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(NPR)   Scarred people are tired of always being the bad guy in movies   (npr.org) divider line
    More: Obvious, James Bond, Thunderball, GoldenEye, facial differences, Casino Royale, new James Bond film, Roger Moore, Villain  
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1388 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 21 Oct 2021 at 2:50 AM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-10-21 3:21:21 AM  
Tyrion Lannister wasn't a bad guy. Sure, he was a whoring drunkard, but he had a moral center.
 
2021-10-21 3:32:50 AM  
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2021-10-21 4:08:00 AM  
Just came back from No Time to Die and hoo boy, this movie is a farking mess.
 
2021-10-21 4:27:19 AM  
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Tommy Flanagan usually plays on the side of the heroes more than not.
 
2021-10-21 4:51:19 AM  
Snake Plissken was a good guy. More or less.
 
2021-10-21 4:56:30 AM  
I think it has more than a little to do with the German Dueling Scars. Austrian and German uppclassmen learned fencing at the University, and it was a badge of honour to get a scar from a duel. It was a sign of bravery.

Real life SS officer :
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When you look at some proeminent nazi figures, lots of them had this scar. So when you had nazi villains in post-WW2 movies, lots of them had this scar, especially the aritocrats.

So, it's not surprising that facial scars quickly became shortcuts for "Bad Guy" :
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2021-10-21 5:04:54 AM  
Sooo not a new thing.

It's been a well-worn trope in literature and culture for thousands of years, going back even to Greek and Roman plays. It's even lampshaded or subverted in stories like Cyrano de Bergerac, Hunchback of Notre Dame or Frankenstein, where the ugly freak is good and everyone else is bad.

In the Age of Enlightenment it was even codified as Physiognomy, the scientific theory that behavior could be determined through appearances -- that good people are beautiful and bad people are ugly. This was the basis of a lot of racist conclusions in the 19th century as evolution was perverted into eugenics (that European traits are good and African traits are bad).

Sure it's not a nice thing to do, but it's not like it's a recent thing or that it's all Hollywood's fault. It's just a storytelling convention.
 
2021-10-21 5:09:24 AM  
Darth Vader's scars are only seen briefly while he was still the villain. By the time his scarred face is shown fully, he's returned to the light side of the Force. It's a humanizing moment for him.
 
2021-10-21 5:46:08 AM  
They're not wrong.
 
2021-10-21 5:48:38 AM  

Ishkur: Sooo not a new thing.

It's been a well-worn trope in literature and culture for thousands of years, going back even to Greek and Roman plays. It's even lampshaded or subverted in stories like Cyrano de Bergerac, Hunchback of Notre Dame or Frankenstein, where the ugly freak is good and everyone else is bad.

In the Age of Enlightenment it was even codified as Physiognomy, the scientific theory that behavior could be determined through appearances -- that good people are beautiful and bad people are ugly. This was the basis of a lot of racist conclusions in the 19th century as evolution was perverted into eugenics (that European traits are good and African traits are bad).

Sure it's not a nice thing to do, but it's not like it's a recent thing or that it's all Hollywood's fault. It's just a storytelling convention.


See also: almost every fairy tale ever, where the female protagonist is beautiful and the prince is handsome and the evil crones are ugly. Subverted very slightly in Snow White, but only to the extent that the beautiful queen becomes evil when she loses the edge of beauty.
 
2021-10-21 5:50:25 AM  
It isn't just scars. Anything that is considered abnormal is fair game. Different colored eyes? Oh, that means you are psycho. Burns? Villain!

People love to demonize abnormality.
 
2021-10-21 5:58:27 AM  
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2021-10-21 6:13:59 AM  
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Article is absolutely right in general, but Omar was the best character on the show.
 
2021-10-21 6:18:56 AM  
Jfc what a bunch of whiny shiat.
 
2021-10-21 7:04:49 AM  
I have facial scars, so I'm really getting a kick....
 
2021-10-21 7:06:16 AM  
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"fark that!!"
 
2021-10-21 7:07:00 AM  
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2021-10-21 7:30:45 AM  
Ross Poldark says, LOL WUT?
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2021-10-21 7:36:40 AM  
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2021-10-21 7:39:02 AM  
Geez Louise these millennials are tiresome little farks.
 
2021-10-21 7:40:59 AM  
I totally thought this was going to be about psychological and emotional scarring.
 
