->''"Oh, Creator/DomDeLuise was there, too. He threw paper at the crowd for five seconds before disappearing completely. I've heard that this is exactly how he wanted his involvement in the parade worded in NBC's contract. Dom's a fucker."''
-->-- '''[[http://www.x-entertainment.com/thanksgiving/macyparade/1984/6.html X Entertainment]]''' on the 1984 UsefulNotes/MacysThanksgivingDayParade

Hiring of a big-name actor to play a supporting role (or even a leading role, but usually the former). The idea is usually that the actor's fame will draw in viewers, as it normally would if you put them prominently on the advertising; but you don't have to pay them as much if they only have to do a few days work.

Sometimes it's a compromise, for when the [[ExecutiveMeddling studio heads wanted big stars playing the main characters]]. This can also work for documentaries with the casting of the narrator. Compare NonActorVehicle, OneSceneWonder. If not done carefully, then may result in viewers crying WTHCastingAgency. See also BillingDisplacement. If the stunt-casting is done in service of a film or other one-off project, expect the big-name actor in question to be BilledAboveTheTitle. This happens so often in animation that it has its own trope: CelebrityVoiceActor.

In theatre productions that are especially LongRunners, stunt casting is one way of keeping things fresh and interesting for potential audiences. The Broadway revival of {{Theatre/Chicago}} has been especially JustForFun/{{egregious}} with this, cycling hundreds of celebrities of varying degrees of talent through the lead roles since it began its run in 1996.

It's also standard operating procedure in the U.K.-specific style of broad comic theatre known as {{Pantomime}}.[[note]](which doesn't really expect you to be able to act, and if you can't do it well, you can always do it [[LargeHam MORE!]])[[/note]]



[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The various ''Franchise/StarWars'' movies have played with stunt casting:
** Creator/PeterCushing (Grand Moff Tarkin) and Sir Creator/AlecGuinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi) in ''Film/ANewHope''.
** Creator/TerenceStamp (Chancellor Valorum) in ''Film/ThePhantomMenace''. Creator/SamuelLJackson (Mace Windu) in that one as well; his role was much expanded in the rest of the trilogy.
** Creator/JimmySmits (Bail Organa) in ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' and ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith''.
* ''Fantasy Mission Force'' was advertised as "Starring Jacky Chan" despite the fact that Creator/JackieChan played a minor role. Jackie reportedly appeared in it only because he owed a favor to the lead actor, Creator/JimmyWangChu (who was rumored to have ties to organized crime syndicates).
** Jackie's done it more than once; he appeared in Creator/StephenChow's ''King of Comedy'' as a nameless stuntman, and in Creator/SammoHung's ''Martial Law'' as a perp, the latter done to return the favor for Hung playing the put-upon biker in ''Film/MrNiceGuy''.
* Creator/MarlonBrando as Jor-El in the first ''Film/{{Superman|TheMovie}}'' film. He actually got top billing (and a star's wages) on that movie for several scenes that barely totaled thirty minutes in an almost two-and-a-half hour movie. He was cast in the role specifically so they could have a big name actor headlining in order to draw the audience.
** Indeed, the term "Brando Acceptibilty Yardstick" was coined by a reader as an entry in ''Creator/RogerEbert's Little Movie Glossary'' in reference to this. Brando essentially made it okay for mega-stars to do comic book films - and like him, be paid extraordinarily well for it. Like him, they often don't play the lead roles (which are often given to up-and-comers); they usually play mentors (like Brando) or villains. The best known example of the latter might be Creator/JackNicholson being hired to play the Joker in 1989's ''Film/{{Batman}}''; he got top billing ''and'' a giant cut of the film's profits and merchandising revenue. The three sequels basically stunt cast all the major villains as a response to how well this worked, culminating in the disaster of ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'' (Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze and Creator/UmaThurman as Poison Ivy), while Batman himself was given TheOtherDarrin treatment.
* Creator/GeoffreyRush gets third billing in ''Film/IntolerableCruelty'' for a character seen a grand total of ''three'' times, for maybe two minutes of screen time, whom an audience member might easily mistake for three separate characters on the first viewing.
* Much was made of Creator/DrewBarrymore appearing in the first ''Film/{{Scream|1996}}'' movie ([[BillingDisplacement top billing]], appearing on the poster and other promotional materials) despite the fact that she is killed off in the first scene.
** Barrymore was originally cast in a larger role, but was unable to do so due to other movies she was starring in. However, she still wanted to be in it, because she liked the script and wanted to help raise interest in the project through her involvement. Instead, she and director Wes Craven agreed that she should play [[DeadStarWalking the smaller, earlier role instead]].
* ''Film/TheCrowCityOfAngels'' features Music/IggyPop as one of the thugs. He was originally asked to play Funboy in [[Film/TheCrow the first film]], but had to decline due to scheduling issues.
* ''Film/DeadMan'' features a variety of celebrities in bit parts, including Creator/RobertMitchum, Creator/BillyBobThornton, Music/IggyPop and Creator/AlfredMolina.
* In one very disturbing example, ''[[Music/TheWall Pink Floyd - The Wall]]'' uses actual Neo-Nazi Skinheads during the "Run Like Hell" scene, where Pink's Neo-Nazi followers destroy an Indian-owned cafe and assault an interracial couple.
* Creator/StevenSeagal barely has two minutes of screen time in ''Film/ExecutiveDecision'' before dying with a heroic one liner.
* ''Film/TimeBandits'': The Greek warrior fighting the Minotaur turns out to be... Creator/SeanConnery! As King Agamemnon, he has only a few minutes of screentime. Amusingly, the script describes the character as someone who ''looks like'' Sean Connery, but to everyone's surprise the man himself accepted the small role.
