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Real Life: Mean Character, Nice Actor

"I'm quite relieved when I can stop being Joffrey."
Jack Gleeson (on his role in Game of Thrones)

The real life version of Mean Character, Nice Actor.

In Real Life, this is more the rule than the exception with actors who've played villains. People are, on the whole, pleasant to each other, and this holds true for performers as well — a performer who's pleasant on set improves the experience for everyone. Actors are always talking about how nice their co-workers were on set, while stories of being a genuine bastard are much rarer. Many performers will actively cultivate a Jerkass persona, feeling this makes them more marketable. This is especially true with comedians, because it can be easier to get away with saying shocking or controversial things for the sake of laughs if the public sees them as a jerk to begin with. This page is not for listing actors just because they've played both villains and nice guys.

Keep in mind though, even the nicest people don't like complete strangers pestering them in public. If you actually see an actor listed here as nice don't expect a nice response if you barge in and interrupt their day.

See Nice Character, Mean Actor for the inverse.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime 

    Multiple Media 
  • In stark contrast to Argus Filch, Walder Frey, and a number of other nasties he played, David Bradley is a very nice man.

    Music 
  • Off the stage, Marilyn Manson is a sweet, sensitive, polite and kind-hearted Nice Guy who despite all of his own mistakes in his personal life, does deeply care about his fans. When interviewed by Michael Moore about how his music is allegedly responsible for the titular massacre of Bowling for Columbine, he answers with genuine sadness that people ought to reach out and understand social outcasts like the two boys rather than label them monsters. His response to the last question from that interview:
    Michael Moore: If you could go back and speak to those boys before this all happened, what would you say to them?
    Marilyn Manson: I wouldn't say anything, I'd just listen to them; (That's) something that obviously nobody else bothered to do.
  • Photojournalist Don Bartletti shadowed The Offspring, a band well-known for snarky lyrics, for a day of concert coverage. He claimed that they were very amiable in posing for photos, and donated a million dollars to a local charity while on tour.
    • Dexter Holland, the band's lead singer, was also a doctorate candidate in molecular biology before leaving school for the band.
  • Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor is an extremely nice man, in spite of the music he's made, which bounces back and forth between True Art Is Angsty and nightmarish, somehow never leaving awesome music in the process.
  • Alice Cooper's on stage persona is the very definition of Shock Rock, but, off stage, he's a devout Christian and a substitute bible studies teacher.
    • Played with in Wayne's World, when Wayne and Garth meet Cooper who they see as a god, they're so mesmerized by him they don't realise he's nothing like his onstage persona.
      • Even when he and the band are discussing Native American history.
      Wayne: So, do you come to Milwaukee often?
      Alice: Well, I'm a regular visitor here, but Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers were coming here as early as the late 1600s to trade with the Native Americans.
      Pete: In fact, isn't Milwaukee an Indian term?
      Alice: Yes Pete, it is. Actually, it's pronounced "mill-e-wah-que", which is Algonquin for "the good land".
      Wayne: I did not know that.
      Alice: I think the most interesting thing about Milwaukee is it's the only American city to have had three Socialist mayors.
      Wayne: Does this guy know how to party or what?
    • He's also an avid golfer.
    • In his own words:
    "Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's real rebellion."
  • While it's just common sense that most Death Metal and Black Metal musicians aren't actually serial killers, many are in fact very friendly, cheerful, well-adjusted guys who just happen to like singing about the sort of stuff you might see in a horror or war film. George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher of Cannibal Corpse for instance spends his free time playing video games, fishing, and taking his wife & daughters to Disney World.
  • Ted Skjellum, aka Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone, is an elementary school teacher.
  • Slipknot, the face of angry Grr-life-sucks-I-hate-my-parents rock turn out to be nice Iowa boys who miss their wives when on tour.
  • The Finnish hard rock band (and 2006 Eurovision winners) Lordi don a lot of costuming in order to transform themselves into hideous, scary-looking monsters, and their music is very loud and growly. (They were largely influenced by other Finnish hard rock bands and KISS.) The people behind those masks/disguises are known for being very quiet, polite, and private.
  • Bruce Dickinson. By day, Iron Maiden vocalist and more metal than a block of steel. By night, part time airline pilot and occasional fencer.
    • How about Steve Harris? Massively muscled, tattooed all over, usally clad in standard metal uniform, a bit of a bookworm in his spare time (look at all the Maiden songs inspired by English Literature).
  • Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Her stage persona is... not subtle; between the over-the-top outfits and miming sex acts with the microphone, it's no wonder people are surprised when she turns out to be very shy and low-key in person.
  • Zigzagged with Toshi of X Japan in the 1985-1996 period. Onstage, he was a dominant, aggressive Hell-Bent for Leather Shock Rock singer, singing some of the most explicit and violent lyrics in Japanese Hard Rock / Heavy Metal at the time, miming sex acts with his bandmates, and occasionally directly insulting the audience to keep them engaged. Offstage, while he was a bosozoku and did occasionally get into fights and the like, most of his worst jerkass behavior was when he was pretty much dragged along into it by either Yoshiki or Taiji or trying to impress either. He also had the least alcohol and drug problems out of the band, being unable to tolerate heavy drinking. Unfortunately, he felt so guilty over his life such as it was that became leverage for his ex-wife to recruit him into a Scam Religion to "purify" him from 1997-late 2009, leading to him becoming a far ''worse'' person as a cult member than when he was a Visual Shock bosozoku, for more than 10 years until he finally left the religion - and now, he currently averts the trope for the most part, with a toned-down stage image, a preference for naughty double entendre over Refuge in Audacity, and a very quiet personal life.
  • Kyo, lead singer of Dir En Grey, puts on an Axe Crazy persona when performing, utilizes all manner of Harsh Vocals and his lyrics generally rank very high on the Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness. Off the stage, he's a Nice Guy and Shrinking Violet.
  • Henry Rollins is covered in tattoos, built like a truck, earned a reputation for being overly aggressive and violent (even by hardcore standards)and was/is often derided as "a macho asshole". He is also very well spoken and an overall nice, well adjusted, if intense, guy. This also carries over to his acting roles, which tend to be anywhere between douchebag and homicidal maniac. (Except in the movie Feast.)
  • Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance looked like a corpse and covered himself in fake blood on stage back in the day. Combine that with insane stage antics, screaming, and lyrics about murder, vampires, and other crazy things, he came off as slightly intimidating. Off-stage, he wore adorable skeleton footie pajamas from Japan or loud Hawaiian shirts and just wanted to play some D&D, drink coffee, and talk about Star Wars.
  • Eminem is an example of someone who certainly didn't start out this way and was initially quite similar to his Ax-Crazy alter ego Slim Shady, but he has matured into this. With all the crap that he went through, most people find it hard to blame him for having been a jerk at times in the past. He's also far more comfortable with fame now than at the start of his career and has started taking his role as a star more seriously. These days, his songs make him out to be a mean, nasty person, and his song "Kim", which is about him (fantasizing about) killing his wife, falls straight into horrific territory, but in real life, he's a caring father of three girls and is nice to people and his fans, played with Elton John despite many homophobic lyrics and became a friend, and when visiting Dido to request sampling her song in "Stan", she was amazed to see Em's "lovely":
    People confuse him with the characters in his songs. it's like Stephen King. He does some scary shit, and it's warped beyond belief. But it's not real.
  • Metallica frontman James Hetfield is known for his scary, growling persona on-stage. In-person, he's very nice.
  • Emilie Autumn's stage persona is that of a violent, insane girl locked in a Victorian madhouse. In Real Life, Emilie actually is mentally ill, but she is also a quiet, sweet Cloud Cuckoolander, bookworm and apparently a huge Star Wars geek.
  • The Birthday Massacre's music swings around from violent massacres to abusive relationships and everywhere in between, but in contrast, the entire band are incredibly lovely and lead singer Chibi is one of the nicest people in existence to the point that the fanbase practically worships her.
  • King Diamond is known by James Hetfield as "One of the nicest guys in the Music Business".
  • Mark Hunter of Chimaira. In the studio and on stage? One of the angriest, most inhuman vocalists in metal history. Off the stage? One of the most soft-spoken and nice guys you will ever meet.
  • Adam 'Nergal' Darski of Behemoth. He is one of death metal's most ferocious-sounding vocalists, and his band plays some of the harshest music out there right now. Not to mention he hides behind large amounts of armor and makeup on stage. Beneath his scary image offstage, however, he is about as intimidating as a cat.
  • Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu has a creepy voice, writes creepy music and writes creepy lyrics about creepy subjects such as sexual abuse (which he himself endured as a child). You'd think he'd be a mumbling disaster in interviews, but he's actually quite amiable and only slightly shy. It's not generally known if it's a put-on, if he's really good at channeling his darker thoughts into his music or if he's simply a well-adjusted guy who doesn't let his fucked up childhood define him.
  • Harsh EBM/Industrial/Electro project Phosgore (Founded by Flo D) is known for it's harsh sounds and brutal themes his promotional photos tend to reinforce that image. In reality, however, he is a very amicable and down to earth person and his gigs are remembered for the great audience chemistry he has.
  • The Insane Clown Posse are well-known for portraying bloodthirsty Monster Clown characters, but in reality they're actually very nice to their fans and donate to and promote charities and fundraisers to help the poor. They also love their moms very much and, if certain videos are anything to go by, absolutely adore their children.
  • Chris Barnes is quite the opposite of his musical persona. He's one of the most evil and inhuman-sounding death metal singers in the world, to the point where many consider him the defining voice of the genre. But listening to the material he's made with both of his bands, despite a few dick moves he's made (most notably the Cattle Decapitation incident), you would never guess he's a very soft-spoken, polite man who puts his heart into everything he does.
  • The members of Avenged Sevenfold often have a gangster/thuggish persona, but are actually very down-to-earth and friendly (Zacky Vengeance and Johnny Christ, in particular).
  • The members of Turisas dress up like vikings on-stage and in their videos, smear themselves with red and black warpaint, sing songs about, well, being a viking, and even play a group of savage, murderous barbarians in their most recent video. Offstage, though, they're incredibly friendly—hell, the keyboard player posts videos of himself playing with his cats on YouTube!
  • Voltaire, despite some of his songs about death, the devil, people going to kill themselfs, why God is an asshole (he was an Atheist, but went to being Agnostic) and some other things (most of them are in some catchy, non-goth mood), he's a really nice guy. People who meet him, often say that he's one of the most fun people they have ever been with, or brighten ups a room.
    • On his Nooseletter videos (where he replies to fan's emails and letters), he's often seen laughing at his own (corny) jokes, and doesn't make fun of any letter.
    • When he and his wife got a divorce, he stopped doing stuff for almost 2 days, and then continued. He didn't cancel any tour dates, conventions, or anything. He wished her the best, and said that he was perfectly okay with it.
    • He really loves his son Mars. When he asked about what Easter was (due to Voltaire not doing it), and he explained it, his son yelled, in a large, public, mall, "Jesus was a zombie?!". According to Voltaire, he was all, "ROCK ON!". Voltaire soon said he wasn't, and said not to say that, due to you could offend someone.
    • He also answers his son's questions, no matter how annoying they are. When Mars was watching Star Wars Episode VI for the first time, Voltaire stopped for about 10 minutes off stage, answering questions for him, all about the force, and Darth Vader. He later told another concert about all the questions and answers, and how Mars stumped him.

    Opera 
  • Baritone Tito Gobbi's most iconic role was Scarpia. Read his autobiography and you'll find out he was a nice fellow with a great sense of humour.
  • Eric Halfvarson is the creepiest psychopath on stage, be it the Grand Inquisitor, Hagen, Claggart or simply the Commendatore. But he's really adorable when he throws kisses to the audience at curtain call (almost always).
  • Matti Salminen can be a really, really dangerous Hagen, but man, is he a huggable teddybear in real life.
  • Sir John Tomlinson. See Matti above.
  • Samuel Ramey made a name for himself playing devils and villains. Ask any person who has worked with him, and they will say he's "a dear" and the nicest person they've ever met.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • There have been wrestlers like this since at least the 60s. Sputnik Monroe, one of the top heels in the old Memphis territory, is best remembered today for helping to beat segregation. As one of the biggest draws at the time, if blacks weren't allowed to sit in any seat in the arena, he'd refuse to wrestle.
  • Typical of wrestling, but WWE superstar Mark Calaway, a.k.a. The Undertaker, is perhaps the Ur Example. When he's not acting satanic and burying his opponents alive he is a rather private person, noted as being quite gracious to fans who ask for pictures or autographs. Apparently his sole proviso is that he doesn't want to be approached if he's with his wife and kids, though he was quite civil when taped with girlfriend and future wife Michelle McCool.
