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Awesome, Dear Boy

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"The roles that one is offered at this age, quite frankly, you're either in a nursing home, you're in a hospital bed dying, you're suffering from dementia, or in fact, in two cases, I was offered two characters who'd actually died and come back to life. When this role came along, I thought well, I won't get another chance like this before I die, and that's why I took it. It was absolutely wonderful."
Melissa Jaffer on accepting a role as the Keeper of the Seeds in Mad Max: Fury Road

Some actors hate their past gigs because they seriously misjudged the quality at the time, only did them for the paycheck, or were required by contract to do so.

But some did the movie because they got to be vampires or superheroes, walk away from explosions in trenchcoats, ride motorcycles and fly through the air swinging a frickin' samurai sword. With Samuel L. Jackson. This trope is when an actor took the part based on its cool factor. They want it to be on their résumé for their next job. Or, they'll be brushing over it on their résumé, but wrecking the set with fight scenes, explosions and over-acting sounded like great fun.

Contrast and compare with Money, Dear Boy, Doing It for the Art, and So My Kids Can Watch. Frequently overlaps with Promoted Fanboy. See also Vacation, Dear Boy, where the location is part of the awesomeness.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dub voice acting for anime tends to pay less than voice work for western animation. Many anime voice actors, like Kyle Hebert, still do it for the love of the craft. One of the biggest pieces of early advice newcomers get is to always love what you do, since the job is infamous for its low paygrade.
    • The dub cast of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt had a blast playing foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed angels and demons who regularly cause massive property damage. It's also said to be a fun writing process adapting the filthy scripts.
    • Many actors new to the scene can be positively ecstatic, as several who do so spend years in fan projects typically with a background in fandubbing or covering anime songs, so for many, it's a dream come true. Juliet Simmons was so overcome with joy when she got the lead role as Chiyo Sakura in Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun she would write in all caps for several days after and couldn't wait to watch the series to see how it turned out.
  • The Pretty Cure franchise:
  • Monica Rial's reasoning for playing Saki on Steel Angel Kurumi? "I wanted to play the lesbian!"
  • Jason Griffith originally auditioned for the role of Chris Thorndyke in Sonic X because he wanted to know what it was like to be Sonic's best human friend. He wound up getting the role of Sonic, instead.
  • When Hayao Miyazaki's localization team first approached Christian Bale about taking a role in the dub of Howl's Moving Castle, Bale didn't even let them finish asking him before he agreed—and he didn't know what role he'd be playing, either. As soon as he heard the word "Miyazaki," he was on board. That he got to play the title character was just an added bonus.
  • While preparing for the role of Piccolo in Dragonball Evolution, James Marsters had become a fan of Dragon Ball himself. So much so that, years later, he would again become involved in the series, voicing breakout villain Zamasu in Dragon Ball Super under an alias (as he had to work a non-union job below his pay grade to take the role). His enthusiasm for the role is evident, as his performance is arguably the best in the history of the Dragon Ball franchise's English dubs.

    Film — Animation 
  • Vincent Price took the role of Professor Ratigan in The Great Mouse Detective because he'd always wanted to voice a villain in a Disney movie.
  • Tom Hanks signed up for Toy Story when Pixar showed him a rough skit featuring a wireframe Woody. He said he knew the film was going to be unlike any other and signed on when they pitched him.
  • Taye Diggs said that being in an animated movie was "on [his] bucket list," which is why he took the role of The Artful Dodger Capper from My Little Pony: The Movie (2017).
  • Edward James Olmos called his single scene in the film Coco "a career highlight" and accepted almost instantaneously when Pixar offered it.
  • This is why James Woods agreed to play Hades in Hercules and all of its various spinoffs. He's gone on record as it being the one role he would agree to play again anytime, anywhere, for any amount of money (and he has, to this day, played that character every time he has appeared, with only one exception due to a focus on singing: House of Villains, where instead Hades was voiced by Rob Paulsen.)
  • Part of the reason why Dwayne Johnson agreed to the role of Maui in Moana was the thrill of seeing his Polynesian ancestry get so beautifully depicted in a major motion picture, and he admitted to crying Tears of Joy over it many, many times during production.
  • A double dose of this led to Kristen Bell having a cameo in Zootopia. Not only has Kristen been a life-long fan of Disney, she absolutely adores sloths. When the filmmakers were discussing who would voice the two words spoken by a sloth character, someone remembered Kristen's Cuteness Proximity reaction to one from an appearance on the The Ellen DeGeneres Show. According to the casting director, Kristen responded in less than three minutes after they sent her a note about the role, "the quickest deal ever made in Hollywood."
  • Rosie O'Donnell had always wanted to voice a character in a Disney animated movie. She got her wish when she was cast as Terk the gorilla in Tarzan.
  • Zachary Levi was thrilled to voice Flynn Rider in Tangled, partly because he got to star in a Disney animated film, and partly because of the chance to reprise his role in the Kingdom Hearts series. Nine years later, he would get his wish in Kingdom Hearts III.
  • Toy Story 2: The reason Jonathan Harris was cast as the cleaner who fixes Woody, after he previously played Manny in A Bug's Life. As explained by Andrew Stanton in the DVD Commentary, "He wanted to work with us again, and we wanted to work with him again!"

    Film — Live-Action 
  • According to Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck absolutely loved being in his movies. Kevin was fully aware of this and has joked over the fact that he would make Ben work for scale. It should be noted that this was before Gigli when Ben could easily get an eight-figure check in any other role. He agreed to appear in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot despite not having spoken to Smith in years and rekindled their friendship. Smith also reminisced that Stan Lee was always itching to work with him. This was because unlike his usual cameos which were often just him showing up as a joke at the time, Lee was always delighted that Smith gave him the chance to actually perform and read lines, having wanted to be an actor when he was younger.
  • Almost every actor who has worked on a Woody Allen film has done so despite low pay, Allen's unusual working methods (never showing the actors a complete script, never talking to them unless they screw up), and the low box-office receipts his films usually get, just because they want to work with Allen.
  • Same can be said about David Lynch to the point that interviews with his actors talk of him as some form of pure and mystical benevolent cult leader and never complain about the comparatively low pay, the polarizing nature of his movies, the probable type casting, or his methods similar to Allen's of never showing the full script, this all because he's "not a dick".
  • Batman:
    • Much of The Dark Knight Trilogy is composed of people who grew up with the Batman mythos. They simply happen to be award-winning actors and actresses as well.
    • Christian Bale said something to the effect of no matter how hard he worked out or how miserably uncomfortable the Batsuit was, it was all worth it because he got to be Batman.
    • Related to the above, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have all mentioned in interviews that they were speechless after first seeing Christian Bale in the Batsuit.
    • Cillian Murphy's reason for joining Nolan's Batman Begins: "Just to be near the Batmobile".
    • Tom Hardy apparently didn't even know what character he would play, only that he was asked to play a bad guy in one of Nolan's Batman movies and get to play with a lot of guns and explosions. The phrase "giddy as a school girl" may or may not have been used before it came out he was going to be Bane.
    • Even United States Senators aren't immune to this trope. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is a lifelong Batman fan, and has cameoed in The Dark Knight (as the party guest who tells Joker he's not intimidated by thugs like him), The Dark Knight Rises, Batman: The Animated Series, and even Batman & Robin. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where he also appears, a Michigan senator even asked Leahy to get her a cameo (after all, the movie was being shot in Detroit).
    • Before Christopher Nolan's trilogy, this was Jack Nicholson's reason for playing The Joker in Tim Burton's Batman (1989), although the record-setting paydaynote  certainly sweetened the pot.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Ezra Miller was vocal from the start about how excited they were to play Barry Allen/The Flash.
    • Zack Snyder's Justice League:
      • In Zoom meetings on YouTube fan channels, Ray Porter has expressed no shortage of enthusiasm about taking on the role of Darkseid, be it the fact that he loves what he learned about the character, working with Snyder, the prospect of having action figures themed after a character that he played or that he came after some big names like Michael Ironside.
      • Jared Leto parted ways with DC Films due to the extensive Executive Meddling that considerably reduced the screentime of his character, the Joker, in Suicide Squad. He was then replaced by a Fake Shemp in Birds of Prey. However, he later accepted to appear as the Joker once more in Zack Snyder's Justice League at Snyder's own request. Interviews show that he did so because he loved the idea of working with Snyder (calling him "a warrior", "a madman" in endearing terms), also knowing that the director's creative freedom would be respected this time around, unlike what happened to David Ayer.
      • Joe Manganiello was in a similar position as Leto above, having admitted to growing disillusioned about playing Deathstroke after multiple projects he'd been tapped to reprise the role in were either cancelled or put in Development Hell. And much like Leto, he got enthusiastic again when Snyder called him up to shoot new scenes.
