->''"I created a monster''
->''Cuz nobody wants to see Marshall no more''
->''They want Shady -- I'm chopped liver"''
-->-- '''Music/{{Eminem}}''', "Without Me"

It can be said that some roles take on a life of their own, separate from the actor that plays them. [[Series/TheXFiles Fox Mulder]] lives more vividly in our collective imagination than David Duchovny; Leonard Nimoy was so eclipsed by his character in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' that he titled his autobiographies ''IAmNotSpock'' and (once he'd made his peace with it) ''[[IAmNotLeonardNimoy I Am Spock]]'' respectively.

However, some actors not only allow the character this existence, they actively cultivate them as a persona as real as any other person walking around. This is usually done in one of a couple of ways.

# The first way is to portray the individual as an entirely separate person, while acknowledging the existence of the actor. The character may refer to the actor in the third person, or vice versa.
# The second version is to entirely subsume the "real" actor in the role. In this case, the actor is never mentioned by the character and the actor almost never appears in "public".
# The third method is when the actor acknowledges the character is "them", but somehow a "different" them. This is the least frequently seen, most subtle version, and the mechanism of this change in personality is not consistent, further making it more difficult to recognize.

See also AdamWesting, where a celebrity's public persona is a self-parody, but still uses their real name.

In a case of RealLifeWritesThePlot, Alter Ego Acting isn't limited to the actors themselves; many of the fans, especially with sci-fi or fantasy series (like the UsefulNotes/FurryFandom) use this trope to various levels in regards to their internet personas. In a reversal to the trope being applied to the actors, the third method is usually the most used, to the point where the fans refuse to respond to anything but their alter ego's name. Typically, though, the alter ego has enough personality quirks that only work within the confines of fantasy, the alter ego is unable to be fully emulated in the 'real world' during standard, off-line living and, thus, their real selves are markedly different, no matter how much they try.


[[folder:Type 1]]

* Dame Edna Everage, who refers to Barry Humphries as her "entrepreneur" or manager.
* Creator/AndyKaufman pretended to have a difficult working relationship with his alter ego, Tony Clifton. His dedication to making Tony a separate persona went as far as appearing on stage ''with'' him - "him" actually being a friend (usually Andy's close colleague Bob Zmuda) dressed as Clifton and imitating Andy's Clifton voice.
** It went further than that, actually; Andy would go ''far'' out of his way to do things in character that he would never have done as himself. When he was disguised as Tony, he chain-smoked cigarettes, never turned down a free drink, and ate red meat without blinking an eye -- all guaranteed to shock anyone who knew that it was Andy Kaufman (a fairly straight-edge vegan) behind that mustache.
** It went even further when Andy ''permanently'' passed the Tony persona on to Bob Zmuda circa 1982. Bob was convincing enough that many people didn't realize for years that he had taken over the role; as revealed by Creator/JimCarrey in the 1994 ''Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman'' special, a good half of Tony's TV appearances were done by Bob and not Andy. (Speaking of Carrey, see below...) After Andy's death, Bob reprised the character at a tribute/benefit, and Tony still occasionally resurfaces via several performers. This raised it to CharlieBrownFromOuttaTown level.
* Japanese television personality Masaki Sumitani does not respond to being called by the name of his alter ego, Razer Ramon HG (a.k.a. Hard Gay, a.k.a. HG-kun). He has, however, left fans briefly, changed into costume, and "sent" HG-kun to fulfill their interview requests. When ambushed on a TV program with his shades off, he realized there was a camera pointed at him, hid his face and scrambled for his hat and sunglasses to get into character.
* Creator/DanAykroyd as [[Film/TheBluesBrothers Elwood Blues]]. In fact, bonus material from the House of Blues Radio Hour even features Elwood interviewing Dan about his work with Jim Belushi, as the "Dancing Refrigerators". In another example, Creator/JohnLandis gets interviewed, and treats Elwood and Dan as totally different people
* Paul Reubens tended to portray Pee-Wee Herman as a completely separate person, even billing the character as being played by "himself" in movie credits. He had never been interviewed as Paul Reubens until the film ''Film/MysteryMen'' came out. Even then he managed to get through the first few minutes of the interview without saying a word, responding with nodding or shaking his head until forced to answer a non yes/no question.
-->''Jay Leno''- "Okay, what time is it?"
-->''Paul'' - (presses button on talking watch)
* Daniel Handler shows up at "[[Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents Lemony Snicket's]]" book signings as a [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis representative of Mr. Snicket]], or sometimes "Mr. Snicket's Handler", and tells fans that the author was detained by some unfortunate accident. This is a slight variation, since while Handler writes under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket, he never "plays" Snicket in public. He would occasionally give an interview where he acknowledged Snicket's fictionality, making him a type 3 as well.
