You know that thing when you’re watching a movie, or a TV show, and the villain is introduced, and you know you’re supposed to be rooting against him because he’s a double agent/criminal mastermind/serial killer but part of you can’t help but think, “but….he’s really handsome”? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. You’ve just encountered a Villain Hottie.
villain hottie (noun)
A bad guy/girl who is also hot.
Hannibal Lecter is a terrifying cannibal, but he’s into art and cooking and really nice suits, so we’d probably still date him even though we know he brings a whole new meaning to “wine and dine.” Classic villain hottie.
Villain Hotties come in many forms, including the traditional femme fatale, the romantic interest/double agent, or the straight up Big Bad. They may be traditionally handsome, or just possess a certain charisma that makes you think, “Yeah, I’d totally let them enact an evil plan to take over the world.”
Whatever it is, you’re hooked, and you may even find yourself more interested in the villain as a character than in the protagonist. You’re not a bad person; you know on paper it’s wrong, but something about it just feels so right. Who doesn’t love a bad boy or bad girl?
We’ve selected three ultimate villain hotties to expand upon our passion and vast knowledge on the subject. DISCLAIMER: We do not condone the actions of the villain hotties below. Also, you’ll notice we’re just a couple of gals who like to talk about hot dudes. We welcome inclusion of villain hotties of all genders, and this rebuttal from our fellow fellow Prompt staffers.
Sorry, dads of the world. My pick for villain hottie is Kylo Ren, son of the coolest fictional character to ever grace the screen. He’s got some Skywalker-Force blood in him, and a lot of pent up (genetic) anger. And spoiler alert, he put a fucking lightsaber through HAN SOLO. Let’s break down what makes Kylo an ideal villain.
He’s associated with the First Order, which “rose from the ashes of the Empire” and destroys entire star systems for funsies. Not great company to keep. He’s also training to be a Sith Lord. We know from previous installments that the Sith enjoy the murder of younglings and Sand People, cut Jedi masters in half, and deal in absolutes.
So to explain that for the non-nerds, Kylo loves people who love murder!
Pretty evil, definitely villainous. However, he does have a sympathetic side to him. Despite how truly badass it was, he doesn’t seem pumped that he murdered Han Solo. He also appears to have a soft spot for Rey. And even Princess Leia feels there is good in him. Is there redemption on the horizon for Kylo? I hope so. His inner conflict makes him a thousand times hotter.
Let’s also talk about what makes Kylo a hottie. He is played by talented actor Adam Driver. I may be a little biased since I a) enjoy Adam Driver’s other performances in various shows and films such as Girls, Frances Ha, and Midnight Special, and b) find Adam Driver to be compelling and very physically attractive.
My physical attraction to him is often difficult to explain to people, since he has distinct features and does not fit the traditional definition of “handsome.” I can really only refer to you an excellent Saturday Night Live sketch where the female SNL cast members try to explain why Benedict Cumberbatch is hot. It’s a similar explosion of noises and facial gestures. So, back off. I love Adam Driver.
As Kylo Ren, Adam Driver’s hair is in-CRED-ible. He has the most luscious, flowing locks ever to be seen in the Star Wars saga, which, need I remind you, began in the 1970s, the era of Farrah Fawcett. I have no idea how his hair was FLAWLESS while wearing a helmet for three- quarters of the movie. I don’t get how it remains flawless, drenched in sweat and snow while fighting Rey and Finn. His hair is impossible in its perfection, achieving a perfect combination never seen before: it’s both feathered and lethal.
Kylo’s combo of hot face/hair/bod with his intimidating presence and Force power all make him my pick for favorite villain hottie.
I know, I know. I’ll be the first to admit that “hottie” isn’t the exact right term here, since we are talking about an animated character in a children’s movie. But Hans exemplifies all the other key traits of Villain Hottie-dom, so he is well worth a closer look.
The brilliance of Hans as a character is how the audience is made to think he’s going to be the classic Disney Prince that comes in to sweep Anna off her feet and save the day. Hans has it all: perfectly-coiffed hair, dapper clothes, and chivalrous manners. He’s Prince Eric with a sympathetic backstory, Prince Philip with a sense of humor. His smile alone could surely melt Elsa’s ice fortress.
He and Anna have a perfect meet cute, and even sing an instant-classic Disney duet. The fact that he’s voiced by Santino Fontana, who can really, like really sing, and dance, doesn’t hurt. Sure, his immediate proposal and Anna’s acceptance of it seem a little rushed, but it would be par for the course of years of similar stories in Disney movies and romcoms alike. If anything, the intensity of Hans’ feelings for Anna make him even more attractive to the audience. It shows he’s both sensitive and strong, as he immediately embarks on a classic noble quest to save Anna. We’re swept off our feet right alongside Anna, and are rooting hard for Hans to save her and make her happy.
All of this serves to make his villainous reveal all the more devastating. Dare I say, one of the most devastating in cinematic history? The packed theater in which I saw Frozen certainly seemed to think so, based on the wave of audible gasps when, instead of saving Anna, Hans delivers this brutal line. I can’t think of a more extreme reaction to any villain hottie I’ve seen, animated or no.
It turns out Hans has been playing a role the whole time, and playing it perfectly. Everything attractive about him is played up intentionally to get Anna, and us, to fall for him. He’s not just a villain who happens to be a hottie, but rather a calculating one who uses his good looks in service of his villainy.
His evil plan is next-level, even for a Disney villain: The only reason he wants to marry Anna is so that he can rule her kingdom after killing her sister Elsa, and presumably Anna herself. He goes to such great lengths of deception and manipulation to (almost) enact his plan and utterly betray both Anna and the audience that it solidifies his place in the Villain Hottie Hall of Fame.
Paul Spector has two extreme advantages when it comes to his villain hottie-dom: super soft-looking sweaters, and a Northern Irish accent. His element of villainy is also unfortunately high: He is a serial killer, and his victims are primarily young, successful working women whom he murders in brutal ways.
On paper, Paul is truly a dirtbag. He’s an insecure misogynist who uses murder as an outlet for his unresolved anger. Paul uses physical violence against his victims, carries out an affair with a teenager, and abandons his wife and children in his crime spree. He plays mind games with Stella Gibson, the investigator assigned to his case, and is overall just a really sad, shitty guy. Paul is a standard lady-hating serial killer, and is without question a villain with a capital V.
Paul’s redeeming qualities are sparse, but in the time we see him not murdering ladies and painting the nails on their dead bodies, we see him being a loving dad to his daughter. It’s heartbreaking and bittersweet, and definitely makes you feel a little confused about all of the murder stuff.
Paul Spector is played by noted handsome actor Jamie Dornan. Jamie Dornan also plays the role of Christian Grey, the title role in the romance (?) franchise Fifty Shades of Grey. Dornan has a very chiseled face, the perfect level of facial hair, and a truly tight body. And did we mention the sweaters and the accent?
In The Fall, Paul knows how attractive he is to women, and uses it to his advantage when committing his crimes, bringing his combination of hotness and villainy to the ultimate level.
So the next time you sit down to enjoy an action-adventure or thriller-noir, or even the latest bingeworthy TV drama, look out for the villain hottie. You know we’ll find them.