These Are The Gorgeous Actors Behind The The Horror Genre’s Scariest Villains
Even if you’ve never watched a scary movie, chances are you know who the genre’s most legendary monsters are. From old school slasher villains Freddy and Jason to new school baddies like the Valak the Nun and Pennywise, horror villains have haunted our dreams and made our imaginations soar for decades. But have you ever wondered what the bad guy looks behind the mask? Are they really that horrifying in real life? The answer is no. Some of them happen to the be the most beautiful people in Hollywood, and we’ve found the most gorgeous for you to see on this list.
Try not to get lost in their eyes, that’s when they get you!
Sofia Boutella Makes The Mummy Red Carpet Ready
Universal may have failed to launch its “Dark Universe” with the release of The Mummy in 2017, but that doesn’t mean the title villain didn’t give us nightmares. One look at her and we’re running for the aisle.
When we see her on the red carpet it’s another story entirely. Played by the absolutely stunning Sofia Boutella, we can’t take our eyes away when we see her approaching! And now that you know what she looks like, neither will you.
Bill Skarsgard Can Make Us A Balloon Animal Anyday
It was a monster hit when it came out in 2017. Pennywise the clown terrified audiences with his evil smile and a red balloon. Behind the makeup, actor Bill Skarsgard is nothing but easy on the eyes with a smile that will make you melt.
No matter how gorgeous Skarsgard might be, he scared the snot out of the young actors filming It. He even said, “Some of these kids got terrified and started to cry in the middle of the take… What am I doing?”
Coming up, we get Jason to take off the hockey mask.
You Can’t See Ken Kirzingers Smile Behind Jason’s Hockey Mask
Playing mass murderer Jason Voorhees in Freddy vs. Jason really showed the world the dark side of Ken Kirzinger. Thankfully, when he finally took the hockey mask off, his lighter side was revealed along with his award winning smile.
About his very small contribution to the Friday the 13th franchise, Kirzinger said it’s his favorite role and, “Little did I know what an iconic character I was lucky enough to get.” Oddly enough, he got his first taste of the franchise as a stunt double in Jason Takes Manhattan.
Takako Fuji From The Grudge Played The Role Six Times
If you’ve ever seen a Grudge movie you’ve probably had nightmares about Kayako, the pale ghost. In real life there is nothing scary about actress Takako Fuji, who has played the role six times in both Japan and the United States.
Even though the American versions were panned by critics, Kayako left an undeniable mark on audiences. The actress believes it’s because ghosts in Japan are less like zombies and demons. Instead, they are more connected to emotions and feelings.
Bonnie Morgan Didn’t Need CGI For The Ring
When filmmakers in the United States decided to adapt Ringu for American audiences, they intended to use CGI to make Samara contort her body into ridiculous shapes. Then they found Bonnie Morgan.
Morgan was a friend of the stunt coordinator, who passed her name onto the crew. Bonnie, who is beautiful in real life remembers, “The spider walk originated on my living room floor, and we shot some footage of it and the director could not have been more excited.”
Next, do you remember Pinhead?
Playing Pinhead Kept Paul T. Taylor Alive
Paul T. Taylor’s name probably doesn’t sound very familiar. The character actor made his debut in Sin City in 2005 before taking a long break from Hollywood to deal with his health. When he returned, he became Pinhead in Judgement.
Before taking on the role, the dashing man was a big fan of the character from his several previous films. Many actors have donned the makeup of Pinhead, but only Paul T. Taylor looks this good out of it.
Sheri Moon Zombie Is Just As Scary In Real Life
Sheri Moon Zombie shocked audiences to the core as Baby Firefly in House of 1000 Corpses. The shock film was directed by heavy metal icon Rob Zombie, and he left no stone unturned when it came to churning our stomachs.
Moon Zombie, if you haven’t guessed by now, is married to Rob Zombie in real life. She might be beautiful, but we wouldn’t cross her knowing that! She reprised the role in The Devil’s Rejects.
