Created By: MrWhim on March 17, 2013 Last Edited By: MrWhim on March 21, 2013
Nuked

Word of Actor

An actor portraying a character's canon about that character

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A statement made about an aspect, personality trait, or note of history about a character, the Word of Actor comes from an actor responsible for portraying that character.

When an actor is...well, acting, they tend to make choices that informs that character- patterns of speech, physical and verbal tics, etc, that can sometimes be traced to aspects of that character's history. Sometimes, these aspects are canonical. Other times, they're decisions the actor has made about the character to relate and make the character more fleshed-out.

Even in cases where these decisions contradict canon, or possibly even Word of God, it can be seen as Word of Actor. These can be referenced particularly for Fanon theories, as the actor's choices can be both subtle and obvious in their performance.


Examples

Film - Live Action
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ramona Flowers' actress in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World has said that the author of the Scott Pilgrim comic revealed secret details to the actors to influence their portrayal. Winstead revealed that Ramona had a younger brother who passed, and that she wears a shoelace of his as a necklace to remember him.
  • George Clooney has said in interviews that he played his Batman as gay.
  • Michael Caine talked in an interview about the elaborate backstory he created for Alfred -- he was an SAS officer gravely injured in battle, who couldn't return to the field after recuperating, so he hung out serving coffee and sandwiches at the Officer's Mess -- and one of the officers was Thomas Wayne. He told this to Christopher Nolan, who said he wished he'd written it.
  • Johnny Depp on Jack Sparrow in a Vanity Fair interview
    • “Upper-echelon Disney-ites, going, What’s wrong with him? Is he, you know, like some kind of weird simpleton? Is he drunk? By the way, is he gay?… And so I actually told this woman who was the Disney-ite… ‘But didn’t you know that all my characters are gay?’ Which really made her nervous.”
  • Robert Pattinson on Edward Cullen
    • "When you read the book, it’s like, ‘Edward Cullen was so beautiful I creamed myself.’ I mean, every line is liked that. He’s the most ridiculous person who’s so amazing at everything. I think a lot of actors tried to play that aspect. I just couldn’t do that. And the more I read the script, the more I hated this guy, so that’s how I played him, as a manic-depressive who hates himself. Plus, he’s a 108 year-old virgin so he’s obviously got some issues there."
    • "When you put the bare facts out, he tells her, 'I killed 40 or 50 people and I want to kill you so much. Every single day, every moment I’m with you, I desperately want to kill you.' And she’s like, 'I don’t care, I love you!' There’s definitely something wrong with her, and there’s very obviously something wrong with me."

Live Television
  • The cast of Stargate SG-1 has at times spoken about what they think was going on between the scenes and time-skips in the series finale, "Unending". In particular, Amanda Tapping and Christopher Judge said they played their interactions to imply Carter and Teal'c had developed a relationship, and either Claudia Black or Michael Shanks said the reason Vala's crying in one scene is because she miscarried.

Western Animation
  • Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella, voices of Timon and Pumbaa of The Lion King, had an interview with the New York Times in which Lane said "Timon is a feisty little cheerful fellow. He and Pumbaa seem to have a very nice arrangement -- though I couldn't say what the extent of their relationship is."
    • Though Sabella goes on to say "I know what Nathan says about them -- these are the first homosexual Disney characters ever to come to the screen. You can call Timon a gay character."

Rolling Updates

Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • March 17, 2013
    CaveCat
    No New Trope Namers
  • March 17, 2013
    Alvin
    Maybe this doesn't belong here, but I remember reading it in a Readers' Digest and will indulge myself: Once Laurence Olivier was going to play Admiral Nelson for a big thing in London, and half in costume, asked people exactly which arm and eye Nelson was missing. They panicked, and finally found an actor who had played the part in smaller productions. He was disappointed he was not being asked for some deep insight, but told the others he would switch off every few days. (For example, maybe first left leg and right eye for a few days, and then right leg and left eye).
  • March 17, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
  • March 18, 2013
    Arivne
    How do you know when this is occurring in a work?

    Is it just in the opinion of the watcher? Would the actor have to admit they were doing it?
  • March 18, 2013
    StarSword
    @Cave Cat: Trope Namers are allowed as long as the name also accurately illustrates the trope. In this case, though, I agree that it doesn't.
  • March 18, 2013
    Larkmarn
    How about Word Of Actor?

    Name's bad, but I like the idea behind this as a trope.

    • Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ramona Flowers' actress in Scott Pilgrim Vs The World has said that the author of the Scott Pilgrim comic revealed secret details to the actors to influence their portrayal. Winstead revealed that Ramona had a younger brother who passed, and that she wears a shoelace of his as a necklace to remember him.
  • March 18, 2013
    Duncan
    George Clooney has said in interviews that he played his Batman as gay.
  • March 18, 2013
    StarSword
    There's an example over on Trivia.Stargate SG 1.
  • March 18, 2013
    Folamh3
    Word Of God doesn't just mean the director/author/composer or whatever. Word Of God, as I understand it, is a definitive statement about a work from someone directly involved in the creative process, which includes actors. The fact that different people involved in this creative process can disagree on certain aspects of it doesn't contradict the nature of the trope.

    In other words, this YKTTW is, I believe, already covered by Word Of God. Motion to discard.
  • March 18, 2013
    Larkmarn
    It is definitely covered by Word Of God, no disagreement there.

    My disagreement comes from the fact that I do think that it shouldn't be. A director or a writer's word on their canon strikes me as inherently different than what the actor's interpretation of the character (and how that shows in the final product). Especially since we treat Word Of God as canon but Word Of Actor... less so.
  • March 18, 2013
    Umptyscope
    I recall an interview with Michael Caine about the elaborate backstory he created for Alfred -- he was an SAS officer gravely injured in battle, who couldn't return to the field after recuperating, so he hung out serving coffee and sandwiches at the Officer's Mess -- and one of the officers was Thomas Wayne.

    Anywa, this was all just the story he created for himself to get into "Alfred's" mind. Maybe it differs from Word of God in that it doesn't usually get out to become official canon. (For the record, he told this to Christopher Nolan who said he wished he'd written it.)
  • March 18, 2013
    MrWhim
    • Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella, voices of Timon and Pumbaa of The Lion King, had an interview with the New York Times in which Lane said "Timon is a feisty little cheerful fellow. He and Pumbaa seem to have a very nice arrangement -- though I couldn't say what the extent of their relationship is." Though Sabella goes on to say "I know what Nathan says about them -- these are the first homosexual Disney characters ever to come to the screen. You can call Timon a gay character."

    I wouldn't call this Word Of God in the least, but it fits in the idea of this trope. Given the chance, most higher up at Disney would more likely than not vehemently deny any of their characters ever-ever-ever being homosexual.
  • March 18, 2013
    KJMackley
    I believe this is covered by Word Of God (info given by creator), Word Of St Paul (info given by tertiary creative force) and Word Of Dante (info given by someone distantly removed from actual production).
  • March 21, 2013
    Larkmarn
    I missed the post with Word Of St Paul.

    I think that covers this nicely. I change my vote and think we don't need this now.

  • March 21, 2013
    XFllo
    Agree with comments that the wiki got this covered. Personally I consider actors creators, and therefore Word Of God.
  • March 21, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
    ^Indeed. That's why they're put under the Creator namespace.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=cccxx7owix1f9wjk7dlvl3v8&trope=DiscardedYKTTW