* ''Film/TheMeteorMan'' figures Creator/JamesEarlJones, Creator/BillCosby (who has no lines), Marla Gibbs and Sinbad. Gibbs has the biggest role, as she plays the protagonist's mother. Also from the music industry, there's Luther Vandross (also no lines), Big Daddy Kane, Another Bad Creation, Music/CypressHill, Naughty By Nature and jazz singer Nancy Wilson.
* Fan Bingbing in ''Film/IronMan3''. Not only does she only appear in the Chinese cut of the movie, but she doesn't even ''get a name'' despite being featured in the Chinese trailers!
* Similar to Fan Bingbing, Zhang Jingchu was given prominent billing in ''Film/MissionImpossibleRogueNation'' despite only appearing in the background in one scene and having a few lines in another. Her role, in fact, is so superfluous it could have been played by just about anyone.
* Creator/BryanCranston is heavily featured in the trailer for 2014's ''Film/{{Godzilla|2014}}'' despite the fact that [[spoiler: his character is killed off about twenty minutes into the film.]] Creator/GarethEdwards claims that Cranston was hired because of [[Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle his ability to perform as a father]], but the advertising seems to be heavily influenced by the popularity of his Emmy-winning performance in ''Series/BreakingBad''.
* ''Film/ScreamPark'' features Doug Bradley of ''Film/{{Hellraiser}}'' and Nivek Ogre of ''Music/SkinnyPuppy''.
* The presidents in ''Film/TheButler''; each one gets a cameo and all of them are played by fairly recognized actors. In general, the one who most agreed fit best was Creator/JamesMarsden as Kennedy.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Highlander}}'' is famous for this, particularly in casting musicians in roles as immortals. These include Music/JoanJett, [[Music/TheWho Roger Daltrey]], [[Music/FineYoungCannibals Roland Gift]], [[Music/SpandauBallet Martin Kemp]] and Sheena Easton. Also notable are Creator/MarcSinger, Wrestling/RoddyPiper, and Nia Peeples.
* {{Sitcom}}s, such as ''Series/{{Friends}}'' and ''Series/WillAndGrace'', often cast famous actors to play the stars' parents.
** On ''Series/{{Friends}}'' this was taken to the ultimate when Chandler's dad was played by Creator/KathleenTurner.
* ''Series/{{Caprica}}'' has begun the step into this world with Creator/JamesMarsters being cast into "Know Thy Enemy" as a major player within the [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized Soldiers of the One]].
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' has had this on its more modern series:
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' has had Creator/JamesCromwell play a role (he returned to play Zefram Cochrane in ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'').
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': Music/VanessaWilliams, Creator/ChrisSarandon, and [[Music/TheStooges Iggy Pop]] each guest star in an episode.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': Creator/JasonAlexander and Wrestling/DwayneJohnson both guest starred.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' went out of it's way to hire some incredible people such as Creator/DickVanDyke and Creator/CourteneyCox.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS2E6TheCrusade The Crusade]]", a Creator/WilliamHartnell-era story, prominently featured Creator/JulianGlover as Richard I. This was a huge name, but also contributed to the Shakespearean feel of that story.
** Popular comic actor, voice actor and singer Creator/JonPertwee as the Doctor. Overlaps slightly with PlayingAgainstType as he was the first actor to play the Doctor [[MetaCasting with his own natural personality]], avoiding the over-the-top character acting associated both with the Doctor role until then and Pertwee's typical roles. Note that three out of four stories in his first season contain short gratuitous sequences of the Doctor singing a funny song in a silly voice, intended as [[PanderingToTheBase fanservice]] for those who wanted to see the Doctor being played as a [[GenreRefugee typical Jon Pertwee comic character]].
** When Creator/JohnNathanTurner was producer during the 1980s, ''Doctor Who'' had a habit of using this trope; however, whereas most of the modern attempts to do this at least try to match the character to a vaguely appropriate character, many of the earlier efforts ended up being spectacularly miscast, resulting in some truly [[WTHCastingAgency "What the Hell?" Casting]]:
*** For example, Beryl Reid as [[Franchise/{{Alien}} Ellen Ripley]]-esque space freighter captain in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS19E6Earthshock Earthshock]]", a role that was... not quite what you'd expect to see Beryl Reid playing.
*** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS21E1WarriorsOfTheDeep Warriors of the Deep]]" cast Film/HammerHorror veteran Ingrid Pitt as Doctor Solow. Her appearance in that story is mostly memorable due to her character's death scene being one of the show's most embarrassing moments.
*** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS22E6RevelationOfTheDaleks Revelation of the Daleks]]" had Alexi Sayle playing an in-universe FakeAmerican radio DJ.
*** Casting controversial former child actress Bonnie Langford in the role of the companion Mel Bush. This was an unpopular move at the time, as it happened during a DorkAge and Mel was intentionally written as a DamselScrappy due to the production team [[WriterRevolt hating the casting]], though she got some RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap in the audio dramas that demonstrated that [[SugarWiki/HeReallyCanAct She Really Can Act]].
*** 1950-1960s Broadway star Dolores Gray shows up in the middle of "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS25E3SilverNemesis Silver Nemesis]]" as Mrs. Remington, a wealthy American lady. She's not exactly miscast; the "What the Hell" factor comes from the fact that there is literally ''no point whatsoever'' to her being there. She shows up, gives two of the characters a lift somewhere, and buggers off again. It's also a bit of a "What the Hell" moment in that it seems to have been intended as a Stunt Casting moment despite the fact that relatively few of the watching audience would actually have any idea who she even was.
