Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters and Casting

Go To

Ways in which roles are impacted by being played by human actors.


Tropes

  • Ability over Appearance: When making a Live-Action Adaptation, actors are cast based on how well they play the role rather than how closely they resemble the character as depicted in the source material.
  • Absentee Actor: An episode of the series where one or more of the characters is noticeably absent.
  • Advertisement:
  • Acting for Two: Multiple characters played by the same actor.
  • Actor Allusion: The work references another work that the character's voice actor was involved with.
  • Actor Existence Limbo: A character in an animated work is reduced to non-speaking cameos when their voice actor becomes unavailable.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: A character's trait is inspired and/or improvised by their actor.
  • Actor/Role Confusion: The actor gets confused for the fictional character they play.
  • Actor Swap: A character is played by different actors.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: The adaptation changes a character's sexual orientation.
  • Advertised Extra: A character is prominently featured in advertising and the title sequence when their role in the actual work is minor.
  • Affirmative Action Girl: A female character is added to a team for the sake of diversity.
  • Advertisement:
  • Age Lift: The adaptation changes a character's age.
  • All-Star Cast: A work has a cast of big-name actors.
  • All-Stereotype Cast: All of the characters in the story fit into some sort of social stereotype.
  • Amateur Cast: A work has a cast of untrained or untried actors.
  • And You Were There: Like a Mirror Universe, but with a fun-house mirror (think The Wizard of Oz).
  • The Artifact: A story element or character that is no longer important to the plot, but it's still there.
  • Ascended Extra: Giving a minor character a more important role.
  • As Himself: The actor plays themselves.
  • Autobiographical Role: When someone plays himself in a Docudrama, Biopic, or other dramatization of a true story.
  • Award Category Fraud: Someone is nominated for (or wins) in what is clearly the wrong category.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: The actor agreed to play the part because they find their role to be cool.
  • Advertisement:
  • Backup Twin: A character who has been killed off is replaced by revealing them to have a surviving twin.
  • Big Bra to Fill: A Live-Action Adaptation has a female character played by an actress who isn't as busty as the character was in the source material.
  • Billing Displacement: Top billing is given to the most recognizable actors even though their characters are not the stars.
  • Bit Character: A character whose role consists merely of a few lines, but is more specific than a generic extra.
  • Breakout Character: A minor character who is so popular that s/he becomes a major character.
  • British Nazis: Nazis played by UK actors.
  • ...But I Play One on TV: Actors referred to by the names of characters the they played.
  • But Not Too Black: A character is black, but their skin tone is light.
  • But Not Too White: A white character has tanned skin.
  • But You Were There, and You, and You: A character tells a story, and the characters are depicted as people the storyteller knows.
  • The Cameo: A famous person or fictional character makes a brief appearance.
  • Can't Un-Hear It: A specific actor's performance of a specific character becomes how people tend to hear the character's voice when reading written dialogue spoken by the character.
  • Cast as a Mask: A character and their disguised self are played by separate actors.
  • Cast Full of Writers: A show or movie where the main cast also serve as the writers of the piece.
  • Cast Incest: Family members are played by actors who are in a relationship in real life.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: The work has a great deal of variety when it comes to character designs.
  • The Cast Showoff: An actor's talents other than acting are worked into the plot.
  • Cast Speciation: Two characters who serve a similar role in the story are differentiated by their contrasting personalities.
  • Cast the Expert: Hiring a professional to act in a work about said profession.
  • Casting Gag: An actor appears to be deliberately cast as a character similar to another character they have played.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The people behind the work may not exist in the work's universe.
  • Celebrity Star: An episode of a show makes the best possible use of its celebrity guest star.
  • Celebrity Toons: Cartoons starring animated versions of real people.
  • Character Aged with the Actor: Rather than replace the actor when they become "too old" to play their character, they simply develop the series to accommodate the actor's aging so they can still play the role indefinitely.
  • The Character Died with Him: A character is killed off after the actor who played them dies.
  • Character-Magnetic Team: A group of magnetic heroes that attracts fringe characters and party replacements.
  • Character Outlives Actor: A character remains alive even though the original actor passed away.
  • Chewing the Scenery: A character displays exaggerated and over-the-top behavior.
  • Chromosome Casting: The characters are either all male or all female.
  • Chronically Killed Actor: An actor tends to play characters who get killed.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: A character disappears from the series without explanation and is never mentioned again.
