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10 Respected Actors Who Completely Hammed It Up To Play Flamboyant Villains

There's a certain type of villain that could only exist in the movies. Inherently ostentatious and unrestrained, this charismatic sort of bad guy constitutes a cinematic niche, and only come along every so often. They're an unpredictable if totally unrealistic treat, making for riveting viewing where more plausible movie villains sometimes don't, largely because they're so gloriously OTT. And when such a villain is brought to life by an actor you might normally find producing less showy work, it's even more unexpected still. As the actor has some fun, by letting go of inhibitions and letting the ham guide him instead, the flamboyant movie villain can be sheer joy to behold. Through loud clothing, louder line delivery and often broadly camp mannerisms, these colourful villains always threaten to steal the movie they're not even the stars in. It doesn't always work. 'Extravagant' is the word here. 'Overtly theatrical' are two more. And it's because the flamboyant villain can go so wrong that the type is used only sparingly. Featured in this list are ten respected actors who hammed it up large, choosing to go big or go home in order to create baddies so histrionic you could hear them from miles away.
Contributor
Contributor

Lover of film, writer of words, pretentious beyond belief. Thinks Scorsese and Kubrick are the kings of cinema, but PT Anderson and David Fincher are the dashing young princes. Follow Brogan on twitter if you can take shameless self-promotion: @BroganMorris1