Character Development

Acting tips to play Bad Guys

by Justin Magoffin

(New Hampshire)


I’m making a Resident Evil movie and I’m playing the bad guy Albert Wesker. Do you have any tips of how I can excel at being this bad ass villain?


One useful acting tip when you’re playing “bad guys” is not to act as if you were evil. This will make your performance more interesting and keep you from indicating or turning your character into a stereotype. That being said, sometimes the style of a movie requires that you play more stereotypical characters. Since Resident Evil started as a video game, this may be the case here (just ask the director what his vision is).

Either way, you can’t truly play a character if you, the actor, can’t find a way to like him/her, so look for something to love in your character. If there’s nothing good about them, see if you can find a talent they have or something impressive about them that you like (for example, one or all of Wesker’s incredible powers).

Also think of what motivates your character so you can look at the plot and relationship from their point of view. Here’s a fun exercise you can do to start justifying the actions of your villain. Pick a scene in the script where he interacts with the protagonist (the “good guy”). Now imagine your character is telling a friend what happens. Have him describe the encounter, explain why he did what he did in the scene and how it made him feel. If you can, get another actor to ask you questions as you describe what happened (for example, “Why did you do that” or “How did that make you feel). Of course, most “bad guys” would not have this type of in-depth conversation, but it will help you, the actor, have real motivations for your character’s actions, even if he is a bad ass villain.

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