The Actors That Play These Horror Movie Villains Are Gorgeous In Real Life

Even if you're not a fan of the horror genre, chances are you've heard of Freddy Krueger, but would you recognize actor Robert Englund if you passed him in the street? Englund played the iconic villain for the first time in 1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street and went on to reprise the role a whopping seven times, making his final bow as the scarred serial killer in 2003's Freddy vs. Jason. Englund might be a legend in horror circles, but he isn't anywhere near as famous as the Krueger character. It's a problem that the actors behind many horror movie villains have to live with — you give your all to a role, and yet nobody ever sees your face.

Whether the evildoer is some kind of creature/demon/alien, or simply an utterly deplorable human being doing terrible things, the audience is often not supposed to view these characters as people. Elaborate costumes and makeup certainly help us with that, though we still can't help but wonder what's going on underneath all that latex and face paint. What do the actors behind these horrific characters actually look like?

Englund isn't a bad looking guy (He's certainly a lot easier on the eye than old Freddy), but there's a handful of horror movie actors that really don't look like they should be playing the villain. See for yourself.

Sofia Boutella (The Mummy)

It was supposed to kick-start an all new cinematic universe, but The Mummy unraveled pretty quickly. It got off on the right foot when Sofia Boutella's Princess Ahmanet was introduced, but in the end, this reboot simply wasn't as fun as the 1999 movie of the same name. According to SyFy, the reboot "did Sofia Boutella dirty" by minimizing her character in favor of Tom Cruise. "...It may be called The Mummy, but one of cinema's rising stars never gets her moment to shine in the title role."

The negative reviews and poor domestic box office numbers posted by The Mummy left the future of the Dark Universe in doubt, but for all the bad press, Boutella's dedication to the project was never in doubt. The Algerian actress (who toured with Madonna and Rihanna as a backup dancer before she landed her breakout role) was a huge fan of Universal's Classic Monster movies growing up, as she explained to the Independent. "It's not just a monster walking around," she said. "If you look at the original ones, they're interesting, profound metaphors."

Bill Skarsgård (IT)

Hiring an actor who moonlights as a model only to cover him in makeup might seem pointless, but Bill Skarsgård wasn't cast as Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the 2017 adaptation of Stephen King's IT because of his good looks. The Swedish actor brought a whole new level of intensity to the character, setting his Pennywise apart from the earlier Tim Curry TV version. Getting into the right mindset for the role was difficult for Skarsgård, and he found it even harder to shake it off after the film wrapped.

"I was home, done with the movie, and I started having very strange and vivid Pennywise dreams," Skarsgård told Entertainment Weekly. "Every night, he came and visited. It was in the shape of either me dealing with him, sort of Pennywise as a separate entity of me, and then also me as Pennywise in circumstances that I didn't appreciate." 

It wasn't just Skarsgård himself who got spooked — some of the child actors he worked with were "traumatized" too. "Some of them were really intrigued, but some couldn't look at me, and some were shaking — this one kid started crying," he told Interview. The actor admitted that the moment director Andy Muschietti yelled "Action," he went straight into character, tears or no tears. "So some of these kids got terrified and started to cry in the middle of the take, and then I realized, 'Holy s***, what am I doing? What is this? This is horrible.'"

Ken Kirzinger (Freddy vs. Jason)

Man mountain Ken Kirzinger once played college football for the University of British Columbia, but he decided to get into stunt work after suffering a bad knee injury. Speaking to Indie Mac User during the blog's horror month, Kirzinger revealed he secretly hoped his stunt work would lead to him being discovered, but he had no idea his "very modest" involvement in the Friday the 13th franchise would cause such a ruckus.

"My favourite role has probably been playing Jason [Voorhees]," Kirzinger said. "Little did I know what an iconic character I was lucky enough to get." He donned the famous mask for the first time in 1989's Jason Takes Manhattan as a stunt double and later appeared as one of Jason's victims. Kirzinger banked his stuntman checks and forgot all about the character until he was offered the chance to play him for real.

"When I was asked to play Jason in Freddy vs. Jason, I didn't know it was such a big deal," he said. "Since Freddy vs. Jason became arguably the most successful of the Jason instalments, I have been humbled by the attention I have gotten, and very appreciative." The nature of this particular Jason Voorhees movie meant that Kirzinger even got the chance to act heroic for a moment, decapitating Robert Englund's Freddy Krueger in the closing moments. 

Takako Fuji (The Grudge)

2004's The Grudge turned out to be little more than another unambitious Hollywood rehash of a J-horror favorite, though in theory it should have been at least as good as the Japanese version. Takashi Shimizu (director of the original Ju-on) agreed to helm the Americanized remake, and he was joined by Takako Fuji, the woman behind creepy-as-hell ghost Kayako

Speaking to IGN, Fuji admitted that the difference in budgets was stark. "The Hollywood remake obviously is a bigger production," she said. "We were able to build the sets and everything, where we can do more stuff. So contrary to Japanese production, we have to use existing houses and we are not allowed to use different equipment and stuff, so we have to use whatever is available to us." Alas, the reboot proved far less popular with critics than the bare-bones original.

Fuji reprised the role of Kayako in 2006's The Grudge 2 (the sixth time she'd played the vengeful ghost), and while this installment was flat-out panned, the character still left a mark on the horror genre Stateside. "I feel that some of the reasons are because typical American ghosts are zombies and demons and stuff like that, but when it comes to the Japanese ghosts it's more like a grudge," Fuji explained. "People's feelings are into it. I think that's something new to America. I think that's maybe what makes it scary."