    • He was probably more civil with McCool since she was used to it, being familiar with the limelight herself, as opposed to his first wife, who wasn't in the public eye. For that matter, Michelle is also a good example of this. During a large amount of her run, she was a member of LayCool, who were basically some of the best examples of the Alpha Bitch anywhere. In real life, she's a total sweetheart, a devout Christian and a former schoolteacher. While we're on it, let's add Layla (Michelle's partner in crime) to this as well.
  • Glenn Jacobs a.k.a Kane is noted as being one of the friendliest men in professional wrestling today and is considered by internet fans to be the holy grail for fans to interact with. This is a far cry from his psychopathic character. In real life, he holds a teaching degree and said he would be doing that if he wasn't a wrestler.
  • Mick Foley, best known as one of the pioneers of extreme wrestling and breaking almost every bone in his body (and part of his gimmick is a Split Personality that includes the brutal psychopath Cactus Jack), is considered one of the friendliest and most intelligent guys in the business.
  • Scott Levy, better known as the sadistic career-heel Raven, is known for being similarly enthusiastic and friendly with his (smaller) fanbase.
  • The Rock was the epitome of the cool, aloof, arrogant anti-hero, and had a quick wit and sharp tongue he'd use against damn near anybody who crossed his path. Dwayne Johnson, the man behind The Rock, who has since moved on to Hollywood, has been referred to by damn near everybody who has ever worked with him, whether in wrestling or movies, as "the nicest man in show business."
  • Molly Holly was regularly shown as a self-righteous prude and later as an angry bitch looking for respect, but Nora Greenwald is considered one of the nicest people on Earth by her peers. She has regularly been described as "too nice for her own good" and "too good a person to be in the wrestling business".
    • Oddly enough, in 2005, she asked to do a Heel-Face Turn (she hated playing a heel, as she wanted to be a good role model). WWE management told her, "No one would ever buy it". This led to her asking for her release and leaving the wrestling business.
  • The Big Show is a monstrous heel more often than not, but in reality he's a very nice guy.
  • Notorious heel manager Gary Hart was known as kind-hearted and sociable outside the ring. He was regarded as a beloved surrogate uncle by the Von Erich brothers, whom he helped train.
  • Despite being one of the most controversial figures on camera and behind the scenes, Triple H is actually friendly with the fans. Plus, there's the fact that he has a plane take him home after every show so he can see his kids (he's specifically said he doesn't want the traveling to turn him into a Disappeared Dad) which is both this trope and a CMOA.
  • Goldberg. Bret Hart, on his documentary DVD, "The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be", lamented how "someone as kind-hearted as [Bill] Goldberg" was responsible for ending his [wrestling] career.
  • On the women's side, Lisa Marie "WWE's Victoria"/"TNA's Tara" seems to be at her best when she's playing the psycho-bitch role. However, in real life, she's funny, goofy, sweet, and one of the most well-connected to her fans, who she refers to affectionately as "Taters." (She always ends blog posts with "Later Taters.")
    • She actually tried to be a face in 2004, which included always locating a child in the crowd to kiss on the cheek prior to entering the ring.
  • The nature of the wrestling business leads to the fact that almost every person in the business has played a villain at some point. "Nice" is a relative term, which makes it something of a sliding scale, but it could be said that most wrestlers fall into this. Given the things that heel wresters do in kayfabe, it would take a major scumbag not to be nicer than the character they portray.
    • A lot of it goes back to the old territory days (and the earlier barnstorming performances). Since the heel (villain) controls the offense of the match, the other workers have to trust them so they don't get injured or potatoed (cheap-shotted).
  • While known for playing a sneaky and calculating heel for a large portion of his career, the late Owen Hart was actually a generous family man, and one of the funniest wrestlers in the business.
  • Alberto Del Rio is known for being the smuggest snake in the WWE, but in real life seems like a very humble guy who idolizes his father and uncle and seems very honored that he gets to wrestle against top wrestlers in the WWE.
  • Back when he was the Doctor of Thuganomics, John Cena was this trope. The man himself has confirmed that the way he is on TV is exactly the way he is in real life.
    • Ironically, it's the very reason that his character (which tends to be loathed amongst Smarks) tends to be this way instead of turning darker and edgier or outright heel.
  • "Rowdy" Roddy Piper also fit this trope, especially when he was at the height of his villainy during the WWF's "Rock-n-Wrestling" era.