*** Comedians Hale and Pace feature prominently in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS26E4Survival Survival]]" as staff in a corner shop.
*** Not all the stunt castings in the JNT Era were bad though. In "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS23E2Mindwarp Mindwarp]]", the character of [[BoisterousBruiser King Ycarnos]] is played by none other than one of the [[LargeHam largest hams]] in existence (drumroll please!)... '''Creator/BrianBlessed!!!'''
*** Nicholas Parsons, best known as a game show host, proved to be a mixed blessing in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS26E3TheCurseOfFenric The Curse of Fenric]]". On the one hand, he played his part of a vicar suffering a crisis of faith quite superbly. On the other hand, because he was such a rare example of piece of stunt-casting actually working, a number of plot-important scenes he wasn't in ended up on the cutting-room floor.
** Creator/EricRoberts as [[Characters/DoctorWhoMasters the Master]] in [[Recap/DoctorWhoTVMTheTVMovie the TV movie]]. This was actually a compromise, with the original idea being to stunt-cast the Doctor himself. Although Creator/PaulMcGann was the first choice of producer Philip Segal and director Geoffrey Sax, executives at Fox wanted a well-known American actor in order to draw in ratings--with Creator/TomHanks, Creator/HarrisonFord, and Creator/JimCarrey being among the names thrown around. Eventually, Fox agreed to cast [=McGann=] under the condition that a name actor play the Master instead.
** Stunt Cast actors in revival ''Series/DoctorWho'' are not usually heavyweight actors, but are well-known soap actors, comedians, quiz show hosts and other more minor celebrities. Oh, and Sir Creator/DerekJacobi.
*** Actor and comedian Creator/SimonPegg as the Editor, an employee of the Mighty Jagrafess, in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E7TheLongGame The Long Game]]".
*** They have been known to use big stars for the specials though, most notably popular comedienne Creator/CatherineTate as Donna Noble in "[[Recap/DoctorWho2006CSTheRunawayBride The Runaway Bride]]" (who later became a series regular), and Music/KylieMinogue crops up in "[[Recap/DoctorWho2007CSVoyageOfTheDamned Voyage of the Damned]]" as a one-off companion!
*** Film/JamesBond actor Creator/TimothyDalton (as the Time Lord President Rassilon), and veteran actress Claire Bloom appear in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime The End of Time]]".
*** Sci-fi vets Creator/MarkSheppard and father William Morgan Sheppard played young and old versions of former FBI agent Canton Everett Delaware III in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E1TheImpossibleAstronaut The Impossible Astronaut]]"/"[[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E2DayOfTheMoon Day of the Moon]]".
*** Season 7 has had several notable faces (possibly to tie in with the series' 50th anniversary), including Ben Browder from ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E3ATownCalledMercy A Town Called Mercy]]", Mark Williams from the ''Film/HarryPotter'' movies in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E2DinosaursOnASpaceship Dinosaurs on a Spaceship]]" and "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E4ThePowerOfThree The Power of Three]]", Jemma Redgrave in "The Power of Three" and a number of episodes hence, the voice of Creator/IanMcKellen in "[[Recap/DoctorWho2012CSTheSnowmen The Snowmen]]", Creator/DavidWarner in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E8ColdWar Cold War]]", Creator/DianaRigg and her daughter Rachael Stirling in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E11TheCrimsonHorror The Crimson Horror]]", Creator/WarwickDavis in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E12NightmareInSilver Nightmare in Silver]]", and Creator/JohnHurt as [[spoiler:a previously unknown regeneration of the Doctor]] in the 50th anniversary special itself "[[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor The Day of the Doctor]]".
*** The 2014 Christmas episode "[[Recap/DoctorWho2014CSLastChristmas Last Christmas]]" featured Simon Pegg's frequent co-star Creator/NickFrost as Santa Claus.
*** This was the reason why Nardole was included in season 10 as a full-time companion. Matt Lucas of ''Little Britain'' and ''Alice in Wonderland'' fame first appeared in "[[Recap/DoctorWho2015CSTheHusbandsOfRiverSong The Husbands of River Song]]" as a supporting character. A big fan of the show, Lucas begged Steven Moffat to bring him back in any shape or form, so Moffat decided to make him a regular as he was surprised that someone who lived in LA would want to work on ''Doctor Who''.
* Sir Creator/DavidJason was cast as [[TheGrimReaper Death's]] manservant Albert in the MadeForTVMovie of the Literature/Discworld novel "Discworld/{{Hogfather}}". In the UK, this resulted in the film being promoted as though ''he'' were the main character, rather than the mostly-unknown actress playing the heroine.
** Which today is RetroactiveRecognition, considering that said actress was Michelle Dockery, who later made her name on ''Series/DowntonAbbey''.
* Music/BritneySpears in ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' is a prime example. For two episodes, no less. The show does this a LOT, though, and Britney just got the most hype about it. Her appearance drew in such good ratings, it may have saved the show from cancellation in its third season.
** Since Creator/NeilPatrickHarris publicly frowned on the practice, it's become much less common though.
*** Ironically, NPH was himself stuntcasted on an episode of ''Series/{{Glee}}''.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' attempted to cast Music/BritneySpears as Warren's android girlfriend April in "[[{{Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS5E15IWasMadeToLoveYou}} I Was Made To Love You]]".
** Much later, they attempted to cast Miss Spears in a one-off villain role for Season 7. The part eventually went to Ashanti.
