Congrats to Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Commander John Harrison in today’s new release Star Trek Into Darkness, for waking me out of cryosleep and forcing me to remember how hot a good movie villain can be. Star Trek Into Darkness is shaping up to be a killer sequel to J.J. Abrams’ unbeatable 2009 original, and in honor of Cumberbatch’s sinister, dead sexy allure, we’re counting up the 10 hottest villains ever!
10. Tom Hiddleston in Thor
Tom Hiddleston is a jovial and cool-seeming guy in interviews, but in Thor, the thespian’s unflinching intensity and sheer weirdness make for an unusual, cartoonish, but sexy villain. If Loki is a trickster, the greatest trick he ever pulled was challenging Chris Hemsworth’s sexiness and succeeding.
9. Christian Slater in Heathers
Nothing makes a villain hotter than sardonic one-liners, and Christian Slater spouted them without hesitation as J.D. Dean in this classically macabre high school comedy. For a cold-blooded murderer, he seemed to have a pretty admirable attitude. I’d let him interrupt my croquet game with a couple of homicides, sure.
8. Tyrone Power, Witness for the Prosecution
Hollywood’s debonair leading man who kept on wooing Linda Darnell in the Zorro series also had a dark side, at least when it came to Agatha Christie murder mysteries. In one of his last and very best roles, Tyrone Power used his haunting eyebrows and devilish good looks for evil, hoodwinking Charles Laughton into believing his innocence. He’s so hot and austere, even Marlene Dietrich found herself in desperate love with him.
7. Cillian Murphy, Batman Begins
Cillian Murphy was memorably antagonistic (and sexy!) in Red Eye and In Time, but in terms of nefarious hotness, I still prefer his buttoned-up, eerie work as Scarecrow in Batman Begins. With his natty clothes and blankly handsome expression, he’s like the supervillain version of Ryan Phillippe in Cruel Intentions. Yes to that.
6. Skeet Ulrich in Scream
Skeet Ulrich’s arc as Billy Loomis in Scream is tantalizingly dark. He seems to be saying to us, “Don’t I seem crazy? I can’t be that crazy. It’d be too obvious if I were the killer, right? Right. Haha. Well, get this: I’m the killer.” Alongside Matthew Lillard, he was the comeliest teenslayer in all of Woodsboro.
5. Julian McMahon in The Fantastic Four
Dr. Doom didn’t have to be quite this sexy in The Fantastic Four, but leave it to the very, very underrated hottie Julian McMahon to sex up the character with his deadly glare and chilling bone structure. He’s like a grimmer, less musical version of Cheyenne Jackson.
4. Anthony Perkins in Psycho
Being a total creep might not stop you from emanating deep, gentle sexuality, and that’s the case with Anthony Perkins in Psycho. The Oscar-nominated actor filled his performance with anxious gulps, erratic blinking, and stumbling speech, and those all made him seem like a well-dressed pile of frayed nerves. What’s sexier than unintentionally pulsing energy? Taxidermy, that’s what.
3. Denzel Washington in Training Day
Denzel Washington’s nefarious doings in Training Day earned him a well-deserved second Oscar. His character Alonzo Harris isn’t just your typical corrupt cop. “I think in some ways he’s done his job too well,” Washington said of Alonzo. “He’s learned how to manipulate, how to push the line further and further, and, in the process, he’s become more hardcore than some of the guys he’s chasing.” Yes. And “hardcore” very, very easily translates to “hot.”
2. Matt Damon in The Talented Mr. Ripley
He’d made a magnificent splash in Good Will Hunting, but Matt Damon somehow became more babyfaced in his next big role, that of the titular mad man in The Talented Mr. Ripley. Though Jude Law’s unreal hotness also stole away a lot of our attention, Matt Damon’s chiseled moments in his lime green Speedo were just as indelible.
1. Christian Bale in American Psycho
Do I think this movie is really anything special? Ultimately, no. But Christian Bale’s intense, often-naked work as Patrick Bateman is enough to substantiate that character as the sexiest villain of all time. He’s so brutal, unhinged, and — for lack of a better word — believable that I’m forced to his accept his hotness for what it is: blisteringly, undeniably apparent.
Who are your favorite hot movie villains?
Star Trek Into Darkness with Benedict Cumberbatch opens nationwide tomorrow.