TV Stars Who Were Hated Because Of Their On-Screen CharactersPublished on May 31, 2018. Updated April 29, 2019
Although it is a testament to an actor or actress’s skills when they embody a character so well that fans actually believe they are that character, sometimes those blurred lines aren’t so great. While some fans believe their favorite actor and actresses are just as sweet and kind and have the same personality as the good characters they portray, on the flip side, those same fans find themselves believing some stars are just as mean as the villainous characters they portray on TV. More than one television star has had interesting or downright scary interactions with fans because of the villains they play, so here are 12 TV stars who were hated because of their on-screen characters:
12. January Jones – Betty Draper (Mad Men)
From 2007 to 2015 January Jones was best known as Betty Draper on AMC’s hit drama Mad Men, and as Betty changed so did fan’s feelings about the actress who portrayed her. Jones revealed that for quite some time fans were on Betty’s side but after the character left her husband Don and hooked up with another man, they turned on not only Betty but Jones too. “The first couple seasons, people were very empathetic and felt bad for her … and was like ‘Poor Betty’ and people would come up to me and feel bad for me,” she said. “Once she left Don and gained her independence and started speaking out for herself, started to empower herself…people hated her.” She continued, “Even at the end of season two when she slept with that guy in the bar, the hate that I got from men especially … like ‘How could she do that?’…like really, do you watch the show you…hypocrite?” Jones added that they would approach her to complain about Betty’s decisions even though it really had nothing to do with the actress. “Yeah, they were like mean to me on the street,” she said.
11. Matt Czuchry – Logan Huntzberger (Gilmore Girls)
It seems that during the iconic run of Gilmore Girls, actor Matt Czuchry was a little too convincing as the spoiled rich boy Logan Huntzberger. Unfortunately for Czuchry, fans’ dislike for the character extended further than he would have liked when he started being berated by them because of the character’s behavior. “In the first season, especially, people would just come up to me just immediately without saying anything and said, ‘You know, you’re a real a——.’ That’s what they would do,” the actor shared during on appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Even when Czuchry would challenge them about the fact he wasn’t actually Logan, they didn’t back down. “I would ask them, ‘Okay, why am I an a——?’ And they [would say], ‘You know why you’re an a——.’ And that was it,” he added. “And then [they’re] like, ‘Oh, I’m team Jess’ or ‘I’m team Dean.'”
10. Vanessa Morgan – Toni Topaz (Riverdale)
Riverdale is only in its second season, but it took just one season for fans to become rabidly passionate about the show, the characters and the stars who portray them. When new characters were introduced, some of the new stars didn’t necessarily get a warm welcome from Riverdale fans, especially Vanessa Morgan. Morgan joined the show as Toni Topaz and, before her character could even make an appearance, it was assumed she was there to get in the middle of Betty and Jughead’s relationship, and fans took action. “I’ve already had some death threats,” the actress told Glamour about the anger over her character, which was scary enough but even more dramatic considering there was no confirmation that Topaz was going to interrupt the “Bughead” lovefest. “But the thing is, it’s half death threats because they don’t want that [actually] happening, and there’s half that’s just all love. Who knows if [my character coming between Bughead] is even going to happen. People are just jumping to conclusions,” she said at the time.
9. Seth Gilliam – Father Gabriel (Walking Dead)
Over time, Seth Gilliam’s character of Father Gabriel evolved on The Walking Dead, but in the beginning, it seems most fans couldn’t stand Gabriel, and Gilliam by association. “It took a little getting used to, the death threats, and realising they were coming from 13-year-old boys in the basement of their Wisconsin home, as opposed to people who were really meaning me harm,” Gilliam recalled of threats he received in his early days on the show because of the character. While Gilliam said the threats made him a “little uncomfortable,” he also said that it just went to show “how seriously people are involved with the characters” but added, “For a while, I felt the lines were kind of blurred, because it’s so personal.”
8. Anna Gunn – Skylar White (Breaking Bad)
Thanks to the immense popularity of Breaking Bad, Skylar White became not just one of the show’s most hated characters, but one of television’s most hated characters, which wasn’t good news for actress Anna Gunn. By the time she stopped playing the role, Gunn actually wrote an editorial for the New York Times because of the hate she personally received because of Skylar. “[T]he hatred of Skyler [had] blurred into loathing for [her] as a person,” Gunn wrote. Although the actress admitted she understood her character wasn’t the protagonist that Bryan Cranston’s Walter White was, things went too far when Gunn personally received death threats. “Besides being frightened (and taking steps to ensure my safety), I was also astonished: how had disliking a character spiraled into homicidal rage at the actress playing her?” she wrote of the hate she received because of her on-screen character.