2021-10-21 8:25:32 AM  
Captain Adama.  Edward James Olmos would like a word.
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2021-10-21 8:28:16 AM  
My only Halloween decorations are a few pumpkins on my porch.  They've already been set upon by the local wildlife.  I get 2, maybe 3 days of nice looking pumpkins before the carnage starts.
 
2021-10-21 8:28:36 AM  
James Bond has a scar.

"The novels (notably From Russia, with Love), Bond's physical description has generally been consistent: slim build; a 3 in (76 mm) long, thin vertical scar on his right cheek; blue-grey eyes; a "cruel" mouth; short, black hair, a comma of which rests on his forehead."
 
2021-10-21 8:31:49 AM  

BafflerMeal: They're not wrong.


Yes they are. They are deliberately ignoring all the good guys who are scarred, as shown by people in this thread.
 
2021-10-21 8:32:50 AM  

swahnhennessy: Snake Plissken was a good guy. More or less.


He was more amoral.
 
2021-10-21 8:35:16 AM  
I'm just glad now my facial scar has faded, and looks like an 11 (glabellar)wrinkle.

CSB: I got it at a punk concert in 2006. Had a crowd surfer fall on me while I was up front on the crowd barricade. My face met that barricade.
 
2021-10-21 8:56:37 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: BafflerMeal: They're not wrong.

Yes they are. They are deliberately ignoring all the good guys who are scarred, as shown by people in this thread.


I have a scar on my forehead from being hits there by a billy club.  Took 13 stitches to close it.  Can you milk me, Greg?
 
2021-10-21 9:03:00 AM  
Scars are used as shorthand in fiction, but they're used as shorthand for lots of things. Yes, conveying the fact that a character is physically marred, in some way, as a way of evoking the sort of disgust and revulsion one might expect with a "bad guy" is a common one. But you can convey the same thing with other simple cheats. The character is obese. The character is physically hideous. The character has a strange voice. It's the oddity that works as the technique to drive home the fact that the character is different from others -- in this example, a villain.

But scars can also be shorthand for lots of others. They can be used to quickly, at a glance, show that a character is seasoned or battle-weathered without having to provide lengthy narrative describing their past exploits. They can also be used to show, at a glance, that a character has suffered greatly in the past. Picture the last time you watched a movie about slavery and saw a character whose back was criss-crossed with lash marks. They can be used by authors who want nothing more than a clear, easy way to distinguish between two characters without having to describe less tangible attributes like clothing or hairstyle. And so on. None of these come with them, automatically, any indication of the character being "evil." As with all things, it's context.

Does that mean that this sort of shorthand is always good and should be celebrated? No. As with all things, shorthand in fiction is sometimes nothing more than laziness on the part of the writer. But sometimes it's not.

Again. Context.
 
2021-10-21 9:06:20 AM  
OK How 'bout this guys:

Scarring itself neither makes a character a good guy or a bad guy, but instead is simply a visual reminder (to the audience) that the character has been through some heavy shiat.

it is that shiat that is the character's motive/excuse/raison d'être  it is usually why the bad guy is bad, or why the good guy is good.

In the case of Deadpool, its both.
 
2021-10-21 9:09:03 AM  
Has anyone actually asked the scarred actors who are cashing those paychecks how they feel about it?
 
2021-10-21 9:10:37 AM  
In the novels, James Bond and Tarzan had prominent facial scars.
 
2021-10-21 9:18:44 AM  

Tyrone Slothrop: swahnhennessy: Snake Plissken was a good guy. More or less.

He was more amoral.


I heard he was dead.
 
2021-10-21 9:26:04 AM  

Jake Havechek: Geez Louise these millennials are tiresome little farks.


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2021-10-21 9:32:23 AM  

NewportBarGuy: Has anyone actually asked the scarred actors who are cashing those paychecks how they feel about it?


I'd kinda like to know what Harrison Ford, who always gets stuck playing the villain, thinks.
 
2021-10-21 9:35:47 AM  
People (especially women) with facial scars are so ugly, and are always cast as villains.
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2021-10-21 9:43:09 AM  

puckrock2000: People (especially women) with facial scars are so ugly, and are always cast as villains.
[Fark user image image 480x720]


Tina Fey has never been cast as a villain. Her scar is sexy and intriguing, though decidedly less sexy once you find out what actually happened to her.
 
2021-10-21 9:45:02 AM  
I remember a simpler time, before movies existed, when nobody ever had a negative reaction to seeing someone with scars. Then Hollywood went and wrecked things.
 
