5 Comedy Actors Who Played Villains And Didn't Suck, Surprisingly
Not only did these comedy legends show us that they could be serious, they proved themselves capable of playing the villain.
It’s far too easy nowadays for actors to get stuck in the genre they’re famous for.
When it comes to comedy actors, they are often only associated with making us laugh, but sometimes they turn the tables and make us shudder.
Robin Williams - Insomnia (2002)
His psychopathic role in this dark thriller truly stood out, and proved his versatility.
The late American actor and comedian was known as one of the greatest humorists of all time, and had a long list of family-fun films and comedies behind his name, like Mrs. Doubtfire, Night at the Museum and RV. Willams was no stranger to deviating from comedy (Good Will Hunting), but his villainous performance in Insomnia was a shocking contrast to what his fans were accustomed to.
Danny DeVito - Batman Returns (1992)
Danny DeVito’s stature and rather unique appearance have made him memorable in almost every role he has played, from Matilda’s cranky, morally corrupt father to the universally hated Louie in ABC’s Taxi. With a long list of comedies behind his name, it's surprising to see that his role as a murderous antihero is what he is most associated with.
DeVito would have seemed like an odd choice for the role of the Penguin in Batman Returns, but he made a truly terrifying, memorable villain.
Paul Reubens - Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)
Paul Reubens, globally famous as Pee-wee Herman, created another memorable character, this time as a quirky villain.
Reubens allegedly jumped at the opportunity to join the Buffy cast, bringing to life the overly-dramatic, gothic vampire named Amilyn, right-hand man to the vampire overlord.
Steve Carrell - Foxcatcher (2014)
After years of delivering awkward jokes as Michael Scott on NBC’s beloved sitcom The Office, along with other comedy films including The 40-year-old Virgin and Despicable Me, this American actor and comedian turned to the dark side, taking on the role of John Du Pont in Foxcatcher.
The biographical psychological thriller is based loosely on true events, with Carrell’s performance as the unsettlingly calm, calculated Du Pont earning him critical acclaim.
Kevin James - Becky (2020)
It's almost impossible not to look at comedy legend Kevin James and think of his roles in Mall Cop and Grown Ups, but his acting portfolio extends beyond just a loveable goof, in fact, his character in Becky was quite the opposite. James played a neo-nazi and ex-convict, proving himself to be a cold blooded killer.
Not only was the role a far cry from his comedy roots, but James' completely changed appearance, with a shaved head and a beard, made him frightening and intimidating.