    • Piper describes himself as "shy" on Steve Austin's podcast, and listening to him talk about how hated he was in the 80's, you really get a sense of what a humble and genuinely nice guy he is.
  • André the Giant often played a monster heel. While filming The Princess Bride, whenever one of the actresses was cold, he'd put his hand on her head—said hand was big enough to cover her head.
  • Luna Vachon was downright scary in the ring, acting far more vicious than any woman, having a very unorthodox look for a woman, and speaking in a very harsh growl that could give anyone goosebumps, courtesy of Kevin Sullivan, who, during his Hollywood Satanism heel run in Florida in the 1980s, gave her the name and gimmick. Outside the ring she was incredibly sweet, very approachable, and was one of the most popular Divas at public appearances and conventions.
  • Similarly, Kia Stevens, known as Awesome Kong in TNA and Kharma in WWE, because of her strong almost Brawn Hilda type build, has played the Scary Black Woman for much of her career. However in real life, she seems to be an absolute sweetheart and comes across as girlier than the Barbie dolls she's been ripping in half in her introductory vignettes.
    • She and her precursor, Aja Kong, actually did a comedy gimmick of girly-girl babyfaces as "Margaret" and "Erikanote  for the Japanese promotion HUSTLE, which reveled in crazy gimmicks and exaggerated deliberately unrealistic storylines.
  • William Regal is a classic heel in the ring, but due to his experiences as a fan, is extremely gracious to fans, taking an all-or-nothing approach to meet and greets (either everyone gets an autograph or no one does). This extends to the locker room as well; he gladly gives advice to aspiring wrestlers and has even taken a few under his wing, most notably Bryan Danielson and Triple H.
  • One look at Natalya Neidhart's twitter account or story from a fan about how they met her and you will wonder how she ever played a character that screamed constantly at her fellow divas to cry.
  • Her former "Anti-Barbie" compatriot Beth Phoenix qualifies. She was usually the one telling other Divas to cry while Natalya was bending them in anatomically improbable positions, but she's gotten a reputation as being one of, if not the most approachable Superstar, male or female, in the company right now.
  • One important thing to remember is that by the time they've reached any kind of national audience, it's been Enforced at some point. Especially in WWE, but to a lesser extent with other companies as well, the wrestlers spend an obscene amount of time together (different accounts by different WWE Superstars have said they are on the road anywhere from 300 to 350 days a year, spending most of that time sharing cars, hotel rooms, etc.) Very likely, anybody who doesn't fit this trope will quickly be filtered out. (One such example is Teddy Hart, whose controversial actions and massive ego have gotten him blackballed by almost every major company he's worked for. He's had a few runs in WWE's developmental programs and been released without ever making it to WWE TV. At Ring of Honor Main Event Spectacles, November 1, 2003, the Backseat Boyz [Johnny Kashmere and Trent Acid] d. the Spanish Announce Team [Jose and Joel Maximo], the Carnage Crew [Tony DeVito and H.C. Loc] and the New Hart Foundation [Teddy Hart and Jack Evans]) in a scramble cage match. After the match, Teddy got the idea that the fans hadn't gotten enough action, so he started doing backflips off the cage without warning the SEVEN OTHER GUYS that he was going to do this, giving them no chance to protect themselves, and did this over and over to the point that he started vomiting. He kept going even after the Carnage Crew tried grabbing him to beat him down and get him to stop. Eventually, the entire locker room united and threw him out of the arena with his bags. He wouldn't appear again on an ROH show until Final Battle 2009! In June 2010, the AAA promotion in Mexico fired him "for his own safety," as reportedly more than half the locker room wanted to kill him.)
  • Chris Jericho. Too easy. In kayfabe, he's a self-important jerkass of a Heel (his feud with CM Punk will prove this) but in real life, he's the lead singer for the band Fozzy, and is actually a very nice and respectable person.
  • Despite being one of WWE's most despised heels with her "Excuse Me!" catchphrase, Vickie Guerrero in real life is a very nice lady and as well as a very loving and devoted mother.
    • It has often been said that her late husband Eddie Guerrero, one of the business' most effective heels in the 90's and 00's before his tragic death, would be very pleased by the sheer amount of heat Vickie can get in-character.
  • Michael Cole. As out of hand as his heel character gets as time, he's actually well liked back stage. When Jerry Lawler suffered a heart attack on the 9/10/2012 episode of Raw, Cole completely dropped character and continued to pray for his health for the remainder of the show..
