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The Star

    Truman 

Truman Burbank

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2ec40276ffc2339436330cf5b2fc392d.png
"Y'know, I'm thinking about getting out, Marlon."
Portrayed By: Jim Carrey

Chosen out of six unwanted pregnancies and the first child to be legally adopted by a corporation, he is unaware that his daily life is broadcast continuously around the world. He has a job in the insurance business and a lovely wife, but he eventually notices that his environment is not what it seems to be.


  • Beware the Nice Ones: Truman is a genuinely good-hearted, almost jaunty individual. Whose increasing suspicion of the nature of Seahaven and his own existence quickly starts endangering people around him.
  • Catchphrase: All together now...
    Truman: Good morning, and in case I don't see ya: good afternoon, good evening and good night!
  • Classical Anti-Hero: A bit meek, which is deliberate on the part of Christof and the actors, who've kept him in line all his life to keep his ambition in check.
  • Cosmic Plaything: From his perspective, anyway.
  • Creature of Habit: Goofs around with the bathroom mirror, says his Catchphrase to the neighbors, dalmatian jumps at him, awkwardly talks to the twin lawyers, buys a fashion mag (for the wife) and goes into work. One morning, he actually manages to use this whole routine against the crew, to throw them off.
  • Determinator: Even Christof recognizes one important truth to keeping Truman in the illusion. If he was absolutely determined to discover the truth, not out of some vague curiosity, there would be nothing they could do to stop him.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The scene where he tries to drive out of Seahaven with Meryl. You might drive like a lunatic too, when you're at the end of your rope and paranoid as hell.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After years of being manipulated and gaslighted, and with multiple attempts to get to the bottom of whatever's controlling his life thoroughly circumvented, Truman's final escape attempt is over water, defying his aquaphobia, and despite Christof creating a storm that nearly kills him. By the time he opens the door to the studio and finally walks out, he deserved it, and fans around the world agreed.
  • The Everyman: Judging by the ratings, that's what people love about Truman!
  • Face Your Fears: Aquaphobic since his father's disappearance at sea, his last escape is over water.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The people who play his friends and family go out of their way to avoid him and mostly only care about their paycheck. In this case it might be less a sign of Truman's personality and more that the "cast" of the show are associated with him because they're actors and not his friends.
  • Grew a Spine: Does this more and more as his paranoia increases.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Considers Marlon to be this.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: When the boat he escapes on smashes into the wall of the studio, he has a Heroic BSoD before he gradually starts pounding on the wall, weeping inconsolably, believing he might be trapped forever.
  • Large Ham: Unsurprisingly for a Jim Carrey role, but it's downplayed — his hammishness usually comes with either Stepford Smiler moments or bits of Sanity Slippage rather than being played for comedy. It's more a case of Carrey playing with the archetype that he was associated with as opposed to it being a straight example of the zany roles he's known for.
  • Love at First Sight: For Sylvia, despite his friend's attempts to distract him with trumpet playing and his planned future wife's Crash-Into Hello.
  • The Masquerade: His entire life is a sham of which everyone except him is aware. Becomes a Broken Masquerade as he figures out the truth.
  • Meaningful Name: Truman — the only "true man" surrounded by actors. Burbank — after the south California city nicknamed the "Media capital of the world".
  • My Greatest Failure: Couldn't save his father from drowning during a boating accident when he was young, which is where his aquaphobia stems from. Even more tragically, that whole accident was All According to Plan.
  • Nice Guy: Truman is just a sweetheart to everyone he meets. Until things start to go sideways.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: It's very subtle, and you probably wouldn't notice it on your first screening of the movie, but Truman's behavior changes after he's reunited with his 'father'. He feigns blissful ignorance of his prison, for after that night he realizes that everything and everyone truly is conspiring against his efforts to leave, the events are so forced, so horribly contrived, they can't possibly be real.
  • Parental Abandonment: His father "drowned" (but was really Put on a Bus).
  • Plot Armor: Enforced, both in-universe and out. Being the 'star' of his show, Truman cannot be killed, injured, or be really inconvenienced, at least until he starts trying to break out. Part of his realization involves stepping in front of a moving bus, then a car coming on the opposite direction. Both stop immediately, revealing that the drivers have their attention on him rather than in their routine, yet neither steps out or tries to get him out of the road because that's not what they've been hired for! This makes the climax all the more powerful, when Christof seems to lose it to the point of being willing to drown Truman before letting him go.
  • Properly Paranoid: He doesn't know what exactly is controlling his life, but he's painfully aware that something is.
  • Ridiculously Average Guy: The fact that Truman is nice in an ordinary way seems to be part of his appeal to the viewers in-universe.
  • Sad Clown: In a way, the film plays with Jim Carrey's public image. Truman has a big, goofy sense of humor, but it's done to show him hiding his loneliness and longing for escape.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: To Christof in their climactic confrontation.
    Christof: I know you better than you know yourself.
    Truman: You never had a camera in my head!
  • Spotting the Thread: The world Truman spent his entire life in starts collapsing as he begins noticing multiple threads pulling apart. The most prominent of these threads? Seeing his father suddenly alive again.
  • Stepford Smiler: He's obviously quietly dissatisfied with his life quite early on in the movie.
  • Took a Level in Badass: By the third act, he goes from a mild-mannered everyman to the seafaring adventurer that he always wanted to be.
  • Unwitting Test Subject: What's especially sad is that his life, down to the smallest detail, is controlled. Truman is a guinea pig. He has to wear the clothes, eat the food, buy the products he's told to and throw out the old ones, whenever the other advertising-pressured actors force him to.
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The Cast