Jonathan Breck Isn’t Really A Creeper At All
Any fan of horror films from the early 2000s has a soft spot for the Jeepers Creepers franchise. The over-the-top horror films star Jonathan Breck as the Creeper, a creature that gets to hunt one night out of the year every 22 years.
Breck, who is a giant teddy bear in real life, has played the part in three films. The first two were released theatrically. The third, and hopefully last one, debuted on SyFy Channel in 2017.
Bonnie Aarons Is One Stunning Nun
Sticking with the theme of modern horror villains, how many in recent years have given you nightmares like Valak the Nun from The Conjuring film universe? Played by Bonnie Aarons, the character was so popular she even got her own movie.
Without makeup on, Aarons is stunning, with sharp features that make it hard to look away. Somehow, she was never considered Hollywood-pretty though and ended up becoming a horror film staple. The good news is Aaron loves playing the bad guy.
For more about Aarons’ unconventional path to Hollywood stardom, keep reading!
The Nun’s First Appearance Came In The Conjuring 2
As an integral part of The Conjuring franchise, we had forgotten that Valak the Nun didn’t make her frightening debut until the 2016 sequel. Aaron’s was so terrifying in the role that Universal Pictures quickly gave her a self-titled film of her own.
The Nun, which came out in 2018, earned $53 million on its opening weekend. It ended its theatrical run with $117 million. Produced for just $22 million, it’s safe to assume Aarons will be playing the character again soon.
The Director Didn’t Want Another Actress Playing The Nun
When Corin Hardy was hired to direct The Nun, his first thought was, “I hope we’ve made sure that the actress who originally played her is available.” The director had no interest in making the film if Bonnie Aarons wasn’t returning.
Replacing Aarons would have made some sense, too. The actress had only appeared briefly in her previous cameos. The studio could have wanted a bigger name to lead her own movie. Hardy didn’t want to change anything though, and his instincts proved right.
The Conjuring 2 Wasn’t Aaron’s First Horror Film
Before donning the iconic makeup of Valak and cementing herself in horror history, Bonnie Aarons was struggling to find her footing in the genre. In 2007, she made an appearance in I Know Who Killed Me, a psychological thriller starring Lindsay Lohan.
Two years later she made another small appearance in a Sam Raimi horror film. In 2010 she was given a bigger role playing a military general in Dahmer vs. Gacy. None of the movies prepared her for the sudden fame she gained in 2016.
On the next slide, find out why Aarons thinks horror films are healthy!
Aarons Believes Horror Movies Are Good For Your Health
Bonnie Aarons landed in the perfect role for herself as the Nun. She loves scaring people and believes that getting scared is actually good for your health. At the premiere for It she even said the adrenaline rush it produces helps with depression.
Of course, sometimes she scares people just to scare them. While filming The Nun, she said that in between takes she would scare co-star Taissa Farmiga just to keep her on edge. That’s not very nice!
Taissa Farmiga Didn’t Enjoy Being Scared
Taissa Farmiga was terrified of Bonnie Aarons while filming The Nun. She said sometimes she would just have to not look at the actress, telling her, “Bonnie, I love you, but I’m just not going to look at your right now. It’s too much.”
Farmiga isn’t the only person who had problems with Aarons in makeup. YouTube was forced to remove a six second trailer for the movie because, as Cosmopolitan reported, it was, “so effing scary.”
Aarons Stole Scenes From Naomi Watts In Mulholland Dr.
Do you remember the film Mulholland Dr.? Directed by David Lynch and released in 2001, film critics hailed it as one of the greatest films ever made. If you saw it, you probably remember “The Bum” in one scene that steals the show.
Funnily enough, when Aarons was cast in the role, she had no idea she was going to be used to scare people. When she saw the film for the first time, she admitted she even scared herself!
