July 27, 2008

Welsh Star is King of the Baddies

His evil turn as psychotic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter has earned Anthony Hopkins the crown of king of the villains.

The Port Talbot-born legend has topped a UK poll to find the ultimate movie bad guy.

Sir Anthony (pictured) was deemed the scariest, following the vote by more than 2,500 members of the online rental and entertainment site, Lovefilm.com.

With a penchant for fava beans and chianti, Sir Anthony's unnerving Oscar-winning performance scared fans rigid with nearly a quarter of the votes.

He first brought the character to memorable life in The Silence of the Lambs, earning himself an Oscar while he was at it.

What made the impact he had on viewers all the more remarkable was that he actually appeared on screen for just 17 minutes.

The actor reprised the role in Hannibal and Red Dragon, though neither sequel did as well as the original.

He once remarked: "Playing the part has never affected me in a negative way, but I am interested in why Hannibal is such a phenomenon.

"I think it's because we all like the bogeyman, we're fascinated by the dark, shady characters in literature, Iago, Phantom of the Opera, Richard III."

Star Wars bad guy Darth Vader was second in the poll, which also saw the late Heath Ledger make ninth place on the strength of his performance as The Joker in new Batman flick The Dark Knight.

(c) 2008 South Wales Evening Post. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.