21-year-old actor Jack Gleeson—who plays the most punchable villain on TV, Game of Thrones' King Joffrey—seems like a nice guy in person. He told GQ last month that he counts himself as only "three-and-a-half percent" evil, which seems like a number on the low end of the spectrum. That's a level of evil where you occasionally don't hold the door open for others, or you neglect to put the toilet seat down after a trip to the john. "I try to be a nice person, but it's difficult sometimes," he said, and, in order to conjure up the feelings needed to play Joffrey, " have to tap into and embrace the negative feelings try to repress in everyday life."
It's a testament then to how good Gleeson is as an actor that he can pull off what he does in Game of Thrones. His snottiness, arrogance, and twisted glee in committing horrible acts show a clear influence to Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus in Gladiator, but Gleeson has managed to make the character all his own, separate from the George R.R. Martin source material and the movie enemies of the past.
And, as you'll see in the video above, Gleeson can turn it in at the drop of a hat. GQ asks the kid (and he's still really just a kid) to read the line "My God, it's sunny outside" as both himself and as a villain. The difference is staggering.
Actors catch a ton of shit for saying things like "learning the craft," but let's face it: Beneath the pretension, it is a skill, and few people can do something like this.