* Both 60s spy series ''Series/TheManFromUNCLE'' and its SpinOff ''Series/TheGirlFromUNCLE'' were given to stunt casting; e.g. [[Music/SonnyBono Sonny]] and Music/{{Cher}} (in "The Hot Number Affair"), NancySinatra (in "The Take Me To Your Leader Affair") and ElsaLanchester (in "The Brain Killer Affair") in ''Series/TheManFromUNCLE'' and Creator/BorisKarloff (in "The Mother Muffin Affair") in ''Series/TheGirlFromUNCLE''.
* ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheThreeStooges''. After realising their figure-skating lead Carol Heiss couldn't carry the film, the producers brought in Film/TheThreeStooges.
* ''Series/{{SCTV}}'', against their wishes, had special guest actors Sir Creator/JohnGielgud and Creator/RalphRichardson. In his book on the series (titled, appropriately enough, ''SCTV''), DaveThomas said they were both extremely difficult to work with and did not understand their brand of comedy. Later on, they welcomed Creator/BillMurray to guest star, who was an active booster of the show. Notable musical guests, who also acted on the show, ranged from Hall and Oates, Dr. John, Wendy O. Williams & the Plasmatics, Music/TheBoomtownRats, Tony Bennett, Music/RoyOrbison, Music/TalkingHeads, Music/JimmyBuffett, John Mellencamp (when he was still John Cougar), Music/{{America}}, Joe Walsh, Dave's brother Ian Thomas (who was semi-successful in the late '70s with his song "Painted Ladies", and would go on to play Dougie Franklin on ''Series/TheRedGreenShow'', on which Dave guest-starred as his brother Ben Franklin), and classical violinist Eugene Fodor.
* Creator/LeonardNimoy as William Bell in the season 1 finale of ''Series/{{Fringe}}''
* Creator/LeonardNimoy as an old friend of ''Series/TJHooker''.
* NBC's ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' started doing this heavily in season 2, though season 1 had its moments. Some, like [[Series/QuantumLeap Scott Bakula]] and JordanaBrewster appeared in multiple episodes, while others, like RobertPicardo and FredSavage, were only in one. ''Chuck'' tended to {{lampshade}} it with the actors referencing their famous roles, such as Bakula uttering, "Oh boy."
** Creator/ChristopherLloyd as a psychiatrist whom Chuck kept addressing as "[[Franchise/BackToTheFuture Doc]]."
** ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' takes this UpToEleven by doing it all the time. [[VillainOfTheWeek Villains Of The Week]] have included Creator/MichaelClarkeDuncan, Nicole Richie, Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin, Creator/RobertEnglund and Creator/MarkSheppard ([[Series/BattlestarGalactica2003 a.k.a. Romo Lampkin]]).
** Creator/LindaHamilton as Chuck's mom and Creator/TimothyDalton as the villain "Volkoff". Since she arrives in the middle of a fight in which she manages to save her son momentarily from the baddies, Hamilton actually manages to pull off reciting the ActorAllusion line [[Franchise/{{Terminator}} "Come with me if you want to live."]]
** Creator/OliviaMunn, Isaiah Mustafa (Advertising/TheManYourManCouldSmellLike), StacyKeibler, and Creator/SummerGlau as "Greta," secret agents working at the Buy More at different times. Mustafa and Keibler were later given character names and appeared in another episodes.
** They also [[TropesAreTools used stunt casting to deliberately underline]] Chuck's transformation into a superhero, by casting both Creator/BrandonRouth as a kind of anti-Chuck and [[Series/{{Smallville}} Kristin Kreuk]] as a love-interest in the same multi-episode story arc.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'' sometimes casts [[VillainOfTheWeek unsubs]] with this method. Most, however, are either unrecognizable (Creator/JamesVanDerBeek, Jamie Kennedy) or extremely creepy (Creator/KeithCarradine, Creator/JasonAlexander).
** Often, the recognition of the unsubs (generally played by supremely benign actors, when this trope is in play) only serves to make the roles creepier, or more tragic. James Van Der Beek's character is a good example of that, as is Creator/FrankieMuniz's.
** In general, stunt casting in a legal or cop drama always brings NarrowedItDownToTheGuyIRecognize into play (whether straight or subverted). CM usually averts this by having the unsub commit his crimes onscreen in full view of the audience. "Paradise", in turn is an exception to this rule, where we don't see the unsub actually commit a crime until after they find out who it is...thus playing Narrowed straight (Creator/WilWheaton played the unsub in the ep.)
*** The fans have become critical of this method of casting guest stars as unsubs, even when they are good, because it had been used too often during a weak seventh season. They feel that guest-star unsubs are showcased to the expense of the original cast and story suspense (by showing the unsubs's from the very beginning of the episode, rather than keeping them obscured). By giving more time to the unsubs and their evil deeds, it makes the profiler characters look like stupid slow-pokes, and possibly glorifying the serial killers (which is NOT the point of the show).
* ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'' pulled in Creator/CharismaCarpenter of ''Series/{{Angel}}'' fame, put her in skintight red leather and shouted it from the rooftops. They also got ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'''s JoleneBlalock to play a semi-major character.
* The re-imagining of ''Series/HawaiiFive0'' has been playing with this, with recent appearances by Dane Cook, SeanCombs and NickLachey. Not forgetting semi-regular Jean Smart.
* Subverted in ''Series/HomicideLifeOnTheStreet''. When famous actors such as Creator/RobinWilliams, Vincent D'Onofrio and Creator/SteveBuscemi appeared, they were given real acting challenges to work with. Williams' performance as a man whose wife has just been murdered stands as the first major [[PlayingAgainstType subversion of his persona]] and a real glimpse of dramatic depth.
