Last month, New York Times Magazine gathered the year's best film performers to create a short series of beautifully chilling videos directed by Alex Prager called A Touch Of Evil. Killers, crooks and crazies are just a few of the villianous archetypes that were selected and portrayed by our favorite actors. (Watch the whole series here.)
There's Brad Pitt as the madman, where he says he was channeling ‘‘Peter Lorre — with a dose of Kramer.’’ He was praised last year for Moneyball and The Tree of Life. Mia Wasikowska becomes and axe-weilding home wrecker reminiscent of The Shining. Her best performances include Albert Nobbs, Jane Eyre and Restless. Rooney Mara, leading "lady" in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, dresses as the sociopathic Alex from A Clockwork Orange. Gary Oldman imitates a creepy ventriloquist dummy in his spooky spot. Quite a different role from his performance in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
Kirsten Dunst plays a seemingly innocent siren, until the very end of the spot. She was acclaimed for the indie film Melancholia last year. George Clooney plays a military tyrant in his flick. ‘‘I picked Captain Bligh because I liked his hat. Bad guys don’t think they’re bad guys. In film, the best evil performances are when the actor remembers that," he said of the role. You probably saw him in The Descendants and The Ides Of March last year. (And if you didn't, you should!) Ryan Gosling disappears before your eyes as an invisible villian, saying ‘‘I don’t really know if the Invisible Man is a villain or not, but I just don’t trust the guy." He scored a hat trick of great performances last year in The Ides of March, Crazy, Stupid, Love and Drive.
Other actors in the series include Adepero Oduye from the film Pariah, Michael Shannon who starred in Take Shelter, Jessica Chastain who appeared in Take Shelter, The Tree Of Life and The Help, Viola Davis, also starring in The Help, Glenn Close, who starred in Albert Nobbs and Jean Dujardin from The Artist.