** This trope was inverted, subverted, and played with 6 ways from Sunday on the DVD commentary, featuring Handler in character as Snicket, with director Brad Silberling. Silberling tries to claim that Jim Carrey was replaced by the real Count Olaf, and Snicket plays along at first. After a while, he becomes bored, and begins accusing Silberling of lying to him. So we have the real author playing his fictional creation critiquing a real actor under fake circumstances while the real director claims that his real film features the fictional author's fictional character for real.
* In an unusual journalistic example, Creator/HunterSThompson created a public persona that played up his flaws and general craziness to a point where he mirrored as much as reported the nastiness, paranoia, and absurdity around him. Often, this was under the name of Raoul Duke; just as often, it wasn't, falling into the third type of AlterEgoActing.
* Many [[ProfessionalWrestling pro wrestlers]] fall into this in RealLife, especially when {{Kayfabe}} was in high reign, but Wrestling/MickFoley is probably the only one who made it actually part of his gimmick; in the later part of his Wrestling/{{WWE}} run, it was openly acknowledged that he had three "faces" that he would put on as the situation demanded (Dude Love, Cactus Jack, and Mankind), as well as his own normal persona that was rarely seen in the ring.
** Wrestling/{{TNA}} recently resurrected this aspect of Mick Foley's character, as Mick "interviewed" Cactus Jack; as the mock interview went on, Cactus took on a life of his own, accusing Foley of being a craven sellout cashing in on the fame that Cactus had earned by sacrificing their shared body, something Foley would never have done if it were up to him.
* Wrestling/GregoryHelms, best known for his {{Superhero}} [[TheGimmick gimmick]] of "the Hurricane," would at times appear on WWE TV as a reporter under his own name.
* Sacha Baron-Cohen attempts to portray his various characters as real people completely separate from himself. He has sometimes referred to himself as a separate person while in character. Responding to critics of his film ''Film/{{Borat}}'', he assumed the character of Borat to join in on the criticism, leveling anti-Semitic slurs against himself. When promoting his films, he usually insists on appearing in-character.
** A strange example of this: on Australian program Rove Live, Sacha was playing Film/{{Bruno}} while promoting the film of the same name. When Rove did his usual "20 bucks in 20 seconds" questionnaire, his final question was for Bruno to tell Rove what he thought of a picture of Borat, to which Bruno replied that Borat was "an incredibly racist stereotype" and "he's played by Sacha Baron-whatever, right? Yeah, he really can't act".
* John Clark played Fred Dagg for many years, with the character being treated as essentially real, with other media and interviews playing along. Since everybody knew Fred Dagg, John Clark could not be himself or play any other roles, and eventually left New Zealand partly to escape the role.
* Creator/StephenColbert's "Stephen Colbert" persona, discussed below, has another persona, Ching Chong Ding Dong, an offensive portrayal of a Chinese person. "Stephen Colbert" argues that he cannot be held responsible for the actions "Ching Chong" does, since "Ching Chong" did it, not "Stephen."
** The host of ''Series/TheLateShowWithStephenColbert'' is real!Stephen Colbert, but a recurring character is "conservative pundit Stephen Colbert", played by Stephen Colbert and with the same mannerisms as the host of ''Series/TheColbertReport'' (see type 3)... but who isn't the host of that show, [[OurLawyersAdvisedThisTrope since that character is owned]] by Creator/ComedyCentral. Instead, he's [[LawyerFriendlyCameo his]] "[[SingleMindedTwins twin]] '''[[UpToEleven cousin]]'''".
* In a number of his late novels (after he'd pretty much lost his marbles), Creator/PhilipKDick used characters named Phil Dick and Horselover Fat (the rough meanings of his two names) to try to parse out his spiritual beliefs and experiences.
* Near the height of Music/GarthBrooks' career in country music, he released an alternative rock album under the pseudonym Music/InTheLifeOfChrisGaines. He clearly played it as though he was creating a character, going so far as to release a VH-1 mockumentary, and hosting SNL as Garth Brooks but being the musical guest as Chris Gaines.
* Related: sometimes avatars in the online virtual reality ''VideoGame/SecondLife'' refer to their "typists" (or similar terms), making a distinction between the character and the human playing him/her/it: e.g. "Sorry I have to go, but my typist is making me go to bed." The consistency with which this convention is applied varies greatly, with some always maintaining character and others using it as an occasional joke.
** The same is true of online role-playing in general, where those who use [=MUCKs=], [=MMORPGs=], and other real-time roleplay programs (or just roleplay through online messengers) will speak in-character of their "player" needing to leave/eat/go to the bathroom/sleep. This can be PlayedForLaughs through a bit of BlackComedy, as when the character really would like to continue but can't, so threatens the "player" for making them have to leave.