    Hannah/Meryl 

Hannah Gill (Meryl Burbank)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/45f3465c59a5c6742909cf2194c3f0d0.png
Portrayed By: Laura Linney

Truman's wife, a nurse at the local hospital. Since the show relies on product placement for revenue, Meryl regularly shows off various items she has recently "purchased," one of the many oddities that makes Truman question his life. Her role is essentially to act the part of Truman's wife and ultimately to have a child by him, despite her reluctance to accomplish either.


  • Abusive Parents: Intended to become this. She was to be the mother of Truman's child, who would then be the "star" of his/her own show as well...she seemingly had no problem with this.
  • All There in the Manual: Her whole backstory is explained in a tie-in book.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Hannah's acting style fits right in with the fifties aesthetic Christof is going for, but she's notably hammier than Marlon and when it comes to improvisation, she's a catastrophe who falls back on the Product Placement she's so good at. It's to the point that you can tell how real is her emotional breakdown after Truman confronts her in the kitchen, because it feels genuine in comparison to her show act.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Her stepford tendencies hide a rather nasty person. Truman eventually catches on to this.
  • Blatant Lies: Comes with the role, but her interview in the expanded "Mike Michaelson" show segment begs a mention. When asked about why she crossed her fingers at her wedding with Truman, she first denies it, then tries to pass it as an "old Swedish tradition".
  • Cargo Cult: In the same segment, she claims there is a shrine to her in Malaysia.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Does this all the time. Mainly because said subject is usually Truman discovering all the oddities of his engineered world.
  • Compete for the Maiden's Hand: In the tie-in media she was among five other candidates selected to be an appropriate love interest and future bride for Truman. The crew decided whoever Truman talked to/interacted with the most, would win the part. Truman only had eyes for Sylvia. Hannah took matters into her own hands and forced herself into the situation, by faking she tripped on him. The other four actresses were furious with Hannah for cheating.
  • Designated Love Interest: A funny case of this happening in-universe. Meryl and Truman's relationship, despite clearly being intended as an idyllic romance swelling with Americana, is shown to be strained, clumsy, and absent in chemistry. Truman himself seems baffled at the fact that she claims to love him, when she doesn't share his interests, doesn't seem to like having him around, and isn't very friendly to him outside of doing her duties as a wife. From what we see of the real world, it seems that even the audiences don't find her a very convincing bride for Truman, and see her as a rebound relationship at best. Eventually, their relationship comes crashing down when the stress of being in a more-than-dead marriage becomes too much to bear for both Truman and Meryl.
  • Drama Queen: Last seen wearing a neck brace, even though the entire world saw Truman didn't injure her following their spat.
  • Former Child Star: Explained in tie-in media.
  • Gold Digger: She's married to Truman, but she is Only in It for the Money and can barely stand him.
  • Housewife: Her main role once she marries Truman is to be a stereotypical example of this trope.
  • Ironic Nickname: Her in-show persona is probably named after Meryl Streep, but while Streep is touted as the best actress of her generation, Hannah is a terrible actress whose role mostly consists of awkwardly inserting product placement.
  • Jerkass: Continues to try and hock products even when Truman is deeply distressed.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor:
    • Despite playing Truman's wife, she doesn't really love him in real life, and only pretends to do so out of payment.
    • In the expanded Mike Michaelson segment, she drops her smile and terminates the interview as soon as the issue of her having sex with Truman is brought up. She then goes on a tirade about how she had agreed with Christof to only answer approved questions, with not even a pretension to dodge the issue politely.
  • Money, Dear Boy: In-Universe, she has zero real love for Truman. She plays the wife for money.
  • Product Placement: The character that engages the most in it and the most blatantly, even when it is the absolutely worst thing she could do.
  • Rich Bitch: Gloats that she's accumulated a fortune that rivals the Queen of England's after years on the show.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Meryl doesn't really love Truman and is only acting the part of his love interest.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After she and Truman threaten each other, she decides continuing her role is "[Too] unprofessional", so it's time to up and leave.
  • Stepford Smiler: On the other side of the coin from Truman, Hannah Gill is this when she plays Meryl, because she doesn't really love him. It gets creepy as hell when she's doing product plugs at the expense of actually caring about her TV husband. And the creepy soundtrack in the background certainly doesn't help. note 

