The 8 Greatest Movie Villains Ever Played By ‘Dracula’
There is probably no other actor today who is as adept as Gary Oldman is when it comes to playing villains, heroes, and every shade in between. Although in recent years Oldman has tended to portray protagonists such as James Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Batman triology and Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series of films, some of his most memorable roles have been his portrayals of villains. And while we love seeing Oldman play any type of character onscreen, his many roles as an antagonist demonstrate this versatile actor’s particular talent for portraying dementedly evil characters. Here are eight especially memorable villains Oldman has played over his career.
8. Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
A mostly unrecognizable Oldman plays the title character in this Francis Ford Coppola-directed film. Unlike many of the antagonists that Oldman portrays, Count Dracula comes across as a somewhat sympathetic character in spite of his major flaws — namely his propensity for murder and blood drinking. Oldman’s portrayal of the tormented Dracula won praise from critics, and the film’s impressive costumes, makeup, and sound effects garnered the film three Academy Awards.
7. Drexl Spivey in True Romance (1993)
Oldman’s portrayal of the repulsive, drug-dealing pimp Drexl in this Quentin Tarantino-penned love story was as unforgettable as it was brief. After Clarence — played by Christian Slater — marries a prostitute controlled by Drexl, Clarence confronts the dreadlocked pimp in a scene that ends in typical Tarantino fashion.
6. Norman Stansfield in Léon: The Professional (1994)
Directed by Luc Besson of La Femme Nikita fame, this film about a professional assassin who saves a young girl’s life featured Oldman in one of his most memorable roles. Oldman plays Norman Stansfield, a corrupt and psychotic Drug Enforcement Agency agent with a tendency to suddenly scream out orders. While Oldman’s over-the-top performance in this film was criticized by some reviewers, others felt he deserved EV-ERY ONE of the acting awards for this role.
5. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg in The Fifth Element (1997)
Oldman teamed up with Besson once again for this extravagant science fiction film about the search for an ancient weapon that will protect the earth from destruction by the Great Evil. Oldman plays Zorg, a greedy businessman who is manipulated by the Great Evil into searching for the mythical weapon. Like he did in Dracula, Oldman once again proves in this film that there is no accent or hairstyle that is too bizarre for him.
4. Ivan Korshunov in Air Force One (1997)
In this action film, Oldman plays a ruthless terrorist who takes the U.S. president hostage in an attempt to win the release of a notorious dictator. After executing and torturing multiple members of the president’s entourage, Korshunov engages in a life-or-death battle with the president himself, played by Harrison Ford. Guess who wins?
3. Shelly Runyon in The Contender (2000)
In this political thriller, Oldman once again plays a character that is at odds with the president. However, rather than using violence and murder like the terrorist he portrayed in Air Force One, Oldman’s character in this film employs rumors and innuendo to attack his opponents. Jeff Bridges plays the president in this film, while Joan Allen plays a senator who Runyon is trying to prevent from being named vice president.
2. Mason Verger in Hannibal (2001)
In this Ridley Scott-directed sequel to the critically acclaimed The Silence of the Lambs, Oldman plays a wealthy child molester who was left horribly disfigured after an encounter with the serial killer Hannibal Lecter. Verger hatches a gruesome plot to exact his revenge on Lecter, but let’s just say things don’t work out as planned. As seen in the clip above, Oldman was completely unrecognizable in this role due to the heavy makeup his character required.
1. Carnegie in The Book of Eli (2010)
Oldman plays the antagonist to Eli — the protagonist, played by Denzel Washington — in this dystopian action film set in a post-apocalyptic future. Carnegie is a ruthless small-town tyrant who is searching for a particular book in order to extend his power. As seen in the clip above, Oldman exudes a menacing violence even as he tries to talk Eli into giving up the book.
All movie cast, crew, and awards information courtesy of IMDb.
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