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One of the most frightening characters in cinematic history would have to be Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s Judge Doom, who was brilliantly played by Christopher Lloyd. The actor has creeped out generations with his unsettling villain, a fact that he loves. He appears to have put quite a bit of time and effort into developing the character. This includes coming up with one of Doom’s mannerisms that only adds to his scary nature.
Christopher Lloyd recently participated in a Disney+ Q&A on Twitter, during which the actor revealed behind-the-scenes tidbits about his work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He also revealed that he came up with the idea to not have Judge Doom blink at all. Because the villain was actually a toon in disguise, he thought it wouldn’t seem right for him to have to do so:
I kind of feel that I did. I just felt a toon doesn’t have to blink their eyes to remoisten their eyeballs. They’re not human, so I just felt Judge Doom should never blink. It makes him even more ominous, more scary, if he’s just looking like that. It wasn’t really difficult, I’d just keep my eyes open as long as I could, try to time it out with the next take and all that. It was cool. I just like to find little things that make him even more evil, and that was that.
The costume department sort of gave me a clue. They gave me that black outfit and the hat. I was bald, shaved my head. And the way I felt myself moving, I kind of felt like it was Spy vs. Spy. I don’t know if you know that cartoon or not. It’s two cows and they’re always outdoing one another. There’s one that’s always in black, and I felt that was really very much like my conception of Judge Doom, so that’s kind of where I went.
Christopher Lloyd definitely seemed to slide right into the role, as Judge Doom was a believable threat when going up against Eddie Valiant and Roger Rabbit. The little nuances that he helped to develop are also key parts of who Doom is, and the actor deserves credit for truly committing to the part.
As a child, Lloyd was somewhat traumatized by some of the scarier moments in classic Disney films and, by playing Judge Doom, he believed he could have a little payback. This was ever so present in one of Doom’s most cruel scenes, which is ironically one of Lloyd’s favorites.
Even though Judge Doom may terrify many of us to this day, we’re definitely grateful for Christopher Lloyd turning in such a memorable performance. To learn more about his work on the film, you can check out his appearance on Disney+’s Prop Culture, and you can stream Who Framed Roger Rabbit on the service as well.