What’s obvious to me during the watching of ‘Laberinto del fauno, El’ (Pan’s Labyrinth), is that the performance of it’s chief villain, Capitan Vidal, played magnificently by Sergi Lopez, effectively brings to life the best rendition of a movie villain I’ve ever seen.
To me, the bad guy is always the juiciest part in every film. If I were an actor wishing to prove my mettle, the surest path to this, granted I’d have the talent of course, is to avoid the hero part, which by being so automatically limits one to stereotype. Rather, one should go for the villain part, where you are allowed far more freedom and depth as you portray, explain, and define why this person has become such as he goes about his bad guy ways.
Whilst you may argue that this can be done for the hero as well, the villain, as we all know in real life villains, frequently does not come from the same cookie cutter like heroes are. There are many and varied ways to screw up a person and make him bad. All colorful, usually deeply tragic, all making excellent fodder for a qualified actor to chew on.