    Louis/Marlon 

Louis Coltrane

Marlon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/973d31eb723cb4edeaaa38c42a7ab538.png
Portrayed By: Noah Emmerich

Truman's best friend since early childhood. Marlon is a vending machine operator for the company Goodies, who promises Truman he would never lie to him, despite the latest events in Truman's life.


  • All There in the Manual: Noah Emmerich revealed that Louis has a serious drug problem and has been in and out of rehab. This is either due to his guilt about deceiving Truman, or the reason he stays in the show. It's entirely possible that his 'fake life' is a source of stability for him.
    Noah Emmerich: My character is in a lot of pain. He feels really guilty about deceiving Truman. He's had a serious drug addiction for many years. Been in and out of rehab.
  • Becoming the Mask: There are several hints that he has genuinely come to care for his onscreen best friend. Unlike Hannah/Meryl and Truman's 'parents', Louis seems somewhat conflicted about his role in the big lie. Deleted scenes confirm it.
  • The Bus Came Back: Some lines of dialogue imply that Marlon was Put on a Bus that came back at different points during the show's run, likely to facilitate his actor's numerous stints in rehab. One of them had him taking a job as a long haul trucker.
  • The Cavalry: Every time Truman freaks out, Marlon is sent in with a 6-pack to ease his mind. Naturally, he intervenes when it seems Truman is on the verge of injuring Hannah/Meryl.
  • Demoted to Extra: His character became much simpler and villainous after many key scenes with him were cut from the movie.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In a deleted scene. During the Truman's escape, he runs into Marlon while disguised and Marlon sees right through it. Instead of alerting everyone else, Marlon pretends not to recognize him and goes in the opposite direction to give Truman the opportunity to get to the boat.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Truman's lifelong friend in Truman Show canon. There's some hints dropped, especially in deleted scenes, that unlike other cast members, he's grown genuinely attached to Truman.
  • In Love with the Mark: A friendship example, Marlon laments the fact that he deceives Truman on a daily basis since he likely grew up on the show with Truman. A few deleted scenes indicate that he's begining to side with the Free Truman movement by asking if they will go back into one-channel format after Truman dies.
  • It's All About Me: He starts off this way as a child actor, but gradually becomes disillusioned as an adult with living the fake life. Christof's future plans and his own continual lying to Truman begin to take a toll on his health.
  • Pet the Dog: In a deleted scene, he turns a blind eye to Truman escaping.
  • Product Placement: Marlon always visits Truman with a 6-pack, and always makes sure the brand is facing the camera. After drinking a can, he'll even stare awkwardly and declare, "That's a beer."
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He'll stop Truman's attempts to find the truth if he's ordered to, but likewise, he won't stop Truman from escaping unless he's ordered to.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: As Truman's "best friend." Part of Marlon's characterization is his tendency to haze Truman, though no more than a punch on the arm once in a while.
  • Servile Snarker: In a deleted scene, he is visibly upset when he replies to Christof's announcement of the show going into two-channel format after Truman's child is born, by asking if they'll go back into one-channel format after Truman dies. This is the closest anyone gets to the "Free Truman" movement while still under Christof's employment; the question mirrors their slogan "How is it going to end?"
  • Token Good Teammate: According to Noah Emmerich, he has felt enormous guilt about deceiving Truman, unlike everyone on the set (except Sylvia), and even developed a drug problem over it. A couple of deleted scenes make it clear and give him a moment of redemption.
  • Wag the Director: In-universe, parodied in one of the most hilarious bits of the "Mike Michaelson" segment. He claims that Christof once wanted Marlon to get "brain cancer" in the show, and that he bitterly fought against it.

