Jason Isaacs: Villain for Life

When it comes to acting, there is always that one character that an actor can pull off every single time. Is it the hero or the villain?

It seems to be a rarity that an actor can pull off a villain role if they are known for their hero roles (or vice versa). One of the most famous actors known for his roles as a hero character is Heath Ledger; yet, hear his name now and fans consider how successfully he managed to portray The Joker for The Dark Knight.

Few actors can pull that off, which leads me to the incomparable Jason Isaacs. While he can certainly do both, he generally tends to play the villain in the majority of the movies in which he is known. 

Lucius_Malfoy_BoH
Courtesy: Warner Brps./Heyday Films

His most notable role on the villain side is Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise. You may also recognize him as Col. William Tavington in the British Army for the film The Patriot alongside Mel Gibson.

From Captain Hook / Mr. Darling in Peter Pan (2003) to  The Inquisitor / Sentinel in Star Wars: Rebels (2015), and even Lex Luthor in Justice League: Gods and Monsters and the voice of Satan in the video game “Castlevania: Lords of Shadows 2,”  Isaacs has this aura about him that allows him have that cold, calculated attitude for all villain characters.

tavington the patriotI first saw Issacs in The Patriot. His personification astounded me at how cold his character really was. There was no remorse on his face in some of those scenes.

Many of his calculated looks have to do with his eyes. They are a portal to everyone’s true feelings and I believe that Isaacs knows how to turn that off when he’s playing a villainous role.

His eyes are silvery blue coupled with his strong facial features. That glare sustained his cold, calculated look for his characters. 

Watching Jason Isaacs in Peter Pan was quite interesting because not only did he play Captain Hook, but he also played Mr. Darling.  The difference between the two characters is huge because Mr. Darling is a strict father compared to the calculated, clumsy attitude of Captain Hook. 

But when you compare both of his characters in Peter Pan to his character in Harry Potter, it almost seems as if he managed to combine the two personalities of the Peter Pan characters to form Lucius Malfoy. 

jason issacs peter pan
Courtesy: Universal/Columbia Pictures

When we are first introduced to Lucius in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, he’s emotionless and reserved; however, when his character returns in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (and onward), the characteristics of clumsy Captain Hook shine through a bit.

Now, a lot of this could just be because Lucius is highly intimidated and afraid of Lord Voldemort, which is rather evident in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One when Voldemort takes his wand from him, but at the same time I noticed that sliver of Captain Hook shine through a bit because Lucius is initially a blond Captain Hook–just a coward deep down.

All in all, I love Jason Isaacs as an actor and I truly believe that he’s one of the best actors to ever play a villain.

Again, a lot of that involves the experience he has at playing the villain, but at the same time it also involves his natural talent and ability to convince others of his antagonistic sides. 

Have you seem Issacs play a villain? What do you think? 

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