Tainted Love

Man Candy: The Villains Edition


One of the marks of a great story is an unforgettable villain. Someone who gave you chills and scared you silly, yet impressed you with his cold intelligence. Someone who made you question the infallibility of the hero. Or confused you about the stark lines you had previously drawn between right and wrong. Not all of them start out as the "bad guy", and not all of them end up as one either. But they do become the villains we love to hate. Or hate to love! Or maybe a little bit of both.

When we are introduced to them, they're rubbing their hands in glee while plotting the end of the world or identifying the next person they're going to kill, manipulate, or torture. Creepy, scary, misunderstood, dangerous, murderous, unhinged, confused, self righteous--they can be all that and more. There are those who are almost dangerously attractive to us. We know we shouldn't, but we can't help it!

It's always fun seeing who is cast to play these characters on screen, since they are just as important as the heroes. So I thought I'd share a few villains who have left a lasting impression on me, on page, on screen, or both. The ones who make me question my own sanity!






Hannibal Lecter, from Thomas Harris's Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and the prequel Hannibal Rising, has been scaring us on page and on screen for decades. But in my opinion, he has never been as chillingly (and accurately) portrayed as he is by Mads Mikkelson in NBC's Hannibal.


Mads brings everything to Hannibal you see in the books. Class, grace, manners, intelligence, and a quiet intensity that can be chilling at times. While his nonexistent moral compass makes you want to save the people around him, you can't deny his magnetism. Or the fact that you WOULD listen to him talk for hours. And can we just look at the bone structure? Yum.



Captain James Hook from J.M. Barrie's stories of Peter Pan. I'm not talking about the character seen in most old movies. But the character whom the author himself described as "In a word, the handsomest man I have ever seen, though, at the same time, perhaps slightly disgusting." That might have had something to do with the casting of the gorgeous Colin O' Donoghue as Hook in the TV series Once Upon A Time.


Colin O' Donoghue was an unexpected surprise for most viewers. Thanks to the many animated and comedic representations of this character, I'm pretty sure no one expected to be lusting after Captain Hook. But there you have it, this man pretty much changed that. Sexy, arrogant, flirty, and with that hint of "I am dangerous," you can't help but be completely seduced.




I wondered whether or not I should add this next villain. But in the end, I decided to. A little something for everyone I say! Jim Moriarty, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Napoleon of crime." As a hardcore fan of the books from the age of ten, I can assure you there is nothing lust inducing about the book Moriarty. Most onscreen versions haven't been eye candy, either. But along came Andrew Scott and kinda changed my mind about it.


BBC's Sherlock gave Moriarty an interesting twist. As a book purist, I don't normally like my characters meddled with. But the unhinged, changeable Jim Moriarty fascinated me from the get go! Benedict Cumberbatch is by far my favorite onscreen Holmes to date, with Jeremy Brett as a close second now, (which is why he was included in Barb's book boyfriend man candy post!) but while not exactly true to the books, Andrew Scott has to be my fave Moriarty purely because he is a joy to watch. And I do love the Irish cutie. Can't quite put my finger on why.




This next one is for Barb and Beta. (You're welcome!) So anyone who has read Gaston Leroux's The Phantom Of The Opera knows Erik is a pretty unsympathetic character, torture chamber and all. Fast forward to 2004 and the onscreen version (based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical), where we had the delicious Gerard Butler as the Phantom to look forward to.


Gerry Butler surprised a lot of viewers with his vocal chops. And we were all swooning more than a little at this version of the Phantom: more tortured artist than unhinged psychopath. There was angst, singing, dramatic capes. And there was Gerard Butler, looking dashing even with the mask. So wrong, yet so hot!



Johnny Depp. With all the great roles he's played, he was bound to make it on this list. Many are familiar with The String Of Pearls: A Romance. Where Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (aka Benjamin Barker) is the main character. With all the murder and cannibalism, you wouldn't think you'd feel any sympathy at all for him. The 2007 film with Depp playing the main character abruptly changed that for many.