  • Actors like John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, and John Turturro have worked with Michael Bay, despite his reputation for Lowest Common Denominator action movies, due to his image as a guy who's always having fun on his film sets and knows how to fill them with energy. On the other hand, his reputation as a tough general on set has caused many other actors (including Bruce Willis and Kate Beckinsale) to swear off ever working with him again.
  • The Beatles:
  • Halle Berry originally said that she did Catwoman (2004) because she wanted the awesome experience of playing a woman beholden to no one. However, in an illustration that Hollywood acknowledges the power of this trope, it turned out that she was only saying this for publicity's sake; she later gave an interview saying that she mainly did it because she was under contract (thus beholden to people).
  • Paul Bettany did Legion because he got to play with guns and got to be the good guy in an action film for once.
  • Cate Blanchett largely took the role of Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings because she wanted to wear the elf ears.
  • David Bowie appeared in Yellowbeard pretty much because he just wanted to work with the Pythons.
  • Nicolas Cage was a Promoted Fanboy for his role as Ghost Rider. Basically, anytime you ask Cage to play a superhero, he's there. He named his kid Kal-El! Not to mention naming himself after Luke Cage. He also plays a superhero in Kick-Ass.
    • To elaborate on how much of a Ghost Rider fan Cage is, the production crew had to cover up one of his tattoos because it would have been unusual for his character to sport a tattoo of himself.
    • This is also the reason he did Season of the Witch. He always wanted to play a knight.
    • Nicolas Cage almost never takes supporting roles but made an exception for Film/Renfield because he got to play Dracula.
    • There's a degree of this to every role Nic Cage takes, which is part of what makes him so awesome - he's always Doing It for the Art.
    • Though after his bankruptcy, Money, Dear Boy has also been a driving factor.
  • When it was announced that a Fantastic Four film was in the works, Michael Chiklis, a huge fan of the comics, was the first man in line to audition. He even learned to talk through the heavy prosthetics and fake teeth even though the director said that he could ADR his lines because he felt that being able to perform his part live would better convey the character's pain. His anecdote was that, when casting was announced, he walked up to Stan Lee and introduced himself as Ben Grimm.
  • Peter Cullen was invited to voice the Predator, and was reluctant, since he injured his throat voicing Kong in King Kong (1976). Then he saw the unmasked creature and accepted.
  • Matt Damon, on why he took the role in Saving Private Ryan:
    "It was offered to me. When Spielberg says jump, bitches say how high?"
    • On Behind the Candelabra:
      "My agent used quite a bit more words, but the only thing I remember hearing was 'Do you want front row seats for Michael Douglas doing Liberace and being paid for it?' and the answer had to be YES."
  • Viola Davis has said this was her reason for agreeing to play Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad (2016). She was a fan of Wonder Woman as a child, and thus thought it'd be cool to play a DC Comics superhero (well, Anti-Hero).
  • Much like Damon, Dane DeHaan took a tiny role in Lincoln because "when you get the phone call of 'do you want to spend a night with Daniel Day-Lewis and Steven Spielberg?', the answer is yes."
  • Vin Diesel took a voluntary pay cut to jump-start the production of Riddick with an R rating and to avoid Executive Meddling.
  • During interviews, many of the actors of the movie All About Eve were impressed with the script and knew that acting in the film would be a great opportunity for them.
  • Johnny Depp said he did Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl because he, like every little boy, has always wanted to be a pirate and this would let him. And then he proceeded to totally steal the movie from its intended leading pair of Will and Elizabeth, mainly because he just thought that it would be fun to channel Keith Richards. Made funnier by the fact that they did, indeed, eventually get Keith Richards to play his dad.
  • Stephen Fry in V for Vendetta, said of his opportunity to be cast: "I hadn't been beaten up in a movie before and I was very excited by the idea of being clubbed to death." He also was quite fond of the movie; it helps that it's generally considered to actually be a good one.
  • Apparently, this is why half of the cast of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra signed up in the first place. According to the producers, once they started casting they had so many applicants that actors actually started fighting each other to try and get in on the movie.
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt signed on when he saw concept art for the costume that he'd be wearing. Needless to say, he had a blast. Christopher Eccleston also signed on so he could play a supervillain. However, neither actor liked the final cut of the movie and both refused to return for the sequel.
    • This was almost inverted by Channing Tatum, who was skeptical of signing on to the film because he thought it would be a pro-war, gung-ho propaganda piece. Then he read the script and realized that it was none of that, and this trope was played straight. Many years later he confessed that he was forced to do the film due to a contract he signed with Paramount and he'd have been sued if he tried to back out.
  • Most of the All-Star Cast of the film adaptation of Glengarry Glen Ross agreed to be paid less than their usual asking prices because the script was so good. Enthusiasm was so high during production that cast members would come down to the set on their days off simply to watch the other performances.
  • A behind-the-scenes example: Gareth Edwards stated in an interview that when he went looking for special effects artists, casts and crew for a film he was doing, reception was cool... until he revealed that the film in question was Godzilla (2014), at which point the formerly cautious recruits jumped in eagerly.
  • Regarding the X-Men Film Series, Kelsey Grammer loved playing Beast so much the first time that when Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen let him know the band was being put back together for X-Men: Days of Future Past, he immediately called Bryan Singer to get him in the movie, somewhere, and was flown in on Singer's private jet in secret for a last-second cameo.
  • X-Men: First Class was full of it: actors who wanted to play superheroes (Caleb Landry Jones even said there would hardly be another freckled redhead like Banshee for him to play), James McAvoy being a fan of X-Men: The Animated Series, and the prospect of working with Matthew Vaughn and an All-Star Cast.
  • Dave Grohl was willing to go through extensive makeup and prosthetics to play Satan in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny because he grew up listening to death metal, so getting to appear in a movie looking like he belonged on the cover of a death metal album was worth it.
  • The Harry Potter films:
    • Jason Isaacs's primary reason for doing the films seems to be getting to play a hammy evil wizard. He even convinced the filmmakers to throw out their original banal design for Lucius Malfoy so that he could have such things as a badass long, blond wig, black cloak to swirl dramatically, and a snake-headed cane which conceals his wand. Which he tried (and failed) to steal.
    • Bill Nighy likewise signed on as Rufus Scrimgeour (despite the role amounting to only about ten minutes of screen time) because he didn't want to be the only actor in Britain who hadn't been in a Harry Potter movie.
    • Ralph Fiennes on taking the role of Lord Voldemort:
      "One of the things that made me want to do the role was Mike Newell showing me these drawings, artwork about the suggested looks of Voldemort. I got a real buzz off it and that's pretty much when I thought this would be cool to do."
    • Jarvis Cocker, who headed the Fake Band in the fourth movie, accepted the part because "What other chance would I get to be in a Hollywood blockbuster?".
    • When asked what some of their biggest regrets were, both Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart said that not being in the Harry Potter movies was pretty high up there. McKellen, however, did get a tiny cameo in the form of a Gandalf portrait appearing in Dumbledore's office in Chamber of Secrets.
    • Evanna Lynch was famous for being a Potter superfan even before she was cast as Luna Lovegood. When she showed up to the audition, she wore an outfit just as kooky as Luna's, including a pair of earrings that she made herself — which she was allowed to wear in the film itself.
    • It eventually came out in interviews that Eddie Redmayne once tried to get into the Harry Potter films (either as a Weasley sibling or the young Tom Riddle/Voldemort) because he found the idea of "an entire family of ginger people" great. While he never got in the main films, he eventually managed to land the lead role of Newt Scamander in the spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (and he's giddy as hell whenever he talks about it).
  • When auditions began for The Hebrew Hammer (a Jewish twist on Blaxploitation taken to extremes), Adam Goldberg, who played the titular hero, was given the script and wound up opening to a page with the epic line "Shabbat Shalom, motherfuckers!". He immediately agreed to do the film.
  • Several actors turned down the lead role in The Fly (1986) because they were put off by the prospect of having to perform through layers upon layers of hideous prosthetic makeup (ultimately reaching People in Rubber Suits levels) in the story's second half. Jeff Goldblum by comparison adored the screenplay, was eager to take on the acting challenge, was a big fan of David Cronenberg's previous film The Dead Zone, AND wanted to play a romantic lead in a movie. The result was his Star-Making Role.
  • Jonah Hill agreed to be paid only $60,000 (the lowest possible SAG-AFTRA rate) for The Wolf of Wall Street; he simply wanted the opportunity to work with Martin Scorsese.
  • Anthony Hopkins said that the only reason he took a role in Freejack was because he had always wanted to meet Mick Jagger.
    • Both of them hammed in the ordeal like the world was ending. Perhaps the opposite was also true? The producers told Hopkins that Mick Jagger was involved so he'd sign on, and at the same time told Jagger that Anthony Hopkins was involved so he'd sign on.
