Swerve Strickland turned to some of Hollywood's great villains when looking to make his heel persona as real and entertaining as possible.

Strickland has been with AEW since March of last year when he debuted at the Revolution pay-per-view. He is a former AEW World Tag Team Champion (with Keith Lee) and held the NXT North American Championship during his time with WWE. Currently, he is participating in the AEW Continental Classic.

Strickland has become one of the most prominent names in AEW, with many expecting huge things in the future. Speaking on the Insight podcast, Strickland revealed how a Wesley Snipes role helped inspire his twisted character.

"I'm a Wesley Snipes fan. When I was in NXT and really dipping into coloring my hair, the grill came in, it was really from watching Demolition Man and the Simon Phoenix character. This jubilant character, but this dude is like a psychopath. Vicious. Brutal. Destroying a peaceful society.

"He stands out right away, with blonde hair and stuff like that. And I'm like 'Oh this is a villain that is so entertaining.' He's doing bad things but I want to see him... Let's get back to him. He's in the sewer? What's he doing down there? And then they go away and 'Okay, what's he doing?' You can't wait to see the next thing that the bad guy does."

Strickland was captivated by Snipes' performance in the film which sees the hardened criminal brought into a society with no crime. In the interview, Strickland also recalled how Heath Ledger's The Joker also showed him how a villain can captivate an audience.

"Heath Ledger, rest in peace, with the Dark Knight, you want to see him again. You can't help but want to see him on camera. You just have to see him."

Strickland's heel work has been praised in AEW, especially his recent feud with 'Hangman' Adam Page which included Strickland invading Page's home. On Insight, Strickland said that it's only by seeming real that the heel role can be revolutionized, and discussed how things have changed from the past.

"The Undertaker was the undead personified on screen but to a large sample of the audience as we got older... in the mid-90s it was cutting edge and in the 2000s he went American Badass and back to the Deadman later on. But we knew it was still the show. That was the maturity of media in wrestling in the fans. The fans grew up. We realized we were going to a show and seeing a show.

"But how do I make the show reach out to people internally? Oh, talking to a child in a crib with a father not home. Just the idea of that, as a father, the idea of that is chilling. I'm helpless, I can't do anything. And that's real fear to me. And that's how you revolutionize heel and villain and bad, evil, because I'm a real person who can do these real things."

Strickland defeated Page in their bloody Texas Death Match at AEW Full Gear. The match saw Page drink the blood of Swerve, which AEW execs approved ahead of the match.