ByJon Miller, writer at
A caffeinated commentator obsessed with political pop culture and then writing about it. "Don't talk unless you can improve the silence."
Jon Miller

We all know the old saying, "If you do what you like, you’ll never work a day in your life." But is it possible to have too much passion for what you do for a living?

Well, it may depend on what your coworkers think of you. (If you work in a bakery, don’t yell at everyone 'cause there are more blueberries in one muffin than in the other.) The following movie characters are good examples of that. Here are the most non compos mentis of all non compos mentis at the cinematic workplace.

15. Sam (Desierto)

Occupation: Mexican Border Tracker

Side Note: He’s probably a fan of Trump’s border wall.

This is the most recent movie on the list, and while Sam is not technically getting paid, he is nonetheless someone who takes a strong interest in his work. Sam, an American rifle-totting tracker, spends the entirety of the film hunting down an unarmed Mexican family trying to cross the border for a better future. (To be quite honest, if your first encounter with someone in a country that you are brand new to is anything like this one, why on earth would you wanna stay?)

14. Miranda Priestly (The Devil Wears Prada)

Occupation: Editor-in-Chief

Side Note: She prefers her coffee on time.

The fashion world is a fast-paced environment with all seven different emotions on precise schedules. You’d think that Miranda Priestly would cut some of her employees some slack, but she is as sinister as the industry that she is passionate about.

13. Ronnie (Observe and Report)

Occupation: Mall Cop

Side Note: He’s Paul Blart with a bit of Travis Bickle’s batsh*t craziness.

When a wannabe cop named Ronnie takes justice into his own hands with a serial streaker on the loose at the local mall, we can expect no good to come of it. Ronnie is sure up to the task, since he’s been playing video games for years.

12. Sgt. Nicholas Angel (Hot Fuzz)

Occupation: Police Officer

Side Note: He’s never seen Point Break or Bad Boys II.

Double major in politics and sociology. Great advancement in field exercises including riot control, driving and bicycling. Record for the 100-meter dash. Excelled academically. Baton of Honor Award winner. Highest record of arresting criminals, and sustained three injuries because of it.

A man with a resume like must not be the most fun person in the room, but he sure would be the most competent law enforcement officer. Even though he has been stationed to a quiet, seemingly crime-free village, Angel quickly takes charge and nosedives into the first of many "accidents."

11. Eli Cross (The Stunt Man)

Occupation: Filmmaker

Side Note: He is the only person who is allowed to say “cut” on set.

In the best scene of this 1980 film, Eli Cross (Peter O’Tootle in an Oscar-nominated performance), a cameraman naively yells "cut!" on behalf of Cross with only 22 seconds of film left. What follows is the greatest cinematic rant of all time (one that would leave even Christian Bale in tears) where Cross explicitly details the different things he could do to the cameraman in 22 seconds, which includes but is certainly not limited to shooting him with 22 bullets.

10. Edna Mode (The Incredibles)

Occupation: Fashion Designer

Side Note: Not a fan of capes.

Supposedly based on eight-time Oscar-winning movie costume designer Edith Head, Edna Mode is scary in her ambitiousness. She says what is on her mind, and (to be fair to her) she is quite talented at her job. This makes her the best character on this list, so long as you don’t upset her.

9. Miss Trunchbull (Matilda)

Occupation: Headmistress

Side Note: Chocolate cake is her game, cats are not.

Actress Pam Ferris gets all the credit in the world for bringing this one to life. Miss Trunchbull is a character that haunted my childhood nightmares with images of her catapulting children long distances and locking them in the “choky,” a closet of sorts equipped with sharp spikes. Sure, she could maybe let kids be kids, but the movie would have been far less interesting if she hadn’t run her primary school like boot camp.

8. Ace Ventura (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective)

Occupation: Pet Detective

Side Note: He’d love tell you about a dream he had about a dog.

Ace Ventura would have made an excellent cop — too bad he much prefers animals over humans. He looks for dogs, parrots and, yes, dolphins. It's his overall obsessively funny ticks and demeanor that will always define his strong passion for his job.

7. Joan Crawford (Mommie Dearest)

Occupation: Former Actress

Side Note: She hates, absolutely hates, wire hangers!

It may have been the role that forever ruined Faye Dunaway’s once booming career, but it must have been pretty worth it. She took on the complex duty of playing one of the most iconic film actresses in history — not to stroke her ego, but to depict her in an obsessively grim light. The film received a huge backlash, but Dunaway’s performance as Joan Crawford straddles the line between unconventional and just creepy.

6. Margo Channing (All About Eve)

Occupation: Actress

Side Note: You know you’re in trouble if you catch her staring at you while smoking a cigarette.

Margo Channing is a renowned actress in theatre, but dreads aging. Upon seeing Eve Harrington, Margo gets jealous — to say the least — at her angelic youthfulness. The industry is a cutthroat one, a game that Margo is more than happy to play and win.

5. Willy Wonka (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)

Occupation: Candy Inventor

Side Note: There’s an illegible contract you have to sign.

Would this film have been good in any way if Willy Wonka weren't just a little bit looney when it came to his job? How could someone like Wonka be a normal man? The blueprints of the factory, the features on display, the Oompa Loompas and, of course, the musical numbers don’t do him any favors in the ordinary department He has the greatest job in the world — we should expect him to be passionately cartoonish.

4. Nina (Black Swan)

Occupation: Ballerina

Side Note: Her work and home life are a bit unstable.

Anything short of perfection is a no-go in her book, and in the books of artful ballet. While she’s got the White Swan down to perfection, it is the role of the Black Swan that needs work. And work she does, completely and utterly manifesting the role into her already unstable home life, creating a cyclone of irreparable emotional and physical trauma to boot. She may be slightly on the crazy side, but passionate she is—and her passionate determination will bring her to glory at any bloody cost.

3. Alfred Borden And Robert Angier (The Prestige)

Occupation: Magicians

Side Note: This movie is way too confusing when you think about it.

These two take the art of magic to a whole new level. A level endowed with death, doppelgängers, manipulation, duplicity and even real magic. There are no lines these two are not willing to cross in order to best one another in their years-long competition. All the more reason why they take their jobs way too seriously. It is no longer in the name of entertainment or wonder, but rather who is the most creative at his job.

2. Terence Fletcher (Whiplash)

Occupation: Music Instructor

Side Note: Just don’t rush. Or drag for that matter.

The music teacher with a heart of gold. In the words of Fletcher himself, "There are no two words in the English language more harmful than 'good job.'" A man who carries the burden of that ideology is likely not only somewhat hard himself, but certainly those around him too, specifically his students. No matter how many drops of blood hit that drum set, if his students are not perfect, they are not worth his attention.

1. Principal Rooney (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

Occupation: High School Principal

Side Note: Can’t tell who’s winning a tie game.

We cap off our list with everyone’s nightmare of a school principal. Ed Rooney goes completely out of his way to catch his students in the act of skipping school, just to keep them there forever. This, of course, includes leaving his office to drive to serial school skipper Ferris Bueller’s house, battling it out with his dogs, and spending all day waiting for his eventual arrival. He is the type of pro-establishment authority commonly seen in so many 1980s teen movies.

Are there any movie workaholics we missed? Let us know in the comments below!


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