13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

13. Mr. Blonde - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

13. Mr. Blonde

Played By: Michael Madsen
Film: Reservoir Dogs

Why He's On The List: We hear evidence for and see it against, but the great thing about 'Toothpick' Vic Vega is that you can't believe he's capable of committing his atrocities until you actually see them: that is the hallmark of a psychopath. And his 'moment in the sun', as it were, is magnificent - a cool, cruel torture sequence as meaningless as it is vicious. Arguably the scene that put Tarantino on the map, it walks dangerously close to, yet never crosses the line, between making violence horrific and making it cool.

Finest Hour: Breaking midway through torturing Marvin the cop to step outside and get a can of petrol from the boot of his car, in a single shot.
12. Tommy Devito - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

12. Tommy Devito

Played By: Joe Pesci
Film: Goodfellas

Why He's On The List: A fiver says that if you went up to any movie fan and asked for their favourite movie nutters, Tommy would top the list. There's something very familiar about Pesci's psychotic drive in Goodfellas - his refusal to back down from a confrontation, no matter how big his opponent (and given his diminutive stature, they're always bigger), coupled with his love for his oblivious mother. Of course, Tommy's ultimate role is demonstrate how individual fierceness isn't necessarily enough for survival in the mafia world, so his fate really shouldn't be as much of a surprise as it finally is, but it's a brief, bright, brilliant performance.

Finest Hour: Terrifying everyone in a club by insinuating that Henry (Ray Liotta) has offended him.
11. Brick Tamland - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

11. Brick Tamland

Played By: Steve Carell
Film: Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

Why He's On The List: To compete with a character like Ron Burgundy, you have to have something special: Brick Tamland has it. The world champion of movie morons, Steve Carell's mentally retarded weatherman attacks every line with an innocent, boyish zeal that allows him to get away with doing and saying things that would probably find most other people subject of a hate campaign from the Daily Mail.

Finest Hour: His painful attempt to invite Veronica Corningstone to the "pants party."
10. Quint - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

10. Quint

Played By: Robert Shaw
Film: Jaws

Why He's On The List: The most colourful member of Jaws' trinity of heroes, Quint could well have been a stereotypical salty sea dog (with traces of Moby Dick's Ahab). But we really should know better, and from the scars scene through to the Indianapolis speech, Shaw reveals frail, fragile layers beneath the sea shanties and wild overconfidence. His death, spitting blood as the shark bites him in two, is profoundly disturbing.

Finest Hour: What else? The speech about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. How Shaw didn't win an Oscar for that, we'll never know.
9. Aragorn - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

9. Aragorn

Played By: Viggo Mortensen
Film: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Why He's On The List: Like Gandalf, Aragorn undergoes considerable development across the Rings trilogy, but it's in Return Of The King that Aragorn must confront his destiny, and ergo that's when the character has most to do. Mortensen owns the part by this stage, and reliably provides great work in a monumental role that requires as much quiet expression from his eyes as it does from being able to swing a sword.

Finest Hour: Leading the charge on the armies of Mordor.
8. Gandalf - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

8. Gandalf

Played By: Sir Ian McKellen
Film: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Why He's On The List: It's quite a transformation for Gandalf across the span of the Rings trilogy. Sure, leading the charge down to Helm's Deep at the end of The Two Towers took some beating, but it's in Return of the King that Gandalf the White really gets it together - and not just sprouting wisdom in the quiet bits. Between temporarily deposing the deranged Steward (Denethor), whipping the army of Gondor into shape, and occasionally breaking out the staff to up a can of whupass on a few orcs, he's pretty much the whole action thing covered.

Finest Hour: Covering all bases in the besieged city of Minis Tirith, holding the cities lax defences together.
7. Yoda - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

7. Yoda

Played By: Frank Oz
Film: The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi

Why He's On The List: That there's barely a kid in the known universe who can't identify Yoda's quirky syntax speaks volumes. It's a stroke of genius to introduce the Jedi master, a two-foot high alien with what appears to be mild dementia (although you try keeping it together living alone of Dagobah for 20 odd years), well before revealing who he actually is, and he quickly goes from being cute, to integral, to unforgettable. A perfect cinematic creation.

