Many of the familiar faces of Hollywood can easily portray any kind of character that comes along, whether a sweet country girl or the spawn of satan, or anything in between. Take Maryl Streep, for example. She is considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, and personally, I would agree. She has played a cold-hearted b*tch, a nun, Julia Child, a witch, a rockstar, a feminist, a Jewish woman in Nazi Germany, a Danish baroness, and so much more. That is talent.
Similarly, many of the famous ladies on this list have a varied repertoire of characters they have played. But some of them, on the contrary, are always typecast as this or that kind of person. At the furthest end of the spectrum, a character can be good or evil, an angel or a devil, a hero or a villain. And some people are cut out to be one or the other based solely on their looks. Maybe you have a cute little face the aunties always want to pinch, or maybe you have a nose and a mole to rival a witch's.
But the actresses on this list have neither. They are women who are capable of playing that country girl or that spawn simply because their beauty could be seen in two ways. There is no arguing that all 18 of them are stunningly attractive. But imagine for a moment Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna in Snow White and the Huntsman, or Angelina Jolie (who many have labeled the most beautiful woman in the entire world) as the evil Maleficent. Both were great in those roles and while beautiful, they looked truly evil. But Charlize looked just as gorgeous as the director of an international aid agency in The Last Face. And Angelina Jolie was just as pretty as a grief-stricken mother in Changeling. Both women looked equally beautiful whether playing a good or bad person.
Beside the screen legends I just spoke of, there are plenty more who have this same quality, which I am sure is a blessing in that business. These 18 gorgeous actresses all have faces that would lend themselves to playing both a superhero and a supervillain. But today, we will focus on what is never focused on: how physical beauty can still be beauty, even if it is wicked. The faces of these 18 knockouts could just as easily be those of the 18 comic book villains they are pictured with.
18 Holland Roden/Poison Ivy
Actress Holland Roden is known for her beautiful red hair and piercing green eyes, which make her the perfect choice to portray the likes of Poison Ivy. But it is not just those things; see that little smirk on her ruby red lips? She has a devious look to her, one that lends itself to playing a villain. Her smooth skin and attractive features are all well and good, and in all likelihood, Holland could just as easily play the girl next door. Some actresses, though, have the face for both good and evil. Her most successful role is playing mean girl turned superhero Lydia Martin on the MTV Network’s most successful scripted show, Teen Wolf, from 2011-2017. But I could totally see her in a comic book villain role. So far, the 30-year-old Texas gal has been in several prime-time shows and a few films, as well.
17 Rooney Mara/Catwoman
The talented Rooney Mara is no stranger to dark roles; she played the violent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the suicidal and delusional wife of Channing Tatum who murders him in Side Effects, for example. She has also been in her share of horror films, like Urban Legends: Bloody Mary and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Therefore, it is not a stretch of the imagination to picture her as a villain, say Catwoman.
The younger sister of House of Cards actress Kate Mara is pretty in a unique sort of way. Her fair skin, blue eyes, black hair, and petite figure make her darkly enchanting in exactly the sort of way Catwoman is. Plus, she looks cat-like; I can see it. Rooney knows she is able to freak people out, too, a necessity for any villain, comic book or otherwise. She says of her tattooed, pierced, and all-round tough portrayal of Lisbeth Salander, “There's a certain way people are used to seeing nude women, and that's in a submissive, coy pose, not looking at the camera. And in this poster, I'm looking dead into the camera with no expression on my face. I think it freaks a lot of people out.”
16 Danneel Ackles/Cheetah
The wife of Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles has been out of the spotlight for the last few years, but she is probably best remembered as Rachel on One Tree Hill from 2005-2009 (back then she was Danneel Harris). The Louisiana native and mother to one has a face that would make it easy for her to play the bad guy: the grin of a troublemaker, narrowed eyes that say more than her lips ever do, and a devilish sort of confidence. She could, for example, play the adversary of Wonder Woman, Cheetah.
Danneel may have been home raising little Justice Jay the last three years, but recently she and Jensen announced they are expecting twins, a boy and a girl, so any chance there was for her to be Cheetah (or any villain) is probably not going to happen any time soon.
