As introverts living in an extroverted world, it can be hard for us to find characters in books and movies that we identify with. Society often says the only worthwhile people are the loud ones, the ones who command the spotlight.
But what about the heroes and heroines with quiet strength? They’re worthwhile, too.
So, I took it upon myself to find some popular movies that feature main characters with introverted tendencies — characters like me that I connect with on a more personal level. Here’s what I found.
Movie Characters With Introverted Tendencies
1. The Holiday – Iris
Iris and Amanda live on opposite sides of the world, and yet they find themselves in the same boat: The men they love have hurt and betrayed them. Desperate for a fresh start, Iris and Amanda meet online and agree to swap houses — Amanda flying to wintery England, and Iris going to sunny L.A. But neither expect to find love when they’re not looking for it.
Iris has some classic introverted tendencies. Although she works in a huge office building, she’s seen sneaking away to her own private office, closed off from her peers. She’s also a soft-spoken person.
But one of the biggest signs of her introversion is how she seeks out one-on-one time with the people she meets in L.A. Many times during the movie, she spends long hours talking with another screenwriter over coffee or tea, dreaming about what his life must have been like, or she goes on simple, quiet dates with Miles. When pushed into group settings, she comes across as flustered.
If you enjoy any form of rom-com, you’ll definitely love The Holiday. It’s the perfect Christmas movie for you and your girlfriends, or a date night with your significant other.
2. How To Train Your Dragon – Hiccup
How to Train Your Dragon is a series that follows a young Viking named Hiccup who ignores everything he’s ever been taught about how dangerous dragons are and decides to tame one. His journey is not only taming the dragon, but befriending it, which takes him on many perilous (and humorous) adventures. He has his work cut out for him when he has to convince his Viking clan that dragons are friends, not foes.
Hiccup is an outcast because he’s small and has “outlandish” ideas. He spends a lot of time pondering what could be different and how he can bring healthy change to his Viking community. One of the biggest indicators of his introversion is when he’s in dragon training with his peers, learning how to kill the “pests.” He keeps to himself, intimidated by how his peers are the kind of Vikings his father would approve of, wrestling internally over whether he should abandon his different views in order to appear “normal.”
If you enjoy dragons, animated kids movies, Vikings, and edge-of-your-seat plots, you’ll definitely enjoy How to Train Your Dragon. It remains a staple in my household!
3. The Hobbit – Bilbo
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who’s enlisted to aid the wizard Gandalf (and other unlikely companions) on a heroic quest to take back the kingdom of Erebor.
Bilbo is the ultimate introvert. He lives in a hobbit hole in the ground and prefers the quiet, routine life, complete with books and tea. He’s reluctant about going on a long, perilous journey, especially since it means traveling with a horde of companions and leaving all his comforts behind. His introversion is especially apparent in this quote: “I wish I was at home in my nice hole by the fire, with the kettle just beginning to sing!”
If you enjoy anything by the great J.R.R. Tolkien, you’ll enjoy this movie adaption of his books, where the stakes are high, and the cast will melt your heart. Just be sure to allot a few hours to get through it all.
4. Beauty and the Beast (live action adaptation) – Belle
You’re probably familiar with the story of Belle, who becomes a prisoner of the Beast, a prince trapped in monstrous form by a sorceress. But the Beast is more human than he seems, and he’s running out of time to get a maiden to fall in love with him before he’s stuck as a monster forever. Belle may be his only chance at freedom and happiness.
Although she has a bold outward strength that helps her through the challenges she faces, Belle also has classic introverted tendencies. She enjoys alone time, while at the same time yearning for her own adventures. At the Beast’s castle, she possesses quiet inner resolve.
Probably the biggest sign of her introversion is the long conversation she has with the bookshop owner, where she tells him about her latest reading adventure. As she makes her way home (singing), her nose is buried in her new book, as she’d prefer to read instead of talk to anyone else.
If you enjoyed the original animated Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, this live-action adaptation will be perfect for you.
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5. The Avengers – Bruce Banner
Shield Director Nick Fury teams up with all your favorite superheroes — Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye — to stop a force of evil that threatens to destroy earth.
It could be argued that Bruce Banner is only an introvert because of his Hulk condition, but he’s generally portrayed as an introvert in all the Avengers movies. He’s smart and analytical, and prefers to stay out of the spotlight, even though becoming the Hulk defeats that purpose. In the beginning of the movie, when Black Widow goes to recruit Bruce, she finds him hiding out in a third world country, spending his days reading and helping the sick of the town he’s living in. He tells her he’s been hiding away from civilization so he can be left alone.
If you’re a fan of the Marvel comics or any other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, watch this movie. All your favorite superheroes joining forces? What could be better!
6. Dead Poets Society – Todd
John Keating is an English teacher at an elite boarding school who teaches his students to embrace poetry and life itself. The students form the Dead Poets Society, an exclusive club for reading and creating poetry, that is technically outlawed on campus.
Todd, one of the students, is very quiet, very studious, and has big shoes to fill because his older brother was famous at the school. While he’d prefer to read and study, he does enjoy being part of the Dead Poets Society and following the other boys in their antics, even if he doesn’t always participate in them. He has huge anxiety speaking in front of the class, and often stutters and gets nervous when called on. At one point, when the other boys push him to speak up and step out of his comfort zone, he responds: “The point is, that there’s nothing you can do about it. So you can just butt out. I can take care of myself just fine.” His quiet strength starts to shine, thanks to the help of his friends, even when the boys are hit with tragedy after tragedy.
If you love movies with old, fancy schools, troublesome boys, tragic family dynamics, bittersweet endings, literary touches, or really just anything Robin Williams, this movie is definitely for you.
