Villians..... Why always English?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Neil Joseph, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I hale from jolly ol' England myself so here I am wondering why all the villians in films (even animated ones) are always English. For example...

    - 101 Dalmatians

    - Tarzan

    - Hook

    - Braveheart

    and even films where the villian should obviously not be English (Lion King, Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Gladiator, Jungle Book for example) the accent is English
     
  2. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    And when the villains are supposed to be German, they are still played by Englishmen, e.g. Die Hard 1 and 3, I don't know maybe its because the Brits make movie villains more classy, the American villain in Die Hard 2 just seemed brutish compared to the suave Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons, whaddya think?[​IMG]
    Even when a villain is played by an American like John Lithgow in Cliffhanger, he adopts an English accent for some reason, but it was hysterically funny.
    The English are great at playing villains, while Americans are good at playing heroes, you know like Keanu Reeves and Wesley Snipes, hows that?[​IMG]
     
  3. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I have heard that Japanesse movies have Americans as the villians. I don't think we're picking on you, but it is easier when they are foreigners.

    Glenn
     
  4. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    I'd prefer if the villains were snooty frenchmen, but then they'd probably run away from the heroes in that sort of girly run they do and it would be more of a Monty Python show.

    PS Most french people I know are cool, but it's such a fun stereotype.
     
  5. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    The English are the only group its "OK" to pick on [​IMG]
     
  6. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    That's why we Scots are so popular around the world - we're all united in hating the English!! [​IMG]
     
  7. Leo Hinze

    Leo Hinze Stunt Coordinator

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    Because the English are cheeky bastards.

    Why do the bad guys always have facial hair? Like the evil Michael Knight?
     
  8. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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    Hmmmph. I always just thought they cast english guys as villains because in real life so many of them ARE evil wankers. :Þ

    (My favorite professor was Welch and would call people "wankers" all the time.)

    In seriousness, I guess it is the accent a good bit. It's just enough to be different, as well as it *can* make them sound "snootier" so the audience will root against them.

    Voices don't get much sexier than a woman with a british accent, though. I'll always root for the evil villainess if she has a british accent. I simply can't resist her charms as she describes her sinful exploits in such an enchanting manner.
     
  9. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Maybe it has something to do with a little disagreement we had with the English in the late 1700's.
     
  10. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    Because both God and the Devil are Englishmen![​IMG]
    "Whenever I see Sir Arthur, I'm reminded that God must be an Englishman."
    -From 55 Days at Peking
     
  11. Scott Dill

    Scott Dill Stunt Coordinator

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    It's not our fault you guys are so evil. [​IMG]
     
  12. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Who gives a shit? The villain always has the best part!
     
  13. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    ...mind you, I did half-expect Randall Wallace to rewrite the story of Perl Harbour so that Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancaster bombers attack... [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    Brad_V - I think you mean Welsh!!! Welch means something different. You may now find yourself targetted for termination by some of the more extreme Cymric groups! [​IMG]
    And yes - we are evil. Very, very evil.[​IMG]
     
  15. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    ... AND the British have a pool of better actors.

    It takes a better actor to play a villain than it takes to play a nice guy.

    Cees
     
  16. andrew markworthy

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    Cees, damnit, you've posted just what I was going to say!

    At another level of response, I think it may have something to do with American perceptions. Well, duh, you say, but let me carry on. The sorts of villains we're talking about are the 'smooth criminal' type. The English upper classes are associated with a particular type of suave sophistication and breeding, and so the contrast of this with criminality is an interesting one. You could choose characters from e.g. a New Englander background who would be equally fitting, but I think that you folks across the Herring Pond still have a subconscious respect for 'true' aristocracy. Also, the idea of a foreigner in the midst may add a frisson to the situation. When Americans want a low-life villain or one with clear low-life origins, then you guys choose someone from a marginalised group within the USA (e.g. Cuban American, Italian American) rather than the UK.
     
  17. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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    Its really quite simple. The French, who are the obvious choice for a bad guy in any film take themselves too seriously. Imagine if, in reaction to a Frenchie being portrayed as the villian, the French decided to stop exporting to us. Where would we get real champagne? Who would send us Brie? My God, where would we get French Toast???
     
  18. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Did you hear about the new French ARMY tank? It has 6 reverse gears, and one forward gear. Just in case zee Germans decide to sneak-up from behind[​IMG]
     
  19. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    But then again... Austrian accents are solely used by hero's [​IMG] (as if you guys could discriminate between German and Austrian accents [​IMG] ).
    And we have produced two villains as well: Rutger Hauer (who even became a good guy now and then), and Jeroen Krabbé.
    Well, in the vain of this thread topic, immediately when I saw Jeroen Krabbé playing a character in The Fugitive (which is early in the film), I realized
    he did it!
    (Mmm, I don't know for sure if director Paul Verhoeven counts as a hero or as a villain ...)
    Cees
     
  20. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

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    I remember seeing Jeroen Krabbé in an adaptation of an Agatha Christie movie and he didn't do it


    Recently, some French troops were sent to Afghanistan. Turns out they were there to teach the Taliban how to surrender.(courtesy of Jay Leno).
     

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