    • Hopkins took the role of Don Diego, the retired Zorro, in The Mask of Zorro because he wanted to do an action movie.
    • Hopkins has a reputation for inverting a standard formula: most actors would take roles in over-the-top blockbusters so they can get recognized and afford to do their pet projects in serious, lower-profile films. Hopkins does the serious stuff so that he has credibility as a serious actor before running off to have fun in something like Thor. His alleged favorite role he's ever played was in The Worlds Fastest Indian for how cool he found it.
  • Bob Hoskins has said one of his motivations behind starring in Who Framed Roger Rabbit was that he'd get to be onscreen with Bugs Bunny.
  • Jack Huston basically outright stated that he did Outlander — the movie about Beowulf-meets-alien-monsters — basically for this reason: because playing a Viking is "every boy's dream."
  • Into the Woods:
    • Both Chris Pine and James Corden have admitted that the entire reason they pursued parts in the film (as Cinderella's Prince and the Baker, respectively) is because they heard that Meryl Streep was playing The Witch From Next Door.
    • Streep herself had consistently refused to portray witches in film for a long time but made an exception for this film because she wanted to be in a Stephen Sondheim musical.
  • Katharine Isabelle was so keen to do American Mary that she went to her father to "make sure I wasn't crazy for loving this".
  • The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) attracted Ron Perlman, Val Kilmer, and David Thewlis based on the opportunity to work with Marlon Brando. Thewlis also thought the trip to Australia and the paycheck would make it a worthy experience. Unfortunately, it went disastrously for all involved, as Brando and Kilmer's clashing egos led Richard Stanley to drop out and Thewlis to disown the film. Thewlis recounts the experience here.
  • Speaking at the 2006 AFI Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony, Eddie Izzard said that she took a role in The Avengers (1998) in order to meet Sean Connery.
  • Samuel L. Jackson:
    • He was in Snakes on a Plane just so he could act in a film called "Snakes on a Plane". He also said it was the type of film he loved when he was a kid, and argued for the producers to keep the name when they were considering changing it to something less cheesy.
    • Jackson barely thought once he was offered Kong: Skull Island - "When they said 'King Kong, we want you', I was like 'Awesome!'" - and co-star Tom Hiddleston liked the prospect of an adventure movie "like the ones that we grew up loving as a child".
    • Also why he got on Star Wars. He was willing to even be nothing more than a Storm Trooper just so he could brag about having been in the movie. Fortunately, he was given a much bigger role.
  • This is why the 78-year-old Melissa Jaffer (who provides the page quote) took the role of an elderly warrior woman in Mad Max: Fury Road: when else is she going to get a role that epic at her age? Even better, she and the other elderly women did all of their own stuntwork.
  • Anyone doing a James Bond film has this as justification (due to either being part of the series or winning a free trip).
  • Angelina Jolie agreed to do Lara Croft: Tomb Raider because of the locations she got to visit. She fell in love with Cambodia and ended up moving there to avoid the paparazzi and help with mine cleanup. Jolie adopted her first child while making the film.
  • Raúl Juliá was in the So Bad, It's Good Street Fighter movie as a combination of this, Money, Dear Boy, and So My Kids Can Watch. He already knew that he was dying of cancer, so he wanted to do a well-paying film to provide for his family's financial security. Among several well-compensated roles, he chose the Street Fighter role because his sons were fans of the game series — and then he completely stole the movie. M. Bison's scenes are the best parts of the film. Similarly, he took the role of Gomez Addams because he enjoyed the passionate and theatrical nature of the character, and wanted to be in a comedy after doing several serious dramas, saying the role gave him the opportunity to be "as theatrical as I want to be ... he sings, he dances, he sword fights. I've always wanted to do those swashbuckling things. It's one of the reasons I became an actor, to do those things, and I get to do them as Gomez."
  • Ben Kingsley said his appearance in BloodRayne was partly because he'd never had a chance to play a vampire before. Since BloodRayne was an Uwe Boll movie, it was not generally considered a good one, but Sir Ben clearly enjoying himself is one of the film's few redeeming qualities. Indeed, a surprising number of quality actors have worked for Uwe Boll, partially because of this and partially because he is apparently a nice person to work for.
  • By his own report, when Spielberg offered Shia LaBeouf the role of Indiana Jones' son, he was unable to speak properly for a solid minute.
  • To this day, Frank Langella remembers his role as Skeletor in Masters of the Universe as one of his favorites, and can be seen having the time of his life playing it. When he takes time out of an interview promoting Frost/Nixon to reflect on his time as a world-conquering skeleton monster, you know the awesome was there in spades. He also speaks fondly of his role as Dawg, the villain of Cutthroat Island, because he got to not only be a pirate but a scenery-chewing over-the-top bad guy pirate. Apparently, the man loves being able to just go for broke in a role.
  • When an interviewer asked William H. Macy why he accepted a role in Jurassic Park III, he replied: "Because I'm 50 years old and I get to fight a dinosaur."
  • The film adaptation of Mamma Mia!:
    • Meryl Streep did Mamma Mia because she took her daughter Louisa and some of Louisa's friends to see it for her eleventh birthday — which was in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks — and wrote a fan letter to the crew. When the time came for the movie, the girls-in-charge asked her to play Donna, and she accepted eagerly. Also, she wanted to have fun and kick up her heels for awhile.
    • Pierce Brosnan, meanwhile, summed up his reason for doing the film as this: "Meryl Streep is starring." He also referred to Meryl as "that gorgeous blonde I had a terrible crush on in drama school."
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • Malcolm McDowell starred in and helped produce the low-budget Christian film Suing the Devil because he wanted to play Satan, and he had a glorious time doing so. He also took the role of Tolian Soran in Star Trek: Generations precisely because he'd be playing the man who killed James T. Kirk.
  • Seth MacFarlane has admitted that part of the reason he cast himself as the lead in A Million Ways to Die in the West — a small part, but a part — was that it afforded him a chance to make out with Charlize Theron on-camera, and who wouldn't want a shot at that?
  • Speaking of Charlize Theron, the reason the actress agreed to do A Million Ways to Die in the West is that apparently she just doesn't get offered that many comedies, and she prefers them to the dramas she's always cast in.
    • This is also the reason she agreed to appear in Seth Rogen's 2019 romantic Comedy The Longshot.
    • Also, Theron says she accepted Reindeer Games despite not liking the script solely to work with director John Frankenheimer (in what would turn out to be his last movie).
  • The Matrix Resurrections scored a few cast members just by being part of the storied The Matrix franchise, with Priyanka Chopra and Jessica Henwick both cheerfully admitting that they would have quite happily played a piece of furniture if it meant being in the film.
  • In a feature in Empire magazine, Stephen Merchant had this to say about his appearance in the notorious Movie 43:
    "I make no apologies for the film because I just did it for the fun of being in a scene with Halle Berry. I didn't do it for your amusement. So much of what I do is governed by my thinking, 'I don't want to go to my grave not having seen Halle Berry wearing a prosthetic boob, mixing up guacamole.' That's on my bucket list. And there it is. Ticked off."
  • Helen Mirren loved working on Red (2010) so much, thanks to the action-heavy role she had in the film, that she said "I'm there!" to any planned sequel. And she did indeed return for Red 2. She later revealed that she really wanted to star in the The Fast and the Furious series, purely because it looked like so much fun. And sure enough, she was later cast in The Fate of the Furious.
  • The Muppets (2011):
    • When it was announced that they were bringing the Muppets back to the screen, so many celebrities asked for cameos that they couldn't actually fit all of them into the movie.
    • Chris Cooper, when asked why he agreed to perform a rap song in that movie:
      "Are you kidding? This is a Muppet movie! I'm in a movie with the Muppets! I'd have tapdanced in my underwear if they'd asked me to."
  • Edward Norton appeared in The Score, despite not particularly liking the script, because it was likely the only chance he'd ever have to work with both Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro. As it turned out, it was Brando's final onscreen role.
  • Combined with Doing It for the Art, this is why John Travolta did Battlefield Earth in spite of its Troubled Production and results, which made him lose $10 million in backend profits.
  • Simon Pegg, geek superstar, feels this way about his guest role in Doctor Who, his cameo in Land of the Dead and his starring role in Star Trek (2009). He faced a battle of the awesome when the Doctor Who role initially offered clashed with Land of the Dead. He went with Romero, because "when you've just spent three years of your life essentially writing a love letter to someone, you have to come when they call you." And then came Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which Pegg had to write a whole article about, and endured the hot costume worn for a minor alien role just by thinking he was acting in Star Wars.
  • Ron Perlman lobbied for the lead role in Hellboy (2004) because he wouldn't get to play the romantic lead in a Beauty and the Beast story again. Plus he would get to kiss a woman half his age. He also appreciated the movie (and director Guillermo del Toro, with whom he had worked in Cronos and Blade II) as well.
