Which is the most interesting/complex/original character you've encountered in a work of fiction?
My hands-down winner is Scarlett O'Hara in 'Gone With the Wind.' This woman has virtually no redeeming virtues. She is totally self-absorbed, selfish, manipulative, underhanded, cruel and a control freak. She was, in the movie, incredibly beautiful (her main positive feature), and used her looks to get what she wanted from men. But the first line in the book states that, "Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful." Yet she remains one of the, if not the, most interesting and celebrated character since the 1936 publication date of the novel.
Perhaps it is similar to the 'Marilyn Monroe syndrome;' one can detect some vulnerability under that coarse exterior. Maybe men see her as a challenge, someone they want to protect. Women may see her as someone they would like to emulate or wish they could emulate.
How could someone with so many negative characteristics be so endearing?
People try to change the world, instead of themselves. John Cleese