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What makes EVIL characters more intriguing than VIRTUOUS characters in movies?
Typically the villain has a more interesting backstory and a reason for why he/she has become the way they are. Oftentimes, they don't believe what they are doing is inherently wrong and believe strongly in their cause.
Virtuous or "good" characters tend to seem like they were written as good people just for the sake of being good. And that's a bit boring, because there's no real substance there.
True, but it just raises further questions. Why should it be this way? There's nothing about evil that makes it inherently more interesting than good. In fact, evil is so commonplace in the real world as to be banal. Heroes are less common.
The bad boy appeals to the audience's and the author's desire for vicarious transgression. He does all the things we want to do but don't dare. The hero by contrast offers vicarious valor.
Those who daydream about mischief will write a compelling villain but a dull hero. Those who daydream about saving the day will write a compelling hero but a dull villain.
The best writers make both the hero and the villain interesting. That takes imagination and empathy.
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