Two-Face is one of the more grotesque Batman villains to ever come along and playing him has gone from one extreme to another in live action since Tommy Lee Jones looked kind of disturbing in Batman Forever and Aaron Eckhart looked even more so in The Dark Knight. When trying to compare them however Eckhart definitely played a more convincing role since he wasn’t so over the top and out of control. In a way it almost feels as though Jones was attempting to keep up with Jim Carrey’s insane version of the Riddler and was fumbling all over the place in the attempt. Eckhart didn’t really need to play up to Heath Ledger’s Joker all that much since their only real interaction was in the hospital when the Joker was attempting to corrupt Harvey Dent, which ended up working out obviously since Harvey went on to become a criminal for a short while before he was finally given the final sendoff, which was a little disappointing. This image of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau though is even more grotesque than the two previously mentioned since it looks far more real than the bulging eyeball and horribly-exposed tendons and facial muscles that Eckhart’s version displayed. The fact that this Two-Face has a melted eyeball and minimal appearance of his teeth is even more frightening since it implies that he took a heavy amount of damage but is still up and moving about despite the intense amount of pain he has to be in.
Let’s be fair and say that Eckhart was probably a better Harvey Dent than anyone to date, even including the TV version on Gotham, but Nikolaj is a different type of talent since he’s one on to show that he can be an extremely believable jerk and can also be a meek guy that ends up being the big dog in the yard thanks to the movie Shot Caller. So giving him a part to play that ends up showcasing him as a psychopath wouldn’t be too hard to believe since watching him in other movies he’s absolutely convincing and can take on a role just as well as anyone. Some might want to think that it was being attached to a show like Game of Thrones that kept him from getting a lot of decent roles in the past but in truth if you run down his list of accomplishments you’ll see that he’s been in several projects dating all the way back to the early 90s. Granted, not every movie he’s been in has been counted as a blockbuster and some are hard to find, but he’s easily convincing in any role he’s given, and as Jaime Lannister he was one of those that had one of the biggest turnarounds in the entire story. If you can recall, Jaime was an arrogant jerk for much of the early goings in GoT and didn’t much care who he hurt or what happened to anyone but his family. By the middle seasons to the end however, especially after he was captured and lost his hand at one point, he became a much different man.
In Shot Caller it was the same, though he went from being a normal, everyday guy that probably couldn’t survive in a prison yard for more than a day to a hardened, unrepentant criminal that had no trouble taking people out when he had to in order to get by. This is just how good this guy is, he’s able to take a character and over the course of a show, or a movie, he can convince people that the character has changed in fundamental ways that leave them pretty much the same at their core, but with a heightened sense of the world around them and how they need to evolve and adapt to the life they’ve taken on. That’s why he’d be perfect for the role of Two-Face if the current and upcoming Batman movie ever gets a sequel. Think about it, a sequel could possibly bring in another two villains at least, and while one of them would need to be the Joker, since Batman just feels wrong without adding in the clown prince of crime at some point, and the other could be Two-Face, a former white knight DA that has nothing but contempt for the law he once served and is out to inflict as much damage as he can upon the city that essentially turned its back on him, or vice versa. Nikolaj is one of the best transition actors in the business right now. Note that I didn’t say THE best, but he’s definitely one of them since he can be very convincing and he puts a lot of himself into his work, which makes it all the more authentic in the end.
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