Do Psychopaths Make for Better Actors?

Psychopaths are often times romanticized on TV and movies but, do psychopaths make for better actors?

Showtime’s Dexter featured a serial killing blood splatter specialist who killed criminals by day and solved murder mysteries by night. Michael C. Hall played a troubled man who enjoyed killing in order to satisfy his dark side.

But, what is a psychopath?

According to Psychology Today, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), released by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013, lists psychopathy under the heading of Antisocial Personality Disorders (ASPD).

Here are traits typically exemplified by psychopaths, according to Psychology Today:

  • A disregard for laws and social mores

  • A disregard for the rights of others

  • A failure to feel remorse or guilt

  • A tendency to display violent behavior

But, what makes a psychopath different is the fact that they are extremely charming.

According to published studies, psychopaths are extremely manipulative and tend to gain people’s trust very easily.

In addition, psychopaths tend to mimic emotions, despite their ability to actually have any feelings.

In fact, psychopaths are known for being experts at manipulation and mimicry.

Psychopaths also tend to have long term relationships with people around them without them ever suspecting their true feelings or nature.

Which begs the question? Do psychopaths make for better actors?

Actors have to dig deep in order to get into character for a TV Show. For example, in order to get into character in the movie The Revenant, Leonardo DiCaprio, took his acting to a whole new level by sleeping inside of a dead animal, and eating raw meat.

Not to say that Leonardo DiCaprio is a psychopath but, Leonardo DiCaprio shows the great lengths actors must take to make a scene realistic, real, and entertaining.

But, before an actor is ever on screen they have to get past the casting director in the audition room. In an interview with the International Business Times, casting director Jen Rudolph (Orange is the New Black) revealed what she looks for in an actor. “A really good actor is smart and educated, so they have to know what’s going.”

With the ability for a psychopath to use their manipulation skills to trick some and charm others, it seems reasonable to believe that their skills would put them at an advantage in the audition room in comparison to other actors.


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