Allison's Villains

on August 31, 2006

Okay, I’m stealing my villain post to brag about my new covers.

They are fabulous. I love them. I love them more than my first trilogy. They are rich and bold and dark. What do you think?

Speak No Evil Fear No Evil

Can you see why I love them? Do they make you want to pick the book off the shelf? If a reader picks your book up, they have a fifty percent chance of buying it. (Next week I’m going to talk about back cover blurbs . . . unless I get sidetracked.) They’re much better with the foil and embossing. When my agent received the printed proofs (what they’re putting in the sales kits) she tossed the laser prints because the proofs are so much more detailed and incredible.

Anyway . . . villains. Right. From the first trilogy (because I don’t want to tip anyone off on the next trilogy!)

So a couple weeks ago we talked about who might play John & Rowan, Quinn & Miranda and Zack & Olivia. I think the consensus was that we need to go back to the drawing board for John & Olivia, but Emily Procter (Rowan); Nathan Fillion (Quinn); Evangeline Lilly (Miranda) and Hugh Jackman (Zack) could stay. So if there’s anyone out there who has contacts, I’ll be happy to send my book to any of those actors, just send me the address 🙂 . . .

Now while the protagonists are important, IMO there is no one more important in any film than the antagonist. Even if you’re not writing a thriller, the antagonist must be as strong or stronger than the hero. For example, in CLIFFHANGER while the bad guys were bad (and, frankly, a little TOO cliche/bad for my taste), the other “bad guy” (the environment) was very compelling. And SILENCE OF THE LAMBS? I don’t even think I need to explain 🙂 . . . but you have to look at both villains. Hannibal Lechter is stronger (as a character) and smarter than the heroine, but the guy who wears his victim’s skin (can’t remember his name, Harold?) is your “standard” serial killer. Both are critical to the story, but Anthony Hopkins carries the show.

The villain REALLY makes a movie, I’ve been thinking all week of who could play my villains. I’ve been thinking more in terms of major actors who have the talent to pull off a good villain. To me, the key to a top actor is the ability to play virtually any role. Johnny Depp can do it, villain or hero. Harrison Ford to a slightly lessor degree (I’m thinking that movie with Michelle Pffeifer, can’t remember the title.) Even the war hero Jimmy Stewart played a villain in at least one movie.

Good actors become great actors when they can pull off the bad guy. With that in mind . . .

******* WARNING: SPOILER ALERT *******

How about BRAD PITT as the villain in THE PREY? I never expected to like him in SEVEN (okay, I’m going to admit a deep, dark secret . . . I’m not a huge fan of Brad Pitt) . . . but I really thought he did a great job in SEVEN. Yeah, the movie was pretty darn good too, if you like dark, psychological suspense. (Raising hand!)

Brad Pitt Brad Pitt

THE HUNT is a little harder, and there are two villains. What do you think of . . . Keanu Reeves for the primary villain?

Okay, I’m a huge fan of both THE MATRIX and SPEED. I know, everyone thinks Keanu can’t act, sort of like Julia Roberts he can only play one type of role, but if he can pull off a really evil villain I think he’d earn a lot of respect in Hollywood, don’t you think? (And I really, really, really loved THE MATRIX.)


The female villain is a lot harder. You don’t want someone obvious, but at the same time, you need to have someone capable of luring women into a trap and watching them be victimized. Here are a couple I thought of: Charlize Theron, Renee Zellweger and Jennifer Garner. What do you think? Any others?


Now, finally, THE KILL. This is actually the hardest for me because the killer rapes and murders children. But he’s also one of the most compelling because he’s organized, methodical, and intensely neat. He’s the everyday average person that parents fear the most.

What about Michael Keaton? I really thought he made a fantastic villain in PACIFIC HEIGHTS and he could probably pull off an insidious serial killer three decades into his career . . .

Michael Keaton

Actually, there are two villains in THE KILL though they are not working together. I think Keaton would probably play Brian Harrison Hall better than the serial killer. Hmmm. Time to procrastinate, I mean think, a little more about this.

What do you think? Can you picture any of these people playing any of my villains? What about someone else? Let me know! I’d love to hear your opinion 🙂

For Cele: John Billingsley as The Butcher:
John Billingsley