Created By: StrikingViking on August 17, 2012

Actor Cameo

An actor playing a monster or alien appears theTV show without the costume

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Trope
Shows involving aliens or other non-human creatures, sometimes feature the character appearing in normal human form for whatever reason-- i.e the actor without the costume or make-up, but as the same character.

I don't know if there's enough examples of this to make a trope.

Examples:
  • On The Munsters, Herman is given plastic surgery after being hit by a car, since doctors assumed he was horribly mangled (in reality he was unharmed). The operation had him looking just like Fred Gwynne.
  • On Star Trek:Deep Space Nine," Sisko has an episode which causes him to think he's actually just a science-fiction writer in the 1950's who's simply dreaming'' that he's on a space station; meanwhile his friends and co-workers are all the alien cast of DS 9 in human form.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • August 18, 2012
    triassicranger
    Live Action Television

    • Red Dwarf episode "D.N.A." has Kryten the android turned into a human and played by his actor, Robert Llewellyn.
    • An unmade The Sarah Jane Adventures serial entitled "Meet Mr. Smith" would have featured Mr. Smith (Sarah Jane's computer) being turned human, and it was hoped his actor (Alexander Armstrong) would be able to play the human Mr. Smith. The story was never filmed due to Elisabeth Sladen's death and the cancellation of the series.
    • An episode of Power Rangers SPD has Emperor Grumm come to Earth and turn himself into a human form played by Rene Nafahu (his actor).

    Might want to make it clear we're referring to voice actors playing the same character but in human form, as opposed to voice actors making cameos as other characters.
  • August 18, 2012
    mdulwich
    • ^ Robert Llewellyn appears without his prosthetics several times in Red Dwarf. He appears as a human named Bongo in a parallel universe in "Dimension Jump", but I'm not sure if this counts.
    • I seem to recall an episode of Star Trek Voyager in which B'Lanna Torres (half-Human, half-Klingon) is split into a full Klingon and a full Human.
  • August 18, 2012
    arromdee
    Rebecca Romjin, who plays Mystique in the X-Men movie, briefly appeared as herself, when Mystique was disguised as a human.
  • August 18, 2012
    randomsurfer
    The title doesn't reflect that the actor is supposed to be playing the same character, and the DS 9 example doesn't fit that definition.

    • Andromeda: Rev Bem got Put On A Bus because the actor playing him developed an allergy to the makeup. He came back for one episode having mutated into a more human-like appearance.
  • August 19, 2012
    triassicranger
    ^ But the description says "the actor without the costume or make-up, but as the same character".

    That said, the DS9 example does go against that criteria. However, Sisko and his friends were playing counterparts of themselves in that episode where he dreams he's on Earth. Perhaps we could expand the trope definition to include things like that (alternate reality counterparts) as well. The second Red Dwarf example would fit under that.
  • August 19, 2012
    abk0100
    It just says "in human form". That could include alternate reality counterparts.
  • August 19, 2012
    wotnoplot
    Nicholas Briggs plays someone quite evil in Torchwood. Would that be a human version of a Dalek?
  • August 19, 2012
    TonyG
    The current title is unclear. I suggest Out Of Costume Cameo.
  • August 20, 2012
    robinjohnson
    Seconding Out Of Costume Cameo.
    • In Peter Jackson's King Kong, Andy Serkis plays both Kong in motion capture, and one of the sailors in human form.
  • August 20, 2012
    triassicranger
    @wotnoplot: Not unless he said he were a human Dalek.

    @robinjohnson: The trope being proposed is not when actors appear as different characters. It's when they appear as human versions of the same character.
  • October 17, 2012
    triassicranger
  • October 17, 2012
    tardigrade
    In the film Star Trek: First Contact, the android Data undergoes a partial transformation of this sort, when his character has living skin grafted onto his body, including his face.
  • October 17, 2012
    tardigrade
    In the film Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Andy Serkis -- who provides the motion capture for the CGI character Gollum -- plays Smeagol (Gollum's former self) in flashback. Since Smeagol is not human, but rather a hobbit, this provides only a partial fit with the trope.
  • October 17, 2012
    tardigrade
    Doug Bradley, who played Pinhead in Hellraiser and Hellraiser 2, also played Pinhead's former self -- Captain Elliot Spencer -- in the latter film.
  • October 17, 2012
    erforce
  • October 17, 2012
    Duncan
    In the Star Trek Deep Space Nine episode Who Mourns for Morn? the actor playing the recurring alien character of Morn appeared, out of makeup, at the character's wake. The wake is held at Quark's bar where Morn was a regular, and the actor gets pulled into Morn's seat "to keep it warm".
  • October 18, 2012
    triassicranger
    Everyone, the guy who originally put this idea forward meant for actors who play the same character but in human form, not when the suit/voice actor has a short appearance in another role altogether.

    The fact that people are listing the latter variant makes me wonder if we should rewrite the description.
  • October 18, 2012
    TonyG
    They should divide the trope in two types: one where the actor plays the same character without makeup or costume, one where the actor plays a separate character. And, as before, I suggest making the trope name clearer.
  • October 18, 2012
    KJMackley
    Both Anthony Daniels (C-3P0) and Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks) showed up out of costume in the seedy Coruscant Bar in Attack Of The Clones. In The Phantom Menace Silas Carson played the make-up heavy roles of Ki-Adi-Mundi and Nute Gunray, but got to be the human Republic cruiser pilot that got blown up early in the film.

    And I agree, there is a difference between playing a role with a major change in costume/make-up and an actor with such heavy make-up they can play an entirely different role. One is a variation of You Look Familiar while the other is a different concept altogether.

    In that regards there are quite a few Star Trek examples, especially Vaughn Armstrong who normally played make-up heavy characters (like Klingons) in TNG and DS 9 but got to play the human Admiral Forrest in Star Trek Enterprise.
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