Corrupt, impatient, foul-tempered, peculiar and extremely violent, Stansfield has not only managed to mastermind a major criminal operation despite being a DEA agent subject to the oversight of his superiors, but is also a habitual drug user and addict – often seen downing pills before committing murders, suffering violent spasms as a result. Rumpled, unshaven and sweaty, his addiction clearly shows in his appearance long before it shows in his unusual behavior.
Stansfield’s behavior grows increasingly deranged: when Mathilda’s father manages to shoot him in the shoulder – doing more damage to his suit than the man himself – Stansfield not only guns him down, but upon seeing the bullet hole in his jacket, proceeds to follow the mortally-wounded drug holder through the apartment, shooting him in the back until he runs out of bullets.
Norman Stansfield is a nihilistic villain, showing little concern for his own safety or self-respect – casually wandering into his gang’s field of fire at one point – and even less for the lives of others, casually firing loaded weapons at passers-by and wiping out entire families without any kind of emotional response (though he is still afected when learning the death of Malky); as he later confesses to Mathilda, he actively enjoys killing, though only if his victim fears for their life and honestly doesn’t want to die. He doesn’t even respect his colleagues, casually leaving Willie Blood on the scene of the apartment massacre to face police interrogation.