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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News

Conservative firebrand Ted Cruz is used to having plenty of opponents cheer for his demise, and it turns out that he got some practice for that role back when he was a high school drama geek.

The Texas senator and presidential aspirant says that he relished playing the villain in his teenage theater productions, which he enjoyed so much that he toyed with dropping out of school to try his luck in Hollywood.

“It’s one thing to play the good guy in drama,” he told CNBC’s John Harwood in an interview. “It’s a fun thing also to play the bad guy.”

Cruz recounted his fond memories of playing Bill Sikes, the villain in the musical “Oliver!”

“It’s a fun role, and everyone cheers when you’re killed at the end,” he added.

Cruz, who announced his presidential bid last month, says that he made the right move by not ditching school for the silver screen, admitting “in hindsight, I don’t think I had the talent to succeed.”

But he does wish he had followed through on pursuing a military career.

“I will say it's something I've always regretted,” Cruz said. “I wish I had spent time in the service. It's something I respect immensely.”

- Carrie Dann