Do actors relish the chance to tackle a villain or is it no more of interest to any other kind of character to play?
I think it depends on the actor. For myself, I love playing the baddies, the villains. In fact, one of my favourite roles ever was King Rat in Dick Whittington in panto. I played the Dame as well, which I also enjoyed very much for different reasons, but the baddie in a panto is wonderful because you can go over the top, scare the kids, and yet amuse them. They do sometimes get frightened, but if it's tempered with a little charm and enjoyment of his evil, then that's really quite nice to do.
One of the most satisfying things to do is to play baddies. It's closer to my own character really, I think.