* Sharp-tongued Lily Savage was always entirely separate from her actor Paul O'Grady, and he usually speaks of her as if she's a completely different person. For example, when he gets people asking him to perform as Lily again, his usual reply is "She's gone off to join the convent."
* Anthony Fantano of the music review ''WebVideo/TheNeedleDrop'' has a slightly offbeat silly "roommate" Cal Chuchesta, that pops up [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXcbNP9i2jw time to time]] and sometimes gets [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm-Y6U3d7W8 his own reviews]].
* The members of Music/{{GWAR}} would sometimes open shows as the band "X-Cops." In the mid-90s it was spun off as a new band made up of non-GWAR members.
** This was also done by [[Film/ThisIsSpinalTap Spinal Tap]] who perform in character (they are actually actors). Christopher Guest as well as many of the other writers and actors from ''Spinal Tap'' made a similar mockumentary called ''Film/AMightyWind''. They did one show in which the band from ''Mighty Wind'' opened for ''Spinal Tap''. They were booed off the stage by fans who were either unaware or uncaring that they were the same people.
* For some time, Music/{{Devo}} did the same thing, opening for themselves as "Dove (the Band of Love)". At first they were hippies, but during the 80's they became a parody of right-wing ChristianRock, and even captured and brain-washed Devo's mascot Booji Boy during a show. Devo's music was held as Satanic and horrible, despite the fact that Dove played an awful lot of covers.
** And then there's Booji Boy himself, who is Mark Mothersbaugh in a baby mask singing with a disturbing falsetto.
* John Lydon invented the [[Music/TheSexPistols Johnny Rotten]] persona to handle public appearances, as he (Rotten) says he's (Lydon) extremely shy in real life. Depending on whether he's promoting Music/TheSexPistols and gonzo work or Music/PublicImageLtd, he appears as either Rotten or Lydon.
* In ''Podcast/PappysFlatshareSlamdown'', Tom always plays the Beef Brothers round as Fanshawe Standon.
--> '''Matthew:''' Thomas, to conclude the case for the defence, are you going to be doing it as yourself?\\
'''Tom:''' No, I'm going to be be defending in the style of a John Grisham, deep southern American lawyer, Mr Fanshawe Standon.
* A lot of anniversary specials for cartoon characters (particularly the Warner Bros. characters) will portray them as actual people, even when interviews are done with the directors, animators, and voice actors, none of whom bother to continue with the charade (which make the proceedings all the more confusing). They even go as far as to have celebrities give anecdotes about occasions where [[WesternAnimation/{{Bugs Bunny}} Bugs]], [[WesternAnimation/{{Daffy Duck}} Daffy]], and the rest worked with them or met their families.
* The 2017 revival of ''Series/TheGongShow'' was hosted by Tommy Maitland, who is supposedly a British comedian and television presenter who came out of retirement to make his debut on American television, but is actually a character portrayed by Creator/MikeMyers. Myers made appearances on other shows promoting the show in character, other people associated with the revival maintain the fiction that Tommy Maitland is a real person, and Myers' name appears nowhere in the show's credits.

[[folder:Type 2]]

* Music/DaftPunk never appear in public without helmets on and have not been photographed as themselves in ages. There are currently only one or two pictures of them without their helmets or another face obstructing item.
* The major cast of ''Series/TrailerParkBoys'' appear in character almost constantly, even including "behind the scenes" commentary on the DVD for the show.
* Carroll Spinney, who portrays Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, supposedly refused to do ''Series/SesameStreet''-related interviews out of character.
** Company policy at Creator/JimHenson Co. was that the actors and puppeteers who play the various Muppet characters are not allowed to engage anyone in an on camera interview.
** However both Henson and Spinney made separate appearances on the syndicated version of ''Series/WhatsMyLine?''
*** However, Kevin Clash has been a guest on two different Creator/FoodNetwork shows, complete with Elmo voice, and [[http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Kevin_Clash he's also made other appearances]].
** Played with during the Muppet appearance on ''Series/TheWestWing''. Nobody broke character or showed the puppeteers behind the puppets.
** This one varies. Sometimes, the appearance on the talk show/cooking show/other show has the characters appear and does its best to hide the puppeteer(s). Other times (more rarely, but mostly with Henson himself, Frank Oz, and the majority of guest Muppet performers at the Muppetfest convention in 2001), the puppeteer and puppet will co-exist, with the puppeteers talking about their character while still slipping back into character to talk with the host/moderator(s), any other characters making an appearance, or [[TalkingToHimself the puppeteer him/herself]]. ([[MindScrew It's a little trippy, which is probably just how Henson liked it.]]). Lastly (and most rarely), it's just the puppeteer, which mostly happens on Muppet fansites (though even then it can slip into the second type).