  • Classically Trained Extra: A talented actor is severely underutilized.
  • Colorblind Casting: Characters are cast without regard to race, gender, or age.
  • Composite Character: The adaptation merges two or more characters into one character.
  • Contrasting Replacement Character: A character replaces another character and has opposite or contrasting atributes.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: An antagonist who is very different from the antagonist in the previous installment.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: In the sequel, the protagonist has a personality that contrasts with the protagonist of the original.
  • Convenient Replacement Character: A new character conveniently arriving in time to replace an outgoing one.
  • Couple Bomb: A work is either made by or is built around a Real Life couple, but is considered a failure.
  • Cousin Oliver: Including a younger character to try and keep the rest of the cast from looking old.
  • Creator Cameo: A character is played by or represents the work's creator.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Cartoon characters whose voice actors are different genders than they are.
  • Crosscast Role: A role that is played by an actor of the opposite gender.
  • The Danza: The character shares their name with the actor.
  • Darkhorse Casting: Obscure or little-known actors are cast in movies.
  • Dawson Casting: Adults playing teenagers.
  • Death by Cameo: An actor has a cameo where they're killed or seen as a corpse.
  • Decomposite Character: The adaptation splits one character into two or more characters.
  • Deleted Role: An actor was involved with the work, but had all of their scenes cut from the final product.
  • Demoted to Extra: Reducing an important character to a minor role.
  • Descended Creator: A character in the work is played by the creator.
  • Deuteragonist: The second-most important character in the story.
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor: A disabled character is played by an actor who has the disability for real.
  • Dropped After the Pilot: A character featured in the pilot episode who is absent for the remainder of the series.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Actor dyes or shaves their hair in order to play the role.
  • Economy Cast: Using about one actor to fill a role that would usually be used by several in order to save money.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: A minor character who is popular with the audiences.
  • Fake Guest Star: A regularly appearing actor is credited as a guest star.
  • Fake Nationality: An actor plays a character of a different nationality.
    • Fake American: An American character played by an actor who isn't really American.
    • Fake Australian: An Australian character played by an actor who isn't really Australian.
    • Fake Brit: A British character played by an actor who isn't really British.
    • Fake Irish: An Irish character played by an actor who isn't really Irish.
    • Fake Mixed Race: A mixed race character played by an actor who isn't really mixed race.
    • Fake Russian: A Russian character played by an actor who isn't really Russian.
    • Fake Scot: A Scottish character played by an actor who isn't really Scottish.
  • Fake Shemp: Actor not available? Use archived footage, archived audio and/or obscured body doubles to simulate their presence!
  • Final Season Casting: A show experiences unusual and significant cast changes for its final season.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: A flashback sequence taking place before the character got recast uses the new actor.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Two people within a large close-knit group who aren't especially close to one another.
  • Full Circle Portraying: Two or more characters have officially been portrayed by the same actor/actress.
  • Funny Character, Boring Actor: An actor who is hilarious on screen, but serious or dry in real life.
  • Gender Is No Object: Many jobs in fiction are equal-opportunity, even if they weren't in real life.
  • Gibbering Genius: An intelligent character who is sometimes hard to understand.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Nerds are given a chance at love.
  • God-Created Canon Foreigner: The adaptation features a new character created by the original work's creator.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Two or more Large Hams try to see who can eat more scenery.
  • The Heavy: The antagonist that does the most work in driving the plot forward.
  • Hollywood Beauty Standards: Fiction makes people more good-looking than in real life.
  • Hollywood Genetics: Biologically related characters look way different.
  • Hollywood Homely: What would be plain or normal in Real Life presented as hideous In-Universe.
  • Hollywood Old: A young and attractive actress plays the role of an elderly woman without alterations to her appearance.
  • Hypothetical Casting: Someone involved in a fictional project makes a list of actors who would best represent a cast of fictional characters.
  • I Am Not Leonard Nimoy: Viewers see the character as their actor.
  • I Am Not Spock: Actor tries to distance themselves from their most famous role.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: A guest appearance by an actor who previously worked with a regular cast member.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: A character who is strongly associated with the franchise even though they were not present in the first installment.
  • Identical Grandson: A character has an ancestor or descendant who looks just like them, which is often done so that the actor can play their character's ancestor or descendant.
  • Incestuous Casting: A couple is played by actors who are related in real life.
  • Insert Cameo: Directors or other creators using their appendages for an insert shot.
