Awesome, Dear Boy
"I hadn't been beaten up in a movie before and I was very excited by the idea of being clubbed to death."Some actors hate their past gigs because they seriously misjudged the quality at the time or only did them for the paycheck. But some did the movie because they got to be vampires or superheroes, walk away from explosions in trenchcoats, ride motorcycles and fly through the air swinging a frickin' samurai sword. With Samuel L. Jackson. This trope is when an actor took the part based on its cool factor. They want it to be on their résumé for their next job. Contrast and compare with Money, Dear Boy, Doing It for the Art, and So My Kids Can Watch. Frequently overlaps with Promoted Fanboy.
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Anime and Manga
- Dub voice acting for anime tends to pay less than voice work for western animation. Many anime voice actors, like Kyle Hebert, still do it for the love of the craft.
- The Pretty Cure franchise:
- Nana Mizuki, well known voice actress and singer, was a big fan of Pretty Cure. To say that she was happy when she won the role of Tsubomi Hanasaki would be an understatement. She even expressed joy at voicing her once more when she was called back for a few brief lines in Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage.
- Hitomi Nabatame, another popular voice actress, had been there during the auditioning of Futari wa Pretty Cure. Another fan of the series, she literally burst into tears when she got the role of Mana Aida and even got congratulatory calls from Misato Fukuen (Miyuki Hoshizora) and Ami Koshimizu and Fumiko Orikasa (Hibiki Hojo and Kanade Minamino)
- Monica Rial's reasoning for playing Saki on Steel Angel Kurumi? "I wanted to play the lesbian!"
- According to Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck absolutely loved being in his movies. Kevin was fully aware of this, and has joked over the fact that he would make Ben work for scale. It should be noted that this was before Gigli, when Ben could easily get an eight-figure check in any other role.
- Much of The Dark Knight Saga is composed of people who grew up with the Batman mythos. They simply happen to be award-winning actors and actresses as well.
- Christian Bale said something to the effect of no matter how hard he worked out or how miserably uncomfortable the Batsuit was, it was all worth it because he got to be Batman.
- Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have all mentioned in interviews that they were speechless after first seeing Christian Bale in the Batsuit.
- Cillian Murphy's reason for joining Nolan's Batman Begins: "Just to be near the Batmobile".
- Tom Hardy apparently didn't even know what character he would play, only that he was asked to play a bad guy in one of Nolan's Batman movies and get to play with a lot of guns and explosions. The phrase "giddy as a school girl" may or may not have been used before it came out he was going to be Bane.
- Even United States Senators aren't immune to this trope. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is a lifelong Batman fan, and has cameoed in The Dark Knight (as the party guest who tells Joker he's not intimidated by thugs like him), The Dark Knight Rises, Batman: The Animated Series, and even Batman & Robin.
- Before Christopher Nolan's trilogy, this was Jack Nicholson's reason for playing The Joker in Tim Burton's Batman.
- The Beatles:
- The band claimed years later that part of the reason they wanted to make the James Bond parody Help! was to shoot in exotic locales (the Swiss Alps, the Bahamas, etc.) and take a paid vacation from Beatlemania. It probably didn't hurt that they allegedly took many opportunities to smoke pot offscreen between takes.
- George Harrison didn't just cameo in Monty Python's Life of Brian — he provided the finances to complete it when the Pythons ran out during filming. Both he and they like to joke that it was "the most expensive movie ticket in history". He was that big a fan.
- Halle Berry originally said that she did Catwoman because she wanted the awesome experience of playing a woman beholden to no one. However, in an illustration that Hollywood acknowledges the power of this trope, it turned out that she was only saying this for publicity's sake; she later gave an interview saying that she mainly did it because she was under contract (thus beholden to people).
- Paul Bettany did Legion because he got to play with guns and got to be the good guy in an action film for once.
- Cate Blanchett largely took the role of Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings because she wanted to wear the elf ears.
- David Bowie appeared in Yellowbeard pretty much because he just wanted to work with the Pythons.
- Inverted when he turned down playing a James Bond villain, as described below.
- Nicolas Cage was a Promoted Fanboy for his role as Ghost Rider. Basically anytime you ask Cage to play a superhero, he's there. He named his kid Kal-El! Not to mention naming himself after Luke Cage. He also plays a superhero in Kick-Ass.
- To elaborate on how much of a Ghost Rider fan Cage is, the production crew had to cover up one of his tattoos because it would have been unusual for his character to sport a tattoo of himself.
