Ricky's Top Four Villain Roles
The Pillowman By Martin Macdonough:
This is one of my favorites because, although my character does some horrible things, I'm not actually the villain. I play the special needs brother Michal to writer Katurian Katurian. My brother writes a lot of Brother's Grim style stories where a bunch of children get killed. What do I do to help him write better stories? I go out and kill a bunch of children to show him that his stories don't have happy endings. My favorite part of this role was trying to find the innocence in everything that Michal did. I had to play someone that did horrible things but didn't know they were wrong. Plus I got my first death scene ever when my brother smothers me with a pillow! You can't get an better than that! This character touched my heart because it reminds me of my relationship with my real brother, who also is a writer. I was able to write him a very touching shout out in my program bio that told him how I really felt. When he came to see the show, he was really touched.
This is actually my first Villain Role and the first time that I ever walked onto the Austin Peay State University stage. I played a Nazi Captain that terrorized the homosexual protagonists that were imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp. I remember that we did a whole lot of research. We watched hours of video about what the prisoners had to go to and the draconian bans on normal people that allowed to to happen. I find it weird when I say that I like playing villains because it makes me more aware and compassionate. It made me think of all of the people who died under that regime but also how easy it was for people like my character to be talked into doing those evil things. I walked out of that play with a new awareness of the hatred that surrounds us, and a new definition of love. All because I played an evil man.
Heart of Glass by Robert Tonner:
I wasn't originally in this play. I was actually just the director and had to step in at the last moment when an actor had to step out of the show. I played a very brutal boyfriend, William. I was really torn up in this play because part of the action of the play included a rape. It was easy to ask someone else to do and it seemed like a good challenge to my stage combat skills but when it came to doing it myself I didn't think I can do it. I wondered after this how many other times as a director had I asked other people to do something without thinking about the moral effect it would have on their lives. I walked out of that show with a new idea about which kinds of shows I was and was not going to direct.
A Dead Dog Like Me by Annotation Films:This was one of my first film roles. Again I was originally just there to do some stage combat but ended up stepping into the role at the last minute. This time I was playing a child molester called Sam Milvani. This one was also hard on for me. I walked onto the set and the first scenes we had to shoot were the fights scenes where my character is getting the tar beaten out of him with a baseball bat. Pretty easy for me. We break for lunch and we come back to my death scene where I'm getting shot in the head. Also not that difficult. But when the time came to shoot the rest of my scenes, including the creepy piano scene you see above you I couldn't help feeling the crummiest I've ever been. I kept wondering if I had taken playing the villain way too far. Had I crossed some boundary that I couldn't come back from in my art. And then the Director Ian gave me my copy of the finished film months later and I finally got to see the whole movie. It's a touching story about a father getting his redemption after years by avenging his son. I realized then that playing a villain and playing him well is so vital to a good story. Think about it. There are no good stories about good versus evil without some convincing evil. And that's why I still play villains to this day. So that there can be more heroism and hope on the stage.