Top 10 Beauties Playing The Beast

As we welcome the release of Jonathan Glazer’s experimental science-fiction drama Under The Skin starring Scarlett Johansson, Top 10 Films takes a look at beautiful women who have played the villain…

In Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, Scarlett Johansson plays a seductive alien who drives a van around Scotland picking up and dispatching of unsuspecting males in enigmatic ways. To mark the release of the Blu-ray and DVD on 14th July, we reflect upon ten other beauties to have played beasts at some stage throughout their career. Spoilers abound!

Discover More: Top 10 Good Guys Playing The Bad Guy

Scarlett Johansson – Under the Skin (2014)

under-the-skin_scarlett-johanssonAcclaimed auteur Jonathan Glazer opted to adapt Michael Faber’s novel of the same name, instead making a film which represented a sole female alien’s perspective of the human world, bravely casting the recognisable Scarlett Johansson in the film’s only lead role. The much-spoken about hidden camera angle (Johansson drove a van around Scotland, luring unsuspecting men into her trap with the promise of sex) provides a talking point, but Johansson’s (literally) naked performance highlights not only the flaws of her alien actions, but the flaws of the world that we live in today.

Uma Thurman – Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief (2010)

Uma_Thurman_as_Medusa-HDStarring amongst an all-star cast in young adult novel adaptation Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief, Uma Thurman goes full on mad woman as mystical villainess Medusa, fit with her head full of snakes. One look at Uma in all her beastly glory and you’ll turn to a petrified slab of stone!

Michelle Pfeiffer – Stardust (2007)

michelle-pfeiffer_stardustLamia, one of three witches in Matthew Vaughn’s fantasy Stardust, is played with relish by actress Michelle Pfeiffer. Her villainess antics include eating the remains of a heart her fellow witches had cut from a star years previous, murdering innocent folk using voodoo dolls, and setting a trap to ensnare Yvaine (Claire Danes), herself a fallen star.

Natasha Henstridge – Species (1995)

Natasha_Henstridge_speciesSpecies stars Natasha Henstridge as Sil, a killer alien seductress who must be stopped before she mates with a human male. A spawn of scientific merging of alien and human DNA, her violent outbursts begin at a young age and continue all the way through the film as the body count increases. Sil was created by the late H. R. Giger. Henstridge headed up Species II, and had a cameo role in straight-to-video third film Species III.

Uma Thurman – Batman and Robin (1997)

uma-thurman-poison-ivyDespite its critical panning and box-office bombing, Batman and Robin features a memorable turn from Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, a botanist transformed into the villainess when murdered with animal-plant toxins and chemicals. Teaming up with Batman’s nemesis Mr. Freeze (infamously played by Arnie), she vows to use her new-found powers to establish botanical supremacy over the world.

Kate Beckinsale – Underworld (2003)

kate-beckinsale_underworldA primary character throughout all Underworld films to date (4 in total, despite only briefly appearing in Rise of the Lycans (2009), Kate Beckinsale plays the avenging warrior Vampire with such a committed panache, participating in brilliantly-choreographed fight scene after fight scene. She soon becomes a Death Dealer, fighting against the Lycans for crimes she believes they committed against her family.

Megan Fox – Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Megan-Fox-Jennifers-BodyMegan Fox plays a possessed cheerleader in Jennifer’s Body, a black comedy horror film from screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno). Killing her male classmates, it is down to Amanda Seyfried’s best friend Anita to stop her in her tracks as Jennifer goes about the film spewing black fluid and disembowelling corpses as the victim of a virgin demonic sacrifice gone wrong – the problem being, at the time of sacrifice, she wasn’t a virgin.

Naomie Harris – Pirates of the Caribbean (2006-2007)

Naomie_Harris_piratesTia Dalma doesn’t appear in Gore Verbinski’s first film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, but makes her initial appearance (albeit briefly) in Dead Man’s Chest with a more enhanced role following in third film At World’s End – in which it is discovered she is actually the sea goddess Calypso. With Skyfall’s Naomie Harris playing the Jamaican-accented creature, if anger is roused, her fury knows no bounds…

Mila Kunis – Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013)


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When James Franco’s small-town magician Oscar Diggs arrives in Oz following a tornado, he is introduced to the Emerald City’s inhabitants, witches Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda the Good Witch (Michelle Williams).

Set 20 years before the 1939 classic, the tale follows the true wicked witch Evanora who manipulates Theodora into believing their new arrival has betrayed her for Glinda, and thus bringing around her transformation into memorable villainess (and very green) Wicked Witch of the West we all remember so well.

Angelina Jolie – Maleficent (2014)

maleficent-angelina-jolieFleshing out the back story of one of Disney’s most well-remembered villainesses (she appeared in 1959’s Sleeping Beauty), Angelina Jolie was the actress tasked with adding a humane-layering to the strong and powerful fairy, Maleficent. Befit with horns and wings (burned off at a young age), Maleficent shields her kingdom with an impenetrable field of thorns.

Discover More: Top 10 Good Guys Playing The Bad Guy

This top 10 was created in collaboration with Studio Canal for the DVD, VOD and Blu-ray release of Under the Skin

Under the Skin is released on Blu-ray and DVD on 14th July 2014 from STUDIOCANAL

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  1. Avatar
    Lights Camera Reaction Reply

    Even though its only been released this year, Johansson in Under the Skin is a great example.

  2. Avatar
    jackdeth72 Reply

    Hi, Jonathan:

    Ms. Johansson’s ‘Under the Skin’ looks intriguing. As does her ‘Lucy’ in regard to being a kick ass chick.

    Would also add Linda Fiorentino’s Black widow/femme fatale, Wendy Kroy from ‘The last Seduction’ as an Honorable Mention.

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