  • Intellectual Animal: Animals that are smart enough to do things normal animals can't do.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: An actor plays a character who does not share the same skills as them.
  • Lady Mondegreen: Fans refer to a character by the name they misheard.
  • Last Episode, New Character: A new character is introduced in the series' final installment.
  • Leno Device: An event is only significant once late-night comics start making fun of it.
  • Loads and Loads of Roles: One actor plays numerous roles in a single work.
  • Long Bus Trip: A character is written out of the show and the series keeps going without the character ever coming back.
  • Long-Runner Cast Turnover: If a series lasts long enough, it will be unavoidable to recast, replace or remove a bunch of characters.
  • Making Use of the Twin: When an actor who has a twin is hired, it's made so that the twin also gets to play a role for the work.
  • Mandatory Line: Strange or quirky piece of dialog probably added for contractual reasons.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: A mean character is played by an actor who is nicer in real life.
  • Meta Casting: An actor portrays a character that utilizes the actor's history.
  • Minimalist Cast: A cast made up of a handful of main characters and rarely anyone else.
  • Money, Dear Boy: The only reason they agreed to be involved with the work at all was so they'd get paid for it.
  • Must Have Lots of Free Time
  • My Grandson Myself: A character covers their own immortality by posing as their own son, then grandson, ect.
  • Narrowed It Down to the Guy I Recognize: The culprit of a mystery story is solved because the role is played by a big-name actor.
  • Newscaster Cameo: A work features a cameo by a real-life newscaster.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: A mean actor plays a character who is nicer than they actually are.
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: A celebrity not famous for acting plays the main character in a production.
  • Non-Singing Voice: A character has separate actors for talking and singing.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: This character will remain the same age regardless of how long the series lasts.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: An actor plays a character of a specific nationality, but doesn't even try speaking their lines with the proper accent.
  • Not Quite Starring: A work is billed as starring a celebrity when in truth the celebrity is played by an impersonator.
  • Not-So-Small Role: A big-name actor plays a minor character, who turns out to be crucial to the plot.
  • The Nth Doctor: When a character gets recast, an in-universe reason is given for why the character now looks and/or sounds different.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: The stunt double chose to replace the actor for more dangerous scenes hardly looks anything like the actor they're standing in for.
  • One-Scene Wonder: A character only has one brief scene, but becomes one of the most memorable aspects of the work.
  • One-Shot Character: A character who appears in only one episode of a series and is never seen again.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The actor accidentally slips into speaking with their natural accent when the character they play does not have the accent.
  • The Original Darrin: A character gets recast for a while, but eventually the original actor comes back to reprise their role.
  • The Other Darrin: A character ends up being played by a different actor.
  • The Other Marty: A character gets recast in the middle of production, with the new actor re-shooting the original actor's scenes (or dubbing over the original actor's lines if it's an animated work).
  • The Pete Best: A replacement becomes famous rather than the original.
  • Playing Against Type: An actor plays a character who is noticeably different from the kinds of characters the actor usually plays.
  • Playing Gertrude: An actor plays a character who is significantly older than they really are.
  • Playing Their Own Twin: If a character has a twin, the actor will play both characters.
  • Playing with Character Type: The character does match the kind of roles the actor usually plays, but still has something different from the way the actor usually plays the role.
  • Plays Great Ethnics: An actor is able to play a character of any nationality.
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: A parrot is able to speak on its own instead of just mimicking what other people say in front of it.
  • Production Posse: A work shares actors, writers, etc. who were involved with another work.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: A recurring character is added to the show's Title Sequence.
  • Poor Man's Substitute: An actor who can impersonate a specific celebrity if hiring the real deal is too expensive.
  • Queer Character, Queer Actor: A gay character is played by a gay actor.
  • Race Lift: The adaptation changes a character's ethnicity.
  • Real-Life Relative: Related characters are played by actors who actually are related in real life.
  • Real Life Writes the Hairstyle: A character's hairstyle is affected by real-life circumstances.
  • Real Person Cameo: A work with a character based on a real person has a cameo by that person.
  • Recast as a Regular: An actor who plays a minor role gets a major role later on.
  • Recurring Character (Recurrer): A character that appears prominently in multiple episodes.
  • Red Herring Shirt: A character who seems disposable and insignificant ends up playing a larger role in the story.
  • Regular Character: A character that appears in every episode.
  • Remake Cameo: A remake or reboot of the original work features a cameo by an actor who had a role in the original version.