- This is also the reason he did Season of the Witch. He always wanted to play a knight.
- There's a degree of this to every role Nic Cage takes, which is part of what makes him so awesome - he's always Doing It for the Art.
- Michael Caine on why he accepted a role in the sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D:
I took the film because I have grandchildren now, and I get to ride around on a giant bumblebee... My grandchildren are... going to say to kids at school, "Can your grandfather do that?"
- When it was announced that a Fantastic Four film was in the works, Michael Chiklis was the first man in line to audition. His anecdote was that, when casting was announced, he walked up to Stan Lee and introduced himself as Ben Grimm.
- Peter Cullen was invited to voice the Predator, and was reluctant, since he injured his throat voicing Kong in King Kong (1976). Then he saw the unmasked creature, and accepted.
- Matt Damon, on why he took the role in Saving Private Ryan:
"It was offered to me. When Spielberg says jump, bitches say how high?"
- Viola Davis has said this was her reason for agreeing to play Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad. She was a fan of Wonder Woman as a child, and thus thought it'd be cool to play a DC Comics superhero (well, Anti-Hero).
- Much like Damon, Dane DeHann took a tiny role in Lincoln because "when you get the phone call of 'do you want to spend a night with Daniel Day-Lewis and Steven Spielberg?', the answer is yes."
- Vin Diesel took a voluntary pay cut to jump start the production of The Chronicles of Riddick 2 with an R rating and avoid Executive Meddling.
- Johnny Depp said he did Pirates of the Caribbean because he, like every little boy, has always wanted to be a pirate and this would let him. And then he proceeded to totally steal the movie from its intended leading pair of Will and Elizabeth, mainly because he just thought that it would be fun to channel Keith Richards. Made funnier by the fact that they did, indeed, eventually get Keith Richards to play his dad.
- Stephen Fry in V for Vendetta, as mentioned in the page quote. He also was quite fond of the movie; it helps that it's generally considered to actually be a good one.
- Apparently, this is why half of the cast of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra signed up in the first place. According to the producers, once they started casting they had so many applicants that actors actually started fighting each other to try and get in on the movie.
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt signed on when he saw concept art for the costume that he'd be wearing. Needless to say, he had a blast. Christopher Eccleston also signed on so he could play a supervillain. However, neither actor liked the final cut of the movie and both refused to return for the sequel.
- This was almost inverted by Channing Tatum, who was skeptical of signing on to the film because he thought it would be a pro-war, gung-ho propaganda piece. Then he read the script and realized that it was none of that, and this trope was played straight.
- Most of the All-Star Cast of the film adaptation of Glengarry Glen Ross agreed to be paid less than their usual asking prices because the script was so good. Enthusiasm was so high during production that cast members would come down to the set on their days off simply to watch the other performances.
- A behind-the-scenes example: Gareth Edwards stated in an interview that when he went looking for special effects artists, casts and crew for a film he was doing, reception was cool... until he revealed that the film in question was Godzilla (2014), at which point the formerly cautious recruits jumped in eagerly.
- Regarding the X-Men series, Kelsey Grammer loved playing Beast so much the first time that when Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen let him know the band was being put back together for X-Men: Days of Future Past, he immediately called Bryan Singer to get him in the movie, somewhere, and was flown in on Singer's private jet in secret for a last-second cameo.
- The Harry Potter films:
- Jason Isaacs's primary reason for doing the films seems to be getting to play a hammy evil wizard. He even convinced the filmmakers to throw out their original banal design for Lucius Malfoy so that he could have such things as a badass long, blond wig, black cloak to swirl dramatically, and a snake-headed cane which conceals his wand. Which he tried (and failed) to steal.
- Bill Nighy likewise signed on as Rufus Scrimgeor (despite the role amounting to only about ten minutes of screen time) because he didn't want to be the only actor in Britain who hadn't been in a Harry Potter movie.
- Ralph Fiennes on taking the role of Lord Voldemort:
"One of the things that made me want to do the role was Mike Newell showing me these drawings, artwork about the suggested looks of Voldemort. I got a real buzz off it and that's pretty much when I thought this would be cool to do."
- When asked what some of their biggest regrets were, both Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart said that not being in the Harry Potter movies was pretty high up there. McKellan, however, did get a tiny cameo in the form of a Gandalf portrait appearing in Dumbledore's office in Chamber of Secrets.
