John Gavin Malkovich (born December 9, 1953) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor.
He is known for playing creepy psychopaths extremely well, and has made his fame in films such as The Killing Fields, Empire of the Sun, Dangerous Liaisons, Con Air, In the Line of Fire, and Being John Malkovich.
Malkovich is a master of the Creepy Monotone, and can either be quietly understated or be a Large Ham of astronomical proportions. However, as with many great actors, he has appeared in some less-than-luminous films, including Eragon and Jonah Hex. He also appears in a cameo in Adaptation during the filming of Being John Malkovich.
He has now branched into the small screen, having played the infamous pirate Blackbeard in NBC's Crossbones, a minor recurring role Showtime's Billions and a pope opposite Jude Law in The New Pope. He is also the owner of a fairly popular restaurant in Lisbon, Portugal.
Tropes found in his works:
- Grumpy Old Man: Throughout the 2000s and 2010s he's played a lot of cantankerous, bitter old men. It's often a shock for people used to these roles to see what a laid back, introspective person he is off-camera.
- Production Posse: He was directed four times by experimental Chilean filmmaker Raoul Ruiz.
- Renaissance Man: Accomplished in acting, directing, fashion design, and business ownership.
- The Killing Fields (1984) — Al Rockoff
- Places in the Heart (1984) — Mr. Will
- Empire of the Sun (1987) — Basie
- Dangerous Liaisons (1988) — Vicomte de Valmont
- Of Mice & Men (1992) — Lennie Small
- Shadows and Fog'' (1992) — Paul the clown
- Alive (1993) — Old Carlitos
- In the Line of Fire (1993) — Mitch Leary
- Con Air (1997) — Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom
- The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) — Athos
- Rounders (1998) — Teddy KGB
- Being John Malkovich (1999) — John Horatio Malkovich
- The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999) — King Charles VII of France
- Adaptation (2002) — Himself note
- Shadow of the Vampire (2000) — F. W. Murnau
- Knockaround Guys (2001) — Teddy Deserve
- Ripley's Game (2002) — Tom Ripley
- Napoléon (2002) — Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand
- Johnny English (2003) — Pascal Sauvage
- The Libertine (2004) — King Charles II of England
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) — Humma Kavula
- Eragon (2006) — Galbatorix
- Beowulf (2007) — Unferth
- Changeling (2008) — Rev. Gustav Briegleb
- Burn After Reading (2008) — Osborne Cox
- Jonah Hex (2010) — Quentin Turnbull
- Red (2010) — Marvin Boggs
- Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) — Bruce Brazos
- Red 2 (2013) — Marvin Boggs
- Cesar Chavez (2014) — Bogdanovich Senior
- Casanova Variations (2014) — Giacomo Casanova
- Penguins of Madagascar (2015) — Dave the Octopus
- 100 Years (filmed in 2015, to be released in 2115) note
- Deepwater Horizon (2016) — Don Vidrine
- Bird Box (2018) — Douglas
- Mile 22 (2018) — James Bishop / "Mother"
- Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) — Piers
- The ABC Murders (2019) — Hercule Poirot
- Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile (2019) — Judge Edward D. Cowart
- The New Pope (2020) — Sir John Brannox / Pope John Paul III
- Ava (2020) — Duke