Sir Patrick Stewart said he "embraced the contrast" of playing a neo-Nazi gang leader after his heroic roles in X-Men and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The veteran British actor, who stars as white-supremacist Darcy Banker in new horror film Green Room, said he had no reservations taking on the role and he was attracted by a script that "scared the s*** out of me".
Sir Patrick stars as the leader of a group of skinheads holding hostage a punk band after they witness a murder in Oregon - a far contrast from portraying Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men superhero movies.
Speaking at the Viper Room in Los Angeles, Sir Patrick told the Press Association: "The quality of the script attracted me first of all. It intrigued me, fascinated me and scared the s*** out of me the first time I read it.
"I researched quite a lot about the supremacist movement and to my surprise found it was focused on the Pacific North West. That gave me quite a lot of insight into the front that Darcy Banker creates."
Asked whether he had any reservations about playing a villainous role, Sir Patrick replied: "On the contrary. I embraced the contrast as fully as possible."
The 75-year-old also revealed he listened to "quite a lot of punk" in preparation for the film after admitting he was not a fan of the genre during the height of its popularity in the 1970s.
His latest role in Green Room comes after the thespian, who began his career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, dressed as a glamorous woman as he promoted his US sitcom Blunt Talk.
Sir Patrick, who plays a cable news reporter on the show, shared the results of his make-over with his 2.2 million Twitter followers and wrote: "Something is happening in Hollywood tonight."
Green Room is released in UK cinemas on May 13.