When you think about the great fictional jerks of history, it’s hard to underestimate the impact of actor William Atherton.  Smarmy EPA Agent Walter Peck, forever immortalized as emasculated and/or some sort of rodent, I don’t know which.  Self-serving, heartless reporter Dick Thornburg, who nearly gets John McClane and his wife killed in the siege of Nakitomi Plaza.  And most nefarious of all, Doctor Jerry Hathaway, who defrauded the DOD, illegally used his genius students to create weapons, hated popcorn and conducted an affair with a female underling.  Atherton is a one-man Mount Rushmore of ‘Can’t Stand Em’, leading to today’s reprehensible query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) reminds Faithful Spoilerites that we’re all cool ladles and jellyspoons here to talk pop culture and nerdery, and not be cruel or make personal attacks, but you guys knew that already, asking: Which actors are the best at creating characters so terrible you just can’t stand em?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

5 Comments

  1. Before it was icky to do so, I might have said Kevin Spacey…

    I dunno, Jack Gleeson, who played King Joffrey on Game of Thrones, has only played that one terrible character that I know of, but might be the easiest to hate character ever.

    I guess, speaking of that, Lena Headey has played some pretty awful villains in both Game of Thrones and Dredd.

  2. Its kind of unfair to say Hayden Christensen and Jack Gleeson based on one role, but I can’t help it. Well, only one of them was intentional.

  3. Christopher McDonald. He’s played a sleazy jerk so many times that the few roles I’ve seen him playing a decent guy, I can’t help but automatically go into hate mode. I don’t hate the actor, he’s just really good at making such unlikable characters come to life.

  4. Christopher Walken. For some reason, whenever he plays a villain he has just the right combination of panache and callousness to make for a very punchable character.

  5. Jason Alexander, George Can’tstandya, eating the Eclair out of the garbage can still bothers me to this day. The difference is, as bad as Atherton’s characters were I enjoyed them.

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