  • Remember the New Guy?: A new character appears out of nowhere and is treated as if they were already around from the start.
  • Required Spinoff Crossover: If a work of fiction has a spinoff, it's mandatory for the spinoff and the original work to do a crossover at least once.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Actors featured in a work before they were popular.
  • Revolving Door Casting: A show which suffers an excessive regular turnover in the main cast.
  • Role Reprise: An actor returns to play a role they originally played in the new continuity or a long time after they last played the role.
  • Same Character, but Different: A character is drastically changed between installments, yet still expects the audience to accept that this is the same person from the last installment.
  • Same Language Dub: A live-action work has separate actors for speaking the character's dialogue and physically portraying the character.
  • Second Episode Introduction: An important character in the series who doesn't make their first appearance until the second episode or installment.
  • Second Episode Substitute: A character featured in the pilot is replaced by a similar character for the rest of the series' run.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Actors who are not related, but look like they can be.
  • Serkis Folk: Animating characters by filming computer-animated models controlled by actors in suits.
  • "Sesame Street" Cred: Well-known actors and bands appear on a children's program.
  • Shoo Out the New Guy: A new character is quickly written out of the series after they prove to be unpopular.
  • Significant Double Casting: There's a good reason why those two characters are played by the same actor.
  • Sliding Scale of Animal Cast
  • Small Role, Big Impact: A minor character who completely changes the trajectory of a story.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The sole female character in a group otherwise consisting of males.
    • Starring Smurfette: The main character is a different gender from the supporting characters.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: An actor agrees to play a role because they want a work that their children can watch.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: A character becomes older between appearances without explanation.
  • Special Guest: A star brought onto a series to play himself or a character very similar to the one he's famous for playing.
  • Spinoff Sendoff: A character in the original show who is to star in the spinoff gets one last time to shine before the spinoff starts.
  • Spoiled by the Cast List: An actor's presence in a cast list spoils a surprise character appearance.
  • Stage Names: An alias used by actors when they're performing.
  • Star-Making Role: The role that led to an actor having a long and memorable career.
  • Starring a Star as a Star: A famous actor is cast to play the part of a fictional similarly famous actor.
  • Starring Special Effects: Animated or puppet character is one of the stars of the movie.
  • Stunt Casting: Casting a famous actor in hopes of cashing in on their popularity.
  • Suddenly Ethnicity: A character is revealed to be an ethnicity that neither the other characters or audience knew nothing about.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A replacement character that is almost exactly like their predecessor.
  • Talking to Himself: An animated work has multiple characters who are voiced by the same actor and who interact with each other.
  • Temporary Substitute: A character is replaced when their actor is unavailable at the moment.
  • Those Two Actors: Two actors who are frequently cast together in movies.
  • Three-Month-Old Newborn: A newborn baby is played by a baby who's a bit older than that.
  • Time-Shifted Actor: A character is played by a different actor for scenes taking place when they were younger or older.
  • Transplant: A character reused from another work taking place in the same continuity.
  • TV Teen: The media depiction of adolescence.
  • Two Girls to a Team: The two female members of a group otherwise consisting of male characters.
  • Typecasting: When an actor keeps playing the same kind of role in most of their works.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: A married couple consisting of an ugly husband and attractive wife.
  • Unbuilt Casting Type
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Family members look more like each other than logic would permit.
  • Underage Casting: A character is played by an actor who is younger than the character's intended age.
  • Unexpected Character: A character that few considered likely to appear in a work makes an appearance.
  • Universal-Adaptor Cast: The series tends to do stories with the same characters playing different roles.
  • Unreplaced Departed: A character leaves and no one fills their slot.
  • Vacation, Dear Boy: A work is produced in an exotic location simply as an excuse for the actor/producer/director to spend a holiday at said exotic location.
  • Vocal Evolution: A character's voice changes in spite of still being voiced by the same actor.
  • Written-In Infirmity: An actor gets injured during filming and the creators simply change it so that the actor's character suffers the injury as well in order to prevent production being delayed by waiting for the actor to recover.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Audiences feel that they cast the wrong actor to play the part.
  • You Have to Have Jews: Leading characters are Jewish even if it doesn't make sense with the setting.
  • You Look Familiar: One actor plays two unrelated characters, within the same series, but (usually) different episodes.
  • You Might Remember Me from...: An actor with a popular role in the past has a resurgence doing something else.
  • Younger and Hipper: A work's characters are retooled to be younger.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report