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James Frain is becoming the “go-to bad guy”

James Frain is becoming the “go-to bad guy”

True Blood’s James Frain, played a villain well in Season 3 as the vampire we loved to hate, Franklin Mott. Also, recently he was quite evil in “Tron Legacy” and as Thomas Cromwell in “The Tudors” he wasn’t the nicest of guys.  Now, in his latest role, he is playing another bad guy in the new NBC series “The Cape”.  James has certianly made a name for himself as a villain and we applaud his success.

In the article below from the LATimes we learn more about his role in The Cape and how he seems to be getting a lot of “bad guy roles”.

Now, with the Sunday night premiere of “The Cape,” the 42-year-old British actor takes on a full-blown super-villain as Chess — a billionaire by day, psychotic killer by night.

It’s a sophisticated idea of someone who doesn’t have superpowers but has a very focused strategy,” Frain said of Chess, who is a master strategist and manipulator and, like a grandmaster, is continually searching for his next great opponent.

Frain’s character and his machinations are the starting point of the show’s new superhero mythology — it’s Chess who plots to frame police detective Vince Faraday (played by Aussie actor David Lyons) as a murderer, leading to the cop’s disgrace, “death” and decision to become the mysterious vigilante known as the Cape. The Cape has (you guessed it) a memorable and multi-functional cape while Chess wears a body-suit costume as well as some creepy contact lenses with pupils shaped like chess pieces. Frain got a kick out of the reaction his look got from cast and crew on the set.

“It looks reptilian and people kind of freak out,” Frain said with amusement. “And that gave me a sense, something to play off; because [Chess] is a manipulator, he gets his information from how people respond to him. I learned that from the costume, basically. We have sort of been developing it as we go along. It’s sort of an ongoing process, finding what works, finding what is interesting to form this character.”

How does Frain — who earned rave reviews as Thomas Cromwell in “The Tudors” — feel now that his career is tilting in a way that makes him a go-to bad guy? The question caught him off-guard a bit. “That is not how bad guys think. They think they are the good guys and that everyone else is out to get them. And that is how I play them, and that is what makes me forget of course, that they are bad guys.

Read the rest of this interview by going to:

Written by Lynnpd

Lynnpd has an avid interest in the entertainment industry from classic movies to all things True Blood. With a background in art, she enjoys creating in Photoshop, running web sites and finds the internet an exciting place to be. Lynn lives in the LA area and attends as many Hollywood related events as she can. She has covered events for the both websites in the LA area; read all about it at

5 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    January 03, 2011

    I will definitely be tuning in Sunday night. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to catch the show most Monday nights since I have an RL conflict. James is a fantastic actor. I can’t wait to see what what he does with Chess … I’m sure it will be a masterful portrayal.


  2. Avatar
    January 04, 2011
    ^The best interview about ‘The Cape’. James Frain needs more coffee! :D


  3. Avatar
    January 04, 2011

    go to – yes! bad guy – no way!

    He was Thomas Cromwell in Tudors. ok, forget that one.

    He was Daniel Barenboim in Hilary and Jackie. mmmm, moving on.

    He was the Spanish Ambassador in Elizabeth. acutally, that guy kinda sucked.

    Franklin Mo…

    Maybe James is the go-to bad guy.


  4. Avatar
    January 04, 2011

    i hope that i will like ‘the cape”. i can’t wait for it to start.


  5. Avatar
    January 04, 2011

    I don’t see how Cromwell was a “bad guy”. I really don’t.


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