- Evanna Lynch was famous for being a Potter superfan even before she was cast as Luna Lovegood. When she showed up to the audition, she wore an outfit just as kooky as Luna's, including a pair of earrings that she made herself — which she was allowed to wear in the film itself.
- When auditions began for The Hebrew Hammer (a Jewish twist of Blaxploitation taken Up to Eleven), Adam Goldberg, who played the titular hero, was given the script and wound up opening to a page with the epic line "Shabbat Shalom, motherfuckers!". He immediately agreed to do the film.
- Jonah Hill made only $60,000 (the lowest possible SAG-AFTRA rate) on The Wolf of Wall Street; he simply wanted the opportunity to work with Martin Scorsese.
- Anthony Hopkins said that the only reason he took a role in Freejack was because he had always wanted to meet Mick Jagger.
- Both of them Hammed and Cheesed it up like the world was ending. Perhaps the opposite was also true? The producers told Hopkins that Mick Jagger was involved so he'd sign on, and at the same time told Jagger that Anthony Hopkins was involved so he'd sign on.
- Hopkins has a reputation for inverting a standard formula: most actors would take roles in over-the-top blockbusters so they can get recognised and afford to do their pet projects in serious, lower-profile films. Hopkins does the serious stuff so that he has credibility as a serious actor before running off to have fun in something like Thor. His alleged favourite role he's ever played was in The Worlds Fastest Indian for how cool he found it.
- Bob Hoskins has said one of his motivations behind starring in Who Framed Roger Rabbit was that he'd get to be onscreen with Bugs Bunny.
- Jack Huston basically outright stated that he did Outlander — the movie about Beowulf-meets-alien-monsters — basically for this reason: because playing a Viking is "every boy's dream."
- Into the Woods:
- Both Chris Pine and James Corden have admitted that the entire reason they pursued parts in the film (as Cinderella's Prince and the Baker, respectively) is because they heard that Meryl Streep was playing The Witch From Next Door.
- Streep herself had consistently refused to portray witches in film for a long time, but made an exception for this film because she wanted to be in a Stephen Sondheim musical.
- The 1996 adaptation of The Island of Doctor Moreau attracted Ron Perlman, Val Kilmer, and David Thewlis based on the opportunity to work with Marlon Brando. Thewlis also thought the trip to Australia and the paycheck would make it a worthy experience. Unfortunately, it went disastrously for all involved, as Brando and Kilmer's clashing egos led both director Richard Stanley and Thewlis to drop out of the film. Thewlis recounts the experience here.
- Speaking at the 2006 AFI Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony, Eddie Izzard said that he took a role in The Avengers (1998) in order to meet Sean Connery.
- Samuel L. Jackson was in Snakes on a Plane just so he could act in a film called "Snakes on a Plane". He also said it was the type of film he loved when he was a kid, and argued for the producers to keep the name when they were considering changing it to something less cheesy.
- This is why the 78-year-old Melissa Jaffer took the role of an elderly warrior woman in Mad Max: Fury Road: when else is she going to get a role that epic at her age?
- Anyone doing a James Bond film has this as justification (due to either being part of the series or winning a free trip).
- Daniel Craig said that, had he turned down the role of Bond, he'd forever be branded a "fucking idiot" by his mates at the pub.
- In a non-acting example, when Garbage were offered the chance to do the theme for The World Is Not Enough, Shirley Manson reportedly squeed for a good minute straight.
- Amusingly inverted by David Bowie, who chose not to play Max Zorin in A View to a Kill because, besides hating the script, "I didn't want to spend five months watching my stunt double fall off cliffs." Christopher Walken ended up doing the part, and had a hell of a time.
- Angelina Jolie agreed to do Lara Croft: Tomb Raider because of the locations she got to visit. She fell in love with Cambodia and ended up moving there to avoid the paparazzi and help with mine cleanup. Jolie adopted her first child while making the film.
- Raul Julia was in the So Bad, It's Good Street Fighter movie as a combination of this, Money, Dear Boy, and So My Kids Can Watch. He already knew that he was dying of cancer, so he wanted to do a well-paying film to provide for his family's financial security. Among several well-compensated roles, he choose the Street Fighter role because his sons were fans of the game series — and then he completely stole the movie. M. Bison's scenes are the best parts of the film.
- Ben Kingsley said his appearance in BloodRayne was partly because he'd never had a chance to play a vampire before. Being that BloodRayne was an Uwe Boll movie, it was not generally considered a good one, but Sir Ben clearly enjoying himself is one of the film's few redeeming qualities.
