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Actor Allusion

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The movie makes a sly reference to a famous earlier role by Irons. When Simba tells him, "You're so weird," he replies "You have no idea," in exactly the tone he used in "Reversal of Fortune."
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An Actor Allusion is the deliberate, yet typically rather isolated, throw-away references to previous works/roles of an actor in a work, say a joke or mannerism. The reference is unlikely to have much plot relevance, and is unlikely to be anything but a deliberate nod to the actor's previous work. Also note that it is for allusions to roles, not the actor themselves, with the equivalent being an Actor-Shared Background.

It can be a little blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, such as Mary Albright (Jane Curtin) spotting some people in Conehead costumes at a sci-fi convention in 3rd Rock from the Sun, or it can be bigger and more blatant, such as when John Lithgow repeated his entire anti-music rant from Footloose in the same show. Casting two or more actors who not only appeared together in a previous production, but spent a great deal of time onscreen together (especially alone) really reinforces the reference, as the page image demonstrates.

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Related to the Shout-Out, and is sometimes triggered by I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine or a Casting Gag. But while a Casting Gag relies upon casting an actor in a role that inherently has many comparisons to their previous roles or real life, an Actor Allusion uses only small details of only a previous plot or role for the actor. In either case, though, if the role being referenced was on a previous version of the show, it's a Remake Cameo.

Contrast with Celebrity Paradox and Meta Casting where the actor themselves is the subject of reference. This is show business' In-Universe way of acknowledging Role Association.

Try to be sure a reference is blatant, specific, or Word of God before committing yourself.


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Examples:


Alternative Title(s): Actress Allusion

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