7. Alexander Skarsgard – Perry White (Big Little Lies)
Alexander Skarsgard has played the good guy and the bad guy before, but he wasn’t prepare for the backlash he was going to receive after portraying domestic abuser Perry White in the HBO series Big Little Lies. “People did not like me,” Skarsgard admitted during a panel about the show, revealing that filming for something different made him miss the release of the show, which only made the backlash worse. “I was isolated up in Alberta, Canada, so I missed the whole show and everything around it. I got back about a month after the series finale, and it was tough. I flew into JFK, got off the plane and people were like, ‘Oh…’ I’m going to die a very lonely man.” He added in a separate interview that his acting as an abusive monster was so convincing, it will probably be a while before he gets a leading man role. “I have a feeling this is going to be my last interview ever (laughs) because after Perry Wright, I’ll never get another job. But, hell, it was worth it. Yeah. I’ll never play leading man, that’s for sure.”
6. Hugh Bonneville – Lord Grantham (Downton Abbey)
Downton Abbey fans have always been particularly passionate about the characters on the show and when Lord Grantham (played by Hugh Bonneville) inadvertently caused the death of his daughter Sybil on the series, it had real repercussions for the actor from fans. “People on Twitter were devastated,” Bonneville said of the reactions towards him as a person because of his character. “I’ve had hate mail and bomb threats, because I’m obviously the most evil person on the planet for favoring one piece of medical advice over another. In some people’s eyes, it’s my fault, because obviously I do live in Downton Abbey!” Despite the frightening threats, he added, “It shows they’ve invested in the world, and it’s a real compliment that they care so much.”
5. Emmy Rossum – Fiona (Shameless)
Although a good TV show always get fans invested and makes the characters believable, for Shameless star Emmy Rossum she had a hard time believing strangers could actually think what they were seeing was real, and that she actually did the horrible things her character, Fiona, did. “People scream at me like, ‘F— you, Fiona, you overdosed that baby.’ They actually think you’re that person,” she said of being approached and confronted about the storyline in which Fiona celebrates her birthday with cocaine but leaves it out which leads to her little brother Liam consuming it and being hospitalized. “My character on Shameless — ’cause it has been so many seasons now — has gone through so much. I went to jail for cocaine and overdosed a toddler and still found the humanity in that. I guess there was a moment where I thought, ‘Oh, God, is everyone going to hate me?’ And then I felt like, ‘Who cares?’ Whatever anybody takes away from it is a reflection on them, not you,” Rossum added.
4. Jon Huertas – Miguel (This Is Us)
Few shows have evoked the same sort of passion from fans as This Is Us and its characters have. With the show dealing with so many difficult real-life situations, it is hard for fans to not truly believe that the actors aren’t their characters, and with so much love for Milo Ventimiglia’s Jack Pearson, there has been equal dislike for Jon Huertas’ Miguel.“Because from season 1, we know that Miguel wasn’t super welcomed into the Pearson family by the audience, so there’s been a scientific approach to how they layer in Miguel’s stuff without pushing people away too soon,” Huertas said of not even being given a chance from This Is Us fans. He added that he even pushed writers to have Miguel do something amazing because he wanted fan to like him so much. “At first, I’m like, ‘Come on guys we have to do something amazing. Miguel has to do something amazing to have them like him right away.’ But they said, ‘You have to trust us.’ I can only sit back and trust the writing, and it’s such good writing that how can you not?”
3. Lena Headey – Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones)
As one of the biggest show of recent years, Lena Headey’s Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones is one of the villains people most love to hate on TV, and it has extended way past just the character. “I guess it’s a compliment, when you’re buying a table and someone’s like, ‘You’re that f—— bitch off of [GOT],’” the actress said in an interview on Conan. While Headey admitted it was alarming for people to react so harshly towards her without recognizing it is simply a role she plays, she added, “Or people say, ‘I love her!’ and I worry more for them.”
2. Jeffrey Dean Morgan – Negan (Walking Dead)
Although it is really hard not to love Jeffrey Dean Morgan, especially after roles such as Denny Duquette in Grey’s Anatomy, fans were quick to turn on him once he took on the role of The Walking Dead villain Negan. Morgan admitted he has had several negative interactions with fans who blame him for his character’s actions, but one stood out in particular. “I was with [costar Norman Reedus], but we had been riding motorcycles all day and we were in the middle of nowhere and stopped to get a coffee,” Morgan shared. “And this lady is at our car, and she’s probably 80 years old, and she comes up and just flips me off and says ‘F— you!’ And Norman falls off his chair, laughing, and I’m like ‘Whoa! Whoa!’” He continued, “It was crazy. And she did have her daughters with her, by the way. But then her next question is, ‘Where do you live?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to tell you where I live!’”
1. Paul Johansson – Dan Scott (One Tree Hill)
Thanks to his very convincing portrayal of Dan Scott on One Tree Hill, Paul Johansson is best known for being one of the most hated men in the history of teen series. Since One Tree Hill fans still have very strong feelings toward the show and the characters and stars, it isn’t surprising that while it was airing, Johansson encountered quite a few very angry fans. In a commentary on the show’s DVD set, Johansson revealed that when walking down the street one day during the first season, he was accosted by a lady who hit him with her purse and berated him for “being so mean to that boy.” She gave him a lecture about what an awful father he was being, and he had to tell her that Dan Scott wasn’t real and he was just a paid actor and Lucas and Nathan were also not real and not actually his sons.