- By his own report, when Spielberg offered Shia LaBeouf the role of Indiana Jones' son, he was unable to speak properly for a solid minute.
- To this day, Frank Langella remembers his role as Skeletor in Masters of the Universe as one of his favorites, and can be seen having the time of his life playing it. When he takes time out of an interview promoting Frost/Nixon to reflect on his time as a world-conquering skeleton monster, you know the awesome was there in spades.
- He also speaks fondly of his role as Dawg, the villain of Cutthroat Island, because he got to not only be a pirate, but a scenery-chewing over-the-top bad guy pirate. Apparently, the man loves being able to just go for broke in a role.
- When an interviewer asked William H. Macy why he accepted a role in Jurassic Park III, he replied "Because I'm 50 years old and I get to fight a dinosaur."
- The film adaptation of Mamma Mia!:
- Meryl Streep did Mamma Mia because she took her daughter Louisa and some of Louisa's friends to see it for her eleventh birthday — which was in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks — and wrote a fan letter to the crew. When the time came for the movie, the girls-in-charge asked her to play Donna, and she accepted eagerly. Also, she wanted to have fun and kick up her heels for awhile.
- Pierce Brosnan, meanwhile, summed up his reason for doing the film as this: "Meryl Streep is starring." He also referred to Meryl as "that gorgeous blonde I had a terrible crush on in drama school."
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe:
"Blockbuster movie. Because when you win an Oscar, it's all very nice, you dress up, you get the statue, you make a speech. But when you're in a blockbuster action film, for just one moment, you are God."
- Part of Robert Downey, Jr.'s reason for taking the role of Iron Man was being a fan of the comics as a kid. He also once watched The Matrix with his wife (who is also a Hollywood producer) and simply said, "I could do that." And thus set the plan in motion to have him headline a blockbuster action film once he proved he could be reliable and his old habits were behind him for good. He was asked once whether he'd prefer to win an Academy Award for Best Actor or to star in a blockbuster movie and said, without hesitation (paraphrased):
"I just have to let people know that I always have been up for anything. I love to do stuff that's different. That's what I love."
- Jeff Bridges, too. Not only was he a fan of the comics, he also wanted an excuse to shave his head bald.
- When the character of Nick Fury was being reimagined for the Ultimate Marvel line, Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch approached Samuel L. Jackson for likeness rights (knowing full well that Jackson was an avid comic-book fan). Jackson's only conditions were that he get original prints of a few of the pages and that he get first crack at playing Nick Fury in a movie... which he did.
- Jeremy Renner has stated that he pursued the role of Hawkeye in The Avengers after seeing Iron Man and deciding that he desperately wanted to play a superhero.
- Anthony Mackie chose to play The Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier because he felt getting to be a superhero was too good an opportunity to pass up. That, and he felt it would show black kids that they can be superheroes too.
- Robert Redford claims he took a part in the same film both because a comic book film would be a new experience for him and, more importantly, he NEVER gets to play villains in his movies.
- Glenn Close said that she didn't hesitate for a moment when being offered Guardians of the Galaxy, saying she always wanted a movie like that, and to play an authority figure similar to Nick Fury or M. Given how many things she's done — theater, television, and both independent and high budget films — Mrs. Close says her career is fueled by this trope.
"I used to be in a studio for 45 minutes and do J.A.R.V.I.S. and get a huge bag of cash and go my way like a burglar, and now they want me to work for my money. Which is great and sweaty and hot, which you’ll realize once they unveil everything. It’s really f***ing cool. It’s great to join this train which is on really clear tracks."
- In contrast with his previous MCU role, where he mainly worked for money, Paul Bettany was more invested in his new role as The Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Stanley Tucci took the role of Dr. Abraham Erskine in Captain America: The First Avenger for one very simple reason: he'd get to use a German accent, and he'd never done that before.
- Chadwick Boseman on playing the Black Panther: “When it comes down to it, I’d rather have an action figure than a Golden Globe.”"
- Malcolm McDowell starred in and helped produce the low-budget Christian film Suing the Devil because he wanted to play Satan, and he had a glorious time doing so.
- Seth Mac Farlane has admitted that part of the reason he cast himself as the lead in A Million Ways to Die in the West — a small part, but a part — was because it afforded him a chance to make out with Charlize Theron on-camera, and who wouldn't want a shot at that?
