If his only goal in life was to grind Jud into a pulp, he would have done just that, and we would have no play. Besides, why would he want to hurt Jud? What has Jud done that would give him a vendetta?
In fact, Curley doesn’t even care about Jud until he notices that he's interested in Laurey.
If anyone were to play Curley like that, then they would be largely missing the point of the character, because he is clearly painted as a sensitive, caring individual, and there is nothing in the script that could suggest otherwise. To play him as the exact opposite (a greedy, shallow jerk) would be wrong, because it goes against the author’s intent.
There is no evidence in the script whatsoever of Curley wanting to gain control of Laurie's family and look "all powerful". Curley's character shows no signs of being power hungry. It sounds like you're just imagining things.