Sunday, October 14, 2012


John Cullum, enjoying the subject of villains, right off the bat mentions the challenge for an actor in playing an evil, crippled King in Shakespeare’s RICHARD THE THIRD.

Emily, remembering when John was writing a play about Benedict Arnold, wonders what fascinated him about the traitor, and why, later on, he worked on a play about John Wilkes Booth, the actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

John explains why these two men still interest him, and compares them with the assassins and traitors in the news today.

As their conversation ebbs and flows, he surprises Emily by revealing the name of his most favorite villain, a part that he’d like to play right now.


Anonymous said...

hi em - thought you might like to know about, it's really popular for book authors to promote their books. I'm planning on getting on there soon...
Hope you guys are having a nice weekend, really enjoy your blog! : )

Anonymous said...

my silly mistake...i'm new to it and found you on, now. love you guys!

Anonymous said...

When JC said Iago, my jaw dropped, as I too was thinking of Iago. I love Richard The Third as well. Such a meaty character. I love his long speeches.

JC is anything but a villain,but I can well understand his fascination with them.

Linda "Anonymous" Phillips

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog and discussion from you and John about villains. John is such an outstanding actor I know he would make an excellent villain in any play or part. I remember seeing Richard Dryfuss play King Lear in Goodbye Girl and can see John doing an even better role than Richard. thanks for sharing. kam

Anonymous said...

You ended your podcast naming Iago as your favourite villain, I think.
Development of a villain isn't something I've given a lot of thought to.
The villain in my current wip is unseen, atm, but manipulating people from behind the scenes. We don't see this perspn, only what they cause.
So you've got me thinking. How to flesh out my villain, even if it's only back story.
Hannibal Lecter occurs to me as one of the most interesting villains I've read. Be is very intelligent. A psychopath. That is, he was made, not born. He can establish relationships with some of the people around him. And he's not driven to kill because it's the only way left for him to feel anything.
So he's an intelligent killer, like Dexter.
(I researched serial killers for a story of mine)
Villains have to be even a little more bad, than our hero is good, for the hero to have a worthy adversary.
And yet, it makes them even worse, if they are somehow likeable.
Think of the James Bond villain, Ernst Stavros Bloefeld, who always stroked the white cat he carried. Anyone who loves cats can't be all bad, right? Even his name is melodius, yet threatening.
So food for thought. Don't spend all your time on the hero. The villain must be a baddie, through and through.
Great subject. Thank you Em and John.
Louise Sorensen
louise3anne twitter

OR said...

My most famous villains are the guys who fitted up Lance Armstrong. They are s**m.

Unknown said...

I think if I had to pick a villain I would pick Dexter. I really don’t like villains but at least Dexter only kills the bad guys. Thanks Em and John :)

Barnabus Bailey said...

Great week! Funny thing, my wife and I have been watching these together and she laughed when John went to Leer :) Guess you have become so part of our weekly programming, that you "stick!"

Okay, on to the topic. I think John is dead on. A GREAT villain MUST be thought out with the same, if not more, care as the hero. They must be of superior intellect, cunning, deception - almost operating with the alacrity of skill in their world as the hero does in ours. I am fascinated by those who are calm, cool and collected as well. They almost have to appear as the game masters - at least in their minds. They can maneuver in and out of the hero's world effortlessly. THAT is the limitation of the hero, they lack the dark side so he/she has to be even more reliant on their abilities. Iago or course is one of my faves. Professor James Moriarty comes to mind as well. I have my own list, but as with most things, mine are mostly cinematic creations. That's just my humble opinion on the subject. See you next week!