  • Milla Jovovich, according to her Instagram, wanted to work on Hellboy (2019) due to being a fan of both Stranger Things and Deadwood, both of which had David Harbour and Ian McShane, respectively.
  • Patricia Quinn accepted the role of Magenta in The Rocky Horror Picture Show because she fell in love with the song "Science Fiction". Her agent pointed out that she hadn't even seen the script and she may have a total of five lines. Patricia said she didn't care and wanted to sing that song no matter what. When she got the script, Magenta had... five lines. Patricia Quinn had previously appeared in the stage version, so she knew exactly what she was getting into with the movie. Except that in the movie Richard O'Brien sang "Science Fiction/Double Feature", which had been her song on stage.
  • Basil Rathbone, on playing Sherlock Holmes in 1939's The Hound of the Baskervilles:
    "Ever since I was a boy and first got acquainted with the great detective I wanted to be like him ... To play such a character means as much to me as ten 'Hamlets'!"
  • Ryan Reynolds would not stop auditioning for superhero movies and talking himself up as the perfect casting choice for any superhero you could shake a stick at. He clearly wanted to be a superhero so very badly and got to be "Deadpool", Deadpool, and Hal Jordan for his persistence.
  • Alien:
    • Aliens: Sigourney Weaver had turned down offers to do sequels to Alien for years, afraid of Sequelitis. However, once she saw the script - particularly the motherly bond between Ripley and Newt - she signed on immediately.
    • Alien: Resurrection:
      • Winona Ryder has said that she took the role in this before even reading the script, because she had always wanted to be in an Alien movie and could brag about it to her brothers. She joked that she'd still do it even if she was killed off in the first scene. She also jumped at the chance to appear alongside her idol Sigourney Weaver.
      • Sigourney Weaver was reluctant to do a fourth movie, after the rather final ending of the third. However, when she read the script, the scene where Ripley sees the seven failed attempts at cloning her was enough to make her sign on. But she also gave other reasons:
        "They basically drove a dump truck full of money to my house."
  • Adam Sandler has stated that pretty much every movie he's done since 50 First Dates is an excuse to go on a paid vacation with his buddies to some exotic locale like Hawaii, South Africa, or Cape Cod. Many actors who've worked with him have also cited this as their reason for doing so: to chillax for a few months in a nice resort with one of the nicest guys in Hollywood.
  • M. Night Shyamalan wanted to direct the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie because he was a fan (his kids got him into the show).
  • Some of the cast of Sin City signed on after seeing the test footage which would eventually become the opening scene. In the making-of, it's noted that a lot of them had wanted to play Film Noir characters for a long time, such as Bruce Willis. Also, many cast members signed on due to other actors being in talks. Considering the large cast of famous faces, this seems reasonable.
  • Jude Law, Angelina Jolie, and Gwyneth Paltrow all signed on for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow immediately after watching Kerry Conran's six-minute film, which he produced on a home computer. They were all impressed with his vision and wanted to see the film to its completion. (Also, it allowed Jolie to wear an eyepatch and a bubble-helmet, two things she'd always wanted.)
  • Everyone involved in Speed Racer got involved because of this, and it shows. Every single frame of the film is slathered in overwhelming joy and love for the silly '60s anime series.
  • The Spider-Man films:
  • Much like the TV show, the Star Trek movies have also seen actors sign on simply because of the title.
    • Kim Cattrall took the part of Lieutenant Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country because "How many times would I be given a chance to play a Vulcan?"
    • Malcolm McDowell actually hated the script of Star Trek: Generations until the producers said eight little words: "How would you like to kill Captain Kirk?"
    • John Cho has stated that he strongly wanted the role of Sulu in Star Trek (2009) because it had meant a lot for him as a kid to see a rare non-stereotypical Asian face on television. In one interview he was asked if this was one of those times where he had aggressively pursued a role, and Cho emphatically responded: "It was the only time."
    • Averted with Stephen Collins, who played Decker in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Collins says he was practically the only guy at the audition who viewed it as just another part and was not interested in being part of Star Trek. However, he was excited about working with Robert Wise.
  • Star Wars:
    • Most of the cast of The Phantom Menace. Reportedly, after a lightsaber scene, Ewan McGregor could be overheard muttering, "'Do I want to be in Star Wars?' Fuck yeah!"
    • In some documentary footage, Liam Neeson was talking about the first day of lightsaber training. And how both he and Ewan were making lightsaber noises while swinging the practice sabers.
    • Likewise, there's a story that Laura Dern couldn't help making "Pew! Pew!" noises when she fired her blaster.
    • From the original trilogy, Mark Hamill took interest in playing Luke Skywalker because he thought the project sounded amazing. Bear in mind that this was long before any visual effects were released for the film, and during a time when interest in making the film was pretty low.
    • A random Stormtrooper extra summed up his experience filming The Force Awakens:
      "I can die now."
    • Due to the nature of Stormtrooper armor, it's easy for someone who wants to be in a Star Wars movie to have a part in a Star Wars movie. Daniel Craig got to be the trooper Rey uses the Mind Trick on in The Force Awakens, and among the Stormtroopers in The Last Jedi are assorted actors, musicians, and Princes William and Harry.
    • Sir Alec Guinness had stated in several interviews that when offered the script for A New Hope he almost passed on it since he didn't think science-fiction was for him, but changed his mind after being told it was being done by George Lucas, who had impressed Guinness as an up-and-coming filmmaker. After reading the script, while he admitted that he felt the dialogue needed a lot of work, he was so drawn into the story that he couldn't put the script down, and this convinced him to join the cast.
    • While resurrecting Emperor Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker proved a divisive choice among viewers, there was one person that was certainly on board with it: Ian McDiarmid, the man who plays him, who says that he had to "contain himself" from devolving into giddy excitement when approached with the offer to reprise the role he so loves getting to play.
  • Meryl Streep in addition to Mamma Mia! and Into the Woods (mentioned above) has even more:
    • She-Devil came about because she was getting sick of Oscar Bait dramas and longed to do a comedy. It was her first out and out comedy.
    • Death Becomes Her was in her words "too original to pass up".
    • She signed on to do Rendition immediately because she was rarely offered scripts for political thrillers.
  • The live-action Transformers Film Series:
  • Regardless of how the final product turned out, most of the actors involved in Van Helsing jumped at the chance to be in an homage to the classic Universal monster movies. Shuler Hensley related a story where a friend asked him if it bothered him that no one would recognize him under his makeup. His response, "I'm playing Frankenstein's Monster!" The director was even reluctant to ask Kate Beckinsale if she wanted to do the film, as she had just done Underworld (2003). But when he was persuaded to send her agent the script, she immediately signed on. Likewise, the three actresses playing the brides signed on because they wanted to fly - even Silvia Collocca who is terrified of heights.
  • This is part of the reason why Paul Verhoeven did RoboCop (1987). He initially rejected the opportunity to direct the film when he read the script and thought it was silly and stupid. He changed his mind when his wife convinced him that there were more layers to the story than he initially thought (such as the Jesus parallels), and because the writers pointed out the amount of Gorn there was, to which he responded "Well, I've never seen the hero get his hand blown off!"
  • While not because he thought it was cool, Mark Wahlberg stated he accepted his role in The Happening because it gave him the opportunity to play something other than a cop or a crook.
  • Hugo Weaving was once quoted as wanting to play Elrond and Agent Smith so that he could get action figures of himself and make them fight each other. Averted in the case of Red Skull and Megatron however, claiming that Red Skull was interesting, but something he'd rather not do again; while Megatron was outright the only role he never cared about.
    • Avengers: Infinity War gave him the chance to prove his point, and sure enough, he passed on the opportunity to reprise the Red Skull role.
  • Benicio del Toro and Rick Baker jumped at the chance to work on the remake of The Wolfman because both men are huge fans of the original.
  • When the producers of Chicago began casting, they approached Catherine Zeta-Jones and asked her to play the role of Roxie, the movie's star. Reportedly, Jones asked if Roxie got to sing "All That Jazz"; when told that that number was sung by Velma Kelly, she demanded the part of Velma, even though it was smaller, just so she could sing that song. Jones was so eager to be in the musical that she even cut her long brown hair in a '20s Bob Haircut, so that critics couldn't accuse her of having a double perform her singing and dancing.
  • Tao Okamoto was originally known more for her modeling and didn't have much interest in acting. That all changed when her agent informed her that if she agreed to be in The Wolverine, she'd get to act opposite Hugh Jackman. As she'd had a crush on Jackman ever since seeing him in X-Men back when she was a teenager, she jumped at the opportunity.
  • Divergent:
    • How did Shailene Woodley convince her friend Miles Teller to take the role of Peter? By saying he'd get to punch her in the face.
