irons as Scar in The Lion King.

Buena Vista Pictures

Mixing camp and cunning in a pitch perfect mix, nobody could’ve “been prepared” for how truly glorious Jeremy Irons was as the voice of Scar in the OG Disney classic.

15. David Oyelowo as Javert in Les Misérables.


While he’s also known for playing the nefarious Jacobs in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it’s David’s brilliant portrayal of the ruthlessly unkind Javert in BBC’s Les Mis that cements his villain actor status.

16. Angela Lansbury as Mrs Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate.

United Artists

If you’ve never seen Angela do a 180 on her usual charming and wholesome characters in order to play a conniving secret agent and overbearing mother, you simply haven’t lived!

17. Bill Nighy as Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

Buena Vista Pictures

As ghoulish as he is melancholy, Davy Jones really made an impact in a film franchise that was already flooded with memorable characters, but it was the sincerity and emotion with which Bill played him that really hit different.

18. Lena Heady as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones.


Westeros’ resident bad bih certainly had peaks and valleys in terms of how mean she could be, but when she was bad, she was downright despicable. And no one could’ve played that character like Lena did!

19. Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Tom Hardy did an excellent job of bringing this terrifying Batman foe to life, not only packing on a ton of muscle to play Bane, but also improving lines on set and creating a bizarre voice that launched a thousand memes.

20. Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones.


Any GOT stan will likely say that this sick SOB was the real villain of the show. His power to torment others was almost too much to bear, and yet Iwan made him too compelling a character to look away from!

21. Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter movies.

Warner Bros.

And if you thought evil incarnate had to look like a swashbuckling octopus man or a masked body-builder, you’d be deadass wrong. Lest we forget that beneath this pink wooly exterior lies one of the worst movie villains of all!

Did I miss anyone out? Shout them out in the comments below!

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