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-   -   Which actor has the greatest 'bad guy' ratio? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=891724)

Biggirl 03-15-2020 05:45 PM

Which actor has the greatest 'bad guy' ratio?
 
I'm watching The Mandalorian and thinking that I've never seen Giancarlo Esposito every play a real good guy. I looked him up in IMDB and he's been in a whole lot more movies than I care to watch (I mean HOLY SHIT!, he's been in a lot of things) but I cannot think of one thing I've seen him in where he didn't turn out to be a bit of an asshole. What has he been in that you've seen where he played a straight up good guy?

What other actors and actresses can you think of that you've never seen play a good guy? The only actress I can think of who I've never seen play a good guy is Anne Ramsey because in Hollywood, ugly is as ugly does.

nightshadea 03-15-2020 05:47 PM

Christopher Walken ...... even when he tries he just can't pull it off ....

Sefton 03-15-2020 05:55 PM

Billy Drago has played a villain in everything I've seen him in. He wasn't really ugly, but there was something unnerving about his eyes.

neofishboy 03-15-2020 05:58 PM

Actually, Giancarlo Esposito was the protagonist in the first role I ever saw him in. The short-lived but quite funny "Bakersfield P.D" that aired on Fox in the early '90s.

Alpha Twit 03-15-2020 06:14 PM

Has Mickey Rourke ever not played a scumbag?

Alessan 03-15-2020 06:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by neofishboy (Post 22191784)
Actually, Giancarlo Esposito was the protagonist in the first role I ever saw him in. The short-lived but quite funny "Bakersfield P.D" that aired on Fox in the early '90s.

He was also a good guy on the final season of "Homicide: Life on the Streets."

Tamerlane 03-15-2020 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alessan (Post 22191805)
He was also a good guy on the final season of "Homicide: Life on the Streets."

Perfectly normal good guy( but not a large role as I recall )in Blue in the Face.

Shagnasty 03-15-2020 06:23 PM

Danny Trejo is my nomination.

https://www.google.com/search?q=dann..._AUoAXoECCAQAw

Kamino Neko 03-15-2020 06:30 PM

Michael Berryman doesn't quite have a perfect score, but he's usually a villain that I've seen. (Because, as the OP said ugly == evil in this biz.)

Alessan 03-15-2020 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shagnasty (Post 22191823)

I dunno - ever since Spy Kids, I think he's played at least as many good guys as bad guys.

NDP 03-15-2020 06:38 PM

This is going back a bit but I wouldn't be surprised if the "bad guy" ratio for Lee Van Cleef ranked quite high.

seal_cleaner 03-15-2020 06:39 PM

Lee Van Cleef

Lamoral 03-15-2020 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alpha Twit (Post 22191803)
Has Mickey Rourke ever not played a scumbag?

His characters in Sin City and The Wrestler aren't scumbags at all. Those are the roles that I identify him with most closely, because I'm 33 and most of his earlier roles were before my time.

skdo23 03-15-2020 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shagnasty (Post 22191823)

Enrique from King of the Hill seemed like a pretty decent guy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIH0I_tNkk0

snfaulkner 03-15-2020 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lamoral (Post 22191848)
His characters in Sin City and The Wrestler aren't scumbags at all. Those are the roles that I identify him with most closely, because I'm 33 and most of his earlier roles were before my time.

Yeah, they were scumbags for sure in both of those, especially in sin city. But they weren't the BAD guys. Hell, EVERYone in Sin City was a scumbag of sorts.

Alpha Twit 03-15-2020 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lamoral (Post 22191848)
His characters in Sin City and The Wrestler aren't scumbags at all. Those are the roles that I identify him with most closely, because I'm 33 and most of his earlier roles were before my time.

I never saw Sin City so I have no comment there.

In The Wrestler, yeah, he's pretty much a detestable person with a constant stream of selfish and destructive choices behind him. I'm not saying I don't feel for the guy but he's not a mensch by any means.

Elendil's Heir 03-15-2020 07:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lamoral (Post 22191848)
[Mickey Rourke's] characters in Sin City and The Wrestler aren't scumbags at all. Those are the roles that I identify him with most closely, because I'm 33 and most of his earlier roles were before my time.

He's also at least the putative antihero of Angel Heart.

Bijou Drains 03-15-2020 07:05 PM

Michael Shannon played a lot of bad guys

Biggirl 03-15-2020 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shagnasty (Post 22191823)

The first two things I ever saw him in were Desperate Housewives and Spy Kids, so he's more of a tough guy with a heart of gold to me.

