Guy Pearce on Playing Villains: “The key is to find something they believe in and just run with it”

Actor Guy Pearce

“It’s difficult to keep an audience engaged unless they see some vulnerability or some weakness.” – Guy Pearce

Since appearing in his first movies in 1990, many of actor Guy Pearce‘s most memorable roles have been villains. He plays perhaps his scariest villain yet in the Western Brimstone, which was directed by Dutch filmmaker Martin Koolhoven and is now available on video-on-demand. Pearce portrays a twisted preacher who uses his religious beliefs to justify a relentless pursuit of his daughter, played by Dakota Fanning. In an interview with Coming Soon, Pearce speaks out how he gets into the head of his most villainous roles.

Pearce says, “It’s funny, whenever I play a bad guy, people ask ‘would you like this character?’ I didn’t like this character. But the key is to find something they believe in and just run with it. And if there’s sympathy there, if they’ve been tortured as a child or whatever it is, you can try to keep your audience on your side to some degree. It’s difficult to keep an audience engaged unless they see some vulnerability or some weakness.”

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