Some actors don’t tend to gravitate towards certain roles since it’s kind of obvious that for one reason or another they’re bound to play a protagonist simply because that’s where they’re best and it’s hard to see them as anyone else. There’s usually a way to justify calling someone a villain in any perspective, but the fact is that Tom Hanks is one of those actors that has been a protagonist in so many of his movies that seeing him cast as anything else kind of feels like it’s going against character in a manner that one can’t help but be a little disturbed by since he tends to come off as such a nice guy in the movies and in real life apparently. Even thinking that he can play a villain is a huge stretch of the imagination since pushing the guy into such a role feels like something that is kind of unnatural and doesn’t really appear as though it’s bound to end well. But he’s done it more than once, even if he hasn’t made it a running habit since he tends to go back to doing what he does best quite often, which is enchanting people with his nice-guy attitude as he slips back into the role of the protagonist without any difficulty. Seeing him as a guy that actually means to harm others is a little tough since Hanks has almost always played characters that are out to make life a little easier for a lot of people. But it is a way to stretch his acting talents when it comes to playing the bad guy.
Here are four times when Tom Hanks was actually the villain in a movie.
4. Road to Perdition
This movie kind of rests in the grey area between protagonist and antagonist since there’s no denying that Hanks’ character did kill at the behest of his boss, but he was more of a reluctant gunman despite how good he was since he didn’t enjoy the killing. He did it because it brought him the kind of lifestyle that kept his family secure and safe, at least to a point. When his family was killed by the son of his boss, the feeling eventually came that he was an antihero going against an organization that had taken almost everything from him, and were going to be made to pay with their lives. So he wasn’t the ultimate villain in this story, but he wasn’t the classic hero either.
3. Cloud Atlas
Hanks played a few roles in this movie and a couple of them were pretty bad since he was out to kill people for very petty reasons. But the more heroic roles did manage to come through quite a bit in this movie while the diabolical roles were easy to notice but were a little less memorable to a lot of people for obvious reasons. It’s kind of easy to wonder if any amount of makeup could make this guy look any more menacing than he’s already done. To be fair he does play each part fairly well, but since this is Tom Hanks we’re talking about it means that he came off as menacing as he could, which is not very.
2. The Ladykillers
The character he plays is just goofy to start with, but he has a sinister and diabolical lean to him that is kind of convincing since he’s a twisted kind of genius with enough charm to get people to do what he wants and manipulate them into a scheme that eventually sees all of them dead. He ends up being the last to die, but the manner in which this happens is so random that one can’t help but shake their head and wonder how or why he ever signed on for this part, other than the fact that it might have sounded like a good idea at the time. As far as dark comedies go though, this one was pretty cringe-worthy, but he still put in a decent performance.
1. The Circle
Seeing him as the villain in this movie is a little bit tough since he does believe he’s in the right, but then so do a lot of bad guys that might have plausible motives for what they’re doing, but don’t have any recourse when it’s discovered by so many that their actions are just wrong. In a movie concerning the idea of placing cameras on people to see what they do every day though, it’s easy to think that the person controlling the cameras and the flow of information could be a less than savory character that might be qualified to be a villain. The premise of this movie was rather unnerving, but in the end, one can’t help but think that some people might revolutionize the idea at one point.
Tom Hanks is an odd one to see as a bad guy, that’s certain.