15 Anna Paquin/Killer Frost
Ooh, just look at those eyes! She looks a little bat-sh*t crazy, and therefore definitely up to playing a villain. In fact, we know she can be a superhero since she played Rogue in X-Men, X-Men 2, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. But based on this picture alone she could go to the dark side and play a villain. I am thinking with the blue hair and psycho face, that Killer Frost would be an appropriate likeness. Killer Frost is technically a term encompassing many versions of the character, but for the most part, she can turn things to ice, generate objects made of ice, and turn hot to cold. Given Anna’s ability to give people the iciest glares ever (think the snarky Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood), these two ladies pair well together. But whether superhero, villain, waitress, or actress, all are a far cry from her first ambition- to be Prime Minister of New Zealand, where she was born.
14 Ashley Benson/Enchantress
Pretty Little Liar Ashley Benson is somewhat of a real-life enchantress, so it only makes sense that she embodies the actual villain Enchantress, too. Enchantress is Thor’s fellow Asgardian, and also one of his greatest enemies in the Marvel Comics. Ashley Benson looks positively mischievous when she smiles, like she is up to trouble. She is usually typecast as the pretty, popular (and sometimes mean) girl, but Ashley is up for a challenge and wants to do something different. She says, “I always get offered the pretty, popular girl roles, but I want to do something dark, really challenge myself and get out of my comfort level.” Luckily for her, she has the face to be a villain. The closest she came to even being in a “dark” show or film was probably the short-lived Eastwick, which is arguably more mystical than dark, and she was not a lead. It is high time this bad blonde shows us what she is made of!
13 Ruby Rose/Silver Banshee
As beautiful as Aussie actress Ruby Rose is, she still maintains a sort of tough girl image, due in part to her prison role on Orange is the New Black, in which she played Piper Chapman’s lover, Stella Carlin. The actress, model, DJ, recording artist, TV presenter, and amateur boxer would, in my opinion, make a great villainess. She is stunningly pretty, but you can tell she likes to be bad. I am thinking of her for the role of Silver Banshee, an opponent of Superman. Her superhuman powers include strength, speed, stamina, endurance, and in some versions of the comic, teleportation and animal communication. Her trademark “weapon,” though, is her sonic scream, which can kill anyone who hears it as long as she knows their true identity.
Ruby, who is the face of Urban Decay Cosmetics, is “genderfluid” according to her, and if she had the choice, she would rather be a male. She has been called an “androgynous Angelina Jolie”, which I am unsure if is a compliment or an insult, which is fitting since Silver Banshee appears androgynous, as well.
12 Katherine McNamara/Typhoid Mary
Katherine McNamara looks bad-ass in this photo, so much so that I believe she would make a great villain. Her face could easily pull off the bad girl look, and so I am going to compare her to Tyhoid Mary, the archenemy of Deadpool and Daredevil (who was based on the real-life Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant who was the first person in America to be identified as an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid, and whose refusal to cooperate with authorities led to the deaths of as many as 50 people).
Typhoid Mary may be Daredevil’s enemy, but she is also his lover. She is gravely mentally ill, telekinetic, and an assassin. Trained in martial arts, Typhoid Mary is also a swordswoman and practices limited mind control. Her doppelganger Katherine, who plays the lead role of Clary on Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments and has been in several shows and movies, has all it takes to portray the multi-faceted and passionate (but violent) Typhoid Mary.
11 Bella Thorne/Mystique
There sure seem to be a lot of red-headed villains out there, and Mystique is just one more. Although actress Bella Thorne does not share the mutant shapeshifter’s blue skin and yellow eyes, she does look like her. Most people do not know that Bella is Latina (her dad calls her his “Cuban Princess”), but even so, her hair is naturally red, only enhanced by dye. The Floridian, who has been in movies like The DUFF and Blended with Adam Sandler, has several projects in the works for 2017, both film and television.
Her face is sweet and unassuming, but as in the above photo, she can also look a bit untrustworthy, much like Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence, who both played Mystique in different X-Men films. Besides shapeshifting, Mystique is ageless (100 years old!), and can accelerate healing, along with having superhuman agility and reflexes.
10 Ksenia Solo/Selene
Another enemy of X-Men is Selene, a psychic vampire mutant who has lived for millennia. Latvian actress Ksenia Solo, known for Orphan Black, Lost Girl, Life Unexpected, and Black Swan, looks just like her. The severe black hair, white skin, and matching goth-like style they both possess makes this an easy comparison. Ksenia is lovely and she looks perfectly capable of playing an angel. But I can see the troublemaker behind that smile, and think she would do just as well playing the devil.
