Archetypes in Movies – The Seducer

The seducer has a devious and normally self-serving character. He or she has beautiful features and has a way of making their looks and charm work for them. He or she manipulates others and cares little for morality. 

💄😘 The seducer is motivated by his personal needs and would do anything to achieve his goals, even if it means stabbing friends in the back to get there. 

Golden looks, black heart

He or she would go to any lengths and relies on his charm or sexuality to exploit others. The seducer is loyal to no one but himself or herself. Consequently, the seductive character tends to be the epicenter of betrayal in the movie.

This character could play an important part in the hero’s character development or how the plot evolves through a 3-Act structure.

It is not always the case that the seducer gets what he wants through sexual appeal. Blessed with the gift of the gab, the seducer is usually witty and intelligent too. He can talk his way out of tricky situations and offer a convincing argument where most would fail. 

With a sly tongue and a cunning mind, the seducer bears trickster tendencies as well. They can also use their money or position of influence to tilt a situation in their favor. Common professions for the seducer in movies include thieves, detectives, and gamblers. Salespersons, lawyers, and spies also popularly take on the role.

Delving deeper into this mysterious archetype, we uncover what makes the seducer tick with a few popular examples from movies.

3 examples of seducers in modern cinema

Jacob Palmer as the seducer in Crazy, Stupid, Love

Jacob Palmer steps into the scene as a womanizer, eager to help the protagonist discover his “mojo” after a failed marriage. He picks up women with ease, making use of his charm and bravado to attract his victims like a moth to a flame. 

Always looking sharp and polished, Jacob Palmer knows full well how to make his looks work for him. He is always fancily dressed, oozing style and class that turns heads. Jacob constantly hits on women in the bar and is mostly successful.

Palmer uses his looks to get what he wants

Palmer is the literal seducer archetype. He deceives, tricks, and relies on his powers of persuasion to get what he wants. Jacob isn’t interested in a romantic relationship with most of the women he chats up. His only end goal is physical pleasure, and he often lies about it to get what he wants. 

The girls he takes home think they’ve found a boyfriend, but Palmer knows better. He fits the fundamental seducer mold because he achieves his goal through deception. Toying with other people’s emotions, it’s clear that Jacob Palmer is a self-serving character.

The character’s grandiose lifestyle is supported by his immense inheritance. He is able to maintain the “hot guy at the bar” act and his Rolex watches due to his deep pockets.  Jacob lives in an extravagant neighborhood and drives a similarly classy Mercedes. 

With more than 36 costume changes in the movie for the character, including Versace shoes, Jr suits, etc., Palmer is as cool and edgy as can be. He exploits his money and consequent position of influence to attain his goals. 

Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man movies

 A seducer’s most defining traits include the hunger for control and the ability to get what he wants without caring who he hurts. James Franco’s Harry Osborn character from Spider-man 1 & 2 exhibits these qualities quite often in the films. 

He is deceitful, dishonest, and malicious.  Harry and Peter Parker are best friends, Parker in love since childhood with next-door-neighbor Mary Jane.

Harry messing with Spidey  

Despite knowing how his best friend feels about MJ, he beats Harry to the girl of his dreams. He steals her affection right from under Peter’s nose, using his charm and obvious monetary appeal to his advantage.

Harry doesn’t care about MJ. We see that when he fails to stand up to his father when he insults her repeatedly. MJ was more of a trophy girlfriend more than anything. Harry wields his power like a paintbrush to create the world he desires around him. When he instructs Mary Jane to wear black because of his father’s fondness for the tone, we get a taste of his penchant for manipulation.

He gets what he wants when he wants it and rarely takes no for an answer. Harry Osborn crosses his friends when the situation suits it. He betrays his best friend without a moment’s hesitation to further his ambitions. Dangling his wealth like bait for villains, he uses his money as leverage to attain his personal goals.  His money and power allow him to puppeteer villains, and others around him, to his pleasure. 

Rose as the evil seducer in Get Out 

The 2017 horror-thriller starts out like a typical romantic drama about an interracial couple cautious about their parents’ approval of the relationship.

It takes a shocking turn into horror when the protagonist, Chris Washington, realizes all is not as it seems with the Armitage family. Rose Armitage, Chris’s lover is the seductress archetype in the movie. 

The pair appears to be head over heels. However, it turns out Chris was only the latest in her long line of unsuspecting victims.

This Rose does not smell so sweet

Rose is a liar, she hides the truth, and she is not who she says she is. Her racist family has been luring black people into a trap for years. They send out their daughter to do their dirty bidding, pretending to fall in love with her victims and then luring them to the countryside for a “parental visit.” 

Using physical pleasure to entice those who cross her path, Rose employs sexual leverages to achieve her diabolical goals. 

Like the seducer she is, Rose is a controlling force in the film, manipulating Chris quite often. Chris can’t drive and Rose uses this to her benefit most of the time, dictating places they should go. She is in the driver’s seat, in more ways than one. 

When Chris realizes things are off with the Armitage family at a party, he begs Rose to leave, who in turn uses the fact that he can’t drive to trick him. She deceives him into a trap, revealing that she too was in on the plan this whole time. Rose is downright evil, has no regard for others, and backstabs her lover to fulfill her mission. Protection Status