** Although played straight with Robin Williams initially- [[http://davidsimon.com/robin-williams-a-brief-encounter/ the series was suffering low ratings and the network was hoping a big name actor would boost ratings.]] This did work, but less so for the casting and more for William's brilliant and unexpected dramatic performance.
* ''Series/BigBrother 13'' brings back three "Dynamic duos". It becomes pretty obvious that they just set it up so that one of the six returnees would win, given how, when it was reduced to two, a [[SarcasmMode mysterious stroke of luck]] bailed them out.
* When the 60s' ''Series/{{Batman}}'' took off, all of a sudden many big name actors who normally wouldn't do television wanted a chance to play a Bat-villain. The second season especially is loaded with this, name actors playing one-shot villains created just for them, with the network playing up the guest-villain bit. Among these performers were Creator/ArtCarney, Shelley Winters, Van Johnson, Liberace, Michael Rennie, Tallulah Bankhead, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Creator/OttoPreminger... and many more.
* Most {{Game Show}}s tend to do this in the form of "Celebrity Editions" in their waning years in a last-ditch effort to round up some bonus viewers before they inevitably sink into the drain. Most notable are ''Series/WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire'' and ''Series/TheWeakestLink'', whose final primetime seasons were almost nothing ''but'' celebrity editions.
* The casting of Creator/ShirleyMacLaine as the GrandeDame Martha Levinson in ''Series/DowntonAbbey'' is this done for the right reasons: what ''other'' American actress could engage in Dame-to-Dame Combat with Dame Creator/MaggieSmith?
* Averted: When Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz) played Morticia's mother in the 1960s ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'' series, the network did not exploit the connection--appropriate though it was.
* ''Series/{{CSI}}'' occasionally seemed to do this, but for the most part their "stunt casting" was the result of a working character actor who had some notoriety at the time (like Creator/AlanTudyk or Creator/WilWheaton) just happening to landing a role on the series. The one time they ''did'' intentionally Stunt-Cast, it worked spectacularly as the legendary Creator/NedBeatty was cast as the kindly pediatric dentist Doctor Dave... who was also a [[AffablyEvil creepifyingly kind serial killer]].
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'' usually stunt casts with real life cameos (such as Castle's poker game with Creator/JamesPatterson, Creator/DennisLehane, and Creator/StephenJCannell), all of whom are portrayed as acquaintances that Castle has befriended as a successful author.
* Executives loved the first season of ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'', but it was a complete flop in the ratings. They greenlit the show for a second season on the condition that they hired a famous actor to bring more attention to the show. They ultimately landed on Creator/DannyDeVito, introducing him into the main cast as the deadbeat parent of Dennis and Sweet Dee. It worked ''[[TropesAreTools incredibly]]'' [[TropesAreTools well]], turning the show into a big hit with both audiences and critics.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' stunt-cast many people previously involved in the Franchise/{{Superman}} franchise, including Creator/ChristopherReeve, Margot Kidder, and Creator/TerenceStamp (as the voice of Jor-El!) from ''Film/SupermanTheMovie'', Creator/DeanCain and Creator/TeriHatcher (as Lois's mother) from ''Series/LoisAndClark'', Helen Slater from ''Film/{{Supergirl}}'' (as Kara's mother), and so on.
** The practice arguably started with the casting of [[Film/SupermanIII Annette O'Toole]] as Martha.
** An example of the [[ActorAllusion "old friend from a previous series" type]] had Tom Wopat, John Schneider's co-star from ''[[Series/TheDukesofHazzard The Dukes of Hazzard]]'', appear in a plot-significant one-off (initiating the political-campaign story arc for Jonathan) that also played off their old show.
** Other random stunt castings were used for major villains, including Creator/JamesMarsters as Brainiac, Brian Austin Green as Metallo, and so on.
* ''Series/LoisAndClark'' did this too, most notably bringing back the original Jimmy Olsen from ''[[Series/TheAdventuresofSuperman The Adventures of Superman]]'', Jack Larson, to play Jimmy after he'd been hit by an aging ray.
** Villain stunt castings, weirdly, tended to be sitcom stars and comedians: [[Series/TheJeffersons Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford]]? [[Series/FamilyTies Scott Valentine]]? ''Howie Mandel?''

* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' does this a lot with voice casting. Blurr is voiced by the original Blurr's voice actor Creator/JohnMoschitta (the world's fastest-talking man), Master Yoketron is voiced by Creator/GeorgeTakei, and Wreck-Gar by Music/WeirdAlYankovic (who did the original Wreck-Gar's theme song).
** An interview has Creator/MartyIsenberg stating that hiring Weird Al was just an idea he had after Creator/EricIdle (see below) wasn't available that ended up working out.
** ''WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie'' took this to an extreme in '86. Almost all the new characters had big name voice actors. Creator/LeonardNimoy was Galvatron, Creator/EricIdle was Wreck-Gar, RobertStack was Ultra Magnus, Judd Nelson was Hot Rod, etc. Most impressive of all, Creator/OrsonWelles (in his last performance) was absolutely AWESOME as Unicron. [[TheOtherDarrin None of them stayed]] [[PoorMansSubstitute on for the]] [[Franchise/TransformersGeneration1 TV series]] though.
** ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' got in on this with casting Wrestling/DwayneJohnson for Cliffjumper's brief appearance in the pilot (before he's killed by Starscream and in a WholeEpisodeFlashback, he's [[TheOtherDarrin replaced]] with Billy Brown) and the aforementioned George Takei as Alpha Trion.
* On the subject of Creator/GeorgeTakei, he was a one-off villain in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''.