    Sylvia/Lauren 

Sylvia

Lauren Garland

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2d845591b8a646653fae4b64d1078371.png

Sylvia was hired to play a background extra, a fellow student at Truman's college, named Lauren. She became romantically involved with Truman and tried to reveal to him the truth about his life, but was thrown out of the show before she could do so. She then becomes a protester against The Truman Show, urging Christof to release its lead.


  • Ascended Extra: Involuntarily, in-universe. Originally hired to play a background extra, until Truman falls in love with her.
  • Ass Pull: In-universe, the show awkwardly claims that she is schizophrenic, then that she's moving to Fiji in order to remove her from Truman's life and justify why he can't contact her. All they achieve is to make him fall for her further and to fantasize about going to Fiji in his adult life.
  • Awful Truth: She tries to explain everything about Truman's life is artificial, he doesn't understand, but never stopped thinking of her.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Oh, Sylvia. You should've known that Christof wouldn't take kindly to someone doing this right in front of his star.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Her attempt to tell Truman he's on TV 24/7... well, doesn't include the words "TV" or "24/7". Justified given Christof's absolute control over everything.
  • Defector from Decadence: Goes from working in the show as an extra to trying to reveal the truth to Truman, and later to campaign for the show's end.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: An Invoked Trope, "Lauren" was originally meant to literally just be an extra in the show, but Truman happened to have Love at First Sight with her. In the heat of the moment she ran off with him for one night and tried to tell him the truth about the setting, and this left a lasting impact on both Truman and the show as a whole. Even Meryl, Truman's intended Love Interest-turned-Wife is treated as a Replacement Scrappy by the show's fanbase.
  • Fake Nationality: In-universe, implied to be British but playing a local girl in the show. Not the case in reality, as McElhonne is actually from England.
  • Good Counterpart: Is this to Meryl. Meryl strung and manipulated Truman along for years, all for wealth and her career. Sylvia had a very minor role, but actually came to care for Truman, and was willing to sacrifice a lucrative acting career to tell him the truth.
  • Hysterical Woman: In-universe, the show tries to write her as such when they remove her from it.
  • The Lost Lenore: Sylvia is this for Truman. The show milks this fact for all it's worth.
  • Love Interest: Accidentally becomes this to the panic of the crew.
  • Meaningful Name: "Lauren", derived from the laurel tree, has connotations of victory, honor, and wisdom. "Sylvia" means "Woman of the Woods", or more liberally, "Wild One". She's the one actor Christof cannot control and the ultimate responsible for breaking Truman's illusion. Even her in-show surname, "Garland", is a botanical reference.
  • Not So Different: After their bitter on-air callback confrontation, the way both Sylvia and Christof stroke Truman's image on the monitor suggests that, for their obvious vehement differences, they both genuinely love and care for Truman in their separate ways.
  • The One That Got Away: She's this for Truman, and it haunts them both for years.
  • Only Sane Woman: The only person who ever felt sorry enough for Truman to protest against Christof and The Truman Show.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In-Universe. Reverts to a British accent when she's about to be seized and taken off the show.
  • Put on a Bus: She's written out of the show to keep Truman from learning the truth.
  • The Reveal: Attempts to invoke this, and fails.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Sylvia proves to be a literal case of this during her short time as an actress on the Truman Show. Originally playing an extra, her own feelings for Truman led to her trying to tell him the truth about the show in the heat of the moment. She was immediately removed from the set and written out of the series. Even in the present, Truman continues to think about that night and it's what fuels him to break free.
  • Token Good Teammate: The only cast member to come clean to Truman about his situation.