Watching Depp play Benjamin Barker, whose life spirals out of his control because a powerful and corrupt man covets his wife was, for me, really interesting. I had never before sympathized with the character much. But Depp made it possible to do that to a certain extent. Beyond the murder and mayhem was a man who had been forced there by circumstance. And, he looked disturbingly hot doing it.



This list wouldn't be complete with out me adding a few of my favorite comic book villains. I'm not usually happy with casting in comic book movies. They have gotten it wrong a lot in the past before getting it right. But one of my favorite casting choices was Michael Fassbender as young Magneto. When he and Charles Xavier were friends.



Fassbender is a phenomenal actor. So it comes as no surprise how compelling he was as Erik Lehnsherr aka Magneto. The fact that he is also verrry easy on the eyes was a bonus for the viewer.




Another comic book villain who was a pleasure to watch on screen: Loki, played by the amazing Tom Hiddleston. I'll be honest, in the comic book world, Loki isn't really a favorite of mine. But Hiddleston's Loki is a different creature entirely.


He has brought all his charm to the role... and that is simply irresistible! I really can't even say anything bad about this character. Yes, he does some horrid things. But I honestly can't say it detracts from how much I love Loki and Hiddleston. And his voice.... sigh.




Most of our regular readers know what huge fans of the Chicagoland Vampires series we are. Chloe Neill is one of our favorite authors and writes the absolute best characters! Those who have read the series will remember Seth Tate, mayor of Chicago, one of the antagonists in the series later on. Who better to play the handsome politician than Rob Lowe?


First of all, he looks great is a suit. And I think he would be perfect as both Tate and Dominic. Look at him: classically handsome, sophisticated. You can just see him calling Merit "Ballerina" with fondness. All the while being an unrelenting player in his office as questionable things go on around him.



Gregor, the Dreamsnatcher, from the fourth Cat & Bones book, Destined For An Early Grave, has to be included in this list. Tall, blonde, dangerous, and sexy, there's only one man who comes to mind. The very beautiful Alexander Skarsgard. 



Gregor, a vampire, attempts to seduce Cat away from Bones (as if!) while she sleeps. Now if anyone would have even the slightest fighting chance of that, he'd have to look like Skarsgard. We all know Alex has the sexy vamp thing down. And the dangerous edge. Not to mention we can so imagine him creeping into our dreams trying to seduce us away. While we were 100% on Bones's side when it came to Cat, it sure makes it more interesting picturing Alex as Gregor. 



I have to say that my next entry is one of my favorite onscreen villains. Klaus is the ultimate bad boy. I don't usually like the bad boys so much, but I'll be damned if Joseph Morgan's portrayal of the Original, Klaus, isn't damn near irresistible.


The man has this devil-may-care attitude that would probably annoy you in large doses on another man. He has the sexiest smirk, the cutest dimples, and I have to say, an emotional complexity that leaves you wanting to understand where he's coming from no matter what he does. Those pouty lips, that accent. Please, note me down as firmly in the Team Klaus corner. (Anyone else think he would make a GREAT Lestat?)




While I don't consider Jaime Lannister a villain at the point in the story where HBO's Game of Thrones TV adaptation left off last month, he was a villain to begin with. An arrogant, unapologetic one who didn't think twice about pushing a child out of a window. That being said, more than a few of us sat up and paid attention when Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was cast as Jaime.


All that blond gorgeousness is impossible not to appreciate. And he's one of those bad guys whose journey to redemption we want to enjoy. Is it just because he's so pretty? Not really. But it doesn't hurt!




Damon Salvatore. Not really a villain either, but when we are first introduced to him, he was a relentless, impulsive killer (and a moody one at that.) This is for a lot of the Wenches. The ones who cannot resist his sexy smirks and crazy beautiful eyes.


