A Lesson on How to be a Villain

To be a great villain requires more than merely being rotten to the core. The best bad guys are multi-dimensional and unpredictable. With each patronizing grin, disdainful remark and narcissistic fit, Alan Rickman elevates the role of a villain from the plain ol’ bastard to a bastard coated bastard with bastard filling. Actors take note. We’ve picked our four favorite Rickman villains to illustrate the ultimate lessons in how to be a villain, the Alan Rickman way.

The Faces

1 Sheriff of Nottingham
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
2 Severus Snape
Harry Potter Series
3 Hans Gruber
Die Hard
4 Elliot Marston
Quigley Down Under

Step 1: Establish the Setting

Even though his home base is England, Alan Rickman’s villainy knows no bounds.

Exhibit A: Map of Misery

1 Nottingham
East Midlands, England
2 Hogwarts
Somewhere in Scotland
3 Nakatomi Plaza
Los Angeles, California
4 Western Outback

timeline of terror

Exhibit B: Timeline of Terror

Step 2: Perfect The Look

Fashion Accessories
1 Medieval David Lee Roth ensemble
2 Wizard robes complete with cape
3 Wool trench coat over suit
4 Cowboy duster and hat
the look
The messy mullet
The emo
The pencil-thin
The handlebar

Exhibit C: Hairstyles & facial hair

1 Bow & Arrow 2 Wand
3 Machine Gun 4 1874 Sharps Buffalo Rifle

Exhibit D: Adversary’s Weapon

Step 3: Acquire an Adversary

It is crucial that said adversary is as good as Rickman is vile and merciless.

The Adversary His Accomplice(s)
1 Robin of Locksley A band of merry outlaws from Sherwood Forest
2 Harry Potter Ron & Hermione
3 John McClane Sergeant Al Powell, (aka Carl Winslow)
4 Matthew Quigley A band of aborigines

Step 4: Hone An Evil Personality

1 2 3 4

Exhibit E: Practice saying the adversary’s last name with disdain and over-enunciation

Fine-Tune a Sneer
1 Raging eye bulge
2 Silent rage lip curl
3 Grinning ear-to-ear
4 Teeth flashing squint

Exhibit F: Choose a weapon

Step 5: Prepare for Battle

A legion of loyal henchmen is essential.

1 English soldiers & Celtic warriors
2 Death Eaters
3 German terrorists
4 Dopey cowboys

Step 6: The Money Quote

A sarcastic and pompous delivery is key. This is the beginning of the end.

1 “It’s dull you twit, it’ll hurt more.”
2 “You might be laboring under the delusion that the entire wizarding world is impressed with you.”
3 “SHOOT the GLASS!”
4 “Oh, by the way, you’re fired.”

Step 7: The Untimely Demise

At this point, Rickman has underestimated his foe and written his own death certificate. Here’s the blow-by-blow.

  A Henchman Doesn’t Get the Job Done So He Kills/Attempts to Kill And Meets His Demise By
1 His cousin, Guy of Gisbourne Half of Sherwood Forest Getting stabbed with his own dagger
2 Draco Malfoy Dumbledore Spoiler Alert! Bitten in the neck by a snake
3 Karl Vreski The adversary’s ex-wife Being thrown off a building
4 Every cowboy in Australia Quigley and Crazy Cora Getting shot with his own gun

Bonus: If Rickman played Palpatine

The Setting

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.

Preparing for Battle

Lightsaber. A legion of loyal Storm Troopers.

Money Quote

“Mr. Skywalker… The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.”

Perfect the Look

Dirty old man. Wizard robes and cape.

Acquire an Adversary

Jedi. The forces of good.

The Untimely Demise

Attempted to kill Luke Skywalker. Got thrown off a building by his loyal henchman, Darth Vader.

Own The Many Faces

harry potter
The Harry Potter Series

Buy The Half Blood Prince from Amazon

quigley down under
Quigley Down Under

Buy from Amazon