If you want observe people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or strong narcissistic traits, look no further than your TV set. There are many memorable movie characters who display the basic characteristics of narcissism: the grandiose and overinflated sense of self, lack of empathy, exploitation of others with no remorse, and excessive self-focus. Listed below are some of the more well-known narcissists portrayed in the movies:
Movie: The Devil Wears Prada
Played By: Meryl Streep
About: Now this is an NPD character that sticks with you.
Movie: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Played By: Kenneth Branagh
About: This is the definition of narcissism. Lockhart is hilarious. One of the comical moments from the series is when Lockhart is talking to Harry during his detention and says “Fame is a fickle friend, Harry. Celebrity is as celebrity does. Remember that.” *turn and smile* He goes to such lengths as to fake his fame and risk the deaths of many students just to keep his ego fed.
Movie: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Played By: Sam Rockwell
About: Zaphod (and Sam Rockwell) is great and Rockwell plays him well- he’s fun for the role he has.
Movie: American Psycho
Played By: Christian Bale
About: Bale plays the role with what appears to be ease. He’s a completely memorable character with some very iconic scenes.
Movie: Dinner for Schmucks
Played By: Jemaine Clements
About: Whether or not you liked the movie, most have agreed that Jamaine Clements was the best part.
Movie: The American Pie Trilogy
Played By: Seann William Scott
About: Stifler thinks he’s hot stuff, almost obnoxiously so. But he’s not without his insecurities underneath it all. He’s probably not a true narcissist as the rest on this list–it’s much more of a front, at least partially. But there’s no doubting he thinks highly of himself, and he’s funny while he thinks so.
Played By: Ben Stiller
About: “I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is.”
Movie: Forgetting Sarah Marshall/Get Him to the Greek
Played by: Russell Brand
About: Russell Brand was hilarious in them–clearly the best part of the movies.
Movie: The Princess Bride
Played By: Wallace Shawn
About: Vizzini: “I can’t compete with you physically, and you’re no match for my brains.” Westley: “You’re that smart?” Vizzini: “Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates?” Westley: “Yes.” Vizzini: “Morons.”
Movie: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Played By: Will Ferrell
About: The narcissism is right there in the title of the film! He’s a fun character, wrapped up in his own little world.
Played by: Charles Boyer
ABOUT: This classic movie is where the term gaslighting comes from, to indicate how an N (or other abuser) lies to you to make you doubt your experience of reality. Although the film is a bit dated now (it was made in the 1940s) it is still extremely gripping and terrifying. The narcissist in this film, Gregory Anton, is trying to deliberately send his new wife insane in order to inherit from her. An absolute must-watch for anybody interest in learning more about malignant NPD.
MOVIE: Mommie Dearest
Played By: Faye Dunaway
ABOUT: A classic film. It’s the real-life story of total narcissist Joan Crawford and her daughter Christina. This is a chillingly accurate portrayal of the hell of being raised by a narcissist.
MOVIE: White Oleander
Played by: Michelle Pfeiffer
ABOUT: Michelle Pfeiffer plays the narcissistic mother in this amazing film, and by all accounts does a terrific job.
MOVIE: Gone With the Wind
Played by: Vivien Leigh
ABOUT: Scarlett O’Hara is a total narcissist in this classic tale.
Other Movies Portraying Narcissistic Characters
• American Beauty (narcissistic mother)
• East of Eden (narcissistic father)
• Ordinary People (narcissistic mother)
• Mermaids (Cher as Mrs. Flax)
• Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (narcissistic sister)
• Sybil (narcissistic mother)
• The Little Foxes (narcissistic mother)
• Flowers in the Attic (narcissistic mother)
• Matilda (both parents are narcissists)
• Coraline (both “other” parents are narcissists)
• Precious (narcissistic mother)
• Girl Interrupted (Angelina Jolie)
• Life or Something Like It (Angelina Jolie)