** And Creator/RobertPatrick as Piandao, famous warrior and master to Sokka.
* The casting of Creator/AyaHirano as Dende in ''Anime/DragonBallKai'' is largely seen by the fanbase as this. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37_ltlDkuuk the image song doesn't help waver this opinion]].
** Even more blatant was getting Creator/SatomiSato, fresh off her success of voicing Ritsu in ''Manga/KOn'' to voice Dende's brother Cargo... for maybe one or two lines before he gets killed.
*** The original version of ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' has been guilty of this as well. One episode during the Buu saga features Majin Buu befriending and helping a blind boy who was a one shot character. Said one-shot was voiced by Music/MegumiHayashibara.[[note]] In case you're wondering, in the Kai cut he's instead voice by Creator/HoukoKuwashima.[[/note]]
** Creator/FUNimation once considered casting Freddie Prinze Jr as a role in DBZ, presumably Teen Gohan. [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2000-08-17/freddie-prinze-jr-may-do-dbz-voice Seriously!]]
*** They finally did get to work with him for the ''VideoGame/MassEffect'' movie in 2012, but only to reprise a role he had previously played in the games.
** Funimation also cast the core members of Creator/TeamFourStar (Nick "Creator/{{Lanipator}}" Landis, Scott "[=KaiserNeko=]" Frerichs, Curtis "[=Takahata101=]" Arnott and Lawrence "Creator/MasakoX" Simpson) as the actors in the [[ShowWithinAShow cheesy Cell Games movie]] in ''Anime/DragonBallKai'', which was filled with tons of in-jokes referencing both ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' and ''DBZ'' memes in general. However, the scene was taken out of the Toonami broadcast, with most fans suspecting that Creator/ToeiAnimation (which has tried to shut TFS down many times in the past) [[ExecutiveMeddling ordered them to remove it]]; that didn't stop the scene from leaking onto Youtube, however.
*** Later on, with ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'', they cast Creator/BrianDrummond (who played Vegeta in the original Saban dub of ''DBZ'') as Copy Vegeta; plenty of fans suspected that they would have hired Lanipator for the role if not for the fact that Toei had apparently ordered Funimation not to hire TFS members.
** Similarly, Aya Hirano was also cast as Shinobu the vampire in LightNovel/{{Bakemonogatari}} even though Shinobu never spoke a single word in the entire series. It must be noted, however, that with the recently announced prequel anime, maybe this was a case of extreme foresight in the case of the casting company.
* In its early days Creator/DreamWorksAnimation was extremely blatant with doing this in addition to making use of the InkSuitActor. In some cases, like Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy in ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' it won the company critical acclaim. In others, like Creator/WillSmith in ''WesternAnimation/SharkTale'' and Jerry Seinfield in ''WesternAnimation/BeeMovie'', it got the company a lot of ridicule. [[GrowingTheBeard Starting with]] ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda,'' the company started putting [[SubvertedTrope less emphasis]] on the actors they hire for movies.
* The educational kids' series ''WesternAnimation/LibertysKids'' is known for this. Creator/WalterCronkite had a recurring role as Creator/BenjaminFranklin; other celebrities playing revolutionary heroes included Creator/DustinHoffman as Benedict Arnold, Creator/AnnetteBening as Abigail Adams, Creator/BillyCrystal as John Adams, and Creator/MichaelDouglas as Patrick Henry, as well as General Norman Schwarzkopf, Creator/SylvesterStallone, Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger, Creator/BenStiller, and Creator/WhoopiGoldberg.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' features a "special guest star" -- who isn't even always an actor -- almost every episode nowadays, and of course most of the promo is devoted to their part, however small it might be. (Example: "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS22E1ElementarySchoolMusical Elementary School Musical]]" had a lot of emphasis placed on the appearances of three of the cast of ''Series/{{Glee}}'' (Creator/LeaMichele, Creator/CoryMonteith and Amber Riley, if you're wondering) while - at least in the UK - pretty much ignoring the stars of ''Series/FlightOfTheConchords'', whose roles were much more important to the episode.)
* ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'' brings back Stephen Colbert as Phil Ken Sebben in the last episode, and - this being Harvey Birdman - [[LampshadeHanging lampshades it]].
-->'''Phil Ken Sebben''': Ha ha ha! Final episode stunt casting!
* This wound up biting Universal Studios in the butt when they released ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsonsTheMovie''. Creator/JanetWaldo had returned to voice Judy Jetson. However, after she had finished recording all her lines, [[ExecutiveMeddling the execs]] decided to replace her in favor of the pop star Tiffany, in an attempt to try an attract a younger audience. The move caused a major backlash, and casting director Andrea Romano asked to have her name removed from the credits to avoid hate mail. To make matters worse, by the time the movie was finally released, Tiffany's fifteen minutes had long since ended.
* Blake Lewis as Kasuka in one episode ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}''. He was cast because he was an ''Series/AmericanIdol'' runner-up, a huge anime fan, and wanted a shot at voice acting in one. When it came time to record Season 2, he ''was'' set to reprise his role (which was bigger this time), and even recorded some of the episodes, but was replaced at the last minute with Creator/VicMignogna, supposedly because he spilled the beans on Twitter before the dub was announced.
* ''Film/HighSchoolMusical'' alumni Lucas Grabeel will be Gian/Big G's singing voice in an episode of the American version of ''Anime/{{Doraemon}}''.
* Kimberly J Brown from ''Film/{{Halloweentown}}'' did the voice of Miyu in the first 7 episodes of ''Manga/VampirePrincessMiyu'' before being replaced with Dorothy Fahn for the remaining 19 episodes for unknown reasons. Averted with Emmanuelle Chriqui as Hisae since the dub was actually done ''before'' she made it big with ''Series/{{Entourage}}''.
