Yesterday I did a post on makeup and my favourite makeup looks in movies. It got me really excited, and even after I had posted it I had to hold myself back from adding more. It made me realise that makeup in movies had a purpose other than to make an actor or an actress camera ready and flawless, it could also be used to represent a part of a character and even as symbolism for the themes in the movie. Then I thought about how tattoos in movies do this too…and it’s safe to say, I got pretty excited.
I love tattoos, no matter how small or how big. I think they are a great way of expressing yourself and making your body into art, something these characters showcase perfectly.
So without further ado, here are some of my favourite tattooed movie characters…oh how I wish the actors had these tattoos in real life!
6. NATURAL BORN KILLERS- Mickey and Mallory Knox played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis-
Coming in at number 6 are these two crazy characters from one of my favourite all time movies. To be honest, I couldn’t remember if they had tattoos or not in the movie…but it felt like they should have if they didn’t. Unsurprisingly I was right, but they still didn’t have as many as I’d thought. Nonetheless, what they do have fits their characters perfectly well, also showing how tattoos can be used for symbolism, which in this case is snakes (“look bitch, you knew I was a snake!”) and scorpions, which feature throughout the film and have great importance to the characters.
5. SNATCH- Mickey O’Neil played by Brad Pitt-
I love Brad Pitt’s character in this film and his Irish accent is superb (do ya like dags?) Although his tattoos in this film aren’t the greatest quality wise, I think that’s what makes them so great and fitting for his character. I can’t see them that well, but it seems most of them are in some way family (is that one on his back a family portrait?) or religion related, and you can’t get more Mickey than that.
4. WANTED- Fox played by Angelina Jolie-
Of course, Angelina Jolie would feature in this. I’m in love with her, I can’t help myself… *ahem*, anyway, her tattoos in this movie are amazing. I included the middle picture which is not a movie still because I think some of the tattoos she had in the movie are actually her own. Her tattoos, both in real life and in the movie Wanted, are sexy, mysterious, unique and seriously works of art. I love them, they really add to her character in this film and make her someone you really do not want to mess with. (My favourite is her tattoo that says “know your rights“, Yes Angie!)
3. CAPE FEAR (1991)- Max Cady played by Robert De Niro-
I’m actually obsessed with this film. I’ve watched it so many times, and it never fails to scare me, or at least, Max Cady never fails to scare me… he’s a psychotic character who I might even label as ‘evil’, yet I’ve got to admit he looks so god damn handsome in this film, I can’t be the only one who thinks so (can I?!)
It also doesn’t help that he’s played by Robert De Niro who I love so dearly. Those tattoos…scary but so, interesting, you’d know there’d be a story behind each of them, each tattoo rooted to a scarier part of Cady’s psyche. Plus, I love ‘stick n’ poke’ style tattoos, which some of them kind of look like on account of the fact he might have got them in prison…
2. PRISONERS- David Loki played by Jake Gyllenhall-
There are not enough movie still pictures of this beautiful man for this film. Jake (or Jilly as me and my friend Alice like to call him…) is beyond handsome in real life, let alone in this film, and the tattoos (or is it just one tattoo? I swear when I was watching the film I thought I saw one on his knuckle…) add to his troubled and dark demeanor. I love that they are so subtle, yet add to his style with his slicked back hair (which is to die for, the stylist/hairdresser needs an award for this characters look) and the gold pinky ring, adding dimension to his character so he is not in fact just a typical stock character cop.
1. A PLACE BEYOND THE PINES- Luke Glanton played by Ryan Gosling-
I saved the best till last, I really did, you are in for a real treat. In my opinion, this is the holy grail of all tattoos…like, ever. I don’t even know what to say about them other than I GODDAMN LOVE THEM SO MUCH. Ok, I need to calm down. Give me a moment.
Ok, I’m back. But in all seriousness, these tattoos are works of art in themselves. I love how they are spaced out, none of them joined, all of them have their own space and beauty yet they complement each other as a whole. They reflect Luke’s character at the same time of making the audience question their own judgement, yes he does some ‘bad’ things, he’s not got a lot going for him in the film and maybe you’d see him as a criminal or dangerous on account of his tattoos (yes he has a dagger tattooed on his face) yet despite all of these things, Luke is a really loving and caring person. He want’s the best for his son, he want’s to be the best he can be for his family. Don’t let his dagger fool you. Deep and dimensional characters, it’s what I like to see. (Clearly, I also like to see beautiful actors covered in tattoos…but at least I’m not entirely superficial.)
Now before I hurry off to the tattoo parlour, tell me whose tattoos you love in the comments!