She’s Starred In More Than Just Scary Movies
Bonnie Aaron may be most famous for her horror roles, but she has let herself be pigeonholed. In fact, we’re sure you’ve seen her without makeup before, you just don’t realize it.
In David O. Russell’s The Fighter she played Bonnie. Working for Russell again a few years later, she played a character’s mother in The Silver Linings Playbook. Most memorably, she played a “teenager” addicted to drugs in a public service announcement. Her comedic timing is spot on.
Still ahead, we reveal Bonnie’s lighter side.
She Has A Lighter Side
If you can’t handle scary movies and don’t like heavy dramas, Aarons has you covered. In The Princess Diaries, she was able to show off her lighter side as Baroness Joy von Troken.
Sure, the Baroness is the villain in the film, but she still gets to show off some of her comedic chops. Aarons reprised the character for the second film in the franchise, where she says she wore more makeup than as the Nun.
Producers Thought She Wasn’t Pretty Enough For Hollywood
The entertainment industry is brutal. When Aarons began her career she was shocked to find out she wasn’t considered pretty enough for Hollywood. Some professionals even told her she needed to find another line of work entirely.
Aarons is happy she refused to listen. She thinks her sharp features have helped her snag more interesting roles than she would have otherwise been considered for. David Lynch even said he cast her in Mulholland Dr. because he was looking for the most incredible face he could find.
She’s Critical Of The People Around Her
When Bonnie Aarons isn’t scaring the pants off audiences, she spends time judging them online in her vlog. The actress regularly posts And You Know Who You Are episodes to YouTube.
In the self-produced vlog, Aarons gives her brutal opinions on the kinds of people she views as the most annoying. Some memorable episodes include “Are You Deranged?” and “Are You A Didactic Imbecile?” She makes the videos to, “help make the world a better place by encouraging those people who need a little correction.”
The Nun Is Leading To Bigger To Bigger Roles For Aarons
Getting pushed into the spotlight as Valak has done wonders for Aaron’s career. Now in the spotlight, she has major roles in several projects coming up, including Wizardream.
Although she signed on for the film before The Nun came out, the horror movie’s success has turned it into a more high profile project. She has not signed onto any new projects, post hit movie. Our bet is she’s looking for the perfect one to help take her career to the next level.
Mark Steger Has Played Many Villains And Monsters
Actor Mark Steger has had roles in films and television shows like I Am Legend, Stranger Things (he plays the monster!), The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, and American Horror Story. But perhaps his most terrifying role to date was that of Charles Barlow/Judas in the 2012 film The Pact.
As Charles Barlow, Steger appeared gaunt and unhealthy as he contorted his body into unnatural positions. He sneaks around the house’s hidden passageways and spies on others from behind hidden peepholes.
Next up: another amazing transformation for Mark Steger.
Mark Steger As Stranger Things‘ Demogorgon
As we’ve already seen, Mark Steger is a magician when it comes to being transformed from a handsome, normal-looking guy into a creep or monster. This is very apparent in the television series Stranger Things, where he plays the hideous Demogorgon.
In an interview with Horror Geek Life, Steger described what it’s like to be the Demogorgon. “It’s odd, for me it’s different because nobody recognizes me. I go to conventions and stuff and it takes people a minute to figure out who I am if they know I’m associated with the project.” He continued, “a lot of people didn’t know who I was unless I actually worked directly with them and they saw me without the animatronic head on.”
Now we get to see Mark Steger as the Easter Bunny.
From A Murderous Lunatic To The Demogorgon To… The Easter Bunny
Mark Steger also got to play the bizarre part of Bunny Man in a dark 2016 film called Holidays. This role required lots of makeup expertise, which Steger has said is “an inspiration.”
In his interview with Horror Geek Life, Steger said, “Autonomous F/X did the makeup for that and I thought it was a really great design, and once I see that it inspires me, as well. And that was really creepy makeup, that was just, it’s so wrong.” With a laugh, he continued: “It’s really ugly, it’s like seeing one of those pictures of a dog in a kennel that’s been abused and it’s all mangy and it looks really sad, it kind of had that feel to it.”
