'''''MethodActing:''''' (noun): ''An acting technique in which actors try to replicate the real-life emotional conditions under which the character operates, in an effort to create a life-like, realistic performance.''

'''''EnforcedMethodActing:''''' (noun): ''An acting technique in which actors give a life-like, realistic performance because no one warned them what was going to happen.''

Enforced Method Acting is a cinematic concept in which the actors and actresses of a work give reactions that are unplanned and unscripted. This can occur for several reasons:
* The director is trying to make a performance more realistic--the primary form of this trope. The applications of this range from not telling your actor that their love interest is returning to not warning them when the chainsaw-wielding maniac bursts through the door.
* Another actor does or says something that causes the actors he's working with to react in an unplanned way--usually by trying not to [[{{Corpsing}} burst out laughing]]. The directors decide to ThrowItIn.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot and an unforeseen accident results in a scene that is appropriate to the plot.

Enforced Method Acting does not mean long term method acting the director forces the actors to do.

Compare with ThrowItIn and ActingInTheDark. This often requires a {{Jerkass}} director, or at least one who doesn't mind their actors hating them. FatalMethodActing is a lethal case of this. Contrast LostInCharacter. See also HarpoDoesSomethingFunny.

----
!!Examples from Real Life:

[[index]]
* EnforcedMethodActing/{{Film}}
* EnforcedMethodActing/LiveActionTV
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime]]
* Creator/HideakiAnno, the eccentric director of ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', infamously told Creator/MegumiOgata to ''literally'' try to strangle Creator/YukoMiyamura during the recording of the scene where Shinji tries to strangle Asuka in ''End Of Evangelion.'' Allegedly, the results were so realistic that Ogata [[ApologeticAttacker profusely apologized]] to Miyamura in the aftermath.
* ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'':
** Creator/VicMignogna was not informed of what lay on the other side of the Gate prior to dubbing the scene in which Edward Elric passes through it. The surprise in Edward's voice upon seeing [[spoiler:Zeppelins]], therefore, is quite real. Vic wasn't given any more of the script than his own lines in chunks (which were recorded in chronological order) for the last three episodes. Now that's what you call enforced.
** In a (somewhat) more lighthearted example, according to the commentary on episode 19, they really threw (or pretended to throw) a teacup at Creator/AaronDismuke's face in order to get his reaction (as Edward hits a teacup and it hits Al in the show). Not sure how much they were kidding, but when asked, Aaron said it bothered him, but was "really inspirational, though."
* Creator/ShinichiWatanabe reportedly required, during the recording of ''Anime/ExcelSaga'', that Menchi's voice actress crouch on all fours to address a microphone 6 inches off the floor, and that the "Excel Girls" actresses actually wear costumes based on those worn by their animated counterparts.
** DVD extras actually show the "Excel Girls" in said costumes.
* As part of her voice actress training, an up-and-coming Music/MegumiHayashibara [[http://nnanime.com/megumi-toon/mgbk022.html was once told to focus on the saddest event in her life]]. She couldn't stop crying even after the exercise was over. Modern method acting explicitly leaves out relying on actual life experiences precisely because it can cause such trauma.
* During the dubbing of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'', Kira's voice actor MattHill actually asked the vocal director to [[GroinAttack kick him in the crotch]] to make his crying sound authentic. Fans more than appreciate his dedication, especially since it worked (and was head and shoulders above Creator/SoichiroHoshi's "[[{{Narm}} dying horse]]" crying).
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'': Yukana was never told her character (C.C.) was gonna die in the first episode. In fact, nobody knew how long their character was going to last throughout the first season, so much of their death cries were probably real (don't fire me!).
* The casting of the actors for the lead roles of [[MagnificentBastard Lelouch]] and [[WhiteKnight Suzaku]] was a deliberate case of PlayingAgainstType with Creator/JunFukuyama, an actor known for playing [[TheCape more straightforward]] heroes like [[Anime/{{Gravion}} Touga Tenkuji]] and Creator/TakahiroSakurai, known for playing {{Anti Hero}}es like [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Cloud Strife]], respectively. Director[=/=]co-creator Goro Taniguchi has said that he did this so that both characters would sound strained due to the actors being used to the opposite type of roles in order to show that both characters were trying to be something they're not. He also had a hand in the English version casting Creator/JohnnyYongBosch, best known for being a former {{Power Ranger|s}} and Creator/YuriLowenthal, best known for playing [[Manga/{{Naruto}} Sasuke Uchiha]], for the same reasons.
* Writer GenUrobuchi and director [[Creator/StudioSHAFT Akiyuki Shinbo]] went right for the jugular with their cast in MagicalGirl {{Deconstruction}} ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', not telling them beforehand how harsh things would get. It was especially hard for [[spoiler:Creator/EmiriKatou, who ended up playing the alleged [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation main]] villain]].