    • Kate Winslet played dictator Jeannine Mathews precisely because she wanted to do something radically different from her usual stuff - also enjoying the benefits of impressing her children, who became very popular at school when word got out that their mother was Jeanine.
  • The Cabin in the Woods has The Director played by Sigourney Weaver in a cameo. What convinced her to sign on? She wanted to be in a scene with a werewolf.
  • TNA Knockout Gail Kim starred in the low budget film Royal Kill because she had always wanted to be in an action movie.
  • Salma Hayek joked that she starred in Tale Of Tales purely because she got to play a Queen, which doesn't happen a lot when one is Mexican.
    "The closest I ever got was playing the queen of a drug cartel in Savages."
  • Daniel Day-Lewis had been planning to take a year's hiatus from acting when he heard about the film version of Nine (Musical). He sent director Rob Marshall a tape of him singing, and he was immediately cast as the lead. Marshall later said he didn't offer him the part initially because he never imagined he'd say yes.
  • Burt Lancaster eventually took the role of Happer in Local Hero because he wanted a comedic role for once in his career. His salary was still non-negotiable, though.
  • Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe accepted The Nice Guys specially to work together, in a role they never expected the other to take (Gosling even said that by reading the script with Crowe in mind, "the movie just immediately became so funny.").
  • Colin Firth said he had always wanted to play a Bond-like spy. He got to do so, awesomely at that, in Kingsman: The Secret Service.
  • Hugh Grant retired from acting to work on behind-the-scenes production and political causes; but he came out of retirement to appear in Florence Foster Jenkins in part because the opportunity to work opposite Meryl Streep was just too good to pass up.
  • When Aaron Eckhart received the script for Battle: Los Angeles, he wasn't very pleased with it only to become extremely excited when the director explained to him that the goal was to not make a standard sci-fi movie but rather a war movie where the enemy just happened to be aliens, going so far as to show him footage of U.S. soldiers in Fallujah and saying "this is what I want the movie to look like".
  • George Clooney was so excited at the chance to work with The Coen Brothers, he didn't even read the script for O Brother, Where Art Thou? before signing up.
  • Billy Bob Thornton was so excited at the chance to work with The Coen Brothers, he didn't even read the script for The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) before signing up.
  • Deliberately invoked when Sidney Lumet was casting Murder on the Orient Express (1974). He thought the best way to assemble an All-Star Cast was to hire the biggest star first; at the time, that was Sean Connery. It worked; Richard Widmark signed on to play the victim for no other reason than to meet the other stars, who by then included Hollywood and West End royalty such as Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sir John Gielgud, and Anthony Perkins.
  • Deborah Kerr was typecast playing ladies in period pieces like King Solomon's Mines, The Prisoner of Zenda and Young Bess when her agent suggested she try From Here to Eternity after Joan Crawford dropped out. She was convinced Fred Zinnemann would never cast her but luckily he intentionally wanted the film's female leads to be cast against type. Sure enough she embraced the opportunity to shake up her wholesome image - and it got her a second Oscar nomination.
  • In the 1930s when an adaptation of Of Human Bondage was being produced, many starlets turned the part of Mildred down - terrified of harming their glamorous images. Bette Davis meanwhile saw an opportunity to rebel against the studio's attempts to turn her into "the next Jean Harlow" - and happily played the scheming Mildred. She even designed Mildred's make-up for her death scene herself, wanting her to look like someone who'd actually died of an illness and not "a deb who'd missed her afternoon nap".
  • John Williams was not a big fan of Family Plot, but did not want to pass up the opportunity to work with Alfred Hitchcock.
    • When Home Alone was looking for a composer, Chris Columbus thought there was no way the great Williams would be interested in a modest family film. To his surprise, Williams loved the rough cut of the film and was looking for the opportunity to create a Christmas-tinged score and quickly signed up.
  • James Wan wanted a famous British actress to provide the voice of the Karathen, a kaiju-sized sea monster in Aquaman and approached the agent of Julie Andrews to see if she'd be interested. She immediately accepted. Similarly, Arthur's mother Atlanna is played by Nicole Kidman because she got to play a kick-ass action heroine in a superhero film.
  • Richard Harris was watching High Plains Drifter when his agent called to offer him the part of "English Bob" in Unforgiven and dropped everything for the chance to appear in a Clint Eastwood-western.
  • Said on the John Wick commentary track: “Basically, if you want Keanu Reeves in your movie, tell him he gets to shoot guns, do judo, and drift cars.”
    • Speaking of Keanu Reeves, he agreed to do a cameo as the voice of the titular cat in Keanu because he loved the film when someone showed him a rough cut.
  • David Hasselhoff said that the hearing the pitch for Kung Fury was enough to get him on the project: "I saw six seconds of it and said 'I'm in.'"
  • The Hunger Games:
    • Donald Sutherland wrote a personal letter to director Gary Ross so he could be cast as President Snow, having seen the script by accident and being moved by the character.
    • Elizabeth Banks actively sought her part and has stated a few times in interviews how much she loved working in the film. She is also a huge shipper of Effie Trinket hooking up with Haymitch Abernathy, going so far as naming her character in Pitch Perfect (which she co-produced) Gail Abernathy.
  • Bill Murray had a particularly odd case of this that resulted in him becoming the titular character of the Garfield movie. By his own admission, he jumped on the offer after being told it was written by a "Joel Coen" as he loved The Coen Brothers and was excited to work with them... but then realized too late that it was actually a completely unrelated writer named Joel Cohen. Not surprisingly, he doesn't consider Garfield or its sequel highlights of his career.
  • Taylor Swift has stated she has no regrets about the infamous Cats film, because although she admits it's weird, she got to co-write a song with the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber.
  • Pedro Pascal agreed to audition for The Equalizer 2 out of a desire to work with both Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua.
  • Christopher Lee reportedly agreed to do Howling II: Stirba: Werewolf Bitch because he had already played Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and the Mummy but he had never actually done a werewolf movie. There was also the alluring factor that this movie would be filming behind the Iron Curtain, in and around Prague. He would go on to regret this decision (Howling 2 is really really bad, and barely a werewolf movie), even apologizing for his role in it to Joe Dante, director of the original Howling.
    • Speaking of Christopher Lee he was definitely acting in the name of this trope when he played Saruman in the The Lord of the Rings, as he was a major fan of the books and is the only known cast member who met J. R. R. Tolkien while the author was still alive.
  • Dwayne Johnson has wanted to play Black Adam for a long time (since 2007 at the very least) and never gave up on this passion project. The prospect of having the chance of pitting him against Henry Cavill's Superman one day (despite the uncertainty of his status) also appeals a lot to him.
  • John Carpenter wrote the theme song for Studio 666, a Horror Comedy starring the Foo Fighters as themselves with a story by Dave Grohl, as a favor to the band because, fifteen years prior, they had taken his son Cody's band on tour and, by all accounts, treated him very well.
  • Sam Raimi tries to find a part, even if it's just a cameo, for Bruce Campbell in every one of his movies. Raimi's explanation is, besides being best friends and a Production Posse, Campbell just enjoys being a part of Raimi's films regardless of his role.
    AP: Is phoning up Bruce Campbell an automatic call for you when you have a film?
    Sam Raimi: Absolutely. I call Bruce and I say, "Hey baby." And he says, "What is it now?" And I say, "I got another movie for you now." And he says, "When does it start?"
  • The Naval Aviators hired for Top Gun were excited for the movie, not for the payment (only $23 a day), but to get to fly their planes through maneuvers of which the Navy severely disapproves. Buzzing The Tower normally gets you expelled; aviator Scott Altman got to do it nine times during the shoot, and there was actually a drawing of straws to see who'd be the first to ever perform it at the Miramar base.
  • When Whoopi Goldberg first read The Color Purple, she immediately began talking to both author Alice Walker and everyone she could in Hollywood—before the film rights were even sold—because she, in her own words, needed to be in a film adaptation, even joking that she'd play a screen door or dirt on the ground for the chance. Once Steven Spielberg acquired the rights and began planning the film, Goldberg went to the producers directly and started lobbying hard to appear. Her persistence paid off: Spielberg gave her the lead part of Celie (it was her film debut and Star-Making Role), and she earned a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for her trouble.
  • In an interesting take on this trope, Diana Ross desperately wanted to play the role of Dorothy in the film adaptation of The Wiz. She even cut a deal to get big-name producer Rob Cohen to fund the movie if she got the part, even though Berry Gordy (the head of Motown's film and TV division) had turned her down. It worked...but backfired spectacularly: the film was universally panned, with critics particularly attacking how bad Ross was as Dorothy, and she never made another movie appearance again.
  • Just about every Celebrity Cameo in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story fits this trope.
    • Daniel Radcliffe, as a fan of "Weird Al" Yankovic, needed almost no convincing to take the part, and is incredibly proud of the fact that he got to have accordion lessons from Al, as mentioned below, to make his playing convincing on film.