Would everyone have loved Damon if the lovely Ian Somerhalder hadn't been cast? Thankfully, we'll never have to find out! Those eyes, that smile. We love watching this unpredictable bad boy get his vamp on in The Vampire Diaries.



Guy of Gisborne from English folklore is one of the most well known villains to many people. Even on screen, he is usually portrayed as an evil, petty man forcing his attentions on the poor Maid Marian. My favorite onscreen portrayal of Guy is definitely that of Richard Armitage in the BBC production of Robin Hood. 


It's not exactly news here that I adore Richard Armitage. For many reasons. His version of Guy, struggling to be a better man in the eyes of the woman he loves while serving the Sheriff, tugs on many a fangirl's heartstrings. And damn, does he look sexy as hell doing it.



Bram Stoker's Dracula is one of my favorite books of all time. One of the first books I owned as a child. I have never really been happy with the onscreen versions of the story or the character. Gerard Butler was a sexy Dracula in Dracula 2000... but still not true to the original. NBC's choice of Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Dracula in the new series seems very promising.


I can totally see JRM as the Count, once he's had his fill of blood and looks more youthful than when we first encounter him. This can be the man who seduces women, and men, into giving up their blood and lives to him. We're definitely anticipating this series around here!




Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray is a very different sort of villain in literature. His vanity and corruption span decades, and you can almost forgive him for how it all came about. We all know it started with him posing for a painting, that he was a beautiful young man who wished that his painting grew old instead of him.


Ben Barnes was pretty amazing in the onscreen adaptation of the book. Hollywood always takes liberties with the original stories, but Barnes's Gray was very true to the original. And wonderful to watch. The always-handsome Dorian who lives his long life full of vice, you actually see the innocence and purity disappear from his face, to be replaced with cynicism and corruption. And as much as it sucks, he looks pretty darn good doing whatever it is that he is doing.



We couldn't really find a villain for the gorgeous David Gandy to represent, but we wouldn't be us if we didn't include him anyway! 


This man has the intensity, the raw sexuality, and the glint in his eyes to portray the most dangerous of baddies—the one you WANT to give in to. Let's face it, he could tempt a nun out of her habit. Sign us up for the dark side if he's there! 



Who are some of your favorite villains, Saucy Readers? We hope you'll share them with us! Maybe we'll include them in our next visual tribute to the villains we love to hate!!


  * Pics and gifs from tumblr
** David Gandy pics from davidjamesgandy.blogspot.com

Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Thanks for the drool worthy post.. I must say yummy!!! :)

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  3. *Fan self with a dash of drool and a whole bunch of swoon* I loved this post Zee, I had to go through it twice, first all I could see were the pics and afterwards I realized you wrote something with them ;)
    ... special thank you for your excellent choice of our Gerard and your shout out, mm mm mmmm and damn there were a whole lot more men going around up there that you know I absolutely flove!

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    1. Hehe you're welcome Beta :) glad you enjoyed it!

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  4. For the older woman, Keith Lee Castle as Count Dracula in CBBC's 'Young Dracula' is quite drool worthy.

    Also, totally agree on Andrew Scott!

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    1. I shall check Keith Lee Castle out! Can't remember him at this moment :)

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  5. Zee, I loved you post. Big thumbs up from me for having Nikolaj in there too. Mwah. Nothing like a little man candy to brighten up a Friday.

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    1. I knew you'd appreciate the Nikolaj :D

      You're welcome!

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  6. Love the post and the list. ;) I love Loki and can't wait for the new Thor movie to come out. I did miss a few women on the list here, The Evil Queen from OUAT, Annie Wilkes from Misery, Catwoman, Nurse Ratched, Bellatrix, etc.

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    1. This actually made me think about doing a villains post about my fave female villains! This one was just a man candy post though :)

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    2. I know, I just always want to see Regina in any sexy villain post... :D LOL
      I hope you do the post because this one was great.

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    3. THANKS :D

      And I will keep Regina in mind :D

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