We become mesmerized and seduced. How far do you go before you stop? Once corrupted, can you go back to a state of purity? Nothing is more sweet than the taste of innocence. Just ask Humbert Humbert, from that famous book by Nabokov. Temptation is a universal, evocative power. The sly villain preys on your sympathy and they are able to charm you through lies and manipulation. All the while, you marvel at their wits. The more human the villain, the more interesting the story.
John Milton, 1667, Paradise Lost. In the epic poem, Satan is majestic, intelligent, fearless, and seductive. What is it about smarts and power? The fool is the one who believes it will set you free. The irony, of course, is the villain is enslaved to the very thing it tries to dominate. Happens all the time literature and film. It’s the Byronic hero sucking the soul out of a woman or the seductive, female emasculator. It’s the predator toying with its food, the powerful exploiting the weak, and the control-freak who needs to dominate at any cost.
Which one of these smart, misunderstood characters do you secretly admire?
But would you want them to baby-sit your kids?
Some actors have made a career playing evil so well, I wonder if they can turn it off when the shoot is over?
The modern-day actor who plays evil better than anyone is Ralph Fiennes.
“Don’t hate me because I represent everything wrong with humanity and all that is inhuman, too!”
Shindler’s List, Harry Potter, Red Dragon, The Dutchess.
Clash of the Titans, Coriolanus.
Ralph is in my favorite dark comedy, In Bruges.
When Ralph Fiennes isn’t playing pure evil, he’s hurt and confused: The Reader, The Constant Gardner, and The English Patient.
In order for there to be a hero, there must be a worthy adversary. Who have I left out?
Edward Norton in American History X?
Or perhaps Kevin Spacey in Seven?
Johnny Depp portrays confused soul well….
Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. –Eleanor Roosevelt
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. –Benjamin Franklin
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.–Milton Berle
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. — Robert Louis Stevenson
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” –Teddy Roosevelt