Born over 17,000 years ago in modern-day Central Europe (near to Latvia where Ksenia was born), Selene has a range of powers like telepathy, flame manipulation, reality warping, and extracting the life force from humans to extend her own life. She is a sorceress, and being that Ksenia looks kind of witchy, I can see her perfectly embodying Selene. However, in real life she is the opposite of evil, dedicating her time to causes like eradicating polio and ending bullying.
9 Megan Fox/Elektra
We all know Megan Fox is one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood (or anywhere), but you have to admit she sometimes looks a little… evil. She has played the part of the mean girl many times over, and even played a possessed succubus in Jennifer’s Body. It is easy to see why. It is for this reason that while drop dead gorgeous, Megan Fox definitely has the face to play a villain. I think she would be a great fit with Greek martial artist and twin bladed sai-weilding assassin Elektra. Previously, Elektra was played by Jennifer Garner, but I personally think Megan Fox is a much better choice; she just seems villain-like, whereas Jennifer Garner comes off as very "mom-ish," for lack of a better word. Megan Fox is basically a sex symbol, and interestingly, she loves comic books. She feels strongly that Wonder Woman is a “lame” superhero. Hmm, I wonder what she would have to say about her comic book twin, the alluring Elektra?
8 Jenna Dewan-Tatum/Star Sapphire
The lovely wife of Channing Tatum is yet another star who, like Megan Fox or Ksenia Solo, looks bewitching, so to speak, and thus in my opinion would be perfect in a villain role (plus, she even played a witch in The Witches of East End!). For Jenna Dewan-Tatum, I have in mind Star Sapphire (or I should say, one of them, as Star Sapphire is the title referring to several characters in the DC Universe). Jenna is no stranger to the comic book world as she currently is on the show Supergirl. I can so see her with the star sapphire weapon, or hovering over a crystal ball, or with any kind of mystical object at all because of those enchanting eyes. Blake Lively played Carol Ferris (one of the Star Sapphires) in the 2011 film Green Lantern, but I personally do not see it; her looks are too light and airy (meaning, too Serena van der Woodsen) for the magical creature that is Star Sapphire.
7 Milla Jovovich/Scarlet Witch
Everyone knows that Ukrainian-born actress Milla Jovovich kicks ass at playing the tough, warrior-type chicks in films like Ultraviolet and the million or so Resident Evil movies. So it is natural that since she is a great superhero, she would also be a great villain, a fact that is only exacerbated by a face that has the potential to look deadly. Imdb.com even lists her “trademarks” as being her husky voice, feline eyebrows, green-blue eyes, and pale skin, adding that she often dresses in red in film and in real life. Red is obviously the Scarlet Witch’s color, making Milla the perfect choice to personify her.
She has starred in movies with five actors from The Avengers movies (Robert Downey, Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Stellan Skarsgaard, Thomas Kretschmann, and Chris Hemsworth) but she is much better suited to being the bad guy, in my opinion. And I would love to see that. As the Scarlet Witch, Milla could cast hexes, alter reality- the list goes on. The Scarlet Witch has walked a fine line between good and evil, as we know, but for our purposes here and since Milla Jovovich is such a great match to her, for today we will consider her a villain.
6 Abbey Lee/Black Cat
The former face of Gucci, Versace, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Gap, Fendi, Ralph Lauren, and countless other fashion brands, Abbey Lee’s face bears a striking resemblance to the villainous Black Cat, the daughter of a world-renowned cat burglar. Black Cat was originally a self-involved foe of Spiderman who was hell-bent on revenge for an ex. Both she and Abbey have that luscious, white-blonde hair and seductive quality about them.
Abbey’s latest movie is The Neon Demon, and next year she will be in a few movies, including The Dark Tower with Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba. Last year she was in Mad Max: Fury Road. Actress Felicity Jones played Black Cat in 2014’s The Amazing Spiderman 2, but my vote would go to Abbey Lee over her. Abbey would get to portray a character who does all sorts of cool stuff: martial arts, street fighting, having retractable claws, and having the ability to see in various ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum via contact lenses, among other super-cool abilities the villain-turned-hero possesses.