    • The pool party scene was cast when Al simply sent an email to his friends asking if they'd want to spend a day shooting it. The final result features Jack Black, David Dastmalchian, Conan O'Brien, Emo Philips, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer, Paul F. Tompkins, and Nina West all playing various '80s pop culture icons.
    • Lin-Manuel Miranda didn't even bother to wait for an invite — minutes after Al publicly announced the movie, Lin texted Al and asked for a role in the film. They ended up with one day when Lin would be in Los Angeles and arranged to shoot his part then, giving him the role of the doctor seen at the beginning of the film.
  • Escape from L.A.: John Carpenter and Kurt Russell had so much fun working together in the past that they decided to revisit Snake Plissken to "just have a blast". They had been considering it since 1985, until the chaos of The '90s in Los Angeles gave them enough material for a sequel.

  • Neil Gaiman wrote the first few pages of what would become Good Omens on his own and sent them to a few friends to get their thoughts. After some time, he heard back from Terry Pratchett, who asked him if he was still working on it and then offered to either work together or buy the idea to work on himself after learning Gaiman was otherwise occupied. Gaiman declared they would co-write it, comparing the inquiry to "Michelangelo phoning and asking if you want to paint a ceiling together".

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Arrangement, a 2017 Dramedy had this frequently:
  • Broadway legend Hinton Battle agreed to play Sweet, the Dancing Demon in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Musical Episode "Once More, With Feeling", primarily because he was a huge fan of the show and thought the idea of getting made up like a demon would be "a stone cold groove" that he had never experienced before.
  • Fred Astaire once said that his favourite screen role was playing an alien on Battlestar Galactica, because his grandson loved the show so much.
  • The Beatles licensed one of their songs for the final episode of The Prisoner (1967), one of the few times they allowed their music to be used in a TV show, because they were huge fans of the show. At one point, they were working with Patrick McGoohan to make a movie based on the property.
  • Victor Buono was a huge fan of the Batman comics, and agreed to play King Tut in the '60s Batman TV series because of it. Buono enjoyed playing the villainous Tut so much that, aside from the actors playing the primary four villains (Julie Newmar as Catwoman, Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Frank Gorshin as The Riddler, and Cesar Romero as The Joker), he made more appearances than any other guest star. He was once asked why he did the show so often and said, "Batman lets me get away with doing the one thing that we're taught not to do in drama school... overacting!"
  • Doctor Who:
    • A number of the actors who played the Doctor have said that they went into acting specifically because they wanted to play the Doctor. Fifth Doctor Peter Davison was inspired by Second Doctor Patrick Troughton, and Davison himself inspired Tenth Doctor (and lifelong Whovian) David Tennant.
    • Peter Capaldi ramps it up, having been such a huge fan that he attempted to take over the official Doctor Who Fan Club in the early 1970s, wrote many articles for fan newsletters, corresponded with the production team during the Jon Pertwee era, and had a dream come true when he was actually given a guest role on the series itself in 2008. The next year he also played a different role in the spin-off, Torchwood. Due to these two parts, plus his age, he never expected to be cast as the Twelfth Doctor; imagine his surprise come 2013. Capaldi reportedly enjoyed nearly every moment of the production, even coming in on his days off to watch special effects shots being filmed, and he often made surprise appearances at an exhibition dedicated to Doctor Who, just because he felt like it (even once doing so in character as the Doctor).
    • Similarly, Alex Kingston has said on more than one occasion that one of her favorite parts of playing River Song is that she gets to do stunts, something that she didn't get to have on ER.
    • Doctor Who has a long tradition of securing notable guest stars on the strength of 'appearing on Doctor Who' and often because it would impress the kids. It's also traditionally been one of the few venues on British television where the guest stars would get to play aliens, monsters, mad scientists, and the like.
    • In a Radio Times interview, Hugh Bonneville was asked what persuaded a Serious Actor to take the part of Captain Avery. He replied that he made his decision when they said he could be in Doctor Who.
    • Ben Browder took his role in "A Town Called Mercy" not just because his kids watched the show but because he always wanted to do a western. It probably also helped that they filmed the episode in Spain.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Pedro Pascal loved Game of Thrones so much, that when a younger actor asked for his help preparing to audition for the role of Oberyn Martell, Pascal also recorded his own audition, and ended up winning the role for himself. Years after his tenure on the show, Pascal still speaks fondly of the production, and the boost the series gave him in the public eye.
    • Jessica Henwick is aware of the Troubled Production in the Dornish arc and understands the negative reception of the Sand Snakes. Nevertheless, she still enjoys being on the show and working with her castmates. She even owes the show for boosting her career.
    • Almost subverting this, Ian McShane repeatedly turned down invitations to join the cast because he didn't think much of being on a fantasy TV series. However, he eventually accepted because he thought it would be an opportunity to work with actors he respected, like Charles Dance and Stephen Dillane. When he got there and learned that both their characters had been killed, and thus neither actor was on the show anymore, he almost backed out.
  • Nathan Fillion has said that "when Joss Whedon calls you up and says, 'Hey, do you want to...', you say yes."
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar has stated that her reasons for doing The Crazy Ones were (in her words) "one-third trying to get back into television full time and two-thirds 'I get to work with Robin Williams! Yay me!'"
  • The Kamen Rider franchise, being a Long Runner, has its share of Ascended Fanboys. Masahiro Inoue (Tsukasa Kadoya/Decade) and Renn Kiriyama (Shotaro Hidari/Double) are two such examples, both being part of Kamen Rider BLACK's Periphery Demographic when they were kids (and Inoue even getting the chance to work alongside Black star Tetsuo Kurata). However, the crown probably belongs to Ryota Murai, who went from a boy who loved Kamen Rider Kuuga to the man who got to be the new Kuuga in Decade (since the original is busy not being Spock... er, Kuuga).
  • Henry Cavill was not going to let anyone else play the role of Geralt of Rivia in Netflix's The Witcher (2019) if he could help it. A passionate fan of the video games, it's obvious Cavill finds Geralt an awesome character. Showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich said Cavill was "really annoying" seeking the part before the script was even finished. Alas, he quit the role in 2022 after three seasons for reasons that have yet to be officially explained, but then he immediately announced producing and starring in another live-action series adaptation project that's dear to him, Warhammer 40,000 for Amazon, being a turbonerd when it comes to that tabletop game and its expanded universe.
  • This applies for a lot of Power Rangers, since the show started when they were kids and they are now old enough to be Rangers themselves. One example is John Mark Loudermilk, the Blue Ranger in Power Rangers Megaforce, who took the role because he was a huge fan of Power Rangers during his youth.
  • Martin Sheen was originally approached to play a supporting role of a human archaeologist in the Babylon 5 Made-for-TV Movie River of Souls. After reading through the script, he asked to play the Soul Hunter instead, since he had never played an alien before and wanted to try it. His request was granted.
  • This happens all the time with Star Trek. If you're casting a Star Trek episode and want an actor who has the slightest hint of geek in them, they're all yours as long as you let them have at least a little Ham and Cheese.
    • Mick Fleetwood played a nonhuman assassin in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Accounts say he was enthusiastic about the role, even though his face was completely hidden by a mask that made him look vaguely fishlike because he got to be portrayed as being beamed aboard the Enterprise. In fact, when told he'd have to shave his iconic beard to wear the mask, he did so on the condition that he'd get to be beamed up.
    • When Patrick Stewart is asked why a Shakespearean actor such as him wanted to be in Star Trek, he gives this as his reason. In fact, he once stated that years of performing Shakespeare prepared him for Star Trek.
    • NBA Hall-of-Famer James Worthy made a guest appearance with very few lines in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Why? Because he got to be a Klingon.
    • At the time, Wil Wheaton thought that getting to be helmsman of the Enterprise was a dream come true. Now... not so much.
    • Whoopi Goldberg actually went to the mountain and started contacting everyone involved in The Next Generation to ask for a part, even showing up in person. At first the producers refused because they thought she was joking—Goldberg was a rising comedy star and fresh off an Oscar nomination for The Color Purple. But Goldberg explained that seeing Nichelle Nichols as Uhura in the original series was a defining moment of her childhood, and she remembered screaming when she first saw her: "Come here, mom, everybody, come quick, come quick, there's a Black lady on television and she ain't no maid! I knew right then and there that I could be whatever I wanted to be." Goldberg even offered to play a janitor in the background just to honor Nichols, but instead, the producers made her the Almighty Bartender Guinan, who is not only smarter and more capable than anyone else on the ship but regularly gets away with dissing Q. She, in turn, got Dwight Schultz on board.