** The English dub did something similar, such as not telling one actress about her character's death scene until she was recording it. The actress [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKraFH64gCo#t=5m15s recounted]] how this went, especially her confusion since she knew she was coming in again to record more lines.
--->Did I just... Did I just DIE!?
* Caitlin Glass once told a story about her experience dubbing the GirlOfTheWeek for a ''Anime/LupinIII'' movie. She couldn't act properly angry in one scene, so right before she was supposed to speak, the director called her fat to anger her.
* According to ''Manga/GundamSousei'', Creator/ToruFuruya was having trouble with the iconic "You hit me! You hit me twice! Even my father never hit me!" line. So Creator/TominoYoshiyuki hit him. Twice. It's [[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory unclear if anything of the sort actually happened]], but we are talking about a man who got the nickname "KillEmAll" while making cartoons [[MerchandiseDriven for a toy company]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film-Animated]]
* While doing the voice-acting for ''TheIncredibles'', director Brad Bird had Spencer Fox, who played the speedster Dash, run around the studio so he would have a realistic out-of-breath voice.
* Likewise, during production of ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'', Mary Gibbs (Boo) was too young to sit in a booth and record, so they had her in a playroom and captured her lines as she sporadically gave them while playing.
* Young Thumper's voice actor in ''Disney/{{Bambi}}'' was very young, and couldn't read yet. His lines were fed to him, and he parroted them.
* Jordan Nagai, the kid who voiced Russell in ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'', also was "tricked" by the voice director many times in order to get him away from sounding too much like he was acting and give more a genuine response. For example, he was told to run around before giving lines or forced to memorize his lines on the spot.
** Likewise, in the scene where Russel, giggling, is being tossed playfully in the air by Kevin, the voice director tickled him. This is actually a pretty common practice (the same technique was used for the French actress who played the young Marjane in ''{{Persepolis}}'').
* When Jonathon Taylor Thomas voiced Young Simba for ''Disney/TheLionKing'', they tapped his back for the scene where Simba is yelling while sliding down the back of an elephant's skeleton. When they were recording Mufasa's death scene, the director pointed at Jonathon's mother and said "Imagine you just saw your mother fall off a cliff." He got a little too into the mental image and screamed "MOM!"
** [[EnforcedTrope Enforced]] by [[RealLife real life]] in the Danish dub: During the recording of the scene where Mufasa has just died, the dialogue director noticed that the kid voicing Simba sounded genuinely sad and asked him if he wanted to take a break. During the break the kid told him that his father had actually just died.
* For Marge's message to Homer in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'', Julie Kavner was put through around 100 takes to get the exhausted-sounding delivery they wanted.
* During voice recordings for the film ''WesternAnimation/ParaNorman'', there were several times when Kodi Smit-[=McPhee=] (while playing Norman) would have to physically shake himself both sitting and standing in order to produce the effect for certain scenes (the bathroom scene and when the Judge zombie tries to break into the car).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* BobDylan is notorious for only giving musicians the barest minimum of instructions (chord changes, tempo) before recording a song, leaving it up to them to work out their individual parts as they go along. Most famously, Al Kooper came up with the "Like a Rolling Stone" organ riff despite not only having never played the song before, but not even being an organist (Kooper was mainly a guitarist and pianist, but those slots were already filled. Kooper asked if he could play organ, Dylan said [[AscendedFanon "sure, why not?"]]).
* Martin Birch, who produced Music/IronMaiden's most famous records, asked (then new) singer Music/BruceDickinson to do take after take after take for "The Number of the Beast". Bruce was obviously frustrated and annoyed, and that's when Mr Birch told him something like 'now it's time to record the scream', which he of course delivered in [[CarefulWithThatAxe a very unhuman way]], which Bruce was never able to replicate.
* {{Weezer}}'s video "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHQqqM5sr7g Undone - The Sweater Song]]" was a [[TheOner one-take]] shot 20 times. The one that was used was between the 15th and 20th, when the band was tired and simply not caring anymore (things such as a dog defecating on a drum pedal helped).
* According to urban legend, George Clinton instructed guitarist Eddie Hazel to "play like your momma died" when recording [[Funkadelic "Maggot Brain"]]. Unfortunately, this oft-told story is apocryphal.
* When MilesDavis was recording his groundbreaking fusion album 'Bitches Brew', the session musicians did not know what they were supposed to play beyond tempo and chord changes. You can hear Miles giving instructions during quiet moments.
* BruceSpringsteen wanted his folk album ''We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions" to have an informal sound, so he didn't rehearse with the Sessions band before they started recording. Springsteen can be heard several times on the album giving spontaneous instructions about what instrument he wants to hear.
