Created By: KJMackley on September 22, 2011 Last Edited By: KJMackley on November 6, 2011

Role Reprisal

Despite the length of time, the character is played by the same actor

Name Space:
Page Type:
There is The Other Darrin, where a character is recast with a new actor due to various circumstances (death, legal issues, backstage issues). This is the opposite, where after a prolonged period of time the character is played by the same actor.

This tends to come as a surprise that they were able to get the actor back, just because of the length of time involved and scheduling issues. Generally, this should be about relative extremes such as not showing up for 3-4 years and not just the following year.

Compare Regular Character, Recurring Character.

  • The Toy Story series managed to have the same actor (John Morris) who played Andy as a kid, adolescent and young adult through all three films, with the third movie being made 11 years after the second movie. All of the main characters are also voiced by the same actors, with only one (Slinky) being recast due to Jim Varney's death.
  • One of the biggest accomplishments of the Harry Potter movies was keeping all of the same actors who played various parts in the same role over the course of a decade and 8 movies. The only exception is the recasting of Dumbledore due to Richard Harris' death.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer pulled off a rather impressive string of actors reprising their characters in a single scene in the 7th season opener, with all previous Big Bads being impersonated by the new enemy who can take on the appearance of anyone dead or once dead. While one of them, Spike, had become a regular character on the series all of the others were reprised by the same actors.
  • Jeff Bridges reprising the role of Kevin Flynn in TRON: Legacy after more than 25 years.
  • One of the more impressive feats of getting the Star Trek movies was all of the original series characters being played by their original actors. Various bit characters played by bit actors also appeared in the movies, such as Yeoman Rand and Lieutenant Kyle.
    • Leonard Nimoy reprising Spock in the 2009 Star Trek film, after not having played the character since 1991's Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. This is somewhat ironic, as he almost didn't show up in the original movies due to not being interested in playing Spock anymore. He ended up playing his character longer than anyone else.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • September 22, 2011
    Peter Cullen, the original voice of Optimus Prime, reprised his role in the live-action Transformers films, And The Fandom Rejoiced. Seriously. It may be the only thing they agree on.

    As a long-runner, Doctor Who has done this several times. Some recent examples include Elisabeth Sladen reprising her role as Sarah Jane Smith in "School Reunion", and later in The Sarah Jane Adventures, Peter Davison appearing as the fifth Doctor in "Time Crash", and Nicholas Courtney playing The Brigadier in the Sarah Jane Adventures episode "Enemy of the Bane".
  • September 22, 2011
    • Peter Cullen voiced Optimus Prime in the original Transformers cartoon series and all three of the live action movies. The first movie was released in 2007, 20 years after the cartoon series ended in 1987.
      • The filmmakers considered offering Megatron's original voice actor, Frank Welker, the chance to reprise his role, but ultimately decided against it as the voice that Welker had used in the original cartoon would not fit with the redesigned look of the movie's version of Megatron and they felt that it was too iconic of a voice to ask him to change it. Welker did join the voice cast in the second and third movies to reprise the role of Soundwave, the other major Decepticon that he had voiced in the original cartoon, though the voice he used in the movies was different than what he used in the original cartoon.
  • September 22, 2011
    • When Charlies Angels was revived as a film two decades after the series ended, the same actor returned to play Charlie.
  • September 24, 2011
    May be worth mention that the Toy Story case is justified by the characters aging as per real life time.
  • September 24, 2011
    • Quite a few Star Wars actors from the original movies showed up again for the prequels. Probably the most impressive example is Ian McDiarmid; having played the Emperor under heavy aging makeup in his mid-30s, he ended up being just about the right age to play the younger version with no makeup at all by the time the prequels rolled around.
  • September 24, 2011
  • September 24, 2011
    • Despite the length of time from the first to the fourth, Bruce Willace played Mister Officer John Mc Lane of the New York Police Department in all the Die Hard movies.
  • September 25, 2011
    Smallville: Michael Rosenbaum was brought back as Lex Luthor for the Grand Finale, despite having been Killed Off For Real several seasons earlier.
  • November 2, 2011
    Batman: Arkham Asylum: Kevin Conroy would return to reprise his role of Batman, Mark Hamill would reprise his role of The Joker and Arleen Sorkin would reprise her role of Harley Quinn

    The sequel, Arkham City, would only return Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. Arleen Sorkin was replaced with Tara Strong.
  • November 3, 2011
  • November 6, 2011
    Ian Mc Diarmid as Palpatine, since he had originally played a character much older than himself, was able to play the character without the aging makeup in the Star Wars prequels.
  • November 6, 2011
    Ian Mc Diarmid as Palpatine, since he had originally played a character much older than himself, was able to play the character without the aging makeup in the Star Wars prequels.
  • November 6, 2011
    Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones in the first three movies (1981, 1984 and 1989), and then reprised the role in the fourth movie from 2008.
  • November 6, 2011
    The Pilot of Star Trek The Next Generation featured a cameo of Dr Leonard "Bones" McCoy played by DeForest Kelley under heavy makeup.
  • November 6, 2011
    Jeffrey Coombs as Herbert West in Beyond Re Animator. Explaining in an interview that West had been in prison for 13 years, the interviewer asked Coombs if he'd be wearing aging make up. The answer was no, he was actually 13 years older.
  • November 6, 2011
    Star Trek The Next Generation also has an actress playing the character "Minuet" in one episode, then with the same actress coming back for a brief but pivotal cameo 2 years later.