    • Speaking of Nichelle Nichols, Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to travel to space, cited Uhura as her own childhood inspiration and the reason she became an astronaut. Upon learning this, LeVar Burton reached out to Jemison and asked if she would be interested in appearing in a TNG episode; Jemison happily agreed and played Lieutenant Palmer in "Second Chances," which Burton himself directed. To honor the occasion, Nichols visited the set and stayed for the entirety of the shoot.
    • Stephen Hawking, possibly the only person to have ever played themselves on Trek, did it for precisely this reason.
    • Jason Alexander, yet another well-known Trekkie, didn't hesitate to play an alien in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.
    • Scott Bakula stated that when first approached for Enterprise, he was reluctant because he had no interest in just being "the next Captain." Then he found out it was a prequel series; he wasn't going to be the next Captain. He was going to be the first Captain. That sealed the deal.
    • The trend has continued with Star Trek: Discovery: American politician and activist Stacey Abrams, a lifelong Star Trek fan, made an appearance as the "President of the United Earth" in a Season Four episode.
  • A lot of Once Upon a Time cast members signed on because they were either fans of the show or huge Disney fans.
    • Rebecca Mader was a huge fan of the show and had hoped to be cast as Ariel. While that role went to JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Rebecca claims she screamed in public when she was offered the part of Zelena (The Wicked Witch of the West). Funny enough, Zelena takes on the guise of Ariel for an episode.
    • Merrin Dungey recalls being terrified by Ursula the sea witch as a child, so she jumped at the chance to play her. She describes immediately agreeing to move to Vancouver to film, and dye her hair blonde for the role.
    • Ginnifer Goodwin's favorite Disney Princess was Snow White and she had always wanted to play her. The part was written with her in mind. She had also jumped at the chance to star alongside Jennifer Morrison, an actress she had frequently been compared to.
    • Georgina Haig had a reaction like this when she first signed on to play Elsa. She describes walking around in the costume as "like being Santa Claus."
  • Pretty much all the cast members from Band of Brothers did everything that was asked of them - going through a ten-day gruelling boot camp in preparation, relocating to England for nine months and shooting long days - because they got the chance to play real-life WW2 veterans and work with Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks.
  • Tin Man:
    • Zooey Deschanel had idolized The Wizard of Oz ever since she was two and longed to play Dorothy in some way. Naturally, she jumped at the chance to play DG Dorothy's descendant.
    • Neal McDonough signed on after reading the script and seeing the opportunity to play a "Gary Cooper, High Noon-ish character". He cites Wyatt Cain as his favorite role, after Buck Compton in Band of Brothers.
  • Nicole Muñoz says she does a lot of sci-fi roles because she loves the opportunity to play such diverse characters. She's so far had magic powers, been a werewolf, married an alien and been Maleficent's daughter.
  • Jeff Hephner usually prefers action-heavy roles that involve him getting physical, and hates getting stuck in a suit and behind a desk. Then Code Black asked him to play CEO Ed Harbert — who spends most of his time in a suit — and dangled the prospect of getting to work with Marcia Gay Harden in front of him. His response was approximately "Yes, please!"
    • Rob Lowe was already a fan of Code Black but when told that his character would be introduced jumping out of a helicopter into the ocean, he couldn't say "yes" fast enough.
  • In an interesting two-way take on this trope, a group of fans of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia approached the show's creators and asked if they could possibly write an episode.
    • Ordinarily, viewers aren't allowed to submit scripts...but these weren't just fans. They were the creators of Game of Thrones. The crew of Sunny was so stunned that the writers of the biggest show on television wanted to be part of their Black Comedy that they immediately agreed.
    • In another instance, the show was nearly cancelled after the first season—critics loved it, but it was a ratings failure. The team at F/X told creators Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, and Rob McElhenney that unless they found a big-name star to attract more viewers, they were going to have to pull the plug. The group doubted that any famous celebrity would be interested in a twisted anti-sitcom like Sunny, and half-jokingly remarked that the only person who made any sense would be Danny DeVito as the main characters' father. They reached out to DeVito for a lunch meeting...and he immediately agreed to join the cast, having seen the first season and loved it. Thus the character of Frank Reynolds was born, and Sunny has lasted an astonishing thirteen seasons (with more on the way), making it the longest-running live-action comedy of all time.
    • Kaitlin Olson's evolving role as Dee was the result of this trope, too. For the first season, the three male characters—Charlie, Mac, and Dennis—were involved with crazy hijinks, while Dee was the Only Sane Woman who warned them against their plans. Olson, disliking the Women Are Wiser trope and realizing that Dee wasn't funny, went to Howerton, Day, and McElhenney and requested that they write her just as amoral and insane as their characters. They agreed, and the result is the deeply-flawed and utterly hilarious characterization that fans love.
    • Fantasy master Guillermo del Toro saw the episode "Charlie Kelly: King of the Rats" and was incredibly impressed by Charlie Day, especially his darkly hilarious monologue about how many generations of rodents he's killed. del Toro reached out to Day and offered him a role in Pacific Rim based on the monologue alone, with the condition that Day would only get the part if del Toro himself got to be on Sunny. Day happily accepted, and del Toro has so far appeared twice as Pappy McPoyle, the insane, bird-controlling patriarch of the McPoyle clan.
  • KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park might be an embarrassment for the titular band, but actor Terry Lester (who played Sam in Phantom of the Park, and who would later go on to a very successful career in soap operas) has no problem admitting that he was in this film, and loves it when fans mention it to him. His attitude seems to be, "What's to be ashamed about? I did a movie with KISS!"
  • The Masked Singer pretty much relies on this trope, along with some contestants hoping for a Career Resurrection, to get its celebrity contestants. In the first season finale, The Peacock (aka, Donny Osmond) was asked why he agreed to be on the show, and he gleefully responded, "Because it's fun!" Many contestants — the Peacock included — have said, either during the competition, in interviews, or on social media afterwards, that being on the show is some of the most fun they've ever had in their careers.
  • The Mandalorian:
    • Accepting Jon Favreau's offer to become the Mandalorian required Pedro Pascal to refresh his lessons on acting behind a mask, balance filming the first season with at least two other projects (including Wonder Woman 1984), and coordinate his body language with two stunt doubles. However, the prospect of working in the Star Wars universe excited him so much, that none of these challenges could scare him away.
      I hope this doesn’t sound like me fashioning myself like I’m, you know, so smart, but I agreed to do this [show] because the impression I had when I had my first meeting was that this is the next big shit.
    • Although Werner Herzog signed on as the Client for financial reasons at first before coming on the set and has never seen a Star Wars movie before, he went on to praise the show's Worldbuilding and Practical Effects, saying "it's cinema at its best". He was famously delighted by the Grogu "Baby Yoda" puppet effects, as well.
    • Bill Burr never had good feelings about Star Wars, finding the Original Trilogy "geared towards kids" and a "cheesy self-help book put in outer space with, like, Muppets." Then Jon Favreau convinced him to play in The Mandalorian, and his mind changed on set.
      "I went in there, and they were shooting it like a Spaghetti Western. And I was immediately so psyched to be a part of it."
      "The way they’re doing this one, it's awesome." (about the series)
    • Omid Abtahi was only a casual Star Wars fan when he received the offer to play Dr. Pershing, but loved Jon Favreau's movies. The morning after he learned that Favreau wanted him for an "untitled" project, he asked his agent to assure him That Was Not a Dream.
    • Even though Ming-Na Wen has loved Star Wars for most of her life, she hesitated to accept the offer to play Fennec Shand, since the script for Chapter 5 originally killed her off after her first appearance. Ultimately, she decided to seize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the Galaxy, and jokingly suggested to Chapter 5 director/writer Dave Filoni that he should let Fennec live. After Filoni learned how much he and Ming-Na have in common, he helped ensure that she would indeed play Fennec again.
  • A famous example crossing over with Determinator comes from The Honeymooners. After Pert Kelton, the original Alice, was forced off the show because of blacklisting, Jackie Gleason tasked actress Audrey Meadows with finding a replacement. Gleason turned down all of Meadows's suggestions, and she finally suggested herself for the role, only for Gleason to tell her that she was "too pretty" to be Alice. Meadows took this as a challenge and arranged for a photo shoot with a professional photographer...who came to her apartment at 7:00 AM, when she'd just woken up and hadn't done her hair or makeup for the day. When Meadows brought to pictures to Gleason, he triumphantly declared that he'd found his Alice—the transformation was so complete that he didn't recognize Meadows at all. Thus satisfied, Meadows revealed the trick, which Gleason took in stride by offering her the part, remarking that "any dame with a sense of humor like that deserves the job."
  • V.I.P.: The reason Lit agreed to guest star As Themselves in the episode Hard Val's Night. According to them it seemed like a lot of fun" they got to "[hang] out with amazingly gorgeous ladies for a week" and "when Pamela Anderson Lee personally asks you to be on her show, it’s a no-brainer." For her part, Pamela Anderson asked Lit to be on the show because she was a fan of the band.