    Alanis/Angela 

Alanis Montclair

Angela Burbank

Portrayed By: Holland Taylor

Truman's mother: Christof orders that she attempt to persuade Truman to have children.


  • All There in the Manual: The Truman Show was, in the first year of his life, a low-budget show called Bringing Up Baby in which Montclair (a well-known actress at the time) was Truman's only co-star (his father Kirk was added in the second year). This makes her (along with Truman) the only original cast member. It also means this woman was Truman's only constant companion in the first year of his life — and yet she somehow failed to bond with him when she raised him from infancy. She is one cold fish.
  • Blatant Lies: The Mount Rushmore vacation that never happened, as Truman is told that he fell asleep through it all. When he points out that it looks way too small in the photo, she closes the book and states that you remember everything from your childhood as bigger than it was. Right after telling him that he could not remember it at all because he slept through it!
  • Evil Matriarch: She's not Truman's mother, but she still uses that to force Truman to act on behalf of Christof.
  • Ice Queen: Good Lord, she's worse than Rich Bitch Meryl in this category.
  • I Want Grandkids: Is pushing Truman to have children on this excuse; what she really wants is to fulfill the wishes of Christof, who is still holding out for the first on-air conception.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: She only pretended to care for Truman out of a selfish reason of being paid, rather than any real affection.
  • Lack of Empathy: It's baffling that any human being could play the part of Truman's parent for all his life and not begin to form any genuine attachment to him at all, but rather just keep lying to him. The part where she passive-aggressively suggests that he was responsible for his father's death is truly horrifying.
  • My Beloved Smother: She certainly acts this role.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: Probably one of the worst of them, since she plays Truman's mother.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Implied in the expanded "Mike Michaelson" segment. Even as Truman has moved into adulthood and gotten more out of her hair, her commitment to the show is still too much to have a career outside of it, or even to enjoy the money she makes from it.
    Alanis: I could buy the most expensive hotel in Paris, but I couldn't go there.
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    Walter/Kirk 

Walter Moore (Kirk Burbank)

Played By: Brian Delate

Truman's father. When Truman was a boy, his character on the show was killed off to instil a fear of water in his son that would prevent Truman from leaving the set; however, he sneaks back onto the set when Truman is an adult. This causes Truman to begin questioning his staged life, and as he tries to get away from it the writers are forced to write a plot in which Kirk had not drowned but had suffered from amnesia.


  • Back from the Dead: Christof decides to re-introduce Truman's father in a bid to keep Truman from breaking free of the show.
  • Disappeared Dad: Invoked this to make Truman afraid of the water and keep him in town.
  • It's All About Me: He didn't want to be killed off, not because he didn't want Truman traumatized, but because he didn't want to leave the show.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Any bonding moments with his "son" is more out of selfish reason, rather than genuine care.
  • Lack of Empathy: As mentioned above, he doesn't give a rat's ass about Truman being traumatized.
  • Meaningful Name: Walter, the father of a Hollywood powerhouse, "drowned" when he was playing a Captain Kirk.
  • Never Found the Body: Truman's reason for holding out hope that his father is still alive. More subtly, it could be to keep Truman from ever getting closure, thus keeping him traumatized and afraid of water.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: He played a big role in traumatizing a very young Truman and giving him a phobia of water that followed him all the way to adulthood by "drowning".
  • Riches to Rags: He wasn't a success after leaving the show (possibly backlash from audiences blaming him for Truman's continued on-air grieving and traumatic childhood), so he sneaks back onto the set, not out of guilt, but to get Christof to revive his career.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: In-universe, Walter succeeds in forcing Christof to rewrite the show and reintroduce him after sneaking into the dome. Unfortunately for him, this is also the final nail on the coffin for the show, so he gets nothing of it in the end.

The Crew

    Christof 

Christof

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/06ada62d0ae9f1768405041a11251807.png
"I have given Truman the chance to lead a normal life. The world, the place you live in, is the sick place. Seahaven is the way the world should be."
Portrayed By: Ed Harris

The creator of The Truman Show. Christof remains dedicated to the program at all costs, often overseeing and directing its course in person.