** Arguably with Stephanie Griffin as Yukari. She wasn't a celebrity, but it looks like she was only given a role because she voiced lead Himeko Se in Creator/AnimEigo's dub of the original OVA.
* Creator/EdAsner as Grandpa Ayanokiji and Creator/WilliamKatt as Tinzin in ''Manga/SazanEyes''. Arguably with Brigitte Bako and Christian Cambell as the leads. The dub's voice director was Creator/GregWeisman, who was working on ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' at the time, and cast many of the same actors in the dub.
* ''Manga/CromartieHighSchool'': Music/MegumiHayashibara is [[{{Gonk}} Maeda's Mom]], [[RuleOfFunny if you can believe it]]. Made even funnier given that [[spoiler: Maeda's Mom never speaks a word, only ever doing an irritated moan.]]
* Creator/SeanPenn was cast as Terrence on ''WesternAnimation/TheAngryBirdsMovie'', whose dialogue [[TheQuietOne consists almost entirely of grunts]].

* Creator/LeonardNimoy narrating on the History Channel.
** Don't forget [[OldShame In Search Of]]!
* The documentary series, [[Creator/DiscoveryChannel Through the Wormhole: With Morgan Freeman.]]
** ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'' parodied and this trope in episode 49 and pointed out the widespread egregious use of Morgan Freeman for his deep sultry tones.
** Let's face it, they wanted him for ''Film/MarchOfThePenguins'' because they wanted even penguins to get a MagicalNegro voiceover.
*** This was parodied in Creator/BobSaget's ''Film/FarceOfThePenguins'', which was narrated by Creator/SamuelLJackson.
* Interesting point about Sir Creator/DavidAttenborough's documentaries. In the UK he is nearly synonymous with good quality and he has been producing, commissioning and writing for natural history documentaries for decades and is widely knowledgable about his subject and a driving force on all his projects (and was knighted for it). Outside the UK, maybe Canada, not so much thus his replacement narrators in other territories tend to be big entertainment names.
** ''Life'' got narration by Oprah Winfrey in the US.
** Creator/SigourneyWeaver, as a more familiar face of conservation work, was brought in on ''Planet Earth''
* The BBC documentary Frozen Earth got Creator/JohnHurt.
** The Dutch voiceover was replaced with CariceVanHouten.

* When a Broadway show becomes a LongRunner, it's likely to fall victim to a revolving door of stunt casting.
** ''Theatre/HelloDolly'' went through a rotating series of stars, including Creator/GingerRogers and Creator/EthelMerman. For two years, the entire cast was {{Race Lift}}ed so that Pearl Bailey and Music/CabCalloway could star as Dolly and Horace.
** The 1996 revival of ''Theatre/{{Chicago}}'' is a notorious example -- still running in TheNewTens, its longevity is partially due to casting numerous well-known actors and actresses (and, occasionally, rock/pop/country singers) in all three of its principal roles.
* TheNineties revival of ''Theatre/{{Grease}}'' was also notorious for this. (Seriously, Rosie O'Donnell as Rizzo?) And it's rare to see a professional production of the show that ''doesn't'' stunt cast the OneSceneWonder Teen Angel, who sings "Beauty School Dropout" (for which the movie got Frankie Avalon and the 2016 FOX production got Boyz II Men).
* The 2007 Las Vegas staging of ''Film/TheProducers'' cast Creator/DavidHasselhoff as Roger De Bris, the FlamboyantGay director, and ''gave him top billing''. At the same time, this particular production was {{Recut}} to only 90 minutes, so to maximize Hasselhoff's stage time, most of the romantic subplot involving Leo and Ulla was cut...which made his betrayal of Max harder to swallow. Later in the run, Creator/TonyDanza came in to play Max (he was previously one of Creator/NathanLane's replacements in the Broadway production).
** Hasselhoff had previously become a bit infamous for playing the title roles in the musical ''Theatre/JekyllAndHyde'' on Broadway, and one performance was filmed and released on video and DVD. That production frequently stunt cast the lead role; [[Music/SkidRow Sebastian Bach]] played him for a while as well.
* Toward the end of its run, the Toronto production of ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' cast [[Music/{{KISS}} Paul Stanley]] as the Phantom. He was generally well-received and even got some Music/{{KISS}} fans interested in musical theatre. While ''Phantom'' has generally avoided this, it did bring back Creator/MichaelCrawford to the role for a brief time on Broadway, Robert Guillame was the first-ever black Phantom in the national touring company, and equally well-known Norm Lewis became the first black actor to play the title role in the Broadway production in 2014.
* As it's Broadway run wound down, ''Theatre/MissSaigon'' brought back Creator/LeaSalonga, the first actress to play Kim.
* During its final year on Broadway, ''Theatre/{{Aida}}'' cast well known R&B stars in the title role, such as Toni Braxton, Deborah Cox and Michelle Williams. While this usually paid off in singing ability, the acting sometimes left a lot to be desired.
* [[Creator/TheMarxBrothers Groucho Marx]], Creator/EricIdle, and Creator/DudleyMoore have all played the role of Ko-Ko in ''Theatre/TheMikado'', and handled it quite well. It certainly helped that they accomplished {{Deadpan Snarker}}s.
* An English-language recording of the Richard Strauss opera ''Ariadne on Naxos'' features Creator/StephenFry in the speaking part of the Major-Domo.
