Screenwriting : Can a creepy character be likable? by Zorrawa Emily Ann Jefferson

Can a creepy character be likable?

A lot of folks say my character Nelson is creepy, crazy, evil, needs a therapist and a person they would avoid. Could he still be a good character?

Jordan Paree

Given the right amount of development, absolutely. Always remember that creepy people are still human beings, and should be represented as such.

Owen Mowatt

Are these questions for real, Emily? Even for a youngster/beginner they seem very rudimentary and aimless. People ask nothing for giving up their time and sharing their knowledge with you, yet there's not even a thank you at the end of your post. In others you don't even join in the conversation or expand on why you need this questioned answered; this is just rude and ungrateful, and not the Emily I spoke to a couple of years back. I think everyone is being extremely patient with you because of your age, but, and I think I speak for most in here, enough is enough.

Zorrawa Emily Ann Jefferson

Sorry Owen.... I'll get better

Zorrawa Emily Ann Jefferson

Thanks Jordan

Owen Mowatt

There's no need to apologise to me, your posts are a minor distraction which I haven't taken part in. And I'm even more convinced that you are not who you say you are.

David E. Gates

Emily, ignore Owen - he's just being a misery guts. His response saying your posts are something he hasn't taken part in - which is at odds with the fact he IS taking part by posting such a tirade against you - is ridiculous. You don't have to say "Thank you" every time you post a question here. It's a forum where questions - of all types from all people of all ages etc - are welcomed. Your question is perfectly acceptable here. Dexter and Hannibal Lector are two creepy/evil characters which are perfectly likeable. Hood in Banshee is a villain, but he's handsome and wants to do good. It's a thin line to tread between having them portrayed as an absolute ogre or a hero so the balance is important. Lector doesn't have any qualms about his business but his relationship with Starling is what brings the balance. With Dexter, he has his own set of rules which govern what he does - for the most part. He's also in conflict with himself having normal relationships because of what he's compelled to do and because of why he's driven to do the things he does. The characters can be complex - if there's time to develop them - or simple, but either way the balance between what is socially acceptable and what is not for the audience determines how we perceive them. You'll need to give your character something the audience can empathise with to get them to find them likeable. Good luck!

Owen Mowatt

I've spoken to Emily in the past, before she closed her account at the end of last year. She was asking intelligent writing questions far in advance of what she is asking now, and seemed to be progressing. This new Emily doesn't seem to be the same person. A point which hasn't escaped a few others around here. If I'm wrong then I'm pretty sure she already knows the answers to these questions (she's asked the same ones often enough), and this is just some childish game. If you have that sort of time on your hands David, then go for it.

Craig D Griffiths

Any question is welcome if it prompts conversation. Likeable creepy characters Any character played by Steve Buscemi

Beth Fox Heisinger

Emily is Emily. One and the same. :)

Tiyan Newman

Yes, creepy is extremely funny. People like to laugh.

David E. Gates

I don't see how asking if a creepy character can be likeable is an unintelligent question. It's like a quiz show - they're only easy questions if you know the answer! And this was a great question, irrespective of what went before or how you perceive it, judging by the other comments here.

Owen Mowatt

I've said my piece David, I see no sense in dragging it out further. My point was that this Emily seems to be regressing not progressing in her writing, of which I have helped her with in the past. I just don't understand where all these rudimentary question are now coming from, but if you and others are happy to keep answering them, then I'll leave you to it.

Christopher Binder

Yes, if you choose to make them so.

Shaunda Young

watch the Blacklist.. James Spader does an awesome job making Raymind "Red" Reddington likeable..... you love him even though he is a liar and a killer...

Annika Hylmö

Villains need a redeeming characteristic so that we can empathize if not identify. Think Heath Ledger as the Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT. He's inherently evil, flawed, and has a backstory that is compelling.

Jenny Masterton

I like nurse Ratched.

Marc Zammit

i just starred as a character called "Ares" who was quite creepy! and there has been audiences saying i loved hating "Ares" so i suppose if they love watching you! then you are a great presence on screen.

Brian Walsh

Hannibal Lecter was super creepy and yest likable.

Bill Costantini

Who wouldn't want to go out on a joy ride with Frank Booth?

K.D. Stout

If you show that he has a "heart" inside him somewhere - he can be likable. If they also have a backstory that explains why the characters are bad - they can be likable. Think about the villains from all the Batman series.

David E. Gates

"I've said my piece David, I see no sense in dragging it out further." And then he proceeds to... LOL

Charlie James

Making a character likeable can be tricky, but alot of writers do it by giving them sad backstories that you reveal in the story using exposition. Something human that we can sympathise/empathise with.

Cherie Grant

Napoleon Whatsit. I forget the last name.

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