Finest Hour: Lifting Luke's X-Wing out of the swamp.
6. Ellis 'Red' Redding - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

6. Ellis 'Red' Redding

Played By: Morgan Freeman
Film: The Shawshank Redemption

Why He's On The List: In the Stephen King novella upon which Shawshank is based, Ellis 'Red' Redding is a red-haired Irishman. Yet that didn't matter a jot to Frank Darabont - for him, Morgan Freeman was the perfect Red, and it's hard to disagree. Red is not only the narrator of Shawshank (perfect for Freeman's mellifluous tones) but the character that is truly changed by Tim Robbins' Andy from an institutionalised schemer to a man who, finally, dares to believe in hope. He's an integral part of a relationship that remains the finest on-screen depiction of true friendship.

Finest Hour: The look on Freeman's face, and the smile in his eyes, as a paroled Red boards the bus that will take him to Mexico, and to his friend, Andy.
5. Jules Winnfield - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

5. Jules Winnfield

Played By: Samuel L. Jackson
Film: Pulp Fiction

Why He's On The List: Killing people for a living shouldn't be cool - we know that. But whether it's the hair or the scripture quoting or the endless badinage with Travolta's Vincent Vega, or just Jackson's natural air, this is a supremely cool professional assassin. Plus he spends a good portion of his time in Tarantino's masterpiece discussing his thoughts on leaving 'the life' and reforming his character, so he's not all bad.

Finest Hour: Delivering Ezekiel 25:17 - "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee. "
4. Hans Gruber - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

4. Hans Gruber

Played By: Alan Rickman
Film: Die Hard

Why He's On The List: Acclaimed British stage actor Alan Rickman hadn't made a movie before Die Hard. With all due respect to his wonderful career since, he might as well have stopped there, for there's no topping Hans Gruber. There are scarier villains, there may even be more iconic villains, but when it comes to slickness, suaveness, and coolness, Gruber has 'em licked. Endlessly quotable, Gruber's mind is as sharp as his suit and neat goatee - and the biggest testimony to Rickman's charismatic performance is that part of you wants him to get away with it.

Finest Hour: The moment when, after hours of hard work, the Nakatomi vault opens, and Gruber is bathed in heavenly light as the fruits of his labour appear. Of course, two hours later, he's sidewalk squelch, but never mind.
3. Gollum - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

3. Gollum

Played By: Andy Serkis
Film: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Return of the King

Why He's On The List: Similarly to Yoda, our first fascination with Gollum is with his appearance and his strange speech pattern (as well as being a digitally imposed character), but as the second instalment of Lord Of The Rings progresses, it becomes apparent that he's not one person, but two. It's all galvanised by one fascinating, heartbreaking, classic scene, but Serkis' performance continues to consistently display the demented halfling's highly volatile state.

Finest Hour: His two personalities arguing over Frodo's sincerity and fate.
2. The Joker - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

2. The Joker

Played By: Heath Ledger
Film: The Dark Knight

Why He's On The List: "Some men," remarks Michael Caine's wise old butler, Alfred, "just want to watch the world burn." Which is about as succinct a summary of Heath Ledger's Joker as you can get. There is no rhyme to him, no reason - just an appetite for anarchy, for chaos and for destruction that marks him out as the most terrifying screen psycho in years. Jack Nicholson's Joker was, arguably, even more psychotic than Ledger's, but where he played the white-faced, red-lipped, green-haired clown for laughs, Ledger's aim was to slip, insidiously, under your skin, with his flickering serpent's tongue, penchant for close-up kills and dead, cold eyes. Ledger's Joker is an unstoppable force of nature, and a wonderful testament to the late actor's talent.

Finest Hour: Gatecrashing the Mob meeting, and showcasing a magic trick - "I'm going to make this pencil disappear!" - that most definitely hasn't been sanctioned by the Magic Circle.
1. Darth Vader - 13 Awesome non protagonist movie characters of all time

1. Darth Vader

Played By: David Prowse / James Earl Jones (voice)
Film: Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jed, Revenge of the Sith

Why He's On The List: To hell with the Emperor - he wasn't even around for most of the action. Darth Vader is, to every child of Star Wars, the supreme badass in the galaxy. He is everything that scares you as a child, cutting a huge, imposing figure, wearing doom-laden black, and breathing through some kind of ominous respirator - surely enough to give any person in their formative years the willies. The masterstroke behind Vader's design is that mask. The cold, expressionless cover is difficult to read, and makes for a much scarier experience than a human face can give. Having the bass tones of James Earl Jones doesn't hurt either. The very definition of simple and effective, something tells us he'll stay near the top of this list for a long time... a long time.

Finest Hour: His entrance.