* CaptainBeefheart And His Magic Band's "Trout Mask Replica" was intended to sound uncomfortable and on the brink of falling apart. That's because the band really was uncomfortable and on the brink of falling apart; they had rehearsed the songs on the album for nine months, and were recording most of them in one single, manic five-hour marathon session with almost no retakes or overdubs. Antennae Jimmy Semens' performance of Pena sounds hysterical, and he probably was at the time. In a similar manner The Blimp, which is recited in a similar voice, over the phone to Frank Zappa.
* On their album ''Pooping Like Dogs'', The Pennock Bridge Collective had a handful of experimental tracks where they deliberately made sure no one in the band knew how a song was going to turn out: Mainly, they'd have members pull instruments and track numbers out of a hat, then have each member write and record a part based only on whatever had been recorded before they got their turn. The most extreme case of this was "The Creator/CCHPounder Blues", where everyone was instructed to improvise wildly for exactly 30 seconds without being able to hear what anyone else was playing.
* As mentioned under Film, the call to the operator in Music/PinkFloyd's ''The Wall'' is genuine. The character Pink phones his wife, knowing she's with another man, and the other line keeps disconnecting. The operator and their confused reaction ("There's a man answering...") are real. They had to do the call several times before they found one who realized what the situation was. During some tour performances (notably the 1990 Berlin performance), Roger Waters called a real operator and had them dial a stage hand who pretended to be Ms. Floyd's new lover.
* British hardcore/electronic/everything band EnterShikari often layer in random bits of talking, which is the band members loitering outside the recording studio, drunk, heckling the member who is singing. For the "Ello Tyrannosaurus" lyric just before the breakdown in 'Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannicide', the producer had Rou run to the back of the room and shout the lyric in order to get the correct sense of distance and shouting in a large space.
* During Music/RedHousePainters' entire album of Rollercoaster is this in spades. It might very well be the largest case of Enforced Method Acting in musical history:
** Some of the record engineers were ordered by 4AD manager, Ivo Watts to make recording as stressful as possible to put Kozelek under a lot of pressure in order to get a more genuine performance out of him. So that strained, stressed sound present on it that you don't hear anywhere else? Not faked even in the slightest!
** "Things Mean A Lot" had an unexpected piano riff added in that caught Kozelek by surprise. The song, being about Kozelek finally getting over an old muse of his, always seems to bring a tear to Kozelek's eyes because of this.
** "Katy Song" was originally supposed to be shorter for the album version, but when the band parts were recorded first, they were told to drag out the second section extra long. Kozelek was not told of this, so when his guitar and vocal parts were recorded he got confused and frustrated when the song was going to end. So that effect of how the guitars and vocals sound progressively more and more exhausted is actually Kozelek trying to keep the song going and getting frustrated.
** "Strawberry Hill" has the chorus sung by a group of strangers picked up from the street outside of a Los Angeles recording studio. When Mark was doing his final take for the vocal line, the crowd started singing in the background with Mark. He was not expecting this and the frail sound of his voice is actually him trying to hold back tears. The song had a lot of personal meaning to him, since it was about his troubled suicidal and depressed past.
** "Brown Eyes" was supposed to be a closing track featuring just Mark Kozelek on guitar. As things progressed, however, he was caught by surprise when the rest of the band came in and started playing with him, re-enforcing the theme of "Strawberry Hill" even more.
* The Music/LouReed song "The Kids" ends with children screaming and crying. Producer Bob Ezrin allegedly told his children that their mother left and is never coming back, and he recorded their reaction.
* J-pop group Perfume's music video for I Still Love U is a one-shot film that features a minute of the three grimacing, supposedly in emotional pain, toward the end. However, in actuality, they are being given a painful foot massage during the shot, and their occasional laughter gives it away.
* The face Wendy Melvoin makes when {{Prince}} literally gets in her face during Prince's video for Kiss, is made of this trope. She was simply expecting to play the guitar on a stool while Prince danced around her.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* During the 2008 Wrestling/{{WWE}} Draft, none of the draftees were told that they'd be switching shows until just ''seconds'' before the announcement was made. Most notably seen with the announcer switch between ''Smackdown!'' and ''RAW''... the looks of confusion and anger on Wrestling/MichaelCole and Wrestling/JimRoss' faces as they switched chairs following the announcement of the change were completely real, and Jim Ross actually considered retiring the day after it happened.
** Speaking of Jim Ross, he intentionally did not read the set notes for the shows he was announcing in order to make his on-air calls more realistic. His pleas for trying to get someone to stop the famous [[Wrestling/MickFoley Mankind]] vs. [[Wrestling/TheUndertaker Undertaker]] Hell in a Cell match is one of the many legitimate results of this practice (moreso because some of the damage Mick Foley took in the match was unintentional and damn near killed him.)
