Jerry Flattum of Script Magazine recently put together a great resource of all the different character types you can turn to create your next super villain or misunderstood heroine. He writes:
It certainly makes for an interesting debate whether modern day characters might be the more difficult characters to create than historical characters. Historical characters already have so much character built in. Whether it’s a Western, the Middle Ages, Rome, or even Neanderthal, every century prior to the current one is rich in type, costume, look, dialog, and action (behavior plus desire). Instead of creating it’s more like capturing. But then, perhaps history can inform the 21st century character. From hippies in the 60s to Valley Girls in the 80s to Goth, WW2 generation, nerds and jocks, there’s no shortage of type. It may send shudders up and down the spine of many an actor in taking on any one of Shakespeare’s characters, never easy roles to interpret. A major difference in classic theater characters and current film characters is that current characters are, for the most part, only created once.