Playing Oneself In A True Story YKTTW Discussion

Playing Oneself In A True Story
(permanent link) added: 2009-09-27 00:55:46 sponsor: MasoTey (last reply: 2009-09-27 00:55:46)

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When someone plays himself in a Docudrama, Biopic, or other dramatization of a true story.

This is not a celebrity or public figure appearing "as himself" in an entirely fictional work. (Right now examples of that seem to be going under Character as Himself.) This is when events are being re-enacted by the person who enacted them in the first place.

Compare Real Person Cameo. Contrast Character as Himself, in which a fictional character is given a real-world screen credit.


  • Audie Murphy in To Hell and Back.
  • Various cops, bank employees and bystanders in The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery.
  • Frank Wills, the security guard, in All the President's Men.
  • The film Alice's Restaurant recounts a true but comically exaggerated Thanksgiving adventure. Arlo Guthrie played himself and Stockbridge police chief William Obanhein ("Officer Obie") played himself in the film version, explaining to Newsweek magazine that making himself look like a fool was preferable to having somebody else make him look like a fool. Singer Pete Seeger also played himself.
  • Rudy Reyes plays himself in Generation Kill, purportedly because no one was hot enough to play him (if the Even the Guys Want Him page is to be believed).
  • United 93: several of those involved in the events surrounding the hijacking played themselves, most notably Ben Sliney.
  • Muhammad Ali starred in The Greatest, a biopic about himself.
  • Fantasia Barrino played herself in the Made-for-TV Movie Life Is Not a Fairytale, based on her memoir.
  • Jerry Lawler, David Letterman, and most of the cast of Taxi played themselves in Man On The Moon (a Biopic of Andy Kaufman).
  • In American Splendor, Harvey Pekar plays today's Harvey Pekar.
  • Howard Stern played himself in the film version of Private Parts.
  • And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself is in fact about a film being made about the Mexican revolutionary who sold the rights to film one of his battles which resulted in The Life Of General Villa which did indeed star Pancho Villa as himself.
  • The Iranian film Close-Up has this for essentially all of the people who were involved.
  • Dee Snider had a particularly shameless film called Warning: Parental Advisory, a made-for-TV movie about how he stuck it to the PMRC.

Rolling Updates.
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