- In a feature in Empire magazine, Stephen Merchant had this to say about his appearance in the notorious Movie 43:
"I make no apologies for the film, because I just did it for the fun of being in a scene with Halle Berry. I didn't do it for your amusement. So much of what I do is governed by my thinking, 'I don't want to go to my grave not having seen Halle Berry wearing a prosthetic boob, mixing up guacamole.' That's on my bucket list. And there it is. Ticked off."
- Helen Mirren loved working on Red so much, thanks to the action-heavy role she had in the film, that she said "I'm there!" to any planned sequel. And she did indeed return for Red 2.
- When it was announced that they were bringing the Muppets back to the screen, so many celebrities asked for cameos that they couldn't actually fit all of them into the movie.
"Are you kidding? This is a Muppet movie! I'm in a movie with the Muppets! I'd have tapdanced in my underwear if they'd asked me to."
- Edward Norton appeared in The Score, despite not particularly liking the script, because it was likely the only chance he'd ever have to work with both Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro. As it turned out, it was Brando's final onscreen role.
- Simon Pegg, geek superstar, feels this way about his guest role in Doctor Who, his cameo in Land of the Dead and his starring role in the Star Trek relaunch . He faced a battle of the awesome when the Doctor Who role initially offered clashed with Land of the Dead. He went with Romero, because "when you've just spent three years of your life essentially writing a love letter to someone, you have to come when they call you."
- Ron Perlman lobbied for the lead role in Hellboy because he wouldn't get to play the romantic lead in a Beauty and the Beast story again. Plus he would get to kiss a woman half his age. He also appreciated the movie as well.
- Patricia Quinn accepted the role of Magenta in The Rocky Horror Picture Show because she fell in love with the song "Science Fiction". Her agent pointed out that she hadn't even seen the script and she may have a total of five lines. Patricia said she didn't care and wanted to sing that song no matter what. When she got the script, Magenta had... five lines.
- Even worse, she didn't even get to do the song! Richard O'Brian stole it from her. Her response? "You bastard."
- Basil Rathbone, on playing Sherlock Holmes in 1939's The Hound of the Baskervilles:
"Ever since I was a boy and first got acquainted with the great detective I wanted to be like him ... To play such a character means as much to me as ten 'Hamlets'!"
- Ryan Reynolds would not stop auditioning for superhero movies and talking himself up as the perfect casting choice for any superhero you could shake a stick at. He clearly wanted to be a superhero so very badly, and got to be Deadpool and Hal Jordan for his persistence.
- Winona Ryder has said that she took the role in Alien: Resurrection before even reading the script, because she had always wanted to be in an Alien movie and could brag about it to her brothers.
- Adam Sandler has stated that pretty much every movie he's done since 50 First Dates is an excuse to go on a paid vacation with his buddies to some exotic locale like Hawaii, South Africa, or Cape Cod.
- M. Night Shyamalan wanted to direct the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie because he was a fan (his kids got him into the show).
- Some of the cast of Sin City signed on after seeing the test footage which would eventually become the opening scene. In the making-of, it's noted that a lot of them had wanted to play Film Noir characters for a long time, such as Bruce Willis. Also, many cast members signed on due to other actors being in talks. Considering the large cast of famous faces, this seems reasonable.
- Jude Law, Angelina Jolie, and Gwyneth Paltrow all signed on for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow immediately after watching Kerry Conran's six-minute film, which he produced on a home computer. They were all impressed with his vision, and wanted to see the film to its completion. (Also, it allowed Jolie to wear an eyepatch and a bubble-helmet, two things she'd always wanted.)
- Everyone involved in Speed Racer got involved because of this, and it shows. Every single frame of the film is slathered in overwhelming joy and love for the silly '60s anime series.
- The Spider-Man films:
- Andrew Garfield has said he wanted to play Spider-Man in the reboot film because he apparently was a lot like Peter Parker as a kid, and because, well, he really wanted to play Spider-Man. He was in tears upon finding out he got the role.
- Tobey Maguire in the Sam Raimi films had a similar experience. Despite his reputation as a scrawny Hollywood pretty-boy, he pursued the role aggressively, and made a point of bulking up and taking stunt training just to audition for the role.
- Paul Giamatti was a fan of comic books as a child, and wanted to play a villain since before he got into acting. He got his chance to become a Promoted Fanboy when he was cast as the Rhino (one of his favorite childhood bad guys) in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
- Much like the TV show, the Star Trek movies have also seen actors sign on simply because of the title.
