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Steve Carell's five favourite movie villains of all time

We’re celebrating one of our favourite actors in the world of Netflix, as we share Steve Carell’s five favourite villains of all time. He may well have had the odd rough edge as Michael Scott on The Office, but he’s usually far more reserved than villainous.

If two roles have come to define the career of Steve Carell in recent years, it’s his voice-work as the cartoon villain of the Despicable Me series and as the modern comedy icon Michael Scott in The Office for NBC. A talented actor and pertinent contemporary comedian, it is thanks to these recent roles that Carell is beloved and recognised as one of the most celebrated actors of the 21st century. 

Whilst he is better known for his lighthearted comedy roles, working with the likes of Jay Roach, Judd Apatow and Peter Segal, Carell has taken to collaborating with recognised award-winning filmmakers of late, including, Jonathan Dayton, Adam McKay and Wes Anderson. An astute, intelligent comedian, Carell revealed his love of comedy in a curious interview with Rotten Tomatoes.

In conversation with the publication, Carell revealed his top five favourite villains of all time in light of the release of Minions: The Rise of Gru, the latest in the Despicable Me series. 

The first in Carell’s list of favourite villains is the infamous shark from Steven Spielberg’s iconic blockbuster Jaws, starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss. Explaining his decision, Carell states, “My first favourite villain is the shark from Jaws, that shark was just this character, an eating machine, no thought, no empathy and completely terrifying,” with the titular beast becoming a universal figure of fear. 

Sticking to a noticeable trend, Carell’s second choice also comes from Spielberg’s industry-innovating movie, choosing Mayor Larry Vaughn, the representative of the town who refuses to close the beach that the shark is terrorising. Explaining his choice, Carell states, “He did not close down the beaches and he jeopardised a lot of people’s health and well-being, and so I think the mayor from Amity was a villain and kind of a jerk because he really just cared about making money”. 

You guessed it, the third villain on Carell’s list of favourites is yet another pick from Spielberg’s Jaws, this time going for one of the main characters, Quint. “He’s sort of an anti-hero, but I would see him as a villain,” the actor states, adding, “Because he brings Sheriff Brody and Hooper out on the boat, and then he scuttles it, so they’re stuck out there because he’s got this vendetta against this shark, so it’s him and the shark, like dude you don’t have to bring these other two out there to die with you”. 

Taking things to a brand new territory of horror, Carell dares to move away from Jaws, giving some praise to Jonathan Demme’s Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs. “He’s a very complicated, intriguing villain, charming, smart, probably a genius,” Carell speaks of the villain, played ingeniously by Sir Anthony Hopkins, adding, “But certainly has some components missing as a human being”. 

Take a look at the list of Steve Carell’s five favourite villains below, including three films and only two different franchises. 

Carell can’t help but revisit what must be his favourite franchise for his final pick, going for the shark that appears in the disappointing sequel to the 1975 classic, Jaws 2. Hilariously commenting that the shark from the first film must have communicated to the new one that the town of Amity was “good eating,” Carell further explains that he loves the “arrogance” of this new shark, adding: “There’s no respect there”. 

Steve Carell’s five favourite villains:

  • The Shark – Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
  • Mayor Larry Vaughn – Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
  • Quint – Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
  • Hannibal Lecter – The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991)
  • The Shark – Jaws 2 (Jeannot Szwarc, 1978)