* The members of Finnish heavy metal band Music/{{Lordi}} make all of their public appearances in the elaborate monster costumes they wear onstage, and have gone to unusual lengths to keep their real names secret from the public. (Indeed, the band's first demo video has never been released to the public because it shows the singer, "Mr. Lordi", with no mask.)
** When a gossip magazine showed a picture of Lordi without his mask (on the cover, no less), it created a massive backlash and tens of thousands of fans signing a petition of boycotting the magazine, eventually resulting in a public apology from it.
*** Part of this is because all the members of the band are very private people, actually working in a normal job as well as being a monster rocker, or both. Amen, for instance, is a web designer, and at least one of the members is a music teacher.
* Sometimes Music/{{GWAR}} appears out of costume as RAWG; other times, they [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWRKlNlRsgI appear in costume and in character on daytime TV]], where HilarityEnsues.
* Likewise, the Australian rock-band {{Music/TISM}} made a point of never appearing (on stage or for interviews) without wearing some sort of identity concealing outfit, and referred to each other only by their stage names (such as Ron Hitler-Barassi and Humphrey B. Flaubert).
* Experimental rock band Music/TheResidents have never been seen without their masks, never dropped out of character in public, and have never released their real names. They've managed to keep their identities a secret for ''40 years.'' It is, however, long been suspected that "The Cryptic Corporation," a group of two "spokesmen" who speak for the band in all interviews, are actually the creative core of the band. The Cryptic Corporation admits to collaborating with the Residents, but always denies that they are actual bandmembers.
* When Creator/JimCarrey was cast as Creator/AndyKaufman in ''Film/ManOnTheMoon'' [[MethodActing he stayed in character(s) for the duration of the shoot]] (see above and below); this included not responding to his own name. (In addition, after the shoot was completed, Tony Clifton was discussed in Type One terms by all the participants.)
** A really bizarre case was when "Kaufman" went auditioning for ''Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas''. The Dr. Seuss estate rejected him, but then Carrey broke out of that character and did a Grinch impersonation that got him the role.
* Mana from Moi Dix Mois (formerly Malice Mizer) is almost never seen out of costume, out of character (e.g. speaking), or out in public. When he has been, it's usually by accident/some sort of freakish fluke.
** And when he is photographed out of costume, nine times out of ten his face is mostly obscured by a large hat and sunglasses, and he's wearing bulky black clothing. He even appears like this when he's caught out suddenly by stray fans or photographers, which seems to suggest that this 'incognito' look is genuinely what he wears on a day to day basis.
* Jane Turner and Gina Riley rarely appear out of character as Series/KathAndKim.
* Creator/{{Larry the Cable Guy}} used to simply be a role Daniel Lawrence Whitney would use on stage in his comedy routine, but it eventually took over his entire persona in all work he did - film, television, interviews, et cetera. He even wrote a book in-character, littered with grammatical errors. Whitney will usually break character for a few seconds once or twice per show as part of a joke.
* Rob Potylo used to record albums, play concerts, and make appearances on radio shows or at comedy clubs as Robby Roadsteamer, a trashy {{Jerkass}} GutturalGrowler initially inspired by the way he saw singers for local nu-metal bands carry themselves on stage. He did some interviews as himself where he'd acknowledge Robby Roadsteamer as a character, but for the most part he would never appear publicly as himself. The character eventually got retired because he was concerned that if he kept it up too long he'd be pigeonholed - nowadays he makes music as himself rather than the character. It's since been joked that Robby Roadsteamer still exists, he just hasn't been heard from in years because he and his band left the Boston music scene for Western Massachusetts.
* Comedian Leigh Francis has hardly ever appeared on TV as himself. He is currently known as Keith Lemon, but has previously been Avid Merrion, The Bear, and singer Craig David [[note]]One of his many celebrity impressions from ''Bo' Selecta!'', which is ''nothing'' like the real person: Craig is not an incontinent Northerner with a pet falcon[[/note]].
* Creator/DanielDayLewis has a major case of this, as he heavily researches his film roles to get into character - months before shooting even begins. When he's involved in the production process of films like ''Film/LastOfTheMohicans'', ''Film/GangsOfNewYork'', ''Film/ThereWillBeBlood'' and many others, he won't refer to himself as anything other than the name of his character on or off-set. One story mentions that this has caused at least one friendship to break down - Liam Neeson won't even talk to Day-Lewis anymore because, when they were exercising together during an off day while filming ''Gangs'', Day-Lewis wouldn't respond to Neeson calling him his real name - he would only speak if he was referred to as "Bill The Butcher".