Ethilrist 03-15-2020 07:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shagnasty (Post 22191823)

He plays a dimensional cop on The Flash with suuuper rough edges, but he's still a good guy, so long as you realize "bring 'em back alive" isn't really on the to-do list when you're chasing somebody who can teleport across dimensions. Plus, he only threatened to kill Cisco like four or five times, and... okay, maybe he's not a good guy.

Biggirl 03-15-2020 07:18 PM

Well, Danny doesn't make the ratio!

The thing about Giancarlo is that he's. . . pretty. Not scarred or exceptionally pumped or dumb. He's always a really smart bad guy.

Robot Arm 03-15-2020 07:40 PM

Did David Warner ever play a good guy?

Alpha Twit 03-15-2020 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robot Arm (Post 22191961)
Did David Warner ever play a good guy?

Terrible episode - good character

Babylon 5 - "Grail"

Ukulele Ike 03-15-2020 07:55 PM

Jack Palance.
Timothy Carey.

The Other Waldo Pepper 03-15-2020 07:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robot Arm (Post 22191961)
Did David Warner ever play a good guy?

He was Chancellor Gorkon — the Klingon leader who, on ‘being commendable’, was meant to be somewhere between, like, Gorbachev and Lincoln.

Hey, wait a minute.

Shoeless 03-15-2020 08:15 PM

Kevin Tighe. He was a good guy on that "Emergency" TV show back in the 70s, but I don't think I've ever seen him in anything since where he wasn't just a complete sonofabitch.

glowacks 03-15-2020 08:19 PM

Giancarlo Esposito was definitely a good guy in The Usual Suspects and Derailed. The former is not exactly a low-profile movie.

Alpha Twit 03-15-2020 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shoeless (Post 22192047)
Kevin Tighe. He was a good guy on that "Emergency" TV show back in the 70s, but I don't think I've ever seen him in anything since where he wasn't just a complete sonofabitch.

He was the club owner that hired Dalton (Patrick Swayze) in Road House. I thought he was a decent enough guy backed into a nasty situation.

Alpha Twit 03-15-2020 08:22 PM

double post - NM

Lamoral 03-15-2020 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alpha Twit (Post 22191871)
In The Wrestler, yeah, he's pretty much a detestable person with a constant stream of selfish and destructive choices behind him. I'm not saying I don't feel for the guy but he's not a mensch by any means.

He's not a "scumbag" though, he's a flawed character who has made mistakes and had ups and downs in life but generally tries to do the right thing.

Micky Rourke would not have earned so much praise for that role if his character was totally unsymapthetic.

Skywatcher 03-16-2020 12:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sefton (Post 22191778)
Billy Drago has played a villain in everything I've seen him in.

He's an anti-hero in that Tremors prequel.

Alpha Twit 03-16-2020 05:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lamoral (Post 22192276)
He's not a "scumbag" though, he's a flawed character who has made mistakes and had ups and downs in life but generally tries to do the right thing.

"Scumbag" is such an infinitely debatable that it's probably not worth discussing it here. Suffice it to say that I see that character as the kind of person who consistently make poor choices and uses them to drag down everyone around him. He's not the kind of person with whom I would choose to associate. If that's my flaw, so be it. I'll own it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lamoral (Post 22192276)
Micky Rourke would not have earned so much praise for that role if his character was totally unsymapthetic.

I would see this as high praise for Rourke's talent. The fact that he can take such an unsympathetic character and let us still feel something for him speaks volumes about the performer. Let's be honest here as well, a character with "a constant stream of selfish and destructive choices behind him" cuts pretty close to the bone for Rourke. He understands that character in way that most of us couldn't.

jerez 03-16-2020 06:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alpha Twit (Post 22192596)
...I would see this as high praise for Rourke's talent. The fact that he can take such an unsympathetic character and let us still feel something for him speaks volumes about the performer. Let's be honest here as well, a character with "a constant stream of selfish and destructive choices behind him" cuts pretty close to the bone for Rourke. He understands that character in way that most of us couldn't.

Don't you think that's part of the job description? Of course only the good ones can pull it off. I'm thinking Newman, Hoffman, Pacino...