* Also draft-related - in order to properly keep up the air of shock (as well as downplay spoilers) in the 2005 draft's opening pick, Wrestling/JohnCena apparently arrived at the arena very late and stayed in his car until it was time for him to come out at the start of the show. Only Cena and the people he had a segment and a match with that night - Wrestling/ChrisJericho, Wrestling/{{Christian}}, and Tyson Tomko - were informed of it in advance.
* Rumor has it that the ring crew for June 7, 2010's RAW were only told that Wrestling/WadeBarrett would come down to the ring to interrupt John Cena vs. Wrestling/CMPunk... not that he'd then get the other "rookies" from the recently-concluded NXT show to jump and beat down John Cena, then attack Matt Striker, Wrestling/JerryLawler, (Michael Cole promptly fleeing), the ring announcer Justin Roberts ''and'' ringside crew, and literally wreck the ringside and even tear at the ring itself.
* Then there's Wrestling/{{WCW}} which, per its usual, managed to screw this up. They had backstage segments aplenty, but at one point decided that to increase spontaneity the announce team was not allowed to see and were not told about. This naturally led to [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment plenty of segments that occurred for no apparent reason and led to nothing]] and the commentators looking like a bunch of morons. Most notably, a fan dressed as Wrestling/{{Sting}} jumped a barricade and ran into a match and the commentators, so used to not being told about changes to shows, assumed it was the real Sting.
* WCW once had a whole [=PPV=] based on this, ''WCW [=Starrcade=] 91''. This show introduced "The Lethal Lottery," a Wrestling/DustyRhodes creation. The idea was that the show would be made up of tag team matches where the participants (partners AND opponents) would be drawn at random, with the winners going on to compete in the two-ring "[=Battlebowl=]" battle royal at the end of the night. This resulted in some very odd combinations. In one match, Wrestling/{{Sting}}, the company's #1 {{Face}}, was paired up with legendary [[WrestlingMonster monster heel]] Wrestling/AbdullahTheButcher, and Sting had been feuding with Abby and [[Wrestling/MickFoley Cactus Jack]] up to that point. The opening match had Jimmy Garvin of the Fabulous Freebirds and rookie Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Michael Hayes of the Fabulous Freebirds and Tracy Smothers. WCW would revisit the "Lethal Lottery" concept on ''three more [=PPV=]s'', ''[=Starrcade=] 92'', ''[=Battlebowl=]'' in November 1993, and ''[=Slamboree=] 1996'', though they'd rig the drawings for those later shows.
* No one knew Wrestling/EricBischoff was coming the night he joined WWE. Similar to the John Cena example, he kept hidden in a limo. Supposedly Wrestling/BookerT, one of the few to spot Bischoff summed it up by saying, "Tell me I didn't just see that".
* Even [[Wrestling/ScottHall Hall]] and [[Wrestling/KevinNash Nash]] weren't told who third man was at the Bash of the Beach. The two struggle to not look confused as [[Wrestling/HulkHogan Hogan]] [[FaceHeelTurn goes Hollywood]].
* On a 2009 episode of Raw, Wrestling/TripleH is in the ring (in DX without Wrestling/ShawnMichaels) and decides to phone HBK. His music starts... and then his voice comes out from the other end of the phone... singing a voicemail message to the tune of his own theme music. Hunter apparently had no idea that this was Shawn's message and he promptly proceeded to completely lose it.
* [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson The Rock's]] return in 2011 was hidden even from the scripts of that episode which all told that Music/JustinBieber would be the host. (The Rock briefly alludes to this in his monologue.) Speaking of, Rock's feud with John Cena was strained because the two men actually did not get along(at the time) but both knew the fans wanted to see them in a match.
* Unfortunate example: Wrestling/{{Sting}}'s obvious anger as he crushes Wrestling/JeffHardy at Wrestling/{{TNA}} ''Victory Road 2011''? Real anger - Jeff was so strung out on drugs that Eric Bischoff had to come down and tell Sting to get it over with fast. Jeff can be seen trying to escape Sting's winning pinfall, and as Sting walks out, he answers a fan's "THAT WAS BULLSHIT!" with a loud (and on-camera) "I AGREE!"
* In an interview on WWE.com following the one-night return of [[spoiler:Jake "The Snake" Roberts]], he declared that as far as he knew, only Vince, Triple H, a woman in charge of the transportation and a talent executive were aware of his return and presence at the venue, which would make [[OhCrap the reactions of the commentators and]] Wrestling/TheShield this trope.
* Although pro-wrestling is ''mostly'' [[{{Kayfabe}} planned out and rehearsed]], [[http://www.cracked.com/article_20921_5-behind-the-scenes-facts-i-learned-as-pro-wrestler.html there is still quite a lot that can go on unexpectedly]].