* The Broadway adaptation of Disney's ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'' initially featured Tom Bosley as Maurice. (While best known for ''Series/HappyDays'' and, late in life, infomercials, Bosley previously won a Tony for ''Theatre/{{Fiorello}}''.) Later in the run, replacement Belles included Debbie Gibson, Toni Braxton, Andrea [=McArdle=] (the original Broadway Theatre/{{Annie}}), [[Series/TheSopranos Jamie-Lynn Sigler]], and [[WesternAnimation/KimPossible Christy Carlson Romano]]. And Donny Osmond did some PlayingAgainstType as Gaston for a while.
* ''Theatre/{{Seussical}}'' was a TroubledProduction and over its brief 198-performance run on Broadway did this several times in a desperate attempt to drum up business -- both Rosie O'Donnell and Cathy Rigby (a former Olympian and highly-regarded stage Literature/PeterPan) played The Cat in the Hat even though that's a ''male'' character, and country music child star Billy Gillman played Jojo for a time.
* A 1997 Madison Square Garden production of ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' featured ''[[Series/{{Roseanne}} Roseanne Barr]]'' as the Wicked Witch of the West! A restaging and subsequent tour the following year featured Eartha Kitt, and later [[Series/RowanAndMartinsLaughIn Jo Anne Worley]], as the Wicked Witch and Creator/MickeyRooney as the Wizard. When Creator/AndrewLloydWebber mounted a new stage adaptation of the film in 2011, Creator/MichaelCrawford played the Professor Marvel/Wizard dual role.
* Theatre critic Mark Shenton [[http://www.thestage.co.uk/columns/shenton/2014/02/bold-casting-choices-versatile-actors/ praised]] the 2013 ''Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' musical in the West End for '''avoiding''' this trope with regards to the [[LargeHam showy]] role of Willy Wonka. Instead, the role was originated by Creator/DouglasHodge and after a year, handed off to Alex Jennings -- both are highly-regarded English stage actors, but subject to PopCultureIsolation by the world at large. The following year, Jennings was succeeded by Jonathan Slinger, who also fits the "[[ShakespeareanActors high-quality resume]]/not a big name" pattern.
* The 2013 Broadway adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's ''Film/{{Cinderella}}'' did this in 2014 when it brought in pop singer Music/CarlyRaeJepsen to play the title character and Creator/FranDrescher to play the evil stepmother. Jepsen's successor to the role was [[Series/TrueJacksonVP Keke]] [[Film/AkeelahAndTheBee Palmer]], who also fits this trope for what it's worth.
* ''Theatre/ForbiddenBroadway'' loves to mock this concept, most recently in its 2014 edition by bringing up the aforementioned ''Cinderella'' recasting.
* Sometimes happens with ''Theatre/LaCageAuxFolles'' with regard to the role of [[DragQueen Albin/Zaza]] -- talk show host [[Series/TheGrahamNortonShow Graham Norton]] was a replacement in the 2008 West End revival. After it transferred to Broadway the show's book writer, Harvey Fierstein, played the role for a time (both actors took over from Creator/DouglasHodge). For the follow-up U.S. tour, Fierstein [[WhatCouldHaveBeen was approached]] to play Georges, which would have made him the rare actor to have played ''both'' lead roles, but he was too busy with other projects.
* ''Theatre/ShowBoat'':
** The 1930 St. Louis Municipal Opera production somehow was able to cast Creator/WCFields as Captain Andy.
** The 1994 Broadway revival inflated the role of Parthy and gave it to Creator/ElaineStritch.
* The 1981 regional production of ''Theatre/{{Pippin}}'' that was filmed for television included Chita Rivera as Fastrada and Martha Raye as Berthe.
* Creaetor/AndrewLloydWebber's ''Theatre/{{Cats}}'' has always gone for big names when casting Grizabella, the female lead and star of the show, most recently casting Delta Goodrem, Nicole Scherzinger and Leona Lewis in the role.
* Music/SaraBareilles, who wrote the songs for the musical version of ''Film/{{Waitress}}'' and was nominated for a Tony for her score, spent six weeks starring in the show.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Exaggerated with the [=PlayStation=] game ''Apocalypse'' by Activision. The original concept was that Creator/BruceWillis would've voiced an A.I.-controlled partner who assists the player throughout the game. The developers decided to ditch the original protagonist and simply turned Willis' character into the player character with the rationale "why would anyone want to be Bruce Willis' sidekick when they can be the man himself."
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' has its main character voiced by Creator/HaleyJoelOsment in the English version, with other supporting characters and villains played by people like Creator/BillyZane, Creator/ChristopherLee, and Creator/LeonardNimoy.
* ''CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'' cast Creator/JKSimmons as the [[EagleLand President of the United States]], Creator/TimCurry as the [[GloriousMotherRussia leader of the Soviet Union]], and Creator/GeorgeTakei as [[AnimeLand the Emperor of Japan]], [[HamToHamCombat all competing]] to see who can be [[WorldOfHam the most over-the-top]]. It is hilarious. Creator/MalcolmMcdowell later shows up as the President of UsefulNotes/TheEuropeanUnion.
* In a cross between this and WhatCouldHaveBeen, the game ''VideoGame/{{Malice}}'' earned considerable attention in the early 2000s because the lead character was going to be voiced by Music/GwenStefani, with other members of Music/NoDoubt appearing as characters and the band was signed up to provide the soundtrack. The game was planned for a high profile release as an UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}} launch game, but slid further and further into DevelopmentHell. By the time the game was released nearly four years after it was supposed to, Stefani and the band's contributions were scrubbed from the final product, and it was a commercial and critical disappointment. If the game is remembered now, if at all, it's for Stefani's involvement rather than its actual gameplay.