I haven't seen The Wrestler.

steepone 03-16-2020 06:02 AM

Bruce Dern would have to be up there

jerez 03-16-2020 06:43 AM

How about Wilford Brimley? When the characters he portrays aren't dangerous or sinister, they're stern and surly. I haven't seen him in many films, though, so I don't know about his career average.

Biggirl 03-16-2020 06:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jerez (Post 22192640)
How about Wilford Brimley? When the characters he portrays aren't dangerous or sinister, they're stern and surly. I haven't seen him in many films, though, so I don't know about his career average.

I've seen Cocoon and cannot think of him as a bad guy. He also wants me to eat my oatmeal so I don't get diabeetus, so he can't be all bad.

kaylasdad99 03-16-2020 08:06 AM

I don’t get to see a large number of things, but Frank Langella springs to mind.

Hermitian 03-16-2020 08:21 AM

I can't believe no one has mentioned Alan Rickman.

Elendil's Heir 03-16-2020 08:45 AM

I can think of two good-guy roles for Wilford Brimley off the top of my head. He was the assistant nuclear engineer in The China Syndrome who heroically speaks up at the end of the movie, defending the Jack Lemmon character against the corporate slander that was trying make him out to be a nut. That was actually the first movie I ever saw him in.

He also was the kick-ass-and-take-no-prisoners assistant U.S. attorney general at the end of Absence of Malice who came in, almost as a deus ex machina character, to mete out judgment. A great scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btqB...jlPWor&index=1

Other than The Firm, I can't think of any bad-guy roles for him.

Shoeless 03-16-2020 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by steepone (Post 22192604)
Bruce Dern would have to be up there

Greatest "crazy guy" ratio, maybe...

Robot Arm 03-16-2020 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir (Post 22192780)
I can think of two good-guy roles for Wilford Brimley off the top of my head. He was the assistant nuclear engineer in The China Syndrome who heroically speaks up at the end of the movie, defending the Jack Lemmon character against the corporate slander that was trying make him out to be a nut. That was actually the first movie I ever saw him in.

He also was the kick-ass-and-take-no-prisoners assistant U.S. attorney general at the end of Absence of Malice who came in, almost as a deus ex machina character, to mete out judgment. A great scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btqB...jlPWor&index=1

Check out Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins someday. Brimley plays the head of a secret government agency who recruits an ex-cop (Fred Ward), has him trained by a Korean martial arts master (Joel Grey), and then sends him to bring down a corrupt defense contractor. I wouldn't quite say it's a great movie, but it's so much better than it should have been.

jerez 03-16-2020 11:00 AM

It may be that Brimley has just a few bad-guy roles and that they're among the few films of his I've seen. The Firm is one, for sure, and maybe I've only seen a few more.

x-ray vision 03-16-2020 11:34 AM

Malcolm McDowell has to be up there. And two guys that played Dracula- Christopher Lee and Gary Oldman.

lissener 03-16-2020 12:01 PM

Esposito was the hero/martyr in one of the greatest political satires ever made, "Bob Roberts." He works so well as a bad guy, for me, that I always think of him , deep down, the decent guy he played in that.

Adding to the list:

Fairuza Balk
Tobin Bell
Robert Carlyle
Glenn Close
Charles Dance
Bette Davis
Brad Dourif
Michael Emerson
William Forsyth
John Glover
Sidney Greenstreet
Sid Haig
Margaret Hamilton
Angelica Huston
Burl Ives
Brion James
Boris Karloff
Udo Kier
Peter Lorre
Bela Lugosi
John Carroll Lynch
Mercedes McCambridge
Malcolm McDowell
Tom Noonan
Michael Rooker
Robert Ryan
Rade Serbedzija
Peter Stormare
Jo Van Fleet
J.T. Walsh
Michael Wincott
James Woods

drad dog 03-16-2020 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by x-ray vision (Post 22193134)
Malcolm McDowell has to be up there. And two guys that played Dracula- Christopher Lee and Gary Oldman.

He is even more famous for being the british anti-hero, even clockwork orange had that going.

drad dog 03-16-2020 12:35 PM

Rondo Hatton

Jasmine 03-16-2020 12:36 PM

Since someone already mentioned Christopher Walken, I'll name Gary Oldman.

Gatopescado 03-16-2020 12:42 PM

Does Tarantino count? Is he an actor? Or does he not count because he's an actual asshole? Hard to say...

drad dog 03-16-2020 12:42 PM

Rondo Hatton

krondys 03-16-2020 01:04 PM

Robert Z'Dar - even his name seems comically villainous.


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