Last Updated on June 29, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester
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 another 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 interested 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)
16 thoughts on “Famous Narcissistic Characters in Movies”
I have found your articles on NPD very helpful. My brother committed suicide 4 years ago in a very sudden violent way which was high profile in the media at the time. He was undiagnoised but it had been muted that he was suffering from BPD. Unfortunately it was an undiagnoised friend, with what now seems apparent to me as suffering from NPD that was controlling his meetings with psychiatrists. She failed to notify them that he was talking about suicide and arranging his funeral. She took over all the arranging by telling lies and manipulating even the undertakers. 4 years on we are now facing a court case to try and have retuned all his belongings and assets which she refuses to hand to his daughters. My oldest niece being his legal next of kin, and the family as a whole have not had closure or been able to mourn fully. She even controls his burial plot. What can we do?
Complications from narcs/sociopaths just boondoggle the mind. So glad the ex scurried outof town with a strutting italian narc..that avtually outNARCd Him. He got stomach cancer..she put him in VA hospital to die while she went on East Ave to get plastic surgery to look like a Kardasian !
Is Captain Jack Sparrow a narcissist?
the pure and perfect example of NPD is Sheldon Cooper in Big Bang Theory, tv series..
watch how he treats everybody,his friends and his poor girlfriend Amy
I think his character is categorized as being on the spectrum for Aspergers.
One movie that has completely gone under the radar on NPD is a 1956 classic titled “Serenade” starring Mario Lanza, Vincent Price, Sarita Montiel and Joan Fontaine as the narcissist. I especially liked this movie as it illustrates the narcissistic personality disorder in Fontaine’s character compared to the genuine love of Montiel’s character. It’s about a man who was an aspiring opera singer who was completely destroyed by the narcissist. His singing career was over and it was the love of Montiel’s character that helped him. Excellent movie about narcissism in a romantic relationship. I hope that you all will check out that one. The ending was FABULOUS!!!!
“The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds”
An Narcissist I dont see listed are Scar, from lion king, and Zira, from lion king 2.
A Good Will Hunting. This movie struck too close to home for me when it first came out. I could not understand why it was hard to watch. I watched it again the other day and realised mat damons character was my father to a T. Dad was highly intelligent yet completely in a shell. his childhood was very traumatic.
What I do not understand is why there are hardly any movies that have narcissistic father’s in them, when narcissistic behavioral disorder is way more prevalent among men than women? Why are women portrayed to be predominantly having this disorder in the film and media industry? Where are the films produced about the many…many…many…father’s whom have driven their wives to becoming single mother’s? Where are these films? It doesn’t seem to exist! In the meantime our nation has hidden women’s shelters all over the place with top notch security forces to help protect the women and children from these men! What the??? I just don’t get it!
Because men are writing and directing 🙂
I’m pretty annoyed that most film narcissists are female. It’s just not really true. I must watch East Of Eden though as I was raised as the only child of a single father who refused my beloved mother and I any contact. Sadly, I had no idea the old man was a sociopath for 40 years, what a total reality glitch.
Angelina Jolie’s character in Girl Interrupted is actually a psychopath. And don’t get me wrong, one of the core features of psychopathy is narcissism, but still, she’s worse than a narcissist.
Mother Gothel from Tangled is probably the most realistic example of a Narc Mother that Disney has made ever, and this is coming from someone who has a Narc Mother.
Emperor Cuzco, from Emperor’s New Groove, the greatest narcissist of all time. “He’s the alpha and the omega”, as the theme song says
Eric Robertsn star 80