Now that you know all about Mark Steger’s career, let’s take a look back at some of our favorite scary children. What do you think they look like today?
Daveigh Chase Was The Original Samara
The Ring redefined the horror genre when it came out in 2002. While audiences today can’t relate to the idea of a haunted VHS, the scares were legitimate. Leading the scare brigade was Daveigh Chase playing ghost Samara (Bonnie Morgan in The Ring).
After the movie came out, Chase’s film career took off. From 2006 until 2011 she was one of the lead characters on Big Love. In 2018, she lent her voice to the television series King of the Golden Sun.
Felissa Rose Stole The Show In Sleepaway Camp
Sleepaway Camp shocked audiences when it was released in 1983. The film features one of the horror genre’s great twist endings, pulled off with reckless abandon by actress Felissa Rose. If you though the ending of The Sixth Sense is shocking, you need to rent Sleepaway Camp.
These days, Rose is still acting. She has over 94 films to her credit. With ten films released in 2018, she might be the busiest actress in Hollywood!
Next up, we know you’ll recognize this scream queen!
Danielle Harris Is Still A Scream Queen
Danielle Harris got her first taste of the horror genre in 1989’s Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. Once she was hooked, she never left. Almost 20 years later, she returned for Rob Zombie’s Halloween reboot.
From 1998 until 2004 she was able to be kid friendly as the voice of Debbie Thornberry in The Wild Thornberrys. Harris has become such a legend in the horror community that she was inducted into the Fangoria Hall of Fame in 2012.
Thomas Dekker Blurs The Lines Between Horror And Sci-Fi
Thomas Dekker made his horror debut as terrifying little David McGowan in Village of the Damned. Since then, the versatile actor has stayed busy, jumping between horror and science fiction projects, with some family drama in between.
We’re sure you’ve seen Dekker somewhere. Either on the big screen or on television, he’s found his way in front of you. His biggest role to date was that of John Connor in televisions Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. He has 69 total credits to his name.
Isabelle Fuhrman Is So Much More Than Just An Orphan
Isabelle Furhman shocked audiences in Orphan. The horror film is one of the genre’s more original efforts, and turned Furhman into a Hollywood darling. If you haven’t seen it, the film is worth checking out.
The young actress returned to the horror genre in 2016 with Cell, an adaptation of a Stephen King novel. She starred in the film alongside acting legends John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. That film, unfortunately, was not met with the same warm reception as Orphan.
On the next slide, we show you what Gage from Pet Cemetery looks like today!
Miko Hughes Grew Out Of His Scary Phase
Miko Hughes no longer terrifies audiences the way he used to. When he showed up as tiny Gage in Pet Cemetary, he had plenty of couples rethinking whether they wanted to have children or not.
These days Hughes is still acting, but he’s not nearly as scary as he used to be. He’s still making horror movies, don’t get us wrong, he’s just no longer playing the deranged killer child. Is anything scarier than a deranged killer child?
Jodelle Ferland Will Never Escape Pyramid Head
Jodelle Ferland has been a scary little girl for a long time. In 2002, she made her scary debut in They, and followed it up with Silent Hill in 2006. The video game adaptation features the games main baddie Pyramid Head, who was outshined by Ferland.
Proving the genre is just one big family party, Ferland is still taking part in horror films today. Neverknock, her most recent venture in the shadows, was released in 2017.
Do You Remember Kirsten Dunst’s First Role?
We assume you know who Kirsten Dunst is. She’s one of the most successful actresses working today. But do you remember her first role? Dunst broke into the industry with a bang, starring alongside Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in 1994’s Interview with the Vampire.
In the film she played Claudia, the forever child of Brad Pitt’s vampire. At one point in the film, the two share a kiss in one of cinema’s more controversial scenes. Dunst was only 12 years old at the time!