* The Undertaker's loss at ''Wrestlemania XXX'' to Wrestling/BrockLesnar was only known by the 'Taker, Brock, Triple H, Vince and Stephanie [=McMahon=], decided a hours before the match went on. Everyone's reaction, even Brock's manager Wrestling/PaulHeyman's reaction, is all out genuine shock.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'', combat is intended to be portrayed as fast, confused, and entertainingly deadly, rather than tactically optimal - so the GM is encouraged to give the ''players'' only a few seconds to decide what their characters are doing each round.
** The rulebook contains an example of play that runs something like this:
--->'''GM:''' Suddenly some hairy guys jump up from behind the gray things and shake sticks at you. Fred, what do you do?
--->'''Fred:''' Wait, what?
--->'''GM:''' Right. John, how about you?
* Extending this beyond combat, some games even suggest in the guidebook that in order to keep the players on their toes, the GM should make rolls for no reason at all, [[MagnificentBastard and occasionally pass private notes to players saying things like "just smile and nod".]]
** Then that player knows what's actually going on. A note saying "Make a perception roll, but don't tell the others" makes ''everyone'' paranoid.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* In the original production of ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', at one point the Phantom is underground, having kidnapped Christine. He loads her into the boat. On stage, the boat needs to be pushed out to the front, as though he was pushing it into the water. Not knowing that the boat was so heavy, it took a lot out of the Phantom and he was severely out of breath. The rendering of the next song, "slowly, gently, in anticipation" is so affected that the director decides to keep it like that.
* In fact, during Shakespeare's time, it seemed perfectly common to be cruel to the actors like that, not telling them when they were going to be slapped, etc. Then there is one scene where a character tries to get a word in but can't manage to interrupt someone. Since the actors weren't given the full script, only their own lines and the key lines before them so they would know when it was their turn, the previous actor would say a phrase similar to the key line three times, each time causing a false alarm, making the actor after him think it's his turn to speak, only to be cut off by the first character's continued talking. This very convincingly created the illusion of the second character trying in vain to get a word in.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theme Parks]]
* Supposedly, when creating the soundtrack for ''Great Moments with Mr Lincoln'' for the 1964 World's Fair and then {{Disney|ThemeParks}}land, Walt Disney kept having voice actor Royal Dano redo the entire speech, complaining about small things that made it "not quite right," until Dano was absolutely exhausted, and could barely make it to the end, at which point Disney said it was perfect, that it was what a weary Lincoln would have sounded like. He may have had a point, as the speech still induces shivers half a century later.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* During the scene where Big Boss meets Granin in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'', HideoKojima had Granin's motion actor drink real whiskey to the point where he was absolutely smashed and kept forgetting his lines.
** He also deliberately switched the casting of Big Boss's two motion actors - the man who played him during talking scenes was a motion actor who specialized in acrobatics, and the man who played him during action scenes was a motion actor who specialized in talking scenes. This resulted in a lot of serendipitous responses, particularly during the love scenes with EVA - for instance, when EVA leans in to kiss him in the mountaintop bolthole, his motion actor, unused to doing love scenes, froze up and pulled back nervously. It was very in character for Snake, so it was kept and Kojima later said it was one of his favourite touches.
* For the recording sessions of ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', the actors playing Walker, Adams and Lugo recorded all their lines together in one room, in hopes that a realistic character dynamic would develop between them. They also recorded all their lines in chronological sequence in long, tiring sessions, such that by the end of the recording sessions they were tired, angry and eager to go home - just like the characters themselves.
* This happens a ''lot'' in [[LetsPlay Lets Plays]], especially blind Lets Plays. Most lets plays of horror games ([[FollowTheLeader usually with a facecam because Pewdiepie did it.]]) are also this way, so the viewer will hear all the screams.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* In the film [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcUTVxhMxcw Surviving Evidence,]] [[OneOfUs Kayla]] [[http://www.youtube.com/user/ILoveShinyMonkeys?feature=watch Bashe]] [[note]]Heck, she writes [[InspectorSpacetime Sprock!]][[/note]] who played Taylor, was actually "terrified of zombies." Her freaking out every time a zombie appeared? Not entirely an act. Additionally, the dialogue in the scene where Taylor and Erica put on a play was improvised to highlight the play's StylisticSuck.
* When WebVideo/TheCinemaSnob and ObscurusLupa teamed up to review TheAsylum's ''Franchise/SherlockHolmes'' {{Mockbuster}}, [[Creator/BradJones Brad]] was supposed to punch her for suggesting they review another film together. He actually hit her, and her reaction is genuine. It was clear from the outtake video that it was an accident, though.