  • Abusive Parents: In a metaphorical sense, the overprotective variety towards Truman as he believes he's protecting Truman from a cruel and unjust world. However, he's still willing to manipulate Truman and inflict lifelong psychological trauma to maintain control over his life. In the ending, he opts to try killing Truman instead of letting him escape his protection.
  • Affably Evil: Despite his disrespect for Truman’s freedom and privacy, Christof was actually never willing to hurt Truman as long as he stayed in the studio world, and was otherwise nice.
  • Anti-Villain: Indeed, if you look at Christof's actions, primarily in the final scene, you see that he shows a deep caring for Truman and the message he gives to the world, which would portray him more as a Well-Intentioned Extremist. The characterization, however, is ruined when you remember that about a scene earlier, Christof was trying to capsize Truman's boat, knowing that it could easily kill him.
  • Artsy Beret: Christof, the auteur creator/producer/director of the eponymous Show Within a Show wears a beret.
  • Babies Ever After: He's determined that the show will broadcast the first conception to the world within weeks, regardless of Truman's lack of enthusiasm, irrespective of Meryl's resignation and rushing through a relationship with a woman he barely knows intended to be his next partner. He wants a two-channel format both chronicling their separate lives.
  • Bald of Evil: Combined with Four Eyes, Zero Soul. He believes himself to be something of a father figure. Anyone with a heart can see how callous he really is.
  • Big Bad: The overseer and manipulator of Truman's life. And he's hailed as a genius for it.
  • Blatant Lies: Tries to assert that Truman can leave Seahaven whenever he truly wants to. This is laughable considering that assertion was made to a former extra, on the same week where the lead actor has made numerous attempts to go, and yet been denied every single time.
  • Control Freak: Christof is utterly convinced that he knows what's best for Truman and determined to rule every aspect of his life. Notably he didn't start this way, but gradually became this over time.
  • The Dreaded: He is a giant in the entertainment industry. Many of the cast members respect and fear him, doing their upmost to comply with his every instruction.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The entire reason why he bumped Walter/Kirk off the show in the first place was to traumatize Truman inducing Aquaphobia. When Truman becomes disillusioned and suspicious of his world after seeing his "father" again, when the latter sneaks back onto the set to be promptly escorted out, Christof realizes only what caused the unsolvable problem can solve it, reuniting Truman with Walter/Kirk. But not only didn't he anticipate this wouldn't deter Truman from trying to leave, but he just cured the star of his crippling fear of the ocean.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He won't broadcast Truman's bathroom breaks, sex (despite paying Meryl extra for every encounter), or injure and kill him for real. At least out of his mind.
  • Gaslighting: In essence, how he controls Truman's behavior. Of course, he does this through his actors.
  • A God Am I: Has these feelings towards Truman. By the climax he's reached the point he believes he has the right to kill him for the sake of the show. There's also a moment at the end where he speaks to Truman, and describes himself as "the creator... [Beat] of a television show, that gives hope and joy and inspiration to millions."
  • God Is Evil: Lampshades this himself, by indirectly calling Truman a hero for trying to escape his world by boat.
  • God Is Displeased: Becomes very unhappy with Truman's apparent paranoia as his star questions the world around him.
  • God Is Flawed: He is all-powerful... over a single town. Over a free-spirit who loves adventure and exploration.
  • God Is Inept: His writing isn't as "magnificent" as he fools himself to believe. Forcing the increasingly-skeptical Truman to "get with the script" even as and when setbacks occur, and while ramming obligatory advertising down his throat, ultimately causes his fake reality to fall apart.
  • Hypocrite:
    • A man who jealously guards his privacy is the orchestrator of the greatest invasion of privacy in history.
    • On an artistic level, he says that one of the main draws of his show is that people can see a real person play out his life. But just like any director worth his salt, he micromanages literally everything and everyone on the set.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He gave Truman the chance to lead a normal life. While fake, it's still more than his real biological mother and father ever did for him in the real world.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The moment he pops into frame in the second act, the movie takes on a considerably darker tone.
  • Loving a Shadow: While he seems to think of Truman as a surrogate child, it's made clear that he just doesn't understand him as another person, especially near the end, where he fails to realize that he's negating Truman's aquaphobia by reintroducing his fake father and that his star really does have the resolve to escape. In their first and only conversation, Truman pointedly tells Christoff that he never fit a camera in his head.