2021-10-21 10:01:17 AM  

Dr. DJ Duckhunt: [Fark user image image 850x1363]
Tommy Flanagan usually plays on the side of the heroes more than not.


"Get to know me!"
 
2021-10-21 10:11:20 AM  
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2021-10-21 10:15:24 AM  
But Dorian Gray wasn't scarred.
 
2021-10-21 10:40:43 AM  

Billy Liar: But Dorian Gray wasn't scarred.


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2021-10-21 10:54:17 AM  

Dr. DJ Duckhunt: [Fark user image 850x1363]
Tommy Flanagan usually plays on the side of the heroes more than not.


came here to post this. He's also an incredibly nice bloke.
 
2021-10-21 11:06:02 AM  
Yeah, Indiana Jones had a scar on his face. But guess who else did? That's right, Han Solo!!


/mind blown!!
 
2021-10-21 11:40:17 AM  

Pocket Ninja: Scars are used as shorthand in fiction, but they're used as shorthand for lots of things. Yes, conveying the fact that a character is physically marred, in some way, as a way of evoking the sort of disgust and revulsion one might expect with a "bad guy" is a common one. But you can convey the same thing with other simple cheats. The character is obese. The character is physically hideous. The character has a strange voice. It's the oddity that works as the technique to drive home the fact that the character is different from others -- in this example, a villain.

But scars can also be shorthand for lots of others. They can be used to quickly, at a glance, show that a character is seasoned or battle-weathered without having to provide lengthy narrative describing their past exploits. They can also be used to show, at a glance, that a character has suffered greatly in the past. Picture the last time you watched a movie about slavery and saw a character whose back was criss-crossed with lash marks. They can be used by authors who want nothing more than a clear, easy way to distinguish between two characters without having to describe less tangible attributes like clothing or hairstyle. And so on. None of these come with them, automatically, any indication of the character being "evil." As with all things, it's context.

Does that mean that this sort of shorthand is always good and should be celebrated? No. As with all things, shorthand in fiction is sometimes nothing more than laziness on the part of the writer. But sometimes it's not.

Again. Context.


Exactly. A good illustration of this is Tom Berenger in "Platoon."

Berenger's Sgt. Barnes has several large facial scars and is portrayed as the cold blooded cruel hardass. But the scars add to his character when you learn that he'd been in Vietnam for several tours and had been shot 7 times already. It illustrates why, even though most of the men hate him, they respect him as an ultimate survivor who may help them get out alive. Now, his character is villainous, but the scars are more about showing why he could get others to go along with him.
 
2021-10-21 11:48:44 AM  

NewportBarGuy: Has anyone actually asked the scarred actors who are cashing those paychecks how they feel about it?


Since it's near Halloween, I've been watching some slasher flicks, and I'm reminded that Jason actor Kane Hodder was one of the finalists to play Freddy Krueger in the first Elm Street movie. Wes Craven and the producers initially liked the idea of an actor that could also do stunts, but a selling point was Hodder's real life burn scars from his accident (less makeup effects. nightmare was really low budget, so any savings opportunities were considered). Of course, then Craven reconsidered and decided he wanted someone with a smaller build, so the character wouldn't be seen as a Jason or Michael Myers knockoff.
 
2021-10-21 11:55:01 AM  
How about emotional scars? Like someone who watched their buddies die face down in the mud?

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I just noticed the "Home of Hamburgers" sign. That is pretty random.
 
2021-10-21 12:18:21 PM  

GameSprocket: How about emotional scars? Like someone who watched their buddies die face down in the mud?

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I just noticed the "Home of Hamburgers" sign. That is pretty random.


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2021-10-21 12:22:02 PM  
When you try to have an article about "always" or "never."

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So just don't already.

Also i think they missed the real point.
A facial scar is not shorthand for "bad" but for "badass."
That's why some not baddies have them too.

And the baddies wouldn't really be all that, if we didn't make it clear, they are in fact a badass.
not just "bad" or "evil" but actually capable of backing it up because they are a badass you should be wary of.
facial scar up front should'a told ya.
 
2021-10-21 12:24:12 PM  

Marcos P: [Fark user image 425x384]

"fark that!!"


My question is why their parents named them 'Mufasa' and 'Scar'. Presumably he wasn't born with the scar. Did he have another name? If so, could all of the drama have been avoided if Mufasa hadn't reduced his brother to a facial trait instead of a person?
 
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