You and I both know that you’re supposed to hate the villain, but there are times when you simply can’t help but fall for them — sometimes to the extent that you will them to defeat the hero.
I’ve picked ten excellent villains from TV and film that all share one thing in common — they’re evil and you absolutely love them for it.
He’s the sharply dressed, silver-tongued, criminal mastermind from the outstanding Justified — the most-underrated TV show of the 21st century. He’s also the man who inspired this list: it’s Boyd Crowder.
Boyd begins as a neo-Nazi bank robber and ends as a drug-running kingpin — one unafraid of pulling the trigger on those who cross him.
There’s a lot to like about Boyd, including his gorgeous dialogue and impossibly white teeth. But the thing that’ll level you is the tender love he has for Southern belle, Ava Crowder.
Intellectual, cultured and utterly brutal, Hannibal Lector is the titular serial killer from the much loved TV-adaptation of Thomas Harris’ brilliant series of novels (sorry Anthony Hopkins, but Mads Mikkelsen is much more loveable).
Hannibal’s game is to kill people and eat them. And it is a game for him; his commitment to pageantry is almost as strong as his lust for blood.
He’s so charming and brilliant that there’s ample reason to fall for Hannibal. However, it’s his lack of humanity that draws you in. This fools you into believing there’s something lurking beneath the surface that you can tease out — there isn’t.
Spike is one of the most enduring villains from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and one of a host of great baddies offered by the show — The Mayor so nearly made it onto our list and Faith was even closer.
Spike sucks people’s blood, he turns people into vampires, and he seeks to bring hell on Earth — literally. All of which see him get a high mark on the villainy scale.
Despite and perhaps because of his despicable nature, Spike is insanely cool; he’s Billy Idol made into a villain, but much, much cooler. Making him an easy villain to fall in love with.
Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis has been portrayed by many great actors but one stands above the rest for his ability to take your heart away: Andrew Scott in Sherlock, AKA the sexy priest from Fleabag.
Moriarty is a master criminal, a genius who controls the criminal underworld and bends nation-states to his will.
Yes, Andrew Scott looks the part but that’s his most attractive quality. What really suckers you are his brilliant schemes — tell me now you don’t want to be part of one and I’ll call you out for being the liar that you are.
Stoic, ruthless, and faceless for portions of the television series Breaking Bad and its prequel Better Call Saul, Gus Fring is the finest criminal creation of the greatest screenwriter this side of the millennium: Vince Gilligan.
Gus is disciplined, calculating, and genuinely evil — the story of him and the coati is perhaps the moment that best demonstrates this last point.
Well-dressed, smart, and with a love of cooking, Gus has plenty going for him. But what gets you going is his soothing voice — it’ll stop you right in your tracks.
Miranda Priestly is the vicious, powerful editor-in-chief of fictional fashion magazine Runway makes the lives of her subordinates a living hell — the literal devil from The Devil Wears Prada.
Hellbent on making the lives of her employees a misery, Miranda has a catalogue of bad behaviours that you can only truly absorb by seeing them on-screen or reading about them in the book.
You’ll hate the way Miranda acts to people but a part of you will love the clarity of her mind — she has complete certainty in her decision-making — and it’ll make you sick to your stomach.
Batman’s troubled nemesis has been memorably portrayed by some incredible actors. However, the one I’m opting for is the obvious one: Heath Ledger.
Joker terrorises Gotham City; he and his gang of thugs lie, cheat, steal, and kill their way to the top of a pile of sickening criminals, with the general public used as collateral.
Alfred best describes Joker when he offers the view that he’s someone who just wants to watch the world burn. In other words, he’s a rebel without a cause and that’s really hot.
Patrick Bateman is the slick back psychopath from American Pyscho who has the job, apartment, and looks to die for but gets his kicks from killing people.
Yes, Bateman is a murderer but the most disgusting thing about him is his taste in music — his belief that Phil Collins wrote the ‘most moving pop song of the 1980’ is truly vomit-inducing.
Bateman really does look the part and leaves you feeling a little guilty for focusing on his gorgeous appearance; after all, the point of American Pyscho is that the real evil of society is the focus on vapid style over real substance.
Leader of the rebel mutants in X-Men, Magneto takes his desire to protect his kind to such extreme lengths that he’s willing to end the lives of humans who stand in his way.
Like the best Marvel characters, Magneto’s storyline shifts and evolves to keep you on your toes. However, the times when he most ably serves the role of the villain is when he believes humanity should be ruled by mutants.
What really makes you fall in love with Magneto is the sadness of his story — I won’t give you any spoilers, but all I’ll say is watch X-Men: Apocalypse and you’ll understand.
She’s the leader of the plastics and one of the least likeable villains I’ve come across; Regina George is queen b**** from Mean Girls.
Regina does so many bad things that you’d think it’s hard to find the worst one. It’s not — her worst act is the ‘Burn Book’.
You don’t fall in love with Regina in the same way you do with any of the other villains in this list. Instead, you just really, really fall in love with her downfall. Because even if you’ve not been picked on by the character she represents, you know someone who has and seeing her burn is just so satisfying.
There you have it: ten great villains from the small and silver screen. You might start off hating them but you’ll end up loving them. Well, except for Regina George.