“Sympathy for the de Vil” | Once Upon A Time
Victoria Smurfit’s remarkable performances as the chilling villain has been phenomenal – one of the most memorable depictions of Cruella de Vil thus far.
There are fleeting moments where Smurfit plays young Cruella with an innocent warmth and desperation, but for the most part, throughout the entire episode, the hollowness within her soul can be seen frighteningly through her eyes. Smurfit did an outstanding job of embodying Cruella’s thrill in evilness magnificently in the way she had fun with the role. Fans all over social media are discussing the fact that they wish she could stick around on the show because while she’s horrifying, she’s riveting. Just like we had never imagined we’d watch iconic villains order fast food in the drive thru line, we never pictured watching a frustrated Cruella de Vil threatening animated birds while she played a game on her phone. As she explains to the author, ever since she was a little girl she decided to embrace the fun in being evil, and Smurfit showcased that thrill exceptionally.
Sometimes when it comes to playing a villain, it’s easy to do too much. And when performances do get to that point, as members of the audience it can get unbearable to watch. It becomes fictional. However, from the very moment Cruella appears on the series to the very last, Victoria Smurfit has played her with the right amount of fascinating immorality. And without a doubt, the best thing about her character is the mere fact that she’s embodied Cruella’s theme song down to the very last verse. There is absolutely no goodness in the character – she’s evil to a level of no return and the world may have indeed been a better place without Cruella de Vil. If only the parents sent Henry out on the streets with a bodyguard – storybrooke would’ve been a better place without Cruella, but Once Upon A Time was most definitely a great place with Victoria Smurfit’s gifts as an actress.
Additionally, what Smurfit’s done that’s so remarkable is instilled fear into everyone even though Cruella’s been defenseless all along. And that’s what it means to be a frightening villain. The way people carry themselves says everything about them and if we saw someone walking down the street dressed like Cruella wearing wickedness in her eyes the way she does, we’d run in the opposite direction. Sometimes the skills and determination to hold a sturdy glare while maintaining a threatening persona through dialogue and appearance is far more dangerous than magic or the ability to fire a gun. Some people are cursed with the resting (excuse our language) bitch face, but the level of evilness Cruella exudes is a meticulously planned form of defense. We will miss the darling very much primarily because we’ll miss Victoria Smurfit’s excellent portrayal her.
Honorable Mention: Ellen Pompeo, “How To Save A Life” | Grey’s Anatomy
Chilling, heartbreaking, and strong – Pompeo’s performance was unbelievably exceptional.