The Art of Seduction in the Movies: 9 Seducers in the Spotlight

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There are 9 types of seducers in this world, the question is – which one are you?

Maybe you’re like Sebastian from Cruel Intentions – a cool, calculated and manipulative charmer.

Or perhaps you’re like his stepsister, Kathryn – a girl who likes to delay a guy’s satisfaction to the point that he’s begging at your heels?

If you want to unleash your power of seduction, read on to realize which aspect of your character naturally excites people so you can radiate that quality and stir people’s emotion in a way that is beyond their control.

In this post we’re going to look at the 9 different types of seducer from Robert Greene’s book The Art of Seduction, to see what they look like in action, with examples from Cruel Intentions, Crazy Stupid Love, Anchor Man and many more.

You’ll discover which of your friends is a Dandy, an Ideal Lover, a Coquette or perhaps even the most potent seducer of them all…The Siren.

Lacey Chabert Plays The Siren

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Lacey Chabert’s character, Amanda Becker, in Not Another Teen Movie, is an extreme example of a Siren.

Whenever Amanda makes an entrance she captivates everyone in the room with her brimming sexual energy.

Like Marilyn Monroe, a notorious Sex Siren, she has finely tuned herself to play on a man’s basic instincts and can transform normally strong and responsible men into childish slaves.

“The Siren is the ultimate male fantasy figure because she offers a total release from the limitations of life. In her presence, which is always heightened and sexually charged, the male feels transported to a world of pure pleasure. She is dangerous, and in pursuing her energetically the man can lose control over himself, something he yearns to do.” – Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction

If you want to play the Siren, here’s how it’s done:

  • Stand out from other women by having a highly feminine and sexual presence. You can accentuate your femininity with make up and your sexuality with dazzling dresses
  • Be elusive, distant and don’t make it easy for men to pursue you
  • Exude a touch of the dangerous, perhaps a daring or wild side that scares men
  • Adapt the tone of your voice so it hints at the erotic with an animal presence and suggestive power. (Marilyn Monroe lowered her breathy childlike voice to make it truly seductive)

Ryan Gosling Plays The Rake

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“A Rake’s greatest asset is his reputation. Never downplay your bad name, or seem to apologise for it. Instead, embrace it, enhance it. It is what draws women to you.” – Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction

Ryan Gosling’s character, Jacob, in Crazy Stupid Love, is an ardent Rake. He is the “hot guy from the bar” who shows no hesitation or restraint in his relentless pursuit of women.

His desire for women is infectious and distracting because women are not used to a man giving totally of himself, even if it’s just for a while.

Jacob inflames women with desire by playing to women’s weakness for words that persuade, flatter and stir emotional turmoil.

Women secretly long for a man that offers a mix of danger and pleasure, which the Rake will give in abundance.

Like a true Rake, Jacob doesn’t worry about Hannah’s resistance to him when he first tries to seduce her. His intentions are clear and her resistance only inflames him more:

Do you see how carefree he is? How he does nothing to hide his desire for Hannah and appears unaffected by her resistance?

Later on in the movie, Hannah comes running back and steals him away from another woman he’s chatting up at the bar:

If you want to read more about Jacob’s techniques in Crazy Stupid Love, we wrote a whole post about how Jacob attracts girls here 😉

You might argue that neither of the above videos truly show how a Rake stirs a woman’s emotions, so if you want to see how it’s done at the most animalistic level, watch this clip from the movie Shame, in which Brandon (Michael Fasbender) stirs a stranger’s emotions on the subway.

If you want to play the Rake, here’s how it’s done:

  • Show no hesitation, abandon all restraint and to let yourself go
  • The less your targets focus on what you say and the more on how it makes them feel, the more seductive your effect
  • Women are often oppressed by the role they are expected to play so offer them their female fantasy, which is to meet a man who gives totally of himself and lives for her even if just for a while
  • You must convey a sense of risk and darkness, suggesting to your victim that she is participating in something rare and thrilling – a chance to play out her own rakish desires
  • Never worry about going too far: the Rake’s essence is that he goes further than anyone else
  • Among the Rake’s most seductive qualities is his ability to make women want to reform him – when caught red handed in rakishness, fall back on your weakness – your desire to change, and your inability to do so. Women will jump at the opportunity to reform you
  • Here’s what you should be known for: your irresistible attractiveness to women, your uncontrollable devotion to pleasure, your disdain for convention and a rebellious streak that makes you seem dangerous

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Leonardo Di Caprio Plays The Ideal Lover

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“Most people have dreams in their youth that get shattered or worn down with age. They find themselves disappointed by people, events, reality, which cannot match their youthful ideals. Ideal Lovers thrive on people’s broken dreams, which become lifelong fantasies. You long for romance? Adventure? Lofty spiritual communion? The Ideal Lover reflects your fantasy.” – Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction

Casanova was an Ideal Lover, but in this post we’re going to look at someone a little more up-to-date who played the role of the Ideal Lover perfectly in a film about a sinking ship.