- Kim Cattrall took the part of Lieutenant Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country because "How many times would I be given a chance to play a Vulcan?"
- Malcolm McDowell actually hated the script of Star Trek: Generations until the producers said eight little words: "How would you like to kill Captain Kirk?"
- John Cho has stated that he strongly wanted the role of Sulu in the 2009 Trek reboot because it had meant a lot for him as a kid to see a rare non-stereotypical Asian face on television. In one interview he was asked if this was one of those times where he had aggressively pursued a role, and Cho emphatically responded "It was the only time."
- Averted with Stephen Collins, who played Decker in Star Trek The Motion Picture. Collins says he was practically the only guy at the audition who viewed it as just another part and was not interested in being part of Star Trek. However, he was excited about working with Robert Wise.
- Star Wars:
- Most of the cast of The Phantom Menace. Reportedly, after a lightsaber scene, Ewan McGregor could be overheard muttering, "'Do I want to be in Star Wars?' Fuck yeah!"
- In some documentary footage, Liam Neeson was talking about the first day of lightsaber training. And how both he and Ewan were making lightsaber noises while swinging the practice sabers.
- From the original trilogy, Mark Hamill took interest in playing Luke Skywalker because he thought the project sounded amazing. Bear in mind that this was long before any visual effects were released for the film, and during a time when interest in making the film was pretty low.
- Meryl Streep is pretty good for these. She's primarily known for serious, intense Oscar Bait roles, but every few years or so, she does something like Mamma Mia! (described above), Into the Woods (ditto), She Devil, A Series of Unfortunate Events, or The Devil Wears Prada. It seems like she gives herself a Breather Movie every few years where she can just have fun, laugh, and ham it up.
- The live-action Transformers films:
- This is why Peter Cullen auditioned to reprise his role as Optimus Prime, although at first he didn't realize how awesome this was. His kids had to convince him that Optimus is kind of a big deal.
- This is also why Michael Bay agreed to do all the films. With Transformers: Age of Extinction, he said a movie with Dinobots was worth it given "dinosaurs are cool".
- Sophia Myles took a role in Transformers: Age of Extinction because she watched the Transformers cartoons as a child and wanted to work with Stanley Tucci.
- Regardless of how the final product turned out, most of the actors involved in Van Helsing jumped at the chance to be in an homage to the classic Universal monster movies. Shuler Hensley related a story where a friend asked him if it bothered him that no one would recognize him under his makeup. His response, "I'm playing Frankenstein's Monster!"
- This is part of the reason why Paul Verhoeven did RoboCop (1987). He initially rejected the opportunity to direct the film when he read the script and thought it was silly and stupid. He changed his mind when his wife convinced him that there were more layers to the story than he initially thought, and because the writers pointed out the amount of Gorn there was, to which he responded "Well, I've never seen the hero get his hand blown off!"
- While not because he thought it was cool, Mark Wahlberg stated he accepted his role in The Happening because it gave him the opportunity to play something other than a cop or a crook.
- Hugo Weaving was once quoted as wanting to play Elrond and Agent Smith so that he could get action figures of himself and make them fight each other. Averted in the case of Megatron and The Red Skull however, claiming that they were the only roles he never cared about, though he claims being the Red Skull was interesting, if something he'd rather not do again.
- Benicio Del Toro and Rick Baker jumped at the chance to work on the remake of The Wolfman because both men are huge fans of the original.
- When the producers of Chicago began casting, they approached Catherine Zeta-Jones and asked her to play the role of Roxie, the movie's star. Reportedly, Jones asked if Roxie got to sing "All That Jazz"; when told that that number was sung by Velma Kelly, she demanded the part of Velma, even though it was smaller, just so she could sing that song. Jones was so eager to be in the musical that she even cut her long brown hair in a pixie bob, so that critics couldn't accuse her of having a double perform her singing and dancing.
- Tao Okamoto was originally known more for her modeling and didn't have much interest in acting. That all changed when her agent informed her that if she agreed to be in The Wolverine, she'd get to act opposite Hugh Jackman. As she'd had a crush on Jackman ever since seeing him in X-Men back when she was a teenager, she jumped at the opportunity.
- Broadway legend Hinton Battle agreed to play Sweet, the Dancing Demon in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Musical Episode "Once More With Feeling", primarily because he was a huge fan of the show and thought the idea of getting made up like a demon would be "a stone cold groove" that he had never experienced before.