* In an unusual subversion, comedian Andrew Clay Silverstein has been practically forced into a sort of Type 2 version of this trope. His character, Creator/AndrewDiceClay, is seen as such an [[UpToEleven over the top]] misogyist and homophobe that fans and detractors alike are unable or unwilling to separate the actor from his character, despite the profound difference between his real and assumed personalities, and his more recent attempts to distance himself from "The Diceman". This hasn't been helped by many other performers refusing to perform or appear with Silverstein, even out-of-character.
** The mistake he made was refusing to ever break character for so long that most people assumed the Diceman ''was'' a real guy.
* The one pure example of this at the Series/EurovisionSongContest was with Iceland's Silvia Night. Night, portrayed by Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir (significantly harder to roll off the tongue), was a popular television character who behaved like a pampered AlphaBitch. She didn't break character for the entirety of her time in the 2006 contest, verbally abusing contest workers, insulting the other contestants, and [[ClusterFBomb cursing like a sailor]]. Despite the reassurances from local officials that it was only a character, the poor behavior was not treated kindly, and she was eliminated during the semi-finals (leading to a much-viewed tirade). Interestingly, a sorta-example of this, Finland's Music/{{Lordi}}, kept their monster makeup on the whole time and wound up winning (although their monstrous appearance didn't dictate their behavior).

[[folder:Type 3]]

* Veteran rocker Music/AliceCooper often refers to the stage version of himself either directly or indirectly as someone he "becomes" when he walks out to perform. He's not shy about being seen out of character, however. He's performed many interviews and public appearances as his normal, mild-mannered self, and even lampshades the distinction in ''Film/WaynesWorld'', where he gives his backstage entourage a short lecture on Milwaukee history.\\
He also does a nightly, syndicated radio show, 'Nights with Alice Cooper' where he is very well spoken, funny and knowledgable. He tells jokes and stories about other musicians and interviews his famous friends. He regularly makes the distinction between his real life self and his stage persona on air.\\
In interviews, Vincent Furnier (Alice Cooper's real name) refers to Alice Cooper in the third person, and has mentioned that his children didn't think of Alice Cooper as their father when they were growing up.
* Creator/PennAndTeller also maintain a distinct "version" of themselves for the stage. Most notably, Teller is almost never seen to speak on stage, maintaining a mute contrast to Penn Jillette's boisterous, extra-large personality. This model of themselves has been consistent even in other roles, for example in an episode of ''Series/BabylonFive'' where they played comedy team Reebo and Zooty. Off stage, however, Teller is known to be an articulate and engaging speaker. On occasion, when Teller speaks on camera, his face is obscured. A notable subversion is their feature-length film ''Film/PennAndTellerGetKilled'', in which Teller maintains his mute persona until the very end, when he breaks character and speaks.
-->'''The Fan:''' Everyone knows '''''Teller doesn't speak'''''!
* Creator/AndyKaufman, again, experimented extensively with different personas on stage -- all of them ''called'' "Andy Kaufman," but not representative of his real personality.
* Creator/StephenColbert's on-air persona as a [[StrawmanPolitical self-centered, hypocritical, frothing-at-the-mouth strawman conservative commentator]] is a complete act. Questioned by Larry King, he confirmed that "I call him 'him'."
** This became surreal when he was vetted for a position in Barack Obama's cabinet, and Fake!Colbert insisted that he, the real person, could not be held responsible for the actions of a character he portrayed.
** One episode parodied this. It featured the fake Stephen Colbert thinking he was going to interview the animated members of the cartoon band Music/{{Gorillaz}}, but was disappointed to find out he was only interviewing their creators Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett (after Murdoc Niccals called Stephen up and explained he couldn't make it). Stephen stormed off the set, forcing the real Stephen to fill in.
** It got really interesting at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, where the Fake!Colbert "[[TakeThat praised]]" UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush's administration. ("'Oh, they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.' First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!")
*** While many have mocked the Bush administration for not getting the joke, it's worth noting that the opening speech was delivered by President Bush while an impersonator played his thoughts, so it's likely Bush got the joke and his ''staff'' didn't.
** UsefulNotes/AlGore, perhaps from fatigue, forgot who was interviewing him and casually mentioned Colbert's character to Colbert's character. [[http://www.aoltv.com/2011/09/14/al-gore-slips-up-refers-to-stephen-colberts-character-video/ Colbert's character didn't know who he was talking about.]]