Jack (Leonardo Di Caprio), in Titanic, rescues Rose (Kate Winslet) from her attempt to commit suicide after being distraught over her arranged engagement to Caledon (Billy Zane), a cold steel magnate she doesn’t love, yet must marry to resolve her family’s financial problems.

Jack’s timing to enter Rose’s life couldn’t have been any better.

Rose is disappointed and broken about how her life is turning out and craves for her youthful ideals of romance and adventure.

Jack fills her void impeccably. He takes her away from the posh and contrite world she feels so uncomfortable in, transports her into his simple world of fun and adventure with dancing in the 3rd class deck, running around the ship hand in hand to escape Caledon’s bodyguard and eventually makes passionate love to her in a car.

In the brief time they have together he elevates her into the fantasy she craves to the point where all her troubles are forgotten and she feels like she’s flying:

“Our ideal may be buried in disappointment, but it lurks underneath, waiting to be sparked. If another person seems to have that ideal quality, or to have the ability to bring it out in us, we fall in love.”

If you want to play the Ideal Lover, here’s how it’s done:

  • Be observant – ignore your targets’ words and conscious behaviour; focus on the tone of their voice, a blush here, a look there – those signs that betray what the words won’t say
  • Work out what she is missing, what she is disappointed by, people will often reveal this in subtle ways: through gesture, tone of voice, a look in the eye. By seeming to be what they lack, you will fit their ideal
  • Never let matters of money or work intrude into the fantasy of courtship
  • Dig into your targets’ past and bring images and ideals that have been abandoned or repressed back to the surface
  • Make them feel elevated, lofty, spiritual, and your power over them will be limitless
  • To create this effect requires patience and attention to detail. Most people are so wrapped up in their own desires, so impatient, they are incapable of the Ideal Lover role. Let that be a source of infinite opportunity. Be an oasis in the desert of the self-absorbed; few can resist the temptation of following a person who seems so attuned to their desires, to bringing to life their fantasies

Russell Brand Plays The Dandy

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Russell Brand has been regularly referred to as a Dandy in the press. The media simply can’t get enough of his off-screen antics, which have made him the randy stuff of tabloids’ dreams.

But what is a Dandy and how does Russell pull it off in such an alluring way?

“The Dandy has a much more sinister effect. He lures the women in with exactly what she wants – a familiar, pleasing, graceful presence. Mirroring feminine psychology, he displays attention to his appearance, sensitivity to detail, a slight coquettishness – but also a hint of male cruelty. Women are narcissists, in love with the charms of their own sex. By showing them feminine charm, a man can mesmerise and disarm them, leaving them vulnerable to a bold, masculine move.” – Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction

My favourite video of Russell playing the Dandy is his audition tape for the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

If you want to play the Dandy, here’s how it’s done:

  • The key is ambiguity: your sexuality is decidedly heterosexual, but your body and psychology float delightfully back and forth between the two poles
  • Be both masculine and feminine, impudent and charming, subtle and outrageous. Let other people worry about being socially acceptable; those types are a dime a dozen, and you are after a power greater than they can imagine
  • if you simply seem socially confident and sure of your taste, people will be drawn to you… your ability to allevite boredom by making life an art will make your company highly prized
  • Hint at something for them to aspire to, reveal your faith in some untapped potential you see in them, and you will soon have them eating out of your hand
  • This kind of mental transvestism – the ability to enter the spirit of the opposite sex, adapt to their way of thinking, mirror their tastes and attitudes – can be a key element in seduction. It is a way of mesmerising your victim

Jude Law Plays the Natural

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“Childhood is the golden pleasure we are always consciously or unconsciously trying to re-create. The Natural embodies the longed for qualities of childhood – spontaneity, sincerity, unpretentiousness. In the presence of Naturals, we feel at ease, caught up in their playful spirit, transported back to that golden age. Naturals also make a virtue out of weakness, eliciting our sympathy for their trials, making us want to protect and help them.” – Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction

In Alfie, Jude Law’s character (Alfie) is childlike and playful, making women fall for his boyish charm and do anything for him.