    • When Lawler made his big return, Cole and Jim Ross were in the ring to introduce him. Lawler hugged Ross. When he got to Cole, he had a facial expression that just said, "How can I be mad at you?"
  • Big John Studd (1948-1995), while best known as a Heel in the 1980s, was later described by his own manager, Bobby Heenan, as "too nice for this business."
  • 'Sweet' Saraya Knight is, to put it bluntly, a foul-mouthed psychopath and a terrible mother. In real life, she's an absolute sweetheart (and a great mother).

    Radio 
  • Jack Benny's comic persona was famously cheap, petty, and pompous, while the real Benny was a great guy—as evidenced by the fact that he let the other actors get the better of his character all the time. He was famous for saying "I don't care who gets laughs on my show, just so long as the show gets laughs."
    • Although he and his wife had their spats, apparently he arranged his will so that after he died, she would get a rose delivered to her every day for the rest of her life.
    • It's been said that the greatest testament to his character is that even after he died, nobody in Hollywood who knew him had a nasty thing to say about him, according to Dick Cavett.
    • He was also protective of his black co-star Eddie Anderson (Rochester), who despite playing a stereotypical valet role, was often shown to be Benny's equal, if not superior. Anderson himself broke down crying during a television special after Benny's death.
      • Rochester actually started as stereotypical in terms of gambling and womanizing but that was deemphasized as the show went on. By the time they got to TV, Rochester even had days off! Unheard of for a butler or valet in the media at the time.
      • Two stories suffice about Benny's true treatment of Anderson: During the days of segregation, the cast had stopped at a hotel in Missouri, which was under the so-called "Jim Crow" laws. The hotel manager, following the law, told Benny that if Anderson couldn't stay at the hotel. Benny, rightfully indignant, told the manager that if Anderson couldn't stay there, Benny would refuse to do the same. To avoid losing the cachet of having the most popular comedian of his day as a guest, the manager was able to bend the rules. The other tale comes from a gag where Benny and Rochester were sparring. At one point Rochester decks Benny with a punch. In response a listener from the Deep South wrote a letter protesting that a black man would dare to hit a white man. Benny responded by asking, "And how would it be funny if I hit him?"

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • In the commentary for Rooster Teeth Comics, the writer, Griffon Ramsey, says she makes the representations of the other Rooster Teeth staff member's wives much more harsh than they really are and that Jordan Burns, the wife of Burnie Burns is "one of the nicest and most disarming people I've ever met."
  • Randy Milholland, creator of Something Positive, is a much nicer guy than S*P's Sadist Show of Deadpan Snarker Jerkasses or his own irritable appearances in Rhymes With Witch would lead you to believe. He's noted on the site that fans sometimes seem disappointed when he doesn't act like a jerk. It's something of a Berserk Button for him, however - pointing this out to him is likely to get him acting just like you'd expect.

    Web Original 
  • Voice actor Anonymous 13 B is known for primarily playing villains (many of them from The Lion King Adventures), but is in real life an affable, caring person.
  • Stuart K. Reily is a jerkass on his YouTube Poop NEWS show, but in real life is a nice guy who loves his fans.
  • The person who plays Mr.Plinket is definitely a lot nicer than the reviewer persona.
  • According to people who've actually met him, Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw is actually not as abrasive as his internet personality seems to indicate, in fact he apparently comes off as rather shy. Part of this can be seen in his trip to Washington DC. Most of his supposed Small Name, Big Ego reputation related to Zero Punctuation seems to mostly be a poor relationship with his fans (as well as an actual history of egotism during his Adventure Game days), something he's attempting to rectify.
  • James Rolfe compared to The Angry Video Game Nerd. Seriously, they're nothing alike. Just take a look his Cinemassacre website.
    • Hell, just look at the difference between the Nerd and his newer series "Board James", which features a lot more of him being him, or the Nerd and "James" sitting next to each other at the start of the Ghostbusters: The Video Game review.
    • James Rolfe is quite laid-back and relaxed most of the time. In his videos where he shows us his NES collection, we see that he's actually quite passive and quiet as well. The Nerd is basically his polar opposite. This is because the Nerd was conceived as a parody of loud, whiny nerds that complain about everything. Compare his AVGN review of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde where he is constantly furious and drinking large quantities of hard liquor to his Let's Play with Mike where he's clearly laughing and having a good time despite the game being so horrible.