* Creator/MarilynMonroe was doing a walk-and-talk interview on the street with a biographer, without drawing any attention from the public around them. She turned to the author and asked "Do you want me to be ''her''?", then slipped into her star persona by adopting a different walk and facial expression. Immediately passersby were turning their heads, waving, and asking for autographs.
* Former [[ProfessionalWrestling professional wrestler]] [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson]] has stated that "The Rock" is his normal personality "[[LargeHam with the volume turned way up.]]"
* Bob Dole apparently used to refer to himself in the third person because he felt the personality he was forced to adopt to run for president wasn't the real him.
* Creator/WilliamShatner and Creator/AdamWest portray fictional versions of themselves in public. This is more a case of acknowledging/playing up their hammy acting styles than assuming a different persona. (For more on this, see AdamWesting.)
** Shatner is noticeably less hammy when conducting interviews.
* This probably applied to Gracie Allen, who was not so much of TheDitz in RealLife as her identically-named character was.
* The editorial staff from ''Website/CollegeHumor'' play exaggerated versions of themselves in their skits and TV show.
* In-character as WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic, Doug Walker uses his real name, but the Critic's persona, opinions and backstory are wholly fictional.
** Though The Nostalgia Critic may have started as a Type 3, the argument could be made that he has moved to Type 1 over time. The Nostalgia Critic has interacted with Doug several times as a separate entity and knows himself to be a character, though distinct from Doug as actor/writer and it is setup in 'To Boldly Flee' that The Nostalgia Critic has grown beyond what Doug had intended.
** This has led to an occasion where the Critic made various comments about [[Creator/MaraWilson a child actress's]] acting ability, only for fans of the Critic [[FanDumb to email said actress that they agreed with the Critic]]. Holly (TGWTG web mistress) then had to email her personally to explain that the Critic is just a character and it wasn't really Doug's opinion.
** Walker will usually go into some detail in commentaries about his conception of the character and how he has developed over time; a lot of what seems natural and spontaneous on-screen is actually very deliberately planned out.
** Many internet critics get flack from angry [[strike:fans]] random passers-by who think they agree with their characters about everything. WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd gets a steady flow of hatemail for his first video, in which he bashed a genuinely good game for fun.
** [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] also refers to his on-screen personality as a "character", but at the same time, admits that he's just a slightly exaggerated version of himself.
** When addressing complaints of how she treats Nella, Lindsay has also commented that WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick is just a character and so is BFF Nella. In fact, if you want to see how they really are together, just check out their usually-{{squee}}ful conversations on Website/{{Twitter}}.
*** The complaints are parodied in her second "Thanks For The Feedback!" video, where she claims that BFF Nella remains her friend despite the way she treats her because the Chick pays her to do so, showing an AlternativeCharacterInterpretation during their first meeting (Nella: "I can see I've got my work cut out for me") and their contract renewal, where Nella is professional and very much in charge, while the Chick meekly avoids meeting her gaze.
*** But [[AvertedTrope averted]] by [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment The Spoony One]], whom everyone has confirmed to be exactly the same [[BlackComedyRape (with a couple]] [[FanHater obvious]] [[http://spoonyexperiment.com/2009/02/19/fanboys-are-mine-to-toy-with-old-man/ exceptions)]] in RealLife as he is on camera. There is little functional difference between "Spoony" and Creator/NoahAntwiler.
*** Noah himself has said that this is the case, but confessed that he's not as good at separating himself from the Spoony persona as Walker is with Nostalgia Critic or James Rolfe is with the Angry Video Game Nerd. This has resulted in some backlash, as seen in his ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' review where Spoony angrily calls for people to murder fans of the game and forced Noah to do some backtracking and apologizing when people believed that he felt the same way in real life.
** WebVideo/ToddInTheShadows stated that "I may exaggerate my anger a little, but I'm not a good enough actor to adopt a different persona." There is still a difference between Todd Nathanson and Todd In The Shadows, as the real Todd is friendly with the real cast and dating [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick Lindsay Ellis]], making him happy, romantic and positive about life, while the character is still a mopey, pathetic, rather creepy BasementDweller who harbors a crush on [[Creator/AllisonPregler Lupa]] and acts obnoxious to the rest of TGWTG.
** Lupa is a caricature of Allison herself, a super-patriot who loves sophomoric humor. The "character" has been retired since TGWTG folded.
** The fact that Creator/BradJones does reviews and other shows on both TGWTG and his own site as himself instead of his [[WebVideo/TheCinemaSnob Cinema Snob]] character probably makes his real self a bit more visible than other contributors who review as exaggerated "characters".
