Lena Headey, who played Cersei Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones, often said how she was showered with public hatred for her malevolence on the show. It made her realise that she was doing the job well and making the people hate the character to their fullest. Playing an antagonist is often more difficult than playing the hero that everyone loves, at least when dealing with public perception.
The antagonists, with their vile, scheming minds, waltz into our hearts and occupy a special place, demanding constant attention without distributing any affection. No matter how hard we try to ignore them, we cannot help but marvel at their sheer brutality and stone-hearted demeanour. Their acts leave us shocked and flabbergasted, and unknowingly, they become our favourite characters.
With its ever-growing list of original films and series, Netflix has birthed a wide range of characters, including various villains and antagonists. From perverted sociopaths to creepy stalkers, monstrous creatures, to evil nurses, the streamer has done it all. Some of them can hardly be trusted, and viewers will sincerely hope never to have to encounter such a character in their lives.
We at Best of Netflix have compiled a list of 6 such untrustworthy Netflix characters that we should try and steer clear of:
Six most untrustworthy Netflix characters:
6. Beverly Keane – Midnight Mass
This year Mike Flanagan gave us a character whom we hate more than we hate Joe Goldberg, which is saying something. Beverly Keane, the devout Catholic with immense faith in the power of the Church and the Lord, is an Islamophobic, nosy woman whose cold-blooded and manipulative citing of the scriptures to gain public favour is downright terrifying. She is the epitome of the sheer ruthlessness and elitism these religious institutions uphold.
Keane calls the Muslim sheriff a “terrorist” and does not shy away from turning the townsfolk against him towards the very end. Her sneering smile and intolerant behaviour hide her formidable character. She is an apparent instigator of violence and ore, she convinces the reincarnated Father Paul to resurrect the townsfolk in blood-sucking vampires. Above all, she murders a gentle Cane Corso in the very beginning, making us despise her the most.
5. Claire Underwood – House of Cards
Scheming, calculative and pragmatic, Claire Underwood is as vile as her husband, who is the Presidential candidate and later the President of the United States. She then becomes the 47th President with her chic and authoritative presence that reeks of cunning and stealth. Underwood cares about nothing apart from her self-interests and can be seen fiercely guarding them.
Extremely ambitious and sinister, Claire Underwood seems to be the TV adaptation of Lady Macbeth. Robin Wright’s brilliant performance as the character earned her a rightful Golden Globe as she brought a compelling cold charm and ominous aura to the character that very well could have passed for a Machiavellian villain.
4. Kilgrave – Jessica Jones
While some may sympathise with him for having a rough and traumatic childhood experience where he was used as an experimental bait by his parents, Kilgrave’s cruel and manipulative tendencies wash out any chances at redemption. He even uses his ability of mind control to coerce Jones into being his sex slave, leaving her scarred for life.
Kilgrave appears as a dangerous and calculative antagonist in the series and is notorious enough for the twisted mind games that he plays with Jessica Jones. He has no sense of morality or conscience with his behaviour bordering on sociopathy. Evil and despicable, he continues to haunt the titular protagonist well after his death.
3. Cho Sang-woo – Squid Game
Out of the diverse set of characters in this Korean survival thriller series, Sang-woo is one character who cannot ever be trusted. Although there are other characters who are far more horrifying, Sang-woo’s cold and calculative demeanour as well as raw desperation to win at any cost makes him appear terrifying. He does not shy away from betraying even his closest friends and takes advantage of his comrade’s trust in the game. He is the living epitome of how it should be played.
A bigshot businessman turned bankrupt defaulter, he is burdened by the massive financial debts and fraud. Sang-woo makes a sacrifice in the end, but his acts of betrayal cannot make up for it. Behind his everyman-like facade hides a snarling beast ready to take on even his closest accomplices to get to his desired destination.
2. Bryce Walker – 13 Reasons Why
Loathsome, vile and deplorable, Bryce Walker can never gain redemption in any way. With his typical jock-like aura, Walker never understands consent and gloats in his pathetic existence as a sexual predator who violates Hannah and Jessica. His actions torment Hannah, becoming the 12th reason for her suicide, but he rarely shows remorse.
His cruel and manipulative nature also sees streaks of violence. He takes immense pleasure in humiliating others, especially women. With an affinity for lying, Walker’s brutal murder in the third season fails to gain his audience sympathy and most likely earns him a special place in hell as a payback for all his hateful actions.
1. Joe Goldberg – You
While the third season of You tried to portray Goldberg as a changed man in the beginning and essentially saw him trying to clean after his wife’s mess, Joe Goldberg is one of Netflix’s most terrifying creations. Portrayed by Penn Badgley, the character is sadistic in his own way. Throughout the three seasons, his evolution can be closely noticed as he gets better at stalking and killing with a knack for disposing of bodies effortlessly.
His psychotic tendencies, saviour complex and intense desire to possess and protect any woman of his interest are downright creepy and disgusting. While Goldberg has his own set of fan following, even the actor fails to understand why a character as loathsome and petrifying as Goldberg would be romanticised.
With Goldberg as the neighbour, one would surely spend sleepless nights thinking about his next sinister move.