The New York Times teams up with photographer Alex Prager to feature the thirteen best actors from the past year; each posing as nefarious icons from Tinseltown past for their annual Hollywood issue. The project includes some memorable photographic stills accompanied with cinematic and somewhat eerie video vignettes produced by Prager and her crew.

@teemunny

A.O. Scott:

Likability may be the currency of movie stardom, but most actors agree that the juiciest, most memorable roles often belong to the villains. The 13 performers featured in this year’s portfolio have distinguished themselves in 2011 by playing nice, noble, tragic and heroically patient characters — as well as many who defy easy description — but as a rule they have not impersonated monsters, killers, thugs or other figures of malevolence. So the magazine offered them the chance to try on the black hat.

Some of these villains are inspired by specific icons of unpleasantness. Others tap more generally into the primal fears that remain a potent source of pleasure and discomfort at the movies. Cruelty. Seduction. Rage. The ability of these actors to disturb us with a gesture, a change of expression or a simple stare only serves to make us like them more.

The New York Times: Touch of Evil: VIDEO
The New York Times: Vamps, Crooks and Killers: SLIDESHOW
The New York Times: THE HOLLYWOOD ISSUE: A Rogues’ Gallery (INSPIRATION)
The New York Times: The 6th Floor: THE HOLLYWOOD ISSUE: Behind the Scenes
The New York Times: THE HOLLYWOOD ISSUE: Our Own Worst Enemies

CLICK PHOTOS TO PLAY VIDEO:

Adepero Oduye as Bonnie Parker in "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) © Alex Prager and The New York Times

Brad Pitt as as Henry Spencer in David Lynch’s "Eraserhead" (1977) © Alex Prager and The New York Times

Gary Oldman as the ventriloquist’s dummy Fats from "Magic" (1978) © Alex Prager and The New York Times

George Clooney as Captain Bligh in "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935) © Alex Prager and The New York Times

Glen Close as silent film star Theda Bara © Alex Prager and The New York Times

Jean Dujardin from "Green Street Hooligans" (2005) © Alex Prager and The New York Times

Jessica Chastain as as Carole in Roman Polanski’s "Repulsion" (1965) © Alex Prager and The New York Times

Kirsten Dunst as Cora Smith in "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946) © Alex Prager and The New York Times

Mia Wasikowska as Anna Quadri in Bernardo Bertolucci’s "Conformist" (1970) © Alex Prager and The New York Times

Michael Shannon as as Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street" (1987) © Alex Prager and The New York Times

Rooney Mara as as Alex in "A Clockwork Orange" (1971) © Alex Prager and The New York Times

Ryan Gosling as "The Invisible Man" (1933) © Alex Prager and The New York Times

Viola Davis as Nurse Ratched in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" (1975) © Alex Prager and The New York Times

A video interview with Alex Prager from 2010:


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