John Leguizamo on unique evil of Christmas movie baddies

John Leguizamo believes bad guys in Christmas movies are as evil as it gets, but hopes the legacy of voicing Bruno in Encanto will make up for his malevolent turn in Violent Night.

In the new movie from director Tommy Wirkola, Leguizamo plays the Christmas-hating leader of a group of mercenaries attempting to steal millions from the home of the wealthy family they've taken hostage.

Violent Night is in UK cinemas from 2 December.

Video transcript

TOM BEASLEY: It must be a challenge to be a bad guy in a Christmas movie because that's like an extra level of evil.

JOHN LEGUIZAMO: Not only an extra level of evil, an extra opportunity to be hated by a whole new generation. [LAUGHS]


JOHN LEGUIZAMO: I mean, the guy who tries to get rid of Christmas and kill Santa is not going to be the favorite person this fall-- this Christmas.

TOM BEASLEY: [LAUGHS] Well, you can always get the kids on side because you just have to tell them you're Bruno, and you're sorted.

JOHN LEGUIZAMO: Right, right, right.


JOHN LEGUIZAMO: But I was Bruno. I was a good-- I was lovely at the beginning of the year.

TOM BEASLEY: You've got that in your back pocket forever.

JOHN LEGUIZAMO: Yeah, yeah, that's true. And Sid the Sloth, I got that one in the other back pocket.

TOM BEASLEY: You have to fight Santa Claus in this. That's got to be a surreal experience.

JOHN LEGUIZAMO: It was a surreal-- the whole thing was very surreal, I mean, because I started to believe that David was channeling Santa somehow--


JOHN LEGUIZAMO: --because he had this depth of rage and sadness. And he was so adorable at the same time. You start-- I started to believe that he was channeling something. You know what I mean? It wasn't just David. Santa was talking through him.

TOM BEASLEY: And do you relish the chance to be super evil and be really detestable in a role?

JOHN LEGUIZAMO: I mean, yeah. I mean, who doesn't? I mean, to get paid to throw man-trums--


JOHN LEGUIZAMO: --and to chew up the scenery a little bit, hell yeah. Why not? Sign me on.