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Cue Irony

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Sometimes information about a real-life event that ties into a medium is revealed that undermines one's appreciation for said medium. Other times, that same info can make you enjoy the medium even more. Then there's Cue Irony, real-life facts and/or events about a show that make you really appreciate what those involved went through to make the medium.

Named such because, more often than not, said event or fact will lead contradictory to what the show is all about (read, Irony), it's usually a testament to the dedication and love an actor, cast member, or other production member has for their livelihood, with the idea that knowing how much they suffered to bring you their masterpieces makes one understand and empathize with them, and allows one to better appreciate and enjoy the medium; after all, it would be unbecoming of a fan to take the creators' sacrifice in vain.


Usually involves Dyeing for Your Art and Enforced Method Acting. Extreme cases border Fatal Method Acting.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Live-Action TV 
  • The numerous rehashes of the very messy Game Shows Double Dare and What Would You Do? on old-school Nickelodeon become much more memorable when one realizes that their host, Marc Summers, was suffering from an acute form of OCD (in particular, an obsession with keeping neat and clean) at the time.
    • This had the added effect of making him a major badass among the fans for showing up for work every day and acting as if you'd never know he had a problem.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Sontaran Experiment", Tom Baker broke his collarbone badly while undergoing a stunt (possibly one calling for him to fall down a ravine). Subsequent shots in the episode using him show his scarf laying oddly — it's covering up the neckbrace and cast.
    • Earlier on, in "Terror of the Autons", a stuntman playing an Auton was supposed to be rammed by a car while on the edge of a quarry with him landing on the hood of the car. The car hit him just a bit too hard, sending him flying down the quarry's slope. The director left the camera running, getting the ultimately injury-free incident on film and decided to use it rather than the shot as planned.
    • The final scene of "Castrovalva" (where Tegan and the Doctor discuss Tegan's landing of the TARDIS) does not include Adric, as Matthew Waterhouse had had a bit too much Campari while partying the night before and was hung over and nauseous. He's said that is the reason that he looks pale in the sequences shot that day (which works out well, as the script calls for him to be wan and haggard after the ordeal the Master subjected him to).
    • The dashing upper lip scar that first appears on the Fourth Doctor's mouth during "The Pirate Planet" and hangs around forever after is a real scar obtained in an accident involving a Doctor Who director's dog.
    • The Fourth Doctor is noticeably pale, thin and bony in his first season as a result of his actor having been, at the time of his casting, homeless and living entirely on whatever scraps of food were given to him by clients - mostly bread pudding and booze. It works well as it exaggerates his alien appearance - for instance, the eerie photograph of him used in the opening titles is lit and shot to exaggerate his cheek and chin bones in a way that would have been impossible when he's at a healthier weight later on. At the other end of his tenure, he begins looking noticeably unhealthy in his very last stories (from "State of Decay" onwards) due to being in ill health - again, this works, as it highlights his upcoming regeneration and new, moodier personality.
    • One of the actors playing the ant-monsters the Zarbi in "The Web Planet" broke his back thanks to the uncomfortable costumes, and many more of them ended up with permanent back problems as a result.
    • Despite playing literally the same person, Jon Pertwee and his successor Tom Baker absolutely could not stand each other in real life. Jon Pertwee point-blankly refused to be in the same room as Tom Baker while filming the regeneration scene, and apparently spent most of "The Five Doctors" making catty comments about him until Elisabeth Sladen told him to knock it off. Tom Baker noted in his autobiography that Jon "was very nice and didn't wish me luck or anything like that", complained about Pertwee's lack of interest in buying drinks, and once crossed the line by recounting a time he deliberately antagonised the other actor just before the heart attack which killed him, joking that he hoped he was responsible for his death.
  • Two characters on Babylon 5 end up with broken bones in fight scenes. One of them, Claudia Christian, had already had a broken foot (slipping on an icy step) and had the injury aggravated in the scene that (ironically enough) justified the actress walking with a cane and a limp. The other one, Jerry Doyle, actually broke his arm while filming a fight scene (where, ironically, he was supposed to have injured his leg, causing a minor continuity issue).
  • Tic-Tac-Dough creator Howard Felscher was exiled from TV because of his role in the Quiz Show Scandals along with his bosses Jack Barry and Dan Enright. In 1973, Felscher would land a job at Goodson-Todman where he would helm the revival of Concentration which was originally a Barry-Enright production.

  • In The Lord of the Rings movies, several actors really suffered for their art.
    • Remember that scene in The Two Towers where Aragorn kicks an orc helmet and screams in frustration because he thinks the hobbits are lost? He just broke his toe.
    • Poor John Rhys-Davies was playing Gimli and was allergic to his latex mask.
    • In the section when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are running across the countryside after the orcs, Viggo Mortensen had a broken toe, Brett Beattie (John Rhys Davis' stunt double) had a knee injury, and Orlando Bloom had broken ribs sustained from falling off a horse.
    • Then there's Sean Bean, who hated helicopters. So, rather than ride the helicopter to the top of the mountain where the shoot was taking place, he climbed the mountain in his full Boromir costume, did the shoot, and then climbed back down again. The climb took him two hours each way. That's dedication.
    • When Sam runs into the lake to follow Frodo, what you don't hear is that the actor stepped on a piece of glass in the lake and opened up his foot doing it.
  • Peter Sellers labored to get a film adaptation of Being There made for 7–8 years; it was one reason he revived his Inspector Clouseau character. He was willing to do everything within reason to play Chance the Gardener because he identified with him so much. This affected his personal relationships with his then-wife and children to varying degrees as he took on the character's persona. Worse, making the film partially contributed to the further deterioration of his health, as his heart problems had returned with a vengeance by the late 1970s. He was willing to gain weight to play the role and hide an attack from insurers and doctors because he knew they might force him to put off making the film if they found out. He died less than a year after it was released. Beyond the performance serving as his Moment of Awesome, there's the irony that he had to struggle so much to play a character who hardly does a thing to rise to power and lives in a perpetual state of unaware, untroubled contentment.
  • In the original film The Manchurian Candidate, Frank Sinatra throws a karate chop during a fight scene, breaking the little finger on his hand. It never healed properly.
  • In the early Godzilla movies, the monster suit weighed hundreds of pounds and was intensely hot, especially under studio lights. Stuntman/actor Haruo Nakajima lost tens of pounds in sweat, and would routinely faint. It could have killed a lesser man. Later suits were lighter, but increased pyrotechnics brought other risks, such as in Terror of Mechagodzilla, where a nearby explosion set the suit's back-spikes on fire. The shot is in the movie, and even through the suit the stuntman is visibly panicking.

  • Beethoven's later works can be considered Cue Irony when one keeps in mind he was going deaf when he composed them in the early 1800s. To quote Terry Pratchett, "Deafness doesn't prevent composers from hearing the music. It prevents them from hearing the distractions."
  • Gene Simmons of KISS is known for flying around on stage with cables but he is afraid of heights.
  • Jack Norworth, the writer of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", didn't actually attend any baseball games until years later. He argued that he was purely a songwriter, and baseball itself didn't interest him at all.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • Mel Blanc, original voice of the carrot-loving Bugs Bunny, had to chew on actual carrots during his voice recording sessions since nothing at the time could replicate the sound of nibbling on carrots. In order to avoid choking on the half-eaten carrots while trying to deliver his following lines, he would spit them out into a nearby spittoon instead.
    • It's probably worth mentioning that he did this because he really hated the taste, and was not allergic, contrary to popular belief.
    • At least one account had him save the carrot-chomping for the last stages of recording for a particular short, and the recordings of the carrot-chomping would then be inserted into the audio track as necessary.


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