*** [[https://indie-outlook.com/2017/05/25/brad-jones-on-jesus-bro/ In an interview]], Brad makes clear that when the Snob is being analytical instead of pretentious and cynical, it's his thoughts "in a snarkier and shoutier way", as the Webvideo/MidnightScreenings show how he's "pretty chill and laid-back in real life." At most, the Snob side emerges in real life when Brad gets really angry at a movie (i.e. ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ywhhx8IVlQ4 Old-Fashioned]]'').
** Sarah Wilson [[http://www.formspring.me/PushingUpRoses/q/258306522151396189 admitted that]] WebVideo/PushingUpRoses is [[GenkiGirl happier]] and more childish than herself.
** InUniverse, [[WebVideo/VampireReviews Maven of the Eventide]] is pretty much Elisa Hansen's character indulging her pretentious vampire fangirl side. WebVideo/{{Welshy}} even [[http://blip.tv/welshy/welshy-reviews-casino-royale-part-1-6012470 asked]] her "What facet of your character am I actually addressing right now?"
* "Bill and Ben" from the New Zealand TV show ''Pulp Sport'' half embody this trope - while some of their skits are pre-scripted and they act alongside other people who are also generally playing themselves, other skits (usually the ones involving [[AmusingInjuries physical pain]]) aren't scripted and the guys are reacting in genuine ways. Interestingly, Ben could be seen as just playing himself, while Bill could be seen as playing a character - his real first name is Jamie.
* Weird case: Brazilian soccer legend Pelé refers to himself as two different persons, Edison (his birth name; the everyday person) and Pelé (the footballer).
* Comedian Lewis Black, in reality a very gracious and soft-spoken man whose stage persona is a loud, profane near-lunatic. He said in one interview "If I was that person all the time, I would die."
* As in the page quote, Music/{{Eminem}} generally raps as his alter ego Slim Shady, although he frequently blurs the line between the two personalities. In effect, there are three people in his music: Marshall Mathers, the quiet, slightly disturbed kid; Eminem, the self-assured, cocky rapper; and Slim Shady, the brutal, murderous gangster. Which one's in charge usually depends on his voice (the angrier he sounds, the further down the list he goes).
** His first album titles even reference his multiplicity: ''The Slim Shady EP/LP'', ''The Marshall Mathers LP'' and ''The Eminem Show''.
* The personalities on [[Website/{{Cracked}} Cracked.com]] are starting to fall into a very labyrinthine version of this. Dan O'Brien is [[http://www.cracked.com/forums/index.php?topic=71359.msg1642460#msg1642460 on record]] that his and Michael Swaim's characters in ''WebVideo/AgentsOfCracked'' (or their similar but more toned-down counterparts on ''After Hours'') are nothing like them. He ''also'' says that his column-writing persona and Swaim's ''Cracked TV''/''Does Not Compute'' character are ''also'' nothing like them either.
* In ''Series/HannahMontana'', teen pop sensation Music/MileyCyrus plays Miley Stewart and her - Stewart's, not Cyrus' - SecretIdentity, teen pop sensation Hannah Montana. This is further complicated by Cyrus performing in RealLife concerts as both herself and as Hannah Montana. Sometimes in the same concert.
** In truth, Miley (Cyrus, that is) only performed as both Hannah and herself between 2006 and early 2008. She ''does'' take on a wilder, more extroverted "wild" persona live, though, especially when wearing outrageous costumes and wardrobes.
* Music/NickiMinaj: Onika Maraj is her real self, Nicki Minaj is her larger-than-life "Harujuku Barbie" identity, and Roman Zolanski is the angry, twisted version of herself.
* Music/FlightOfTheConchords: Bret and Jemaine on the show are just exaggerated versions of the real Bret and Jemaine.
* This is how Music/DavidBowie approached such ConceptAlbum / concert personas as [[Music/TheRiseAndFallOfZiggyStardustAndTheSpidersFromMars Ziggy Stardust]] in TheSeventies. He struggled with SecretIdentityIdentity as a result -- [[Creator/{{TheBBC}} the BBC]]'s documentary profile ''Cracked Actor'' (1975) has him discussing his choice to drop the Ziggy persona because he was afraid it would overtake him. Unfortunately, he was far from his right mind (addicted to cocaine, etc.) when he created the cruel Thin White Duke for 1976's ''Music/StationToStation'' and it proved to be his final such persona; one fansite that focuses on this period has an [[http://www.angelfire.com/my/tvc15/faq.html FAQ]] that discusses how the persona and the performer got disastrously entangled.
* Music/{{Beyonce}} claims that she's actually really shy in real life, and when she's on stage, it's almost like she's taken over by another person entirely, who she eventually named Sasha Fierce.
