Why It’s Good To Play A Villain, According To Jason Isaacs

jason isaacs as lucius malfoy

With cinematic universes like the MCU and DCEU are dominating the box office, it seems like heroes are everywhere. But these tights-clad figures would be nothing if they didn't have someone to battle. Enter the villain. And while Marvel has had a bit of a problem with creating dynamic villains (except for Loki), the bad guys are often the best part about movies and TV. And one actor who seems to understand this is Jason Isaacs.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Jason Isaacs about his role in Gore Verbinski's A Cure for Wellness. In the film, Isaacs once again plays a sinister and creepy villain, so I asked him why those characters appeal to him as an actor. After revealing that he doesn't like to think of his characters as villains while he's acting, the Harry Potter star told me what makes the roles so fulfilling

They're the best parts. They're fun, juicy. They're often the driving engine of the narrative.

The man has a point. Playing a villain is just plain fun. Besides, the movie wouldn't have much ground to cover if the villains didn't create a conflict for the hero to overcome. That's just basic filmmaking.

Jason Isaacs has played quite a few iconic villains in his long career. Most casual audiences will know him best for playing the slimy Lucius Malfoy in six of the Harry Potter films. And while he wasn't a leading character, following Lucius' journey through the Second Wizarding War was fascinating. The character that started as truly despicable (and who tried to kill Harry in his second year at Hogwarts) eventually become pitiable, as Voldemort's control over his family strengthened.

And this year has seen Jason Isaacs play a duo of creepy scientists who keep their subjects captive. Because in addition to his role as Dr. Heinreich Volmer in A Cure for Wellness, he played a very similar role as Hap in Netflix's new sci-fi series The OA. In the series, which was recently renewed for a second season, Isaacs plays a scientist who specializes in individuals who have died, before being resurrected. But in order to study these individuals, he kidnaps them and keeps them in glass cells in his basement. Pretty creepy stuff.

Perhaps Jason Isaacs is just the actor who help Marvel with its villain problem. Isaacs has a particular skill in creating bad guys that we love to hate, and who truly captivate the audience. He's voiced a fair amount of comic book characters through animated films, like Batman villain Ra's al Ghul and Lex Luthor. Now someone just needs to give him the chance to shine in live action, and once again bring an awesome villain to the silver screen.

You can catch Jason Isaacs in A Cure for Wellness, which is currently in theaters, as well as The OA which is available on Netflix.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.