Jessica Barden's Favorite Female Villains

Jessica Barden, Actress (Hanna)

In Hanna, Jessica Barden plays Sophie, a sassy teenager on vacation with her folks who happens to befriend a strange girl she unexpectedly meets in Morocco. Unlike her new friend Hanna (Saoirse Ronan), Sophie is your normal teenage girl, complete with an annoying little brother, ridiculous but loving parents, and a healthy knowledge of pop-culture gossip. But Sophie’s normal life ends when she meets Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett), the rogue CIA operative out to get Hanna at any cost.

Since Jessica Barden is so good at capturing the giddy teenage essence of Sophie, we asked about the evil her character meets along the way in the form of Marissa Wiegler. Still a teenager herself, Ms. Barden has already made a name for herself in film, stage and television. In 2010, she was nominated for Young British Performer of the Year by the London Critics Circle for her turn in Tamara Drewe. She was praised for her role in the recent West End staging of Jez Butterwoth Jerusalem. And for over a year she was a regular feature on the popular TV series Coronation Street. Since she is so good, we asked her to tell us her five favorite female characters who are really bad.

Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
This is the ultimate villain because you still love her, even though she is basically torturing her more famous sister to death out of jealousy. She ties her to her bed and attempts to starve her to death by trying to feed her their dead pet bird and gives her numerous beatings among many, many other things. Bette Davis is just the most fabulous person ever––when she is evil, I want to be her.
Joan Cusack in Addams Family Values
She plays the best gold digger ever and kills in really violent, imaginative ways. She has impeccable style as well.
Marlene Dietrich in The Devil Is a Woman
She seduces powerful and rich men and then makes them all kill each other, so she can walk away with the money. Her schemes are perfectly crafted like her eyebrows.
Miss Trunchbull in Matilda
She is the most disgusting villain ever. But I think force-feeding someone chocolate cake is really smart, so I cannot help but admire her style.
Patsy Stone from Absolutely Fabulous
If you make an enemy of Patsy Stone, you should probably go in to hiding. She has been drunk since childhood and has an acid filled tongue, but she knows how to look after herself and her best friend.
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