I think it's a double-bonus when we kinda love the villain in our scripts as much as we hate them. Life is, after all, full of love-hate relationships, isn't it? Usually I love villains because of who they are inside, and not necessarily because of what they are doing on the outside. Sometimes it's because they project my alter-ego, which is important for writers to understand. Sometimes, it's a bit of all three, and that's an extra bonus. Not only does a villain help a hero grow and accomplish a goal, but sometimes a villain can even become a hero's ally, and be someone who we want to be, at least in some ways. That's extra sweet, and when a writer can pull that off...wow...that's like a royal flush in a poker hand. As an aside, isn't "villain" a funny word? It sounds like something I'd want to eat. "I'll have the filet of villain...or the villain fois gras, merci...." Here are a few of my favorite villains, and why I love them. 1. Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the Lambs. He may be the best film villain of all time. He hits all three of the descriptions I detailed above. He's charming, suave, refined and witty. He's on top of the authorities who are supposed to be in charge, and can turn in a moment from listening to classical music to skinning an authority figure. He's the sharpest knife in the drawer. And he helps Clarice get the real bad guy in the story. Brilliance. Brilliance. Brilliance. 2. Tyler Durden, Fight Club. The anti-Hannibal Lecter, or is he much the same? He's a persuasive rebel. He's a crude, blunt philosopher who gets to the truth deep in your gut. He gets people to repent and give him everything he wants. He represents a part of what exists in every man's alter ego. And he's Brad Fucking Pitt. And he helps the hero accomplish a major rebillous act against authority. Oh wait - he is the alter ego of the hero! Epic. Epic. Epic. 3. Frank Booth, Blue Velvet. He's pretty nasty. Actually, he's a very sick fuck. "Do it for Van Gogh!" He's as twisted as they come. But he's witty, controlling, and even mesmerizing. At times he fights himself. How could you not be sympathetic to this tortured soul? At other times, he fights others. And he loves blue velvet. How could you not love/hate Frank? A masterful movie and a masterful villain. 4. Don Logan, Sexy Beast. He's a vile, repulsive and explosive sociopath who hates everyone. But he's also charming, cunning and witty. He can be pleasant, and he can piss on your rug. There is nothing redeeming about him, except for his wit, but yet....every man still wants to be him...in some ways....and at some times. Right, guys? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! 5. Alex DeLarge, A Clockwork Orange. Wow - it's hard to like a predator. But Alex is extremely witty, charming and engaging. He's a controlling sociopath. He even ends up gaining our sympathies when he's subjected to experimental behavioral therapies that cure him of his bad behaviors; becomes homeless when his folks get a "better boy"; gets beat by his former gang members; and gets enslaved by his former victims. The table are definitely turned on him...at least for a while. From villain to hero back to potential villain. Burgess...genius. Kurbrick....genius. Burgess and Kubrick...geniuses. My next group would be Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman - all cursed to their fates, yet all symapathetic; and all projecting alter-egos to me. As I stated above, that's an important element to writers - understanding the alter-ego projection of villians. So who are some of your favorite villains besides the ones I mentioned, and why?