Matthew Helms Got Over His Cabin Fever
Matthew Helms acted in two films. In only one film, Cabin Fever, Helms had a speaking role. He made the most of it as weird kid who loves pancakes. He loves the breakfast food so much he yells it out before taking a bite out of someone’s hand.
The good news is Helms is still a performer. He trained growing up as a ballet dancer and still enjoys dancing today. He has been a member of the Boulder Ballet since 2011.
Emily Perkins Is A Horror Lifer
Emily Perkins got her first taste of horror in the early ’90s adaptation of It. Instead of turning away from the genre, she embraced the screams. In 2000 she was cast in Ginger Snaps.
While lesser known, Ginger Snaps has become a cult classic and had two sequels produced in three years. Perkins has also appeared in The X-Files and The Twilight Zone. In 2016, she announced she was taking a break from acting to be a mother.
Will Sandin Never Survived Halloween
The opening scene of the original Halloween shows a six-year-old Michael Myers murder his sister. The little boy that played Myers is named Will Sandin, and after the movie came out he retired from acting.
Until the turn of the century, no one knew what had happened to little Michael Myers. Sandin was alive and healthy and was finally willing to participate in Halloween panels. He has also revealed that Halloween die-hards knew he was okay because they hunted him down on social media.
Lindsey Haun Is Still Terrifying Today
Thomas Dekker may have been scary in Village of the Damned, but he was under the direction of Lindsey Haun. The actress played the emotionless child leader of the village, and now we’re going to have nightmares remembering her performance.
Speaking with Cosmopolitan in 2016, Haun admitted she based her terrifying performance on Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining. We’re not sure why she was allowed to watch that movie at such a young age, but it clearly had an impact.
Alex Vincent Doesn’t Play With Dolls Anymore
Every kids nightmare came to life in 1988 when Child’s Play was released. The child actor who was tortured the most was Alex Vincent. The young actor starred in five Child’s Play movies, but no longer plays with dolls.
Vincent has taken on a quieter life, running his own recording studio in Florida, AV Productions. He also makes appearances at horror conventions, which he considers his day job. We wonder how much he makes per appearance!
Kyle Richards Wasn’t Always A Reality TV Star
You probably know Kyle Richards today as one of the wives on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Do you remember where you saw her first, though? When she was just five years old, Richards played an integral role the first Halloween.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t an integral role, but it was still memorable. She played Lindsey, the little girl Annie was supposed to be babysitting until she ditched her responsibilities see her boyfriend. How’d that work out for her?
David Dorfman Graduated From Harvard Law School
David Dorfman had quite the career turn around after playing Aidan in The Ring. If you forget, Aidan is Naomi Watts’ way too creepy son in the film. He also played an inbred in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot.
Two horror films was enough for Dorfman, who left the industry to study law at Harvard. Speaking with Refinery 29, Dorfman admitted his career has been full of twists and turns and he’s, “just really incredibly grateful for all the great opportunities.”
Yūya Ozeki Scared Us All In The Grudge
Yūya Ozeki is a Japanese actor who got his big break in 2003 when he starred in Ju-on: The Grudge. Ozeki took over the role of Toshio in the horror film when he was just seven years old. The movie was such a big hit that he also starred in the sequel, as well as the American adaptations.
Interestingly, Ozeki has said that the scene with the cat was incredibly difficult to film because he has a phobia of felines. Today, he’s 22 years old and frequently travels between Japan and Washington.
Linda Blair Played Demon-Possessed Regan MacNeil
If you’ve seen The Exorcist, then you’re familiar with the stand-out performance by actress Linda Blair. Blair was just 13 years old when she played Regan in the 1973 film and was selected from more than 600 applicants. The casting department clearly made the right choice as Blair took home a Golden Globe and Academy Award for her performance.
She went on to start in the film’s sequel, which was largely considered a failure. She continues to act in both television and film but The Exorcist remains her best performance to date.