  • As hard as it might be to believe, when he's not being Gordon Freeman (or Mike), Ross Scott of Freeman's Mind and Civil Protection fame is actually really nice:
  • It'd be easier to list the members of That Guy with the Glasses that aren't an example of this (and even that's mostly the people who just don't play characters that are assholes).
    • Doug Walker is a pretty swell guy compared to the shouty, screamy, gun-toting Nostalgia Critic and even more so compared to the amoral, devious Ask That Guy. Outtakes of the Nerd vs Critic crossover big battle often show them laughing and joking with one another.
      • Then there was one year's Christmas bonus video which was basically him laying under his Christmas tree, looking at the lights, and thanking his fans for all their support over the years. When his brother joined him Doug took time out to tell Rob that he loved him and that he was the greatest brother ever.
    • Just watching the the vLogs from The That Guy With The Glasses Team Brawl (especially Spoony's) is great, because it shows the nice side of all of them.
      • Or just watch any of the commentaries for movies. Even if the Critic completely trashed and mocked something in a review, there's a good chance that Walker will still have a good word for it in the commentary (at the very least, he talks about it much more gently). Even when he and his brother do a commentary on the review of Garbage Pail Kids (the worst film he and his brother have ever seen), Doug talks fondly of the actor who plays Captain Manzenie and says he would probably put on a good performance if he wasn't in the film.
      • In a commentary, Spoony (see below) mentions how in his homage to the Cinema Snob (also see below, Channel Awesome seems to be all over this trope due to Alter Ego Acting) he wanted to have Brad show up and berate him for his imitation. Doug coincidentally had the same idea, and ended up doing it first. When he heard, he called Spoony and apologized profusely for accidentally using the joke first, even though there was no way he could have known. Spoony calls Doug the nicest guy in the world, and says it's impossible to ever get mad at the guy.
      • One marked example of the difference between the personalities of Doug Walker and That Guy With The Glasses comes in Episode 66 of Ask That Guy, in the stinger at the end. Doug makes a crack as That Guy that comes off as so stunningly insensitive that he ultimately breaks character to apologize to the person who'd asked the question. It's also been mentioned that he can't watch Ask That Guy episodes because he'd be ashamed at finding them funny.
    • And then there's the Nostalgia Critic's underlings from his reloaded series, Malcolm Ray, Tamara Chambers and, formerly, Rachel Tietz. Malcolm has played the Channel Awesome version of the Devil, as well as an evil parody of M. Night Shyamalan, Rachel has portrayed the daughter of the aforementioned devil, Rita Repulsa, when she wasn't playing a Cute and Psycho Hysterical Woman who would try to kill the Critic because he's abusive to her, and Tamara's debut as a regular in the Critic's Wicker Man shows her as even Darker and Edgier than Rachel. All three of them, however, couldn't be further from these personas, and are happy to interact with their fans.
    • Brad Jones is not The Cinema Snob. He interacts extensively with his fans on his website, and admits to actually liking most of the movies his arrogant, True Art-devoted character savages. The fact the Jones hosts no less than three shows (Current Movie Reviews, Brad Tries and DVD-R Hell) as himself and not as a character probably helps his real self to be more visible than other TGWTG contributors'. We do see some elements of The Cinema Snob character come out in DVD-R Hell when something genuinely offends Brad, though.
      • It's possible to tell which movies the real Brad doesn't like — he allows the Cinema Snob to get even more acidic than usual. Or in Salo 120 Days of Sodom's case, praises it.
      • Just check out the notorious outtake from his Sherlock Holmes review with Obscurus Lupa, where he accidentally punches her in the face and instantly drops out of character, repeatedly apologizing and asking if she's all right.
    • Noah Antwiler of The Spoony Experiment is a humble guy who only gets angry when people insult his friends and thanks his fans whenever he can.
      • He's also aware how difficult it is for his fans to notice if he's in character as he doesn't really have one.
      • Probably the best example of this is to watch Spooning with Spoony 2 (the aftermath of Spoony date raping a traumatized Critic and an angry Angry Joe), and then watch the bloopers (three friends cocking about and trying desperately to get through the scene without laughing).
    • Like his fellow members of Channel Awesome, Lewis Lovhaug has said that Linkara is basically his normal personality turned Up to Eleven, only a lot angrier and more cynical. And Linkara is probably one of the mildest of the characters on that site.
