The Best Bill Nighy Movies of All Time

The Best Bill Nighy Movies of All Time
The Best Bill Nighy Movies of All Time

Bill Nighy, a well-known, award-winning British actor, was born in England in 1949. As a child, Nighy loved English Language and Literature and developed a strong liking for reading. While initially planning to follow his passion for journaling, his goals eventually shifted. He instead became a messenger boy. As fate would have it, he enrolled in the Guildford School of Dance and Drama in London, where he began honing his remarkable talents. 

A celebrated actor on both the stage and the screen, Bill Nighy has had quite an illustrious career. From awards such as a BAFTA award and a London Film Critics Circle Award to an Evening Standard British Film Award, Nighy has been a fan-favorite. Audiences can check out his latest work, Dragonkeeper, where he’s the voice behind Danzi. This article delves into Bill Nighy’s best work. Let’s get started.

1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Nighy as Slartibartfast in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Nighy stars in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as Slartibartfast. The science fiction film was released in 2005 and is directed by Garth Jennings. Drawing inspiration from the novel, the story unfolds on a mundane Thursday morning. Arthur, an ape-descended human from the earth, receives news that his house is to be demolished by bulldozers.

Slartibartfast in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a planetary designer who has honed his craft of building intricate coastlines on the celestial bodies. He’s an expert in creating majestic fjords, and his skills are given an award for his work in Norway. The story follows the journey of Arthur meeting this designer during a journey to Magrathea, where they embark on a captivating adventure.

2. Underworld

Nighy as Viktor in Underworld

His role in Underworld (2003) was rather unexpected. As he recounts his audition, Nighy actually walked in with no real preparation. His remarkable performance landed him the part of Viktor, a Vampire lord. To do justice to the character, Nighy went through prosthetic transformations. 

Directed by Len Wisman and written by Danny McBride, Underworld follows the history of these mythical creatures. It brings a fresh perspective to the conventional vampire-werewolf conflict. The story revolves around Selene, a vampire death dealer who finds herself falling in love with a human. The battle becomes rather complicated as she juggles loyalty to her clan and love. 

3. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Nighy as Douglas in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The British comedy-drama The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a loose adaption of Deborah Moggach’s novel, “These Foolish Things”. Nighy takes up the role of Douglas. The movie follows the journey of British retirees who wish to start a new chapter of their lives in India, seeking the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. 

While each individual brings their unique story, Nighy and his wife seek an affordable retirement retreat after investing in their daughter’s new venture. With several laughs and exploring India’s vast culture, the film takes viewers on a heartwarming journey. From rediscovering purpose to friendship and unexpected joys, the film is a great watch. 

4. Rango

Bill Nighy as Rattlesnake Jake in Rango

Directed by Gore Verbinski, Rango is one of the (animated) best underrated Western movies. With an impressive voice cast featuring Johnny Depp and Isla Fisher, the movie follows the story of Rango, a pet chameleon thrust into Dirt’s rough town. As fate would have it, the town needs a new sheriff. As such, Rango must prove himself worthy of this new role. 

Nighy plays the role of Rattlesnake Jake. The town fears his comeback after the demise of the Hawk. Amidst the celebrations of finding their new sheriff, the town is enveloped in worry about whether Rango will be able to deal with the looming threat. 

5. The Boat That Rocked

Nighy as Quentin in The Boat that Rocked

The Boat that Rocked came out in 2009. The comedy-drama film directed by Richard Curtis is set in the 1960s UK and centers around the world of pirate radio. Known as ‘Radio Rock,’ the crew comprises disc jockeys and broadcasts across the UK. The government tries to silence their voices as their tunes slowly catch up with the nation. 

The film celebrates freedom of expression and rebellious spirits and makes for a great watch. Nighy stars as Quentin, Carl’s godfather and Radio Rock’s owner. His character is charismatic and the life of the party. 

6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Nighy as Davy Johns in Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest released in 2006, is a fantasy film directed by Gore Verbinski. It serves as a sequel to The Curse of the Black Pearl and remains one of the top-rated movies in the series. The story unfolds the journey of Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp

In this chapter, Jack Sparrow finds himself under the weight of tremendous debt to none other than Davy Johns, played by Nighy. He’s the captain of the Flying Dutchman. Captain Jack’s fate hangs by a loose thread as the story unveils. 

7. The Girl in the Cafe

Nighy as Lawrence in The Girl in the Cafe

The Girl in the Cafe features Bill Nighy as Lawrence. He’s a civil servant at the Chancellor of the Exchequer and happens to cross paths with Gina. The chemistry between the two is undeniable; soon, he finds himself knee-deep in love with her. 

Their love causes Lawrence to make a life-changing decision. He decides to bring her to the G8 summit. Her brief meeting with the Prime Minister of the UK leads to her discussion on poverty in Africa. Altogether, this causes quite a commotion amongst Lawrence’s superiors. 

8. Love Actually

Bill Nighy as Billy in Love Actually

Love Actually is a romantic Christmas movie that came out in 2003. Nighy took up the role of Billy. The film, directed by Richard Curtis, follows the stories of ten people, each exploring love.As the story unfolds, all ten stories are actually connected. It follows a weekly countdown up to the exciting holiday. Overall, the film captures the joy, the unexpectedness of fate, and love.

9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows

Nighy as Rufus Scrimgeour in Harry Potter: The Deathly Hollows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows came out in 2010 and is directed by David Yates. Billy Nighy took on the role of Rufus Scrimgeour, a high-ranking Ministry of Magic official. He served as the minister during the turbulent time in the wizard world. 

Rufus is tasked with maintaining law and order, especially during Lord Voldemort’s rise. His main goal is to keep the wizarding community united and hopeful in times of adversity. Nighy does a phenomenal job of bringing a sense of authority and gravitas to the movie. 

10. About Time

Bill Nighy as James in About Time

The romantic comedy-drama, About Time tells the story of Tim Lake, a man who discovers his ability to time travel. He uses this newfound skill to reshape his past for a better future. He grows up with a loving family, and James; Nighy plays his father. On Tim’s 21st birthday, Bill Nighy reveals a secret. Apparently. the men in their families can alter moments in their lives. While discouraged from using the power for personal benefit, Tim decides to fix his love life.

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