Bonnie Morgan (Rings)

When Hollywood adapted Hideo Nakata's Ringu for western audiences, they swapped out Japan for the States and changed the name of the movie's obligatory creepy dead girl from Sadako to Samara. A young Daveigh Chase (who also grew up to be gorgeous) played Samara in 2002's The Ring and appeared in 2005's The Ring Two via archive footage, but the majorly creepy stuff in the sequel was done by contortionist Bonnie Morgan.

The studio initially intended to use special effects for some key Samara scenes, but the stunt coordinator was a friend of Morgan's and suggested they use her instead. "[They] contacted me to see if I could create an iconic movement from my contortionist background that would look really special and really different," Morgan told Bloody Disgusting. "Real is always more scary. 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 with the result."

The work Morgan did on The Ring Two led to her getting the part full-time when an unexpected sequel was green-lit years later. A decade had passed since the last movie, and Morgan had almost given up any hope of reprising the role of Samara, but she was back at her bendy best in 2017's Rings. The redhead told Daily Dead that she'd be up for a fourth installment. 

Paul T. Taylor (Hellraiser: Judgement)

He had zero lines, but Paul T. Taylor was still thrilled to make his big screen debut in Robert Rodriguez's neo-noir classic Sin City in 2005. More bit parts followed, but Taylor was forced to put his career — and life — on hold after he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. The disease became hard to deal with and Taylor succumbed to depression.

"I had stopped enjoying the business," he told Bloody Disgusting. "I had started just being a hermit, staying home. Just eating pizza while watching movies, and that was my life." Suicidal thoughts began to cross his mind, but before he had the chance to do anything drastic, a new drug for the treatment of Hepatitis C helped Taylor recover. He started auditioning again, and one day he received a script simply titled Judgement. Being a Hellraiser fan, Taylor saw through the ruse. 

"They were keeping it a secret then that it was a Hellraiser movie," the actor said. "They were just calling it Judgement. The first line I read, I said, 'This is a Hellraiser movie.' I knew it, because I'm already well versed in the language of Hellraiser. I'm a huge fan." Taylor was offered the role of Pinhead after the legendary Doug Bradley refused to reprise the role.

Sheri Moon Zombie (Lords of Salem)

Sheri Moon Zombie and her rocker/filmmaker husband Rob Zombie have collaborated on a handful of horror movies over the years, the first of which was 2003's House of 1000 Corpses. This shameless throwback to the exploitation films of the 1970s was truly disturbing (once you've seen Office star Rainn Wilson as Fishboy, you can't unsee it), but Sheri Moon stole the show as the crazed Baby Firefly.

She reprised the role in 2005's The Devil's Rejects. According to Wicked Horror, the sequel contains "some of the most disturbing sequences in modern horror" and Sheri Moon's Baby is at the center of the carnage. In that one, the actress is essentially playing a psychotic, murderous version of herself, so there wasn't much of a physical transformation needed, but that wasn't the case when the married couple worked together on 2012's The Lords of Salem.

Sheri Moon stars as a recovering drug addict who falls in league with the devil after becoming involved with a coven of witches. For the role, she agreed to have her hair in dreadlocks and sit through the application of several fake tattoos, not to mention that intricate face paint. "Some days it was two hours and some days it was three," she told Media Mikes. "The tattoos would last for a couple of days ... it definitely was a process!"

Jonathan Breck (Jeepers Creepers)

Speaking of sequels coming out of the blue, Jeepers Creepers 3 arrived in 2017, set between the first movie (2001) and the second one (2003). The original Jeepers Creepers divided critical opinion upon release but quickly gained a cult following, with the eponymous Creeper catching the imagination of horror fans. According to the man underneath the makeup, the entire transformation takes between three and five hours.

"By the time they're done, I am somebody else ... so it's a lot easier for me to just get into the character," Jonathan Breck said. The only part of himself that Breck can see when he looks in the mirror are his eyes, but he's far from uncomfortable in the Creeper get-up. "The suit is cast exactly like my body so it feels like a second skin. When I look in the mirror and I'm bulked up three times the size I normally am, you just feel like there's nothing you can't do. It's like a magic cape that you put on, and instantly you become the Creeper."

Speaking with IGN about the third (but not final) movie in the series, Breck revealed that he did a lot of his own stunt work on Jeepers Creepers 3 to save money. "I really had to lace up my bootstraps and do a lot of these myself."

Bonnie Aarons (The Nun)

Billed as the darkest chapter in the Conjuring universe (which includes the Annabelle franchise and both Conjuring movies), The Nun caused a lot of hype but ultimately failed to impress, scoring a disappointing 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes – the lowest score of any Conjuring universe film to date, but according to actress Taissa Farmiga, the title character was plenty scary. The leading lady revealed that actress Bonnie Aarons would go out of her way to scare her between takes, often sneaking up behind her in the terrifying nun get-up worn by her character, the demon Valak. 

Aarons had a blast on set, telling Coma Music Magazine"Shooting the movie was a whole lot of fun, I love to entertain people and the demon nun has delivered quite a thrill." Making Aarons (who describes herself as "gregarious, glamorous and gory") look that scary didn't take as long as you might imagine. "I am not wearing that much makeup, it was strategically painted on," she said. "It took about one and a half hours. I wore a whole lot more makeup in the other films I have done."