5 Deborah Ann Woll/Dark Phoenix
Thanks to her playing the vampire Jessica Hamby for six years on True Blood, we know that actress Deborah Ann Woll is more than capable of playing the bad guy. Also thanks to that role, we know she can play the sweetheart just as well, since before she was “turned”, Jessica Hamby was young, naïve, and raised in a strict Christian household where she was homeschooled and only allowed out for Bible study. But contrary to that image, Deborah would be a great Dark Phoenix, a villain whose hobby is devouring galaxies to gain power (kind of like how Jessica devoured blood).
Dark Phoenix’s powers include pyromancy, flight, telepathy, and high destructive power, and her ultimate goal is to cause mass destruction upon the universe and to kill the X-Men. I think Deborah has what it takes in both looks and talent to pull off being the Dark Phoenix. In X-Men: The Last Stand, it was Famke Janssen who played the villain, and I must admit, she does have the villainous look, too. But I like Deborah, who even has the perfect attitude toward playing a villain. She says, “I think it's fun to play with worlds that you can add a lot of your own imagination to. With True Blood, you're not limited by anything, there are just leaps and bounds of the imagination you can take with these characters.”
4 Rachel Weisz/Anaconda
Clearly, Rachel Weisz is meant to play the reptilian villain, Anaconda. The two are a match made in heaven! Rachel has appeared in movies like The Mummy, Constantine, Eragon, and Oz the Great and Powerful before, so she is up to the task of playing a character in a less-than-realistic setting, and I happen to think playing a comic book villain should be her next venture. She is one actress who is not typecast and who does not play the same type of character over and over, which I respect. So while she can pull off the loving, heartbroken mother in The Lovely Bones, and a UN peacekeeper in The Whistleblower, she could also pull off being a snake villain who possesses powers of elasticity, healing, stamina, longevity, and breathing underwater. Plus, her husband is James Bond (Daniel Craig), so they would make a pretty interesting pair! At the end of the day, I see a villain on her face, or at least a dormant one waiting for the right opportunity.
3 Christina Ricci/Talia al Ghul
Christina Ricci is known for playing dark roles, like when she played axe murderer Lizzie Borden in 2015’s The Lizzie Borden Chronicles. Even as a kid, she played Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family and the protagonist Kat in Casper. She just has that dark look, and it has fared well for her. Christina has already had villainous roles, and they suit her. I think she resembles the darkly sexy anti-hero Talia al-Ghul. Marion Cotillard took on the role in the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises, but she does not have the evil sort of beauty that Christina possesses that would bring this villain to life the best. Talia is a character worthy of only the best, because she has the power of longevity, advanced combat, high intellect, and is a skilled assassin. She shares her darkly enchanting features with Christina; both women dazzling with their shiny black locks, fair skin, and natural beauty.
2 Laura Prepon/Black Widow
I have begun to see That 70’s Show’s Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon) in a new, more sinister light since she began playing inmate Alex Vause on Orange is the New Black. Before that, no matter what role she played she was always the red-headed teenager from small-town, 1970’s Wisconsin. But with the raven black hair and eyes that could kill, she has the face to play a villain, and by that I mean a bigger villain than a prison inmate and lesbian lover. I was thinking more along the lines of Black Widow. Scarlett Johansson may play her in the Avengers films, but I am talking about the times she was a foe of the Avengers, and not their ally. Like many on this list, the Black Widow has dabbled in both good and bad. The Scientologist actress shares with the Black Widow not only looks, but the fact that both have ties to Russia, as Laura’s family were Russian Jews, and Black Widow (whose given name was Natalia Romanova) was from Stalingrad.
1 Katie Holmes/Cheshire
Ever since Katie Holmes starred in her breakout role on Dawson’s Creek as little Joey Potter (even though in real life she was 20), it has crossed my mind that she looks kind of devious. Beautiful, yes, but when she smiles, there is something about her that looks almost sinister. I have noticed this with several actresses actually, and she is one of them. Because of this, I have likened her to the villain Cheshire, who is a Vietnamese mercenary and one of the deadliest assassins in the DC Universe. She is an expert in both martial arts and the use of poisons. So obviously, their physical resemblance is where the commonality between Katie and Cheshire ends, especially since Katie enjoys “being the cute, little one.” There is nothing cute about Cheshire! Katie was in one superhero movie, Batman Begins, in which she played Rachel Dawes, a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne’s and a character specifically created for the live-action Batman film.