In a monologue at the end of the movie, he says “you know when I look back on my little life, and all the women I’ve known, I can’t help but think about all that they’ve done for me and how little I’ve done for them. How they looked after me, cared for me and I repaid them by never returning the favour”.

Since Natural seducers are people who somehow avoided getting certain childish traits drummed out of them by adult experience, such people can be as powerfully seductive as any child.

If you want to play the natural, here’s how it’s done:

  • Root out the fear and awkwardness that has built up in you over the years, become more graceful with your approach and less defensive when others seem to resist
  • Learn to play with your image, never taking it too seriously. The key is to infuse your play with the convention and feeling of a child, making it seem natural. The more absorbed you seem in your own joy-filled world, the more seductive you become. Do not go halfway: make the fantasy you inhabit as radical and exotic as possible, and you will attract attention like a magnet
  • The best way to use the Natural character type is in specific situations when a touch of innocence or impishness will help lower your target’s defences
  • Don’t play up to your vulnerability and helplessness too much or it will seem like you’re begging for sympathy and are needy
  • Do not worry about offending people now and then – you are too loveable and inevitably they will forgive you

Sarah Michelle Gellar Plays The Coquette

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Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character, Kathryn, from Cruel Intentions, is a devilish Coquette.

“A Coquette will hold their victim in thrall by delaying their satisfaction, pulling them back and forth between hope and frustration. They bait with the promise of reward – the hope of physical pleasure, happiness, power – all of which, however, proves elusive; yet this only makes their targets pursue them the more.” – Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction

In Cruel Intentions, Kathryn’s step-brother, Sebastian Valmont (Phillippe), plans to seduce virgin Annette Hargrove (Reese Witherspoon) – a ‘paradigm of chastity and virtue’ and spoil her social reputation.

Doubting Sebastian’s chance of success, they make a wager:

If Kathryn wins, she gets Sebastian’s vintage 1956 Jaguar Xk140 roadster; if Sebastian wins, Kathryn will allow him to f*ck her brains out and “put it anywhere”. Naturally, Sebastian agrees.

As Sebastian goes about trying to seduce Annette, Kathryn teases him constantly. She never let’s him go the whole way which only inflames him more:

If you want to have guys eating out for your hands, here’s how to play the Coquette:

  • The less you seem to need other people, the more likely others will be drawn to you
  • You must first be able to excite your target. The attraction can be sexual, the lure of celebrity, whatever it takes. At the same time, the you must send contrary signals that stimulate contrary responses, plunging the victim into confusion
  • Trap people emotionally and keep your victims in your clutches long after that first titillation of desire
  • Hint at coldness, absenting yourself at times to keep your victims off balance, surprised, intrigued. Your withdrawals will make you mysterious, and will build you up in their imaginations
  • Your greatest power in seduction is your ability to turn away, to make others come after you, delaying their satisfaction. Do not surrender too soon if you’re worried your victim will lose interest. Make your targets afraid that you may be withdrawing….hot and cold, hot and cold – such coquetry is perversely pleasurable, heightening the interest and keeping the initiative on your side

Ryan Phillippe Plays The Charmer

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Ryan Phillippe’s character, Sebastian, in Cruel Intentions is a cool, calculated and manipulative charmer.

He makes Annette the center of attention, aiming at her primary weakness: vanity and self-esteem.

In the swimming pool scene, although Annette can see right through his charm (since she’d been previously warned about Sebastian), this scene gives us a good look at how Charmers work at making the target the center of attention:

If you want to play the charmer, here’s how it’s done:

  • Strike at the things your target have the least control over: their ego, their vanity, and their self-esteem
  • Make your target the center of attention, learn to listen and observe. Let your target talk, revealing themselves in the process. As you find out more about them – most importantly their weaknesses – you can individualize your attention, appealing to their specific desires and needs, tailoring your flatteries to their insecurities. You can make them feel bigger and better, validating their sense of self-worth. Make them the star of the show and they will become addicted to you and become dependent on you
  • Always be a source of pleasure, no one wants to hear about your problems and troubles
  • Never show anger, ill temper, or vengefulness, all disruptive emotions that will make people defensive.
  • Never criticize people overtly – that will make them insecure, and resistant to change. Instead, plant ideas, insinuate suggestions
  • Lull your victims into ease and comfort. Charm is like the hypnotist’s trick with the swinging watch: the more relaxed the target, the easier it is to bend him or her your will. The key to making your victims feel comfortable is to mirror them, adapt to their moods. People are narcissist – they are drawn to those most similar to themselves. Seem to share their values and tastes, to understand their spirit, and they will fall under your spell

Will Ferrell Plays The Charismatic

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“Charisma is a presence that excites us. It comes from an inner quality – self-confidence, sexual energy, sense of purpose, contentment – that most people lack and want. This quality radiates outward, permeating the gestures of Charismatics, making them seem extraordinary and superior, and making us imagine there is more to them than meets the eye: they are gods, saints, stars, Charismatics can learn to heighten their charisma with a piercing gaze, fiery oratory, an air of mystery. They can seduce on a grand scale. Learn to create the charismatic illusion by radiating intensity while remaining detached” – Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction

Will Ferrell’s character, Ron Burgundy, in Anchorman, is an extreme example of a charismatic.

He is bold, highly animated and exudes an air of risk and adventure.

After a couple of failed attempts, it’s his power over words and strong, purposeful desire for Veronica Corningstone that make her finally succumb to him when his adventurous appeal lures her in:

If you want to play the Charismatic, here’s how it’s done:

  • Purpose – if people believe you have a plan, that you know where you are going, they will follow you instinctively
  • Eloquence – a charismatic relies on the power of words. The reason is simple: words are the quickest way to create emotional disturbance.
  • Theatricality – it is essential to be self-aware, to have the ability to see yourself as others see you
  • Fervency – you need to believe in something, and to believe in it strongly enough for it to animate all your gestures and make your eyes light up
  • Adventurous – charismatics are unconventional. They have an air of adventure and risk that attracts the bored. Be brazen and courageous in your actions – be seen taking risks for the good of others.

Adrian Grenier Plays The Star

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“Daily life is harsh, and most of us constantly seek escape from it in fantasies and dreams. Stars feed on this weakness; standing out from others through a distinctive and appealing style, they make us want to watch them, At the same time, they are vague and ethereal, keeping their distance, and letting us imagine more than is there. Their dreamlike quality works on our unconscious; we are not even aware how much we imitate them. Learn to become an object of fascination by projecting the glittering but elusive presence of the Star.” – Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction

Sure, it’s hard to be a star unless you’re an actor or kinda famous, but we’d be making this post half-baked if we didn’t include The Star.

Adrian Grenier’s character, Vincent Chase, in Entourage is both glittering and elusive.

Only his best friends get to know who he really is and even then, he sometimes reveals a weird trait that makes them wonder if they really know him or he uses his acting skills to appear genuinely angry when really he’s just pulling their legs.

His mix of the real and unreal keeps everyone on their toes and is exactly what you should do if you want to play The Star.

Here’s how you do it:

  • You are a blank screen. Float through life noncommittally and people will want to seize you and consume you.
  • Learn to tune your face like an instrument, making it radiate a fascinating vagueness for effect.
  • Since you need to stand out from other stars, you need to develop an attention-getting style.
  • Keep your distance, let people identify with you without being able to touch you. They can only watch and dream.
  • Make yourself into a cipher, a mix of the real and unreal
  • Hold yourself back, occasionally revealing a trait that makes people wonder whether they really know you
  • Your words should be fascinating, diverse, strange, their meaning unclear.

Conclusion

Hopefully by now you’ve worked out which type of seducer you are and know what your strengths are and how you can improve on them to make your seduction even more potent.

If you want to learn more about your seducer type don’t forget to check out the inspiration for this post – Robert Greene’s book – The Art of Seduction.

We’ve read this book from cover to cover and treat it like the “Bible” of seduction. Style (author of The Game) has this book in his reading list and pretty much all the Master Pickup Artists out there has used a heap of its teachings in their material.

Want to go one step further and learn how you can put the art of seduction into practice? Check out our review of The Tao of Badass.

Liked this post? Share it with your friends to let them know which of the 9 seducers you think they are 😉

Oh, and let us know if what type of seducer you think you are in the comments below!

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