12 Actors Who Convincingly Played Killers On Screen

Part of being a talented actor means having “range” when it comes to choosing movie roles. Sure, there are some actors who are best known for their comedic or dramatic work, but those who are considered the best in the business know that showing complexity and depth on screen is what keeps fans coming back for more. Of course, there are some roles that are extremely difficult to play, and require lots of preparation and mental fortitude.

One of the toughest characters to portray on screen is a killer. This is particularly difficult when an actor has to transform into a killer who is a real-life person. It can be scary and daunting to actually learn the mind of someone who committed such heinous crimes. Even if an actor is embodying a fictitious killer, it can be a challenge to relate to a character who is actually capable of taking someone’s life. It’s hard to believe that killers can actually have family, friends and romantic relationships, and that’s the complexity that actors have to bring to life for the viewing public.

Some actors have tried their hand at playing killers once or twice, and some are known for being particularly sinister in most of the roles they choose. Here are 12 actors who are pretty convincing as killers.

12 Kane Hodder

11 Brian Dennehy

10 Tania Raymonde

9 Michael Reilly Burke

8 Val Kilmer

7 Laura Prepon

6 Jeremy Renner

5 Farrah Fawcett

4 Antonio Sabato, Jr.

3 Mary Tyler Moore

2 Hayden Panettiere

1 Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron is a beautiful actress and model who completely transformed herself to portray Aileen Wuornos. Wuornos was a prostitute from Florida who murdered seven men between the years of 1989 and 1990. Theron was able to capture the complexity of Wuornos, who claimed that all of the murders she committed were in self-defense. Wuornos also had a very troubled childhood, including a father she never met because he was convicted of sex crimes agains children and was incarcerated when Aileen was born (he later hanged himself in prison). Aileen was convicted of six of the seven murders, and in 2002, she was put to death by lethal injection.


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12 Actors Who Convincingly Played Killers On Screen