** In ''WebVideo/MidnightScreenings'', Jillian reviewed ''Literature/{{Twilight}} Breaking Dawn Part 1'', and had stuff thrown at her from off screen. She knew it would happen, just not the timing, to keep her reactions as genuine as possible.
* For that matter, there are instances of this in a LetsPlay, usually blind LetsPlay where they're legitimately surprised at a plot point or are startled by a JumpScare.
* Discussed in a ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' article: [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19099_12-classic-movie-moments-made-possible-by-abuse-murder.html 12 Classic Movie Moments Made Possible by Abuse and Murder]]
** And again in [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19693_5-amazing-performances-from-actors-who-werent-acting.html 5 Amazing Performances From Actors Who Weren't Acting]].
* In the ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'' episode "Shard at Work", Warren Graff (who voices Handy the beaver) choked himself with water while recording a scene where Handy gets a fish bowl stuck on his head.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]

* Nathan Ruegger, the voice of Skippy Squirrel in ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'', would often be tickled by his father while he was recording to make his laughter sound more genuine.
* The earliest ''{{Peanuts}}'' specials were done this way - since Charles Schulz and Bill Melendez insisted on real child voice actors, some of whom couldn't yet read, dialogue was fed to the kids line-by-line or sometimes ''word-by-word'', and the lines we hear are often spliced together from the kids reciting the words or lines back. Arguably the best example is Sally's confused speech ("All I want is what's coming to me! All I want is my fair share!") in ''ACharlieBrownChristmas''. This unique "sound" quickly became such an expected element of the specials that it continued to be followed, even when mixing software and better techniques could have smoothed things over a bit.
[[/folder]]


!!In-work Examples:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* "Manga/SkipBeat: Kyoko does this when she gets into her character for Dark Moon. Everyone's shock is real because they didn't know how Kyoko would present her character. It was so unexpected and shocking that Director Ogata falls to his knees.
* The first chapter of ''Manga/GundamSousei'' (a {{Dramatization}} of the production of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'') does this with the infamous 'BrightSlap' scene by having Creator/YoshiyukiTomino punch Creator/ToruFuruya in the face after several unimpressive line reads.
** Another chapter shows Creator/ShuichiIkeda going for drinks with cast members after each day of recording finished, except Creator/ToruFuruya, [[JerkAssFacade who he was distant towards]], to reflect the uncomfortable relationship between Char and Amuro. Once the final episode wrapped up, Ikeda invited Furuya out for drinks, which began a friendship reflected in Char and Amuro's interactions in ''ZetaGundam''. This worked largely because of the Japanese concept of [[http://factsanddetails.com/japan.php?itemid=662&catid=19&subcatid=124 "social drinking"]], which is an ''extremely'' important side of work interaction. Ikeda inviting everyone ''but'' Furuya would be considered as one of the most rude things he could do to a fellow co-worker.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' episode 298, Ichigo is filming a movie directed by Abarai Renji, with special effects provided by Kuchiki Byakuya. Said special effects include Byakuya ''attacking Ichigo with his Bankai''. Ouch.
--> '''Ichigo:''' Why am I the only one whose getting beat up?! The explosions are too powerful, the attacks are precise, and I get shoved down from crazy places without warning!
--> '''Renji:''' You did some great acting in every one of those scenes.
--> '''Ichigo:''' ''I wasn't acting!''
* ''Ten Little Gall Force'' is a SuperDeformed OVA that reimagines the cast of ''GallForce'' as actors making a movie. At one stage, they're shooting the scene where Catty fries herself acting as the conductor for a broken power cable. Catty asks the director if he's sure the wire's not live, and the director shrugs, so she grabs the wire... and then the director activates it, electrocuting her for real. He seems thrilled with the "reality" of the scene.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* The fictional director in ''Disney/{{Bolt}}'' ran Bolt's ''life'' this way. The words "method acting" are even mentioned by the exec who came to evaluate the show.
-->'''Director:''' And if the dog believes it... the ''audience'' will believe it.
* In ''Film/SupermanReturns'', [[MagnificentBastard Lex Luthor]] cuts the brakes on his assistant's car so that her screams for help will be authentic. When she confronts him later, he explains that if she hadn't really been terrified, Superman would be able to tell.
* ''Film/TropicThunder'' uses this trope in the plot, which involves a director filming a movie about UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar dropping his five actors into the Golden Triangle of Asia while riddling the jungle with hidden cameras as advised by ShellShockedSenior Four-Leaf Tayback.
* ''Film/TheTrumanShow'' takes this concept, and [[{{Deconstruction}} runs it into the ground]].
* In ''[[SeltzerAndFriedberg Epic Movie]]'', while trying to escape a prison cell, Captain Swallows stabs Edward in the abdomen to ensure his pain is realistic enough to get the guards in.