  • Mad Artist: On a truly grand scale. This trope is what makes Christof even more chilling than simply being in it for ratings and money. Seahaven and Truman aren't just a Cash Cow Franchise for him; he's more interested in them as an artistic statement, reflecting his cynical views of the world outside. As he says, "Seahaven is the way the world should be." It's how he keeps Seahaven, and Truman, within his framework, that reveals how grey (at best) his morals really are.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Taken to a Logical Extreme.
  • Meaningful Name: Christof. Of Christ. Plays God in Truman's life.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: The driving force behind everything he's doing — he thinks the world outside is "sick" and uses that to justify keeping Truman shielded in his artificial town.
  • Not So Stoic: He comes off pretty cool and collected, but as things start to go wrong for him, he starts barking orders at his crew at the top of his lungs.
    Christof: Cut transmission!
    Simeon: Cut transmission??
    Christof: CUT IT!!! (angrily does it himself)
  • Narcissist: Taken to frightening levels.
  • Only One Name: He's only ever referred to as "Christof". This is probably a justified case, given his identity appears to be kept a secret for a good majority of the film.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • The moment where Christof strokes the large screen showing the sleeping Truman does suggest that Christof, in his warped and Control Freaky way, does genuinely love and care for Truman as a father. He does the same thing at the very end, when he talks to Truman for the first time.
    • He forbids Truman's bathroom breaks and sleeping with Meryl to be broadcast, the camera will fade to the scenery of Seahaven, giving the unknowing actor as much decency and privacy as can be afforded. That said, it's a toss-up if this is his idea of decency or if broadcast standards and practices won't allow him to show those "scenes."
  • Prima Donna Director: His directing skills are probably marvelous but he is repeatedly called out for his bad writing. He seems either oblivious about, or unwilling to admit it, specially once the cat is out of the bag and he tries to keep Truman in the show by any means possible.
  • Properly Paranoid: His protocol includes mandatory reporting of any "unusual" activity. He reprimands his camera directors when Truman sleeps in the basement one night. The night Truman makes a break for it undetected.
  • Smug Snake: He tries way, way too hard to be the Manipulative Bastard, but falls short because of his own ego.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: According to the writers, he genuinely did start with noble intentions. It's just decades of having complete control over one town has made him fanatically obsessed with maintaining it.
  • The Unfettered: This man masterminded an entire town sealed inside a colossal dome just to discreetly house the entire life of one man; he's gotta be this trope.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Seahaven is Christof's utopia. Unfortunately, the means have little to no regard for Truman's mental or physical well-being.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Has a pretty dangerous one of these in the third act.
  • Villainous BSoD: Taken to the most literal extreme possible, with the very end of the movie being him spacing out as the screen he was watching Truman on goes blow, with his head soon slumping against it in despair.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: As the creator of an extremely popular TV show. The host of "Trutalk" practically falls all over himself complimenting Christof's brilliance.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The creators reveal Christof made a documentary about homelessness when he was young, and seeing the truly miserable and awful lives some people have to lead is what inspired The Truman Show. Nothing justifies what he did, of course, but with that in mind, it's a bit easier to understand where he's coming from. He's the closest thing Truman has to a real parent, and like any parent, he wants his child to grow up in a world where he can be happy, carefree, and above all, safe. Noble intentions, but the execution...
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Whenever Truman ends up going Off the Rails from whatever it was Christof wanted to happen, Christof acts quickly to engineer events that not only get him back on track, but also at the same time spin the unexpected events into an interesting plot point.

    Simeon 

Simeon

Portrayed By: Paul Giamatti

Christof's right hand man in the control room, who grows increasingly uncomfortable with Christof.


  • Everyone Has Standards: As Truman tries to escape, he refuses an order from Christof to use the weather function to capsize Truman's boat, leaving an angry Christof to do it himself.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Not as hyper-competent as his boss, he fails to notice Truman was feigning complacence to let down whoever/whatever's guard he suspected had him under surveillance. Christof is pissed after realizing this, and would've probably fired him, if not for the fact that Truman escaping that same night puts them all out of a job.
  • Number Two: As much of a Control Freak as Christof is, he still has to sleep, meaning he relies on Simeon to man just as much of the show's production.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: He's passionate about the production of The Truman Show, but in the end, it's just his job.
  • Token Good Teammate: "Good" might be stretching it considering the business he's involved in, but he grows increasingly sympathetic toward Truman. In the control room, as he refuses to drown Truman when he escapes on a sail ship.
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