- The Beatles licensed one of their songs for the final episode of The Prisoner, the only time they allowed their music to be used in a TV show, because they were huge fans of the show. At one point, they were working with Patrick McGoohan to make a movie based on the property.
- Victor Buono was a huge fan of the Batman comics, and agreed to play King Tut in the '60s Batman TV series because of it. Buono enjoyed playing the villainous Tut so much that, aside from the actors playing the primary four villains (Julie Newmar as Catwoman, Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Frank Gorshin as The Riddler, and Caesar Romero as The Joker), he made more appearances than any other guest star. He was once asked why he did the show so often and said, "Batman lets me get away with doing the one thing that we're taught not to do in drama school... overacting!"
- Doctor Who:
- A number of the actors who played the Doctor have said that they went into acting specifically because they wanted to play the Doctor. Fifth Doctor Peter Davison was inspired by Second Doctor Patrick Troughton, and Davison himself inspired Tenth Doctor (and lifelong Whovian) David Tennant.
- Peter Capaldi was also a long time fan of the show, and played several supporting roles in it and its spin-offs before being cast as the 12th Doctor.
- Similarly, Alex Kingston has said on more than one occasion that one of her favorite parts of playing River Song is that she gets to do stunts, something that she didn't get to have on ER.
- Doctor Who has a long tradition of securing notable guest stars on the strength of 'appearing on Doctor Who' and often because it would impress the kids. It's also traditionally been one of the few venues on British television where the guest stars would get to play aliens, monsters, mad scientists, and the like.
- In a Radio Times interview, Hugh Bonneville was asked what persuaded a Serious Actor to take the part of Captain Avery. He replied that he made his decision when they said he could be in Doctor Who.
- Nathan Fillion has said that "when Joss Whedon calls you up and says, 'Hey, do you want to...', you say yes."
- Sarah Michelle Gellar has stated that her reasons for doing The Crazy Ones were (in her words) "one-third trying to get back into television full time and two-thirds 'I get to work with Robin Williams! Yay me!'"
- The Kamen Rider franchise, being a Long Runner, has its share of Ascended Fanboys. Masahiro Inoue (Tsukasa Kadoya/Decade) and Renn Kiriyama (Shotaro Hidari/Double) are two such examples, both being part of Kamen Rider Black's Periphery Demographic when they were kids (and Inoue even getting the chance to work alongside Black star Tetsuo Kurata). However, the crown probably belongs to Ryota Murai, who went from a boy who loved Kamen Rider Kuuga to the man who got to be the new Kuuga in Decade (since the original is busy not being Spock... er, Kuuga).
- This applies for a lot of recent Power Rangers, since the show started when they were kids and they are now old enough to be Rangers themselves.
- Martin Sheen was originally approached to play a supporting role of a human archaeologist in the Babylon 5 Made-for-TV Movie River of Souls. After reading through the script, he asked to play the Soul Hunter instead, since he had never played an alien before and wanted to try it. His request was granted.
- This happens all the time with Star Trek. If you're casting a Star Trek episode and want an actor who has the slightest hint of geek in them, they're all yours as long as you let them have at least a little Ham and Cheese.
- Mick Fleetwood played a nonhuman assassin in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Accounts say he was enthusiastic about the role, even though his face was completely hidden by a mask that made him look vaguely fishlike, because he got to be portrayed as being beamed aboard the Enterprise. In fact, when told he'd have to shave his iconic beard to wear the mask, he did so on the condition that he get to be beamed up.
- When Patrick Stewart is asked why a Shakespearean actor such as him wanted to be in Star Trek, he gives this as his reason. In fact, he once stated that years of performing Shakespeare prepared him for Star Trek.
- NBA Hall-of-Famer James Worthy made guest appearance with very few lines in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Why? Because he got to be a Klingon.
- Totally worth it when you see how tiny he makes Worf look!
- At the time, Wil Wheaton thought that getting to be helmsman of the Enterprise was a dream come true. Now... not so much.
- Whoopi Goldberg actually went to the mountain — she showed up in person to ask for a part. They made her the Almighty Bartender who is not only smarter and more capable than anyone else on the ship, but regularly gets away with dissing Q. Part of her reason for doing so is that Nichelle Nichols was part of the reason she went into acting.
- She, in turn, got Dwight Schultz on board.
- Stephen Hawking, possibly the only person to have ever played themselves on Trek, did it for precisely this reason.
