For the remake of the 1994 animated classic, “The Lion King” Chiwetel Ejiofor is charged with the role of Simba’s evil uncle, Scar, one of Disney’s most menacing and captivating villains.

The actor described playing the role as an avenue to get into Scar’s psyche and really explore it; he explained: “I was interested in understanding the real psychology of Scar, the psychology of a person who always feels as if they have been somehow mysteriously overpassed by the fates, by the gods themselves. That sense of not being in the rightful place and therefore living in a kind of parallel universe to the one that you’re supposed to be in — what sort of psychology would that mean, and what would it go to over a period of time?”

A fascinating though treacherous character, Chiwetel Ejiofor says it is not a simple psychology because Scar isn’t a black and white villain in the way characters like Maleficent (not the live-action one) and Ursula are. He’s evil to be sure, but like many great villains, he thinks that he’s the good guy, or at least that his actions are somehow justified.

Despite being a member of the royal family, this character sees himself as an outcast and pals around with the hyenas that also don’t have a place within in the pride. In his head, he’s the mistreated hero that has been trampled by the world and those around him, and so naturally sees Simba as someone else who stands in his way.

‘The Lion King’ remake will hit theatres on July 19, and it already seems like Chiwetel Ejiofor dove quite deep into the mind of an iconic villain for his portrayal of Scar.

Watch the trailer below