  • Peter Stormare cameos in the music video for Sabaton's song "Uprising" as the unnamed German Army officer leading the crackdown on the Polish Resistance. According to bassist Pär Sundström, Stormare received the job offer in a pile of offers he got from his agent when he was looking for his next gig, and just thought the idea was really cool.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Dusty Rhodes' WWF run. The one where he wore polka dots. While most fans consider it one of the low points of his career, Dusty himself had a lot of fun with the gimmick. It helped that it was one of the few times that Dusty, who was previously a long-time booker of Jim Crockett Promotions, didn't have to worry about booking or running a promotion, allowing him to just relax and enjoy wrestling.
  • A lot of established indie females agreed to star in Wrestlicious for fun - many of them having been fans of GLOW, of which the show was a Spiritual Successor.
  • Many of the wrestlers agreed to do Lucha Underground so they could star on a Darker and Edgier wrestling show and work with Robert Rodriguez.
  • The McMahons are a family-wide example. Barring actual wrestler Triple H, all of them belong to the most important and richest family in all of professional wrest... erh... sports entertainment. They have no need to enter the ring and fight with the rest of the cast, and even take bumps. Yet, from Vince Jr. onwards, not only they are willing to take risks and get beaten up in the name of the industry, but have also stepped on the ring, and in the case of Shane, going as far as to do those high-risk spots themselves.

    Puppet Shows 
  • This, combined with So My Kids Can Watch, is often the reason many celebrities agree to do a project with The Muppets or Sesame Street.
    • Interestingly, this wasn't the case during the early run of The Muppet Show—the producers had such a difficult time finding guest stars (especially in the first season) that they had to call in favors or ask friends to make appearances. It wasn't until Rudolf Nureyev, the most famous male ballet dancer in the world, eagerly agreed to appear that other celebrities started taking notice and getting involved in the series by their own accord.
    • Danny Trejo has gone public about how incredibly excited he was to appear on Muppets Now - he was stoked to work with puppets in general, let alone the Muppets.

  • When the American Olympic Selection Committee was putting together the original dream team in 1992, some top players were initially reluctant to sign on for various reasons. Michael Jordan would rather have been playing golf, and Larry Bird's health issues were forcing him to the brink of retirement. It was only after some others, particularly Magic Johnson, enthusiastically answered the call that the unique historical potential of the team became apparent. By the time the roster was set it was obvious this would be a team like no other, and in the years since many of the players, including even Jordan, have stated that it was the most important and memorable experience of their careers.

  • A major reason Douglas Hodge signed on to play Willy Wonka in the original West End cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (and gave up the lead role in Cameron Mackintosh's revival of Barnum in the process) was because he'd never had the chance to participate in the from-the-ground-up creative process of staging a new musical before, and the creators of this one were receptive to his ideas for both his character and the show. (It was his dissatisfaction with his intended introductory song that saved the Act I finale "It Must Be Believed to Be Seen" from being a Cut Song, for instance.)
  • Hank Azaria, Tim Curry, and David Hyde Pierce all jumped at the chance to work on Spamalot because they were all huge fans of Monty Python in general and Monty Python and the Holy Grail in particular.

    Video Games 
  • If there's a Super Robot Wars game with a role in it voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing fame, you can bet he's going to have a lot of extra voiced lines in it. This is because the guy is a huge fan of the games, and as such always offers to do his lines for free.
  • Susan Sarandon provides the voice of the extremely dangerous Granny Rags in the game Dishonored. Sarandon later explained that she took the part because she was impressed by the fact that players could choose to complete the game with a Thou Shalt Not Kill philosophy and still succeed.
  • British actor Peter Serafinowicz loved Dark Souls to the point he volunteered to voice a character in one of the games. From Software heard and made him the voice of Mild-Mannered Pete in Dark Souls II.
  • Estelle Ellis, voice of Krystal in Star Fox, returned to voice act the character after years of retirement for a Half-Life 2 mod because she was friends with the creator and apparently 'she wanted a new mic.'
  • Phil LaMarr auditioned to play Vamp in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty because he was a huge fan of the first game and wanted the opportunity to play a hammy Metal Gear villain. (It's worth mentioning he plays Vamp completely seriously despite being best known for his comedy roles).
  • Terry Pratchett helped write a mod for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Companion Vilja, because he loved playing with her installed.
  • Even though Troy Baker hasn't been active in anime and Japanese-related media voice acting for a long time and has primarily been working on AAA video game titles, Baker stated that Yuri Lowell is one of his favorite voice roles in Japanese video games and stated he would love to reprise his role if he was contacted about it. Unfortunately for him, Bandai Namco Entertainment didn't contact him about the Updated Re-release of Vesperia, and his role of Yuri was recast with Grant George in the extra scenes. In addition to his fondness of his role as Yuri, he also had fond memories of his roles in Japanese-related media as Kanji and Vincent Brooks, as evident with his reaction to WatchMojo's top ten list of his video game roles. This can more or less explain why Atlus managed to get him to reprise his role as Vincent Brooks in the Updated Re-release of Catherine along with his anime role as the titular character in the 2019 anime adaptation of Baki.
  • While Patrick Stewart wasn't an Elder Scrolls fan, he was thrilled to voice Uriel Septim in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion because of the prep Bethesda gave him for the role (reportedly a 90-page booklet explaining Septim's backstory), and wished he could be given as much preparation for other roles he plays. It's also worth noting that Uriel Septim dies in the game's tutorial.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Keanu Reeves agreed to play the role of Johnny Silverhand because he was impressed with the game's story, its worldbuilding, and the freedom the player has in building and role-playing their own character. According to Paweł Sasko, the game's lead quest designer, Reeves would send back the screenplay with his character's scenes with plenty of suggestions regarding line delivery or body language. Since Johnny Silverhand was the frontman of the fictional band called Samurai, Reeves offered to sing the songs written for the game himself, but the team at CDProjekt decided to go with Dennis Lyxzén from the punk band Refused instead. In the TGCOM interview with Luca Ward, the Italian dubber for Keanu Reeves' roles who was also cast to voice Johnny Silverhand in the Italian dub of the game, he was called back to the studio numerous times to record newly added voicelines for Johnny, because Reeves liked the role so much that he kept requesting more and more screentime for him, essentially doubling the amount of spoken lines for him in the game.
  • A rite of passage for musicians once they hit a certain level of popularity is that they get a call from Maxis and Electronic Arts asking if they'd like to record a Simlish cover of their songs for The Sims. As Karl Smallwood explains in this video and the accompanying article, most of them say yes, partly because it's good, cheap promotion but more often because they're fans of The Sims themselves and consider it an honor to have their music in the game. Some of them also like to sneak Easter eggs into the gibberish, particularly the names of friends and family. Several musicians have even had official Sim versions of themselves featured in the game. Katy Perry was involved with the Showtime expansion for The Sims 3, The Black Eyed Peas were involved with the spinoff The Urbz, and The Sims 4 went so far as to stage an in-game music festival, the Sims Sessions, featuring Bebe Rexha, Glass Animals, and Joy Oladokun.
    Smallwood: The really weird thing though is the range of artists The Sims has somehow roped into sitting in a studio and singing a nonsense version of one of their biggest hits. Along with pop stars like Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepsen, artists who’ve decided to sing in Simlish include Paramore, Machine Head, and the Barenaked Ladies. Not your thing? Okay, how about Junkie XL, OK Go, or Depeche Fucking Mode? Seriously, if there’s an artist or band you kind of liked in high school and are now embarrassed to have on your iPod, there’s a good chance they’ve recorded a song for a Sims game and loved every second of it.
  • Ludosity, a small independent studio, jumped at the chance to develop Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl when they got the call from Nickelodeon. They're not just fans of platform fighters, as seen by their own Slap City, but they love the Nicktoons, too. As a result, the game has surprisingly in-depth gameplay suitable for competitive fighting game players, and loads of references to Nick shows from across the network's history, including left-field picks like Nigel Thornberry, Oblina, and Powered Toast Man. According to them, one request they had was too obscure even by Nick's standards: Alex Mack.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    In-Universe Examples 
  • Kasuka Heiwajima of Durarara!! got his start in the extremely campy anime Vampire Carmilla Saizou. He was listed in the "top ten actors who don't get to choose their roles," and most people treat it as an Old Shame. Kasuka, however, claims that Carmilla Saizou is an awesome character, and insisted on reprising his role in the movie.
  • Bela Lugosi's character development in Ed Wood is based around shifting from Money, Dear Boy to this. The Tor Johnson character is this from the start.
  • A sketch in John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme in which a Guy Ritchie-like film director has a chance reunion with a Shakespearean actor who took a minor part in one of his gangster movies. The actor tells the director's PA "It was awfully fun. They cut my head off, you know."