Many actors because famous due to a distinctive persona and/or voice, and mimicing them can score a cheap laugh. However, only occasionally do characters mimic these oft-imitable actors In-Universe
. This could be for several reasons, such as avoiding a Celebrity Paradox
(is the impersonation of the character or the actor?) or to protect the ego of the actor in question.
Not to be confused with Your Costume Needs Work
, where the character in question is actually supposed
to be who they look like.
- In A Few Good Men, when describing his prosecutorial strategy to his colleagues, Tom Cruise's character mocks the vocal mannerisms of Col. Jessup, who was played by Jack Nicholson. This was an ad lib by Cruise.
- In one scene in How the West Was Won, a character played by George Peppard relates a story often told to him and his brother by his father (who was played by James Stewart) with a dead-on impersonation. Director John Ford got mad at him for this, but Peppard responded by saying he wanted the audience to remember who his father was (a quite reasonable statement, considering the film's All-Star Cast).
- In one scene in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Mina Harker sardonically imitates Sean Connery's warning that trying to capture Mr. Hyde was "too dangerous for a woman". Peta Wilson was nervous about doing it, because impersonations were discouraged on the set, to the point where she offered not to do it, but Connery encouraged her and later told her "You were great--Yeah, it's terrible! It's the worst impersonation I have ever heard, and it's perfect."