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Tonight, we get to be our own gods.
~ Billy Lee "preaching" to his cult.

William "Billy" Lee is the main antagonist of the 2018 film Bad Times at the El Royale. He is the sadistic and charismatic leader of a depraved cult of murderous killers who preys on innocent people and lost souls to become his devoted followers. Things eventually come to a head in the climax of the movie where he goes to the El Royale to retrieve Rose Summerspring when she's abducted by her sister Emily desperate to save her and plays cruel mind games with the other characters for nothing but his own amusement.

He was portrayed by Chris Hemsworth, who is known for portraying Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and who also played Rowan North's possessed host Kevin Beckman in 2016's Ghostbusters.


At some point, Billy found Rose Summerspring on the beach and convinced her to join his cult. After Rose's sister Emily was introduced to the cult, she eventually tried to get Rose away from it.

After Emily killed an FBI agent who thought Emily was taking Rose hostage, Rose contacted Billy, telling him they were at the El Royale hotel. With his cult members Waring "Wade" Espiritu, Annabell Czuchlewski, Norris "Roman" Kindel, and Chris "Flicker" Grimes, Billy arrived at the hotel as Dock O'Kelly and Darlene Sweet were attempting to leave with the money. He captured them, along with Emily.

Billy intended to take both the money and a tape incriminating a deceased public figure, and forced Emily and Miles to play roulette, in which he would kill the loser. He killed Emily when she lost, but before the next round, the power went out due to a storm.

Unimpressed by Darlene's singing, Billy attempted to make her and Dock play roulette next, but Dock attacked him before they could. Billy was about to kill Dock when Miles, revealed to be a sniper from the Vietnam War, pointed his gun at him, and after a few moments, shot Billy in the head, and quickly killed the other cult members except Rose, who avenged Billy's death by stabbing miles and was in turn killed by Dock.


  • Aside from his portrayal as Kevin Beckman (who was possessed by Rowan North) in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, this was Chris Hemsworth's first villainous role.
  • The character is predominantly based upon real-life mass murderer and cult leader Charlie Manson, figurehead of the Manson Family, in the sense that both are infamous mass murderers/cult leaders in the late 1960s.
    • Additionally, it is briefly touched upon in the movie of several murders in Malibu. This is more likely than not influenced by the Tate murders in 1969 (when the story takes place), resulting in the death of famed actress Sharon Tate.
  • Aside from being considered responsible for the actions of Rose and his other followers because he brainwashed them, he is also considered responsible for Rose and Miles' deaths as they also culminate from his indoctrination and seduction of Rose.