* Members of the UsefulNotes/FurryFandom vary wildly on how they apply this trope to themselves and their characters, with some considering themselves and their characters to be entirely separate and never referring to themselves as their character in real life (unless wearing a fursuit or other costume); some viewing their characters as real people whom they "channel", speaking of them in third person and slipping in and out-of-character in public; some refusing to answer to any name but their furry name (further complicated by people who get their names legally changed, not all of whom believe their furry self to be real or separate from themselves); and some not even ''having'' a "fursona", just an online handle. But in general most furries are of the Type 3 variety, acknowledging or even proudly admitting that their fursona is just like real life, only with animal features (or a different body type), with very different fursonas either being a challenging exercise in roleplaying or indulging in wish fulfillment about their ideal self.
* Music/EltonJohn, at least by the time he started wearing silly glasses and costumes, had a very extroverted onstage persona, the antithesis of his shy, awkward private personality. Elton also claimed his "Elton John" image was/is the opposite of everything his strict biological father wanted him to be: conservatively-clothed, with a sedate job like a banker or lawyer. Unfortunately, at the heart of his substance abuse problems (cocaine in particular) was a desire to open up more and be more sociable.
* For the most part, the main character of WebVideo/TVTrash, Chris "Rowdy Reviewer" Moore, seems to be just a snarkier version of the real life Chris Moore.
* [[Music/{{Queen}} Freddie Mercury]] was a shy, private, introverted person away from the public eye, and it took a few days to transform into the more extroverted, flamboyant, cocky persona he was known for being, at least onstage. He also seemed to use the persona to get through interviews (when he did them at all) in the music press, especially as rock journalists were often abusive to Freddie and Queen, especially in the early years.
* An odd example lies on the show ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'' where the character Andy becomes "Bert Macklin, FBI agent" when approached with a situation that might involve some form of detective work.
** PlayedForLaughs with Pawnee radio hosts 'The Douche', who will make lewd jokes in public and follow them with "that was The Douche talking".
* Creator/TomBaker kept up the persona of the fourth Doctor during his time on ''Series/DoctorWho'', and if fans met him in the street, he always tried to make sure they met the Doctor. Even when speaking in first person about acting and doing the job, he would often refer to 'Tom Baker' in the third person to refer to the person who he ''used'' to be. The interview with him on ''Swap Shop'' (included as a special feature on the DVD of "The Hand of Fear") shows Noel Edmunds, the interviewer, becoming clearly disquieted by this, and several times asking Tom to drop the persona. There are also several points in the interview where confusion arises over whether people are asking the actor or the Doctor questions, causing Tom to give ambiguous answers in the Doctor persona with blatant RealitySubtext ("I can't remember my age... sometimes I feel like I'm over 700 years old and sometimes I feel like I'm 42"). Done in the long term that it was, and not helped by the fact that the Doctor's personality in that incarnation was based on his own, it caused the line between the Doctor and the real Tom to become very blurry to the point where even forty years later he occasionally speaks of his difficulty separating them. It also had deleterious effects on his mental health, causing InferioritySuperiorityComplex, [[LostInCharacter occasional delusions]] and [[CreatorBreakdown drastic shifts in his on-screen personality]].
* Caused a major media shitstorm in the UK in 2014 when WebOriginal/{{Vine}} artist Dapper Laughs got his own [=ITV2=] show, ''On The Pull with Dapper Laughs'', a dating show in which he gave various men advice in getting girls. When Website/{{Twitter}} had a collective meltdown about the [[UnfortunateImplications sexist]] content, Dapper Laughs' use of RapeAsComedy and the fact that a lot of his fans were the sort of people who [[{{GIFT}} send abuse to women online]], ITV pulled the show and Laughs was invited on the news to apologise. He appeared as 'himself' and explained that Dapper Laughs was just a character, that he didn't realise people took so seriously - prompting a certain amount of debate as to whether using an ironic 'character' made awful content acceptable. Creator/CharlieBrooker suggested that much of the problem was that, even though Laughs was a character, he was giving advice about dating to ''real people'' as that character, meaning it seemed sincere.
* In ''WebVideo/SomeJerkWithACamera'', the Jerk is at least somewhat fictional, but he has been referred to as "Tony Goldmark", and takes credit for pre-Jerk works of Tony's.
* The presenters of ''Series/TopGearUK'' and ''Series/TheGrandTour'' are basically [[{{Flanderization}} Flanderized]] versions of their real life personas. The real Jeremy Clarkson is not as boorish, smug, and insensitive as he appears, Richard Hammond is far from stupid and not nearly as risk-taking, and James May is quite modern in outlook and not nearly as fussy as the shows make him out to be. ''Top Gear'' tended to blur the line more, especially as in the early days when the presenters had yet to fully develop their style; perhaps as a result, many have noticed ''The Grand Tour'' playing up to the cartoonish personas more.