    • Film Brain has said that he's not as snarky in real life as in his reviews, although his character isn't really nasty per se.
      • He's actually said that his character's personality in Kickassia is closer to the real him than what he does in his reviews. To those who haven't seen it, he spends most of that movie as a smiling, overly-enthusiastic keet, who comes off as a Cheerful Child in comparison to his more cynical castmates.
    • Lindsay Ellis is making it quite clear that The Nostalgia Chick is 1) not her and 2) is in no way a good or well-adjusted person. And if you've ever seen her out of character, you'll know that she's a kind, happy, ridiculously nice lady.
    • Most of Todd in the Shadows' interactions with the TGWTG crew are him being obnoxious (and in one case, a Stalker with a Crush). In real life, Todd Nathanson is a nice guy who even started a romance with a co-worker.
    • Diamanda Hagan is the embodiment of evil, blowing up cities, forcing her minions to please her then having them kill themselves for her amusement. Of course this is all in-character, the actress that plays her is really nice and supportive of her fans. Often thanking them for watching.
    • Bennett The Sage, when appearing in other people's videos, tends to be portrayed as the embodiment of evil. Needless to say, that couldn't be further from the truth.
    • Mara Wilson, who has guest starred on the Critic and the Chick's videos as a Humanoid Abomination who gave the Critic a Humiliation Conga with his old videos, is a very nice lady and a good sport who originally just wanted a reconciliation a la Weird Al Yankovic and Coolio (the videos Mara used were actually hand-picked by Doug himself).
  • Sims Big Brother has often had this, usually inspired by people who actually do this in reality TV shows.
  • Virtually every handler on Survival of the Fittest is actually quite nice and friendly, and always willing to help new handlers learn the rules and write about murdering teenagers in a variety of gruesome ways better. Of course, certain members, usually the banned ones, are mercilessly mocked in the chat; often for good reason.
  • Chairman Nuke often acts more friendly and approachable than the individual she was created as a parody of.
  • Almost all the columnists at Cracked.com, especially Dan O'Brien's writing persona and Michael Swaim's character in Agents Of Cracked. In the forums of the site, where they are presumably posting as themselves, the two are probably Cracked's sweetest columnists.
    • Also seen in Soren Bowie's T-Bone character, who turns out to be a spy for their rival site Broked.com, but is a great (if much too handsome) guy.
  • A frequent occurrence in online roleplaying (see Journal Roleplay, Character Blog, Play By Post Game). There are many instances of people not realizing this and thinking that the other roleplayer is a jerk, while in reality they're simply roleplaying as a jerk character.
  • Niclas Lundberg of Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time is really a quite genial, laid-back guy who cracks up a lot, and is genuinely sorry about messing up his friends' kitchens.
  • Many Internet Trolls would probably qualify when they can't hide behind their usernames.
  • The character of Dr. Gears from the SCP Foundation is an emotionless doctor who can decommission an SCP without any remorse over having to kill it. The actual Gears, the head admin of the wiki, is a laid-back nice guy who treats new members kindly and who has the humility to admit when SCP concepts or Tales of his don't turn out as good as he intended. Gears is easily the member of Senior Staff most encouraging to new members.
  • Many fans of Red vs. Blue will tell you that the voice actors for the main characters are all quite nice in Real Life, even though nearly every one of the main characters are Jerkasses. Except for Caboose.
  • The owner of Tard the cat, aka Grumpy Cat, points out on the oficial website that she is not grumpy at all and describes her as being a super cute and cuddly kitty and loves to be held and rubbed.
  • Laina, aka the Overly Attached Girlfriend, is quite friendly in real life and even describes herself as the opposite of her character. There was even a meme based on her named "Misunderstood Girlfriend", made to subvert her original meme.
  • Scumbag Steve is the memetic caricature of the ultimate Jerkass. Blake Boston, his alter ego, comes off as anything but a scumbag, and actually finds the Scumbag Steve memes hilarious himself.
  • R.L. Yoshi is known in his videos for being stupid, snide, and bossy. In real life, aside from retaining his sarcastic attitude, he's much nicer and apparently hates looking at how rude he is in his videos.
  • Most of The Yogscast fall under this in real life. In contrast with their trolly behaviour in game, and their Minecraft characters general abrasiveness.

    Western Animation 


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