No matter how big someone is today, they had to start somewhere at some point in time. And it is always fun to dig a superstar’s past and discover the roles they had played before becoming popular. The film industry has pushed out numerous villains in the comic book, suspense, and action genre over the decades. So, almost every artist has had an evil role in their resume to make that jump to the centre stage. However, we are still taken aback when our favourite actors, who are globally celebrated and usually play heroes that save lives, are spotted in older movies as sinister character when no one knew them that well. So, here are the 10 Hollywood stars you forgot played villains in famous movies.
There was a time when Iron Man aka one of the highest-earning stars was struggling to land a decent role. His personal life shenanigans with dr*gs, trespassing and inevitable run-ins with the law had interrupted his movie career during the ’90s. That brat image earned him not one but two villainous roles in “U.S. Marshals” and “In Dreams”. It’s too hard to even imagine RDJ, the MCU hero, as a long-haired serial killer now.
These days when we talk about the most popular stars who are breaking box office records, internet and taking home the highest paychecks, “The Rock” will always surface. But it took some years before cinema lovers came across the wrestling personality on the silver screen. Dwayne owes his big break to his CGI head on a scorpion’s body in “The Mummy Returns”.
Oh yes! The face of the ultimate Marvel superhero, Captain Marvel, was once evil in another comic book movie. Brie Larson started as a child actor and eventually caught attention for her powerful acting. But it wasn’t until playing Captain Marvel, who stands for justice and righteousness, in one of the biggest studios that her career skyrocketed towards international fame. During her real-life early battles with Hollywood projects, Brie landed an evil role as Scott’s ex, Envy Adams, in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”. Not just Captain Marvel, but even Captain America star Chris Evans also appeared as one of the evil exes.
One of the most energetic actors in the industry currently, Tom Hardy has had an eclectic mix of characters throughout his journey. But long before he took us by storm as Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises”, Max in “Mad Max: Fury Road”, and the titular Venom, Hardy played the Reman leader, Shinzo in “Star Trek: Nemesis” who wanted to wipe out the entire universe.
Christian Bale is a blessing to Hollywood where has worked since a child actor. Among several hit films under his belt, it was “American Psycho” that got him recognized first. Its success overshadowed another movie of Bale that released in the same year. He played a villain as a racist rich guy in “Shaft” opposite Samuel L. Jackson.
The relationship between Sam Rockwell and evil characters goes long way back. Now popularly remembered as Justin Hammer from “Iron Man 2”, Hammer has been representing all sorts of villains that Hollywood had to offer. From the President of the Galaxy in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” to a prisoner and biased cop in “Wild Bill” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, Rockwell can nail any sadistic character. He was destined for it ever since he first played a villain called “Head Thud” in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.
Russell Crow rose to prominence after his exceptional performance in “Gladiator”. But during his lesser-known days, the actor portrayed a Sadistic, Intelligent, and Dangerous cyborg aka SID 6.7 in “Virtuosity” who was created from the personalities of serial killers. Starring opposite Denzel Washington’s ex-cop in this crime thriller was a stepping stone in his career.
The handsome Daniel Craig wasn’t playing heroic roles like James Bond in tuxedo since forever. He has had his own share of sinister roles before becoming the face of the Bond franchise. Craig took our breath away in his shirtless appearance as the unethical treasure hunter, Alex West in “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” starring Angelina Jolie.
Joseph Gordon- Levitt
Joseph has worked really hard through prosthetics roles to reach iconic films like “Inception”, “The Dark Knight Rises”, and “Looper”. He played the Baroness’ brother, Rex in “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” opposite Channing Tatum where his character soon descended to evil motives and became the COBRA Commander.
The pride and most versatile actor of the industry, Tilda Swinton is almost unrecognizable in every movie. So, no one can be blamed for not remembering or recognizing some of her characters. Not all her projects star her as the wise, the Ancient One in “Doctor Strange”. Tilda has given us some unforgettable and extraordinary villains in “Snowpiercer”, “ Okja”, and “White Witch”. But before all these iconic roles, Tilda featured as the crazy and fierce half-angel Gabriel in “Constantine” opposite Keanu Reeves.