7. Big Hero 6 – Wasabi
After a family tragedy, Hiro Hamada, a robotics genius, takes it upon himself to find a masked man who has been stealing his robotic tech and who may be linked to the death of one of his family members.
Like many other introverted characters, Wasabi is soft-spoken, follows the rules, and surrounds himself only with a few close friends. I enjoyed seeing how his innovation and personal strength, while different from the other characters, was praised and needed throughout the movie. One of the more unique aspects of his personality (which many introverts will relate to) is his need for a clean work station. In his corner of their school’s robotics lab, he has a place and system for everything, and gets flustered when people tease him about it or mess it up, going as far as chasing another character around the lab when she steals a tool from its proper location.
If you love animated superhero movies with found family dynamics, Big Hero 6 is an absolute must-see!
8. The Incredibles – Violet
Bob and Helen Parr used to be superheroes, but after an unfortunate turn of events, they and all their hero friends are forced into hiding. Desperate to relive the glory days and show his three children with superpowers what being a superhero really means, Bob goes behind his family’s back and gets locked into a sinister plot where all is not as it seems.
Violet is shy and quiet, responsible, and follows rules to a fault throughout the entire first part of the movie. She reminds me a lot of myself when I was younger, so her character really resonated with me. One of the main ways her introversion is established early in the movie is her using her invisibility powers to hide while looking at her crush. She even says hello to him, but remains invisible so he won’t see.
Also, she wears “wallflower” clothes so she won’t be noticed by her crush or peers. It isn’t until the end of the movie when Helen pulls her aside and tells her to be brave and be herself that Violet accepts not only her superpowers but also her personality. Something I really enjoyed about the movie was that all of Bob and Helen’s kids are praised equally, without a nod to whether they’re introverted or extroverted.
If you love animated superhero movies that not only have a great plot but also show great family structures, you’ll love this one!
9. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – Spencer and Martha
Four teenagers get sucked into the game of Jumanji when they’re supposed to be cleaning in detention in their school’s basement. They’re forced to complete the game in full or remain trapped forever.
Spencer and Martha are two of the most stereotypical introverts I’ve ever seen portrayed in a movie, but since it’s Jumanji and it’s meant to be humorous, I personally believe it works. Both are nerdy, smart beyond belief, a little awkward, and want to do things for the greater good. Both have a quiet strength, and I always appreciate when quiet strength is shown in a positive light.
One of the biggest signs of Spencer’s introversion is how quiet he is at school, only speaking to one friend, and hanging around at the back of the crowd. When transported into the game, he struggles with feeling adequate enough to be the leader his friends need him to be. One of the biggest signs of Martha’s introversion is the way she carries herself. She keeps her chin tucked, her eyes on the floor, and her shoulders hunched and arms crossed in a “don’t come talk to me” way. I resonated with this completely because I used to do it before becoming more comfortable in my own skin, and sometimes I still do it if I’m sad or angry.
After being transported into the Jumanji game, Martha has to work on overcoming her fear of not being liked for her nerdiness and talking to people in the hope of making friends. She does accomplish this, making friends with someone who is the least likely fit for her. I especially loved her character arc in the movie.
If you’re a fan of action-adventure comedies, this movie is perfect for you with its collection of snark and its all-star cast!
10. The Hunger Games – Katniss
When the Capitol of Panem announces the names of the contestants to compete in the Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers herself to save her sister’s life. The odds against her, Katniss will have to be brave and form uneasy alliances if she has any hope of making it home and returning to her family.
It’s no surprise that Katniss Everdeen makes this list. Throughout the series, it’s clear she’s stepping up to help those in need. She’d rather not lead a rebellion, but live a life somewhere far away from the Hunger Games. She’s often quiet, although she’s also brash and has a hard time conveying her true emotions, which is a trait of many introverts since we internalize so much. She also hates being the center of attention, despising giving public speeches and appearing on TV.
If you enjoy dystopian settings and adore the world of The Hunger Games books, this movie is a fantastic adaptation that will keep you on the edge of your seat!
11. Justice League – Batman
Batman and Wonder Woman are forced to form a team of superheroes, and fast, if they want to save the world from imminent chaos and destruction.
Perhaps it’s due to the losses he’s faced in life, but Batman is an introvert in his own right. While he owns a company and is a superhero on the side, Bruce prefers to lead quietly. Sometimes he doubts whether he’s the leader his team of superheroes needs. When plans needs to be made, he’d rather be alone to gather his thoughts and think things through.
One of the biggest indicators of his introversion is how he tries to contain his emotions internally and then winds up blowing up at one of his team members after keeping things wrapped up inside for so long. Guilt, hurt, and anger are things we introverts tend to internalize, sometimes only letting it out at the worst opportunity, and usually on unsuspecting friends or family members. This was a scene I could identify with on multiple levels.
If you enjoy the DC Universe, as well as the dark themes of DC’s recent movies, you’ll want to dive into this one. It has an excellent cast and a great action-adventure plot.
12. Twilight – Bella
Based on the bestselling series by Stephanie Meyer, Twilight follows Bella, a teenager who moves to Forks to live with her dad, and winds up falling in love with Edward, a vampire. Bella has to accept the challenges that come with not only having feelings for a vampire, but she has to deal with the struggles that come when she learns her best friend Jacob is a werewolf and an enemy to her vampire boyfriend.
In the series, Bella spends a lot of time alone. When Bella doesn’t want to go to prom, Edward has to convince her. They don’t stay long, as it’s too loud and crowded for Bella’s tastes, and they choose instead to dance in the quiet of the garden gazebo.
If you’re a fan of romance — especially paranormal romance — and like to watch movies or read books that involve vampires and werewolves, this is perfect for you.
What other movies would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments.
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