* Just the basic concept of ''Film/{{Bowfinger}}'' is an extreme version of this, where the main lead, Kit Ramsey, doesn't even ''know'' he's in a movie, and all his scenes are filmed in secret because the titular film director couldn't afford to actually ''hire'' him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Literature/SherlockHolmes: Holmes does this to Watson several times, each time with the explanation that he needed Watson to behave as though something was absolutely true when it wasn't.
** In the Dying Detective" Holmes appears to be dying of poison. Of course, it turns out that he's perfectly fine and was only acting so that Watson's reactions to it (and subsequent conversation with the suspect who had tried to poison him) would be genuine enough to convince said suspect.
** A far crueler example is when Holmes fakes his own death for ''three years'', leaving Watson alone even though his wife has died. Upon Holmes's return, Watson is quick to reprimand him for this. Holmes states that it was essential the world believed him dead, and Watson's behavior wouldn't be convincing enough if it was an act. The cruelty is mitigated by the fact that Holmes was laying low to protect both his life and Watson's, and explaining that the death of Watson's wife was the reason he ended his isolation.
* The desperate haphazard plan Fisk comes up with in the first book of the ''KnightAndRogueSeries'', to drug the MadScientist Ceciel they're escaping from and pretend that he and she are going out to perform some sacrifice or another with Michael, nearly falls apart when a guard see's Ceciel's rather vacant face and bad actor Michael's fairly unconcerned expression. There's nothing to be done about the drugged look, so Fisk gets Michael to panic by beginning to talk about how they're sacrificing his 'fertility'.
* In ''Literature/TheHungerGames,'' this happens repeatedly with Katniss. She can't act, and so is never warned about Peeta's interview strategies so her reactions will be genuine. [[spoiler: By the third book, this has escalated to dropping her into a war zone in order to film propaganda because the studio shoots never work. At first they just stick to a hospital with real victims, but [[DidntSeeThatComing no one was expecting bombers to turn up]]. And when they do, they try to keep her out of the fighting, but she goes in anyway [[ThrowItIn and they keep the camera rolling.]]]]
* In Creator/BarbaraHambly's ''Search the Seven Hills'', a troupe of girls playing nymphs is entertaining a Roman banquet when a troupe of actors as satyrs burst out on them. Marcus notes that either the girls were consummate actresses, or they had not expected to be actually molested by the satyrs.
* In-universe example: In ''The Wizard of Sunset Strip'', a special-effects adept conjures a ''real'' demon onto the set during the filming of a HumanSacrifice scene. The actress playing the "victim" freaks out for real, but the crew assume it's an illusion and keep on filming, only realizing she's genuinely terrified when she faints.
* ''[[Literature/ElementalMasters Reserved For The Cat]]'': When Jonathan and Ninette are practicing a new illusion for Jonathan's act, he doesn't bother to tell Ninette that the flames she's about to see (while she's locked in a box) are magically-created fake flames. He then learns that you don't want to get kicked by a ballerina.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* The "Conspiracy Theories" episode of ''Series/{{Community}}'': Jeff, Annie, the Dean, a police officer, and the theater professor all shooting each other with fake guns in order to prove a point. Each time, ''someone'' thinks that the gun is real and freaks out.
* In ''MalcolmInTheMiddle'' Reese breaks a leg when he sneaked out in the minibike Lois had under lock. They try to make it look like Craig ran over his leg with the car. When Reese's screams don't sound very believable Dewey proceeds to [[{{Squick}} punch him in the bump that is his broken bone]].
* The opening-night production of ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' in ''SlingsAndArrows'' includes an InUniverse version; ''SlingsAndArrows'' is a story about a theater company, and director Geoffrey Tennant is not above manipulating his performers to get results. In order to get the performance he wants out of his recalcitrant Macbeth, Geoffrey changes all the blocking at the last minute, inserts a small tree at a strategic location, and gives secret instructions to Macbeth's opponents in fight scenes.
* In ''BreakoutKings'', Ray forces this upon Lloyd when he enacts a plan that involves [[spoiler:letting their captive crook swipe his keys and his (unloaded) gun so that she'll take them straight to her partner as hostages]]. Needless to say, Lloyd is less than thrilled.
* Inverted in the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "School Hard", where Angel brings Xander with him and pretends to have captured food in order to get close to Spike. Xander, not liking or trusting Angel, is somewhere between believing it and not. Apparently, though, it was Angel's performance that was suspect, as Spike pulls away at the last moment to cheap shot Angel. Afterwards, Xander asks what would have happened if Spike had bitten Xander.
-->'''Angel:''' Then we would have known he bought it.
