As the author of works like “The Dark Tower”, “The Shining”, “ES” and many other horror classics, Stephen King is an absolute expert on evil! Of course, it made people sit up and take notice when, in 2003, while reviewing a novel he wrote for Entertainment Weekly , he announced that he had discovered the best villain character since Hannibal Lecter in the criticized book.
Those were big and quite surprising words, after all the psychiatrist/serial killer penned by Thomas Harris with his dubious culinary preferences was an integral part of our collective nightmares at the latest after the terrifying performance of Anthony Hopkins in ” The Silence of the Lambs “.
Review of a young adult book
Now, if we reveal the title of the book King was reviewing at the time, the next little surprise follows, because it ‘s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix . Now, the scary grandmaster has been a self-confessed fan of the scared apprentice since JK Rowling’s first book (in 2007 he even included the series finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in his personal top ten best novels of the year).
But declaring a character from a young adult book series to be the ultimate villain isn’t necessarily the obvious choice. And that’s not the last surprise, because King’s new favorite wasn’t Voldemort!
Worse than Lord Voldemort!
In King’s eyes, Hannibal Lecter and Lord Voldemort are eclipsed by a woman, as you can read in his own words in this excerpt from his handwritten (!) review shared by a Twitter user:
It’s Dolores Umbridge, the teacher “with the soft smile and the girlish voice” who scares hardened Stephen King. For him, she is the embodiment of the frightening teacher figure par excellence, because whoever forbids Harry Potter to play Quidditch is really capable of anything…
Warner Bros. Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge – A Nightmare in Pink
Not only is Professor Umbridge a really creepy character in the book, her brutality, barely hidden under pink dresses and bows, comes across pretty well in the film version too – not least thanks to the Oscar-nominated Imelda Staunton (” Vera Drake “), in which one plays the ideal has found a cast.
Staunton herself would probably agree with Stephen King’s opinion, as she herself has stated in several interviews that she found the part of the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher “sickening” and sees Dolores Umbridge as a “damn monster”.
THIS sex scene in the “Harry Potter” movies was overlooked by (almost) everyone!
This is a re-release of an article previously published on FILMSTARTS.