Five Actors Who Always Seem to Play Scumbags

    December 17, 2010 at 6:00 am

    There are some actors out there that are born to play the hero.   And then there are actors that are born to play the villain.   Some may call it typecasting and some might refer to it as appropriately placing talent in the correct films.   But within the lines of good and evil there are many other subtle roles that one can be great at.

    Some people are always great wingmen.  Some always play the “loser.”  Some might play the hotshot.  The list goes on.  Today we’ll be focusing on people who play great scumbags.  And I don’t even necessarily mean the bad guy (although in most cases they are the bad guy).

    I’m just saying these guys just have that look about them.  You’ll know what I mean….

    James Woods

    Pick a movie, any movie.  Seriously.  Nearly everything that James Woods has been in he’s looked and acted like a scumbag in one way or another.  Hell even in a role where he was a good guy, Diggstown, he was still a slimeball.  I mean the dude was an ex con who conned his own friend into fighting 15 dudes.   Seriously though, if there’s a scum to rule them all I really think it’s Woods.  In particular I would call out the movies The Specialist, Casino, Against All Odds, and Any Given Sunday as being his scummiest roles.

    Powers Boothe

    This guy just looks like scum doesn’t he?  Hell even his name is so Hollywood and fake that I almost feel like this guy doesn’t have the ability to represent anything even remotely positive.   Funny he actually played a “good” guy in Men of Honor but other than that I’m having a hard time finding him in anything where he was decent.  If any of you saw Sin City you’ll remember that role.   As Vice President in 24 he was a real cold hearted S.O.B.   And remember him in Tombstone?  Guy was born to play a bastard.

    Peter Stormare

    Here’s another guy that’s actually played a good guy a number of times but it doesn’t even matter.  He just has that look.  His faces screams pedophile doesn’t it?  Eh, maybe that’s because he played Satan in Constantine and he looked like a child molester.  In terms of his nasty roles I would go with Fargo, The Brothers Grimm, Seinfeld, Bad Company, and The Killing Room as being particularly scummy.

    Alan Rickman

    It all began with Die Hard didn’t it?  No one will ever forget his role has Hans Gruber.   Most recently he’s been carrying the role of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies and if there’s a definition of scummy I would say that character should be in the dictionary.  Hell even in Something The Lord Made where he played a renowned doctor he was a scumbag.   Plus Rickman just has the face and voice to play these kinds of a roles.  Remember him in Sweeney Todd?  Yuck.

    Kurtwood Smith

    Most of you know him as the dad in That 70s Show.  However, Smith’s career goes way beyond and before that show.  I think it all first began in Robocop where he played Clarence Boddicker.   Although Smith has actually been around since 1978.  In terms of his scumbaggishness, he was a real prick in Dead Poet’s Society and Rambo III.

    1. Steve says:

      Alan Rickman played Tybalt in a version of Romeo and Juliet in the early 80’s. My teacher made us watch it in English class in 10th grade and about 5 minutes in I awoke from my near sleep and thought “Holy Shit!! It’s Hans Gruber!! Jeez, this guy must’ve been playing villains his entire career”.

    2. Hag Wanas says:

      Of course there are many who qualify, but one who rarely gets mentioned is Eric Roberts, whose up-and-coming actress daughter Emma is usually described as Julia Roberts’ niece. I’ll bet that really pisses him off.


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