* In an episode of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', the heroes need a telepathic enemy army to believe that they've been beaten...so they create a failed rescue attempt to feed false information to a captive Jack O'Neill and Woolsey, then allow them to be interrogated. Jack's been around long enough [[{{GenreSavvy}} to know something's up]], but Woolsey believes he's going to die and predictably freaks out, fooling the enemy completely.
* On ''MyNameIsEarl'', Liberty pays her next-door neighbor to be the {{Heel}} in her wrestling matches. Joy stuffs the neighbor into the trunk of her car, puts on the costume, and proceeds to try and sabotage Liberty's performance. (It ended up making her performance better, as well as helping both women air their grievances towards one another.)
* In ''Film/AnAdventureInSpaceAndTime'', William Hartnell is thinking about his grief over the departing producer, Verity Lambert, while performing a scene in which his character leaves his granddaughter stranded on a post-apocalyptic Earth in the year 2150, and his acting is notably better than the usual StylisticSuck it has been shown as. This is RuleOfDrama - in real life, Verity Lambert stayed on the production for almost a year after the scene was made.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: VideoGames]]
* The Avatar in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' hears about how [[spoiler: Walhart will kill Basilio after he and Flavia attack the conquerer. Knowing that the Fire Emblem might be stolen by the Grimleal (Namely Validar) s/he and Basilio devise a plan for Basilio to fake death to the Conqueror, and not actually tell Flavia so her cries when catching up with Chrom are legit.]] Later on, [[spoiler: The avatar proves correct - the Fire Emblem ''is'' stolen, but the green gem was replaced with a fake and Basilio was not actually dead. Just as Validar (and Lucina) had thought, Grima tries to possess the avatar... but the avatar attacks Chrom anyways and weakens the attack so Chrom survives... but s/he does ''not'' tell Chrom ''or'' Lucina that they'll do that, so their BigNo and reactions will genuinely fool Validar. Cue Basilio walking in talking about how they fooled them all.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In one of the bonus strips from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Elan is trying to gain roleplaying XP by bemoaning a light wound. Belkar decides to help him with his motivation. Injury and Stabbing Ensue.
* This trope is a running gag in the commentary of ''Webcomic/BMovieComic". It's almost always Lee, the actor who plays snuka on the receiving end, but not always.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In-universe examples for the animated band Music/{{Gorillaz}}: according to their biography, ''Rise of the Ogre'', the band weren't told by their [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis director Jamie Hewlett]] about the [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever 300-foot elk]] that appears at the end of the "19/2000" video, so they'd look appropriately surprised. Also, the GroinAttack Murdoc suffers at the hands of the zombie ape in "Clint Eastwood" was apparently real, and caused his genitals to "swell up like big purple melons".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "My Three Suns", Bender tries this in order to make Fry cry [[ItMakesSenseInContext to free the emperor trapped inside of him.]] Bender loudly exclaims about seeing Leela being captured and killed by rioters. It works, but only just so. Then Leela breaks the illusion by showing up in the room, entirely unharmed. They eventually get Fry to cry by [[CuttingTheKnot beating the crap out of him]].
* In ''TheSimpsons'', when filming the Radioactive Man movie, the director informs Rainier Wolfcastle at the last second that the acid being used in one of the scenes is real. What follows is one of the most memorable [[GogglesDoNothing moments]] in Simpsons history.
** In "The Great Money Caper" the entire town sets up a hoax on Homer and Bart to teach them not to con people, by creating a trick where Groundskeeper Willie is apprehended and found guilty for stealing Homer's car. The only person not in on the hoax? Willie himself, presumably to make his behavior more realistic.
* ''KingOfTheHill'' has Dale try this in one episode, and it actually [[{{Deconstruction}} backfires spectacularly]]: He tries to sue a tobacco company on the grounds that cigarette smoke made his wife Nancy uglier, and doesn't tell her his plan so she won't have to lie under oath. He overdoes it though, and endangers his marriage by insulting Nancy too harshly. [[AFoolForAClient He then spends his]] entire [[CourtroomAntics courtroom appearance]] establishing that he loves his wife, saving his marriage but destroying his case in the process.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' episode "Masks", Robin doesn't tell his teammates that [[spoiler: he's disguised himself as Red X]] because he wants their reactions to be believable in order to fool [[BigBad Slade]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E20GreenIsntYourColor Green Isn't Your Color]]" features this in the form of Photo Finish boosting Fluttershy's {{Moe}} appeal by taking pictures of her natural reactions to harsh criticism.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' had an arc where Obi-Wan faked his death and disguised himself as his supposed killer, with Anakin and Ahsoka kept in the dark in order to make the ruse more convincing. Unfortunately, their reaction was to seek out his "murderer" and it almost derailed the entire plan.
[[/folder]]

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