14 Gorgeous Actors Who Played Terrifying Movie Villains
17th May, 2022
Warner Bros. Pictures | AFF-USA/Shutterstock
From Voldemort to Krall, the movie industry has delivered some evil creatures. But the actual faces behind the ghoulish makeup are quite good-looking. In most movies, the antagonist is a charming, good-looking individual who gets all the love and attention, while the villain is an evil, unpleasant person. For instance, take Red Skull from Captain America. He is evil and unlikeable, and no one can dare say otherwise. But under all the layers of thick makeup is an actual actor who is quite the looker. Want to know more names like that? Here are 15 terrifying movie villains who are stunning in real life.
Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, It (Film series)
Although it may be difficult to believe, the man behind Pennywise's frightening white clown face is the gorgeous Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård. In the It films, he plays the role of an evil clown-esque entity who preys on small children in the town of Derry. And the facial expressions he pulls off are enough to make adults cry. But only a few know that the face behind the disturbing clown is actually quite good-looking! If you don’t believe us, a quick Google search will show you. Some of Skarsgård’s previous works include Hemlock Grove and Atomic Blonde.
Bonnie Aarons as Valak (the demon nun), The Nun
Bonnie Aarons’s chilling performance had us all trembling in fear. Her role as Valak was first teased in the Conjuring 2, and soon after The Nun came along. Aarons’s performance was terrific to say the least! Not many know this, but behind all the grotesque makeup lies an extremely attractive and beautiful woman. Aarons has a classic Hollywood face, which is what makes her so unique. Did you know that she also played a small role of a baroness in The Princess Diaries and its sequel? Did she join a nunnery after leaving Genovia? Who knows!
Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort, Harry Potter (Film series)
According to reports, Ralph Fiennes nearly turned down the role of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films. It was only after his sister convinced him that he took up the role, and was it worthwhile! The British actor's villainous performance is one of the most underappreciated in Hollywood history. Everything about his portrayal of “He Who Must Not Be Named” was spot-on, right from his raspy voice to his iconic laugh. In real life, though, Fiennes is the embodiment of a gentleman and far-far away from his on-screen persona.
Glenn Close as Cruella de Vil, 101 Dalmatians
Is there a more glamorous yet evil villain than Cruella de Vil? We think not! With her two-toned hair and intimidating fur coats, she embodied high camp in the classic 1961 101 Dalmatians. Cruella's exquisite outfits were created by Oscar-winner Anthony Powell, who decided to feature jaw-dropping amounts of fur. Apparently, this famous costume designer was also the one that convinced the gorgeous Close to take on this role after she had turned it down initially. We cannot thank him enough for it, neither can we thank her enough for listening to him.
Bill Nighy as Davy Jones, Pirates of Caribbean (Film series)
For those who thought that a CGI-created villain would not have a great impact, Bill Nighy as Davy Jones proved them wrong. Davy Jones, an octopus-faced underwater baddie from Disney's wildly successful Pirates of the Caribbean films, was terrific. Davy looks real, with his beard-like, sucker-covered tentacles that squirm and flail. If you had to catch Nighy off-camera, you would not recognize him at all. He is tall, blond-haired, and blue-eyed with oodles of talent. We think of no one else who could pull off this role with so much ease.
Hugo Weaving as Red Skull, Captain America: The First Avenger
The Red Skull, also known as Johann Schmidt, is a part of the evil organization HYDRA. His face is left mangled after having consumed an older version of the super-soldier serum, which would be later used to transform Steve Rogers into Captain America. The evil Red Skull, however, uses his strength and his place in HYDRA to cause great harm to the world. Weaving is almost unrecognizable in the movie, but you can see the stunning actor in some of his other movies, like The Matrix, The Hobbit, V for Vendetta, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Doug Jones as the Pale Man, Pan’s Labyrinth
This character is one of the most creepy villains that you will see on-screen. His body is similar to that of a pale, elderly man. His nostrils and mouth are visible and look like that of a manta ray. If that is not disturbing enough, his eyes are in the sockets in his palms instead of his face. Yeah, you heard that right. Behind the hideous creature lies the handsome Doug Jones, who has over 150 acting credits that include classics such as Hocus Pocus, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Hellboy.
Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger, A Nightmare on Elm Street
Freddy Krueger, one of the most gnarly on-screen characters, is the spirit of a killer who has been burned to death by the relatives of his victims. Robert Englund’s character is disfigured, and he uses a metal claw in his right hand. Freddy Krueger is really as scary as they come. But in real life, Englund is an absolute stunner with his green eyes. His character was so well-loved (and freaky) that it become one of Robert Englund's most famous characters and even won him a nomination as one of the Best Villains at the Scream Awards.
Idris Elba as Krall, Star Trek Beyond
British actor Idris Elba has long wowed us on screen with his mesmerizing performances in projects like Beasts of No Nation, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and Luther. But one performance that we particularly loved was Krall in Star Trek Beyond. With the layers of makeup that he had to wear for that role, you would not recognize him even if you were standing face-to-face. But we all know how handsome and charming his man is. We honestly cannot talk enough about the effect he has on everyone!
Jim Carrey as the Grinch, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas has been a cult favorite for a while. Jim Carrey, the king of comedy, taking on a dark role was what pulled audiences to this movie. When we look back, we can hardly think of anyone else bringing this character to life on screen. Would you be surprised if you knew that the role was almost offered to Eddie Murphy and Jack Nicholson? We are glad that the final choice was Carrey, as he makes the Grinch his own in so many ways. His dedication was admirable when one considers that the costume took an average of eight hours to put on.
John Leguizamo as the Violator, Spawn
John Leguizamo, another fan favorite, is renowned for being a method actor. He played the clown-like demon named Violator in Spawn. In an interview, Leguizamo admitted to taking things a little too seriously while training for the movie. The actor decided to take clowning classes to get ready for the role, and he ate live maggots as part of his on-screen performance. Now, that's messed up! But we should credit the guy for his dedication. All that aside, Leguizamo is a fine specimen, and we absolutely adore him.
Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil, The Exorcist
Our list would be incomplete if we didn't mention The Exorcist. It has horrified viewers since 1973 and continues to do so even to this day. Among all the great acts in the movie, one of the most memorable ones has to be that of Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil. At the age of 14, she managed to become a household name by taking on the challenging role of a possessed girl. However, Blair is a complete sweetheart in real life, the exact opposite of the role she is most known for.
Danny DeVito as the Penguin, Batman Returns
The character of the Penguin, played by Devito, is the most iconic villain of all time. The half-human, half-penguin definitely sends chills down the spine. We cannot erase the scene where the Penguin is seen with blood and slime dripping down his face; that took the villainy to the next level. But in real life, Danny DeVito is a down-to-earth human being. DeVito has helped many charities and has made a huge impact on people’s lives. Some of them have also shared their experiences on social media. DeVito is the Internet's favorite, and rightfully so.