This week, Fiona Lindsay talks about how everyone loves a villian...

Danforth

Today we publish my interview with Jack Ellis on Digital Theatre Plus. He’s talking about playing the dastardly Danforth in The Crucible. Watching him, his eyes playfully working the camera, got me to remembering his performance in the TV series Bad Girls and how horribly good he was at being bad.

Without giving too much away, I think it’s safe to say that I’m over my bad boy phase. A relief indeed not to waste endless hours fixating on damaged lives and fantastising that I can cure, restore, enrich the achy breaky hearts of bad boys that just don’t want to be fixed. So that’s my reality sorted. Phew! My guilty pleasure lives on, however, through dosing on books, plays and films that have Machiavels as the main draw.

My ailment is not uncommon. We all love a bad boy it seems and in the fictitious world of theatre, film and television they get all the best lines. What is so good about the baddie that we can’t help being drawn towards them? Often dashing, charming witty, strong and difficult, they set pulses racing. Why is it much more interesting to go for Mr Flawed?

We’re sold the fairy tale early on and so begins a love affair and the need to find, fix and look after fictitious knights in armour. But it isn’t always happy ever after. Maybe that’s the appeal.

Think about it... Cinderella faced up to an evil stepmother and two nasty stepsisters, and then lost a fabulous shoe (most tragic) whilst battling with a ticking clock with only some mice and a pumpkin on her side. She proved herself to be tough and resilient and what did she get? A castle and Mr Perfect – yawn!

Prince Charming really messed up as a leading man with his high expectations and oh (not) so winning ways, so of course she/we moved onto Mr Flawed. But why?

As Shakespeare says: “love is merely a madness”. But we just can’t help ourselves. As long as he needs me... etc!

What woman doesn’t want to be claimed by a man who faces his fears just to get to her? Being pursued across pages, stages, celluloid by an unfeasibly named, unreasonably handsome rogue usually masking a dark secret or a ruthless streak is seductive.

We know it won’t be easy but the more ups and downs on the road to romance the better. Conflict is the key. There needs to be a barrier and an element of risk if love is to conquer all.

Our imagined wonderland allows us to escape the humdrum of our reality and dream of being rescued and swept away by a man’s passion and desire for us. It’s all quite exhausting though hating him, wanting him and hating yourself for wanting him. It’s addictive stuff.

But are we really waiting for the moment the iceman melts? Are we happy to fall for lines such as James Bond’s “­that’s a nice little nothing you’re wearing.”

Is this what every woman wants?

Time to take my tongue out of my cheek.