It’s hard to be a badass in Hollywood. Between all the irresponsible drug use and publicity stunts, film and TV appears to be littered with children craving attention. Luckily, there exist the proud few who transcend above it all and are simply f**king awesome. One such person is Christopher Lee, and here’s why.
- He is Saruman in the Lord of the Rings movies
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies will mark five Lord of the Rings films in which Christopher Lee will have played the evil wizard Saruman. Why is this character important? Acting as one of the wizards in Tolkein’s story, Saruman dares to challenge the identity established to him. Go to earth in human form and defeat Sauron! Instead Saruman aligns himself with the Dark Lord and amasses power to take over Middle Earth. Okay, sure, he’s evil! But Saruman challenges his destiny as a wizard and chooses to carve his own path for the sake of gaining power. I think that’s a big inspirational. Lee absolutely kills it in the role bringing his menacing voice and glare to the table.
- He is Count Dooku in the Star Wars films
Sure, it’s the Star Wars prequels, but the character of Dooku serves as an interesting anomaly in the series. Acting as the Sith apprentice to Darth Sidious after the evisceration of Darth Maul, Dooku carries out the Dark Lord’s plans and helps get the Death Star constructed. But here’s what makes Dooku really interesting. During an exchange with Obi-Wan in Attack of the Clones, Dooku reveals “Hundreds of senators are now under the influence of a Sith lord called Darth Sidious.” Obi-Wan naturally denies the info and does absolutely nothing with it, but Dooku freaking revealed the villain’s plot! Basically Dooku acts as the only character in the prequels who relays the information that the audience has, which is that a Sith controls the senate. It’s such a weird moment that alludes to the idea that Dooku has more depth to him and may actually want to see the end of Sidious. It’s up in the air whether there was supposed to be more to this line or Dooku is playing the part of Hurley from LOST, supplying lines of dialogue just as a wink to the audience.
- He is Dracula
Before he was the servant to two Dark Lords, Christopher Lee played the original Dark Lord, Dracula. From 1958-1976, Lee played the role of Dracula in several films earning him an identity with the role. Many people associated him so much with the role that it’s reported that he was the inspiration for the naming of the character Count Magnus Lee, in the Japanese novel turned anime, Vampire Hunter D.
- He has held a golden gun
In addition to be a step cousin to James Bond author, Ian Flemming, he starred as the villain in the Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun. Being, the man with the golden gun, means that Lee had the privilege of holding a golden gun. Now, how many of us can say we held a golden gun?
- He holds the Guiness World Record for “Tallest Leading Actor”
Along with actor, Vince Vaughn, Christopher Lee holds the title of “tallest leading actor”. So not only is he a badass born in 1922, but he’s a tall badass as well!
- He informed Peter Jackson on what the sound one makes when being stabbed in the back
Lee served time in the military, volunteering for WW2 and spending time hunting Nazi war criminals after the war, so naturally he’s taken a couple of lives. Naturally he picked up a few things along the way. While filming the scene where Wormtongue stabs Saruman, Peter Jackson had an interesting interaction when he asked that Saruman scream while being stabbed:
“When I was shooting the stabbing shot with Christopher, as a director would, I was explaining to him what he should do… And he says, ‘Peter, have you ever heard the sound a man makes when he’s stabbed in the back?’ And I said, ‘Um, no.’ And he says ‘Well, I have, and I know what to do.’”
He instructed the director that when stabbed, the lungs are punctured and instead of a scream there is a groan of air being released.
- He’s a mother f**cking Heavy Metal Vocalist
As if everything prior to this wasn’t enough, Christopher Lee is also a Heavy Metal Vocalist. Picking it up as a hobby in 2005 with a duet on the single, “The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream“, Lee then full on with the metal. To celebrate his 92nd birthday, Lee released the album Metal Knight. Cause you know, if you gotta release a metal album at the age of 92, it’s gotta sound awesome.