- Dusty Rhodes' WWF run. The one where he wore polka dots. While most fans consider it one of the low points of his career, Dusty himself had a lot of fun with the gimmick. It helped that it was one of the few times that Dusty, who was previously a long-time booker of Jim Crockett Promotions, didn't have to worry about booking or running a promotion, allowing him to just relax and enjoy wrestling.
- A major reason Douglas Hodge signed on to play Willy Wonka in the 2013 West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (and gave up the lead role in Cameron Mackintosh's revival of Barnum in the process) was because he'd never had the chance to participate in the from-the-ground-up creative process of staging a new musical before, and the creators of this one were receptive to his ideas for both his character and the show. (It was his dissatisfaction with his intended introductory song that saved "It Must Be Believed to Be Seen", the Act One finale Showstopper, from being a Cut Song, for instance.)
- Noah Antwiler has admitted that his costume that he wore to portray his over-the-top parody of Terl for The Nostalgia Critic's review of Battlefield Earth made him physically ill due to requiring that he wear a thick jacket, big gloves, a huge rastafarian-style wig and facial hair while baking under extremely powerful lights in largely poorly-ventilated rooms. It doesn't help that he then had to scream half his lines as best he could before sweating off the facial hair and starting over. However, he was reportedly thrilled to play the character, and reprised the role for To Boldly Flee.
- Vic Mignogna is a massive Trekkie, and with Star Trek Continues, he will get to realise his life-long dream of playing Captain Kirk.
- Matt Hullum, Joel Heyman, Kathleen Zuelch, and Gavin Free of Rooster Teeth all gave up jobs in Hollywood to work with the company. For Matt, he turned down a role on Smallville when he realized that Red vs. Blue would be much more fun. Joel, Kathleen, and Gavin worked in the film business, but left and joined Rooster Teeth, realizing it was much more fun and relaxing.
- Will Friedle provides an animated example when his agent called him to ask how he felt about being Batman. He didn't even know what the story was for Batman Beyond; he just wanted to be Batman.
- Mark Hamill was a comic book geek and Batman fanboy decades before he got cast as The Joker. He even played The Trickster on the 1990s The Flash show.
- An anthology about The Joker contains a foreword by Hamill, who details that it was partially because he was so much of a fanboy that he was offered the part (the usual version of the story is that somebody else was already cast, but Hamill wanted to make sure they had the right laugh for the Joker, and recorded a few Joker Laughs to give to the already cast actor; they were so good he got the job over the initially cast person).
- When Cartoon Network did an April Fool's joke saying Toonami would be revived, Steve Blum was the one leading the charge to get it brought back for real. Why? Because he really wanted to voice TOM. The network doesn't have the budget to pay him a salary that even a starving college student would be happy with, but he's having a blast.
- Many of the voice actors from Gargoyles had already acted together on Star Trek: The Next Generation. They took the comparatively low paying gigs because they liked the show and it gave them a chance to work together again.
- Tom Hanks signed up for Toy Story when Pixar showed him a rough skit featuring a wireframe Woody. He said he knew the film was going to be unlike any other and signed on when they pitched him.
- Neil Patrick Harris is a superhero fan, and as such, has done voices for numerous comic book cartoons, such as Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, Static Shock, Justice League: The New Frontier and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He eventually got his own Supervillain Musical.
- Joe Mantegna was originally content to have his first appearance as Fat Tony on The Simpsons be a one-time thing, but ultimately came to love the character. On the DVD commentaries, the producers have recounted many times that he insists on voicing the character whenever he appears, "even if he just burps or sneezes". He's obviously serious, as one appearance amounted to him being choked by a plastic bag.
- Vincent Price took the role of Professor Ratigan in The Great Mouse Detective because he'd always wanted to voice a villain in a Disney movie.
- Famed tennis star Serena Williams accepted a bit part on Avatar: The Last Airbender as a female prison guard because she was such a fan of the series.
- This is why James Woods agreed to play Hades in Hercules and all of its various spinoffs. He's gone on record as it being the one role he would agree to play again anytime, anywhere. (And he has, to this day, played that character every time he has appeared, with only one exception.)
- Kasuka Heiwajima of Durarara!! got his start in the extremely campy anime Vampire Carmilla Saizou. He was listed on "Top ten actors who don't get to choose their roles," and most people treat it as an Old Shame. Kasuka, however, claims that Carmilla Saizou is an awesome character, and insisted on reprising his role in the movie.
- Bela Lugosi's character development in Ed Wood is based around shifting from Money, Dear Boy to this. The Thor Johnsson character is this from the start.