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Promoted Fanboy

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From delusional WWE fanboy to delusional WWE Champion.

"My entire career has been a secret plan to get this job. I applied before but I got knocked back because the BBC wanted someone else. Also, I was seven."
Steven Moffat, upon being named lead writer/producer for Doctor Who

Some fans have all the luck. Somehow they've managed to be a part of the very industry, or even the very work, that they're a fan of. This can range anywhere from the minor, such as a Contest Winner Cameo, or to the point where the fan has creative control and is Running the Asylum.

It should be noted that, especially in the case of large media franchises, this is often a form of scab labor. Management is always going to prefer someone who is genuinely devoted to the work rather than more well-rounded working professionals who see it as nothing more than a job and expect proper compensation.

Compare Ascended Fanboy (a fan In-Universe), Ascended Fanfic, Fandom VIP (the ones most likely to be promoted), Make-A-Wish Contribution, and Official Fan-Submitted Content. Contrast Hire the Critic.

As noted below, many franchises have been around for so long that it's only natural that fans would get to work on them.


Notable Franchises:

    open/close all folders 

    Star Trek 
Multiple series
  • In his book Worlds of Wonder, writer David Gerrold states he was one of these already during the show's original run, which led him to write "The Trouble with Tribbles" and the five failed episode pitches which preceded it. Though he was intended to cameo in "Trouble", his part was recast, and he ended up cameoing in The Animated Series and Deep Space Nine Tribble episodes instead.
  • Dwight Schultz is a big fan of Star Trek. In fact, it was the first show he ever watched in color television as a child. He worked with Whoopi Goldberg on the movie The Long Walk Home and told her how big a fan he was of the show and her part in it. She had a word with the writers, resulting in Reg Barclay.
  • Peter David was a longtime fan of the original Star Trek series. After starting a career as a comic-book writer, he began writing the official Star Trek comic for DC Comics, and later leveraged that into writing numerous best-selling Star Trek novels. And on top of that, he even wrote a few episodes of TNG.


  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture has a scene where a lot of fans were used as extras. The unions really complained about this one.
    • Many of the fan extras in that scene never bothered to cash their paychecks, instead keeping them as souvenirs.
  • Eddie Murphy, a Star Trek fan, was eager to appear as a 20th century scientist, who mistakes the Klingon Bird-of-Prey for a UFO in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, as the film was originally scripted. However, the studio didn't want to mix two of their successful franchises - Star Trek and Beverly Hills Cop -, and Murphy's part was re-written as Dr. Gillian Taylor, played by Catherine Hicks. Murphy later regretted not appearing in Star Trek IV, and starring instead in the huge flop The Golden Child.
  • Christian Slater, a huge Star Trek fan, got his role as a serviceman in Star Trek VI reportedly because he begged his mother, one of the film's casting directors, for the chance to appear in a minor role.
  • Almost happened to Tom Hanks, yet another long-time Trekkie, who auditioned for the role of Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact. He was very disappointed when he was already committed to another project, and the role went to James Cromwell. Although this is more likely just an urban legend, as Hanks' usual salary was way beyond the budget of the film.
  • Neal McDonough, who played Lieutenant Hawk in First Contact, is a huge Star Trek fan.
  • Although he died eight years before the release of First Contact, Roy Orbison was a big fan of Star Trek, and his song "Ooby Dooby" is featured in the film.
  • Bryan Singer revealed to Patrick Stewart that he was a Star Trek fan, and therefore Stewart arranged for him a quick cameo in Star Trek: Nemesis.
  • This is how Zachary Quinto, who plays Sylar on Heroes, got the part of young Spock in the reboot movies.
  • Karl Urban was a hardcore Trekkie growing up. He was cast as Dr. McCoy in Star Trek (2009). He also does the most faithful impression of the original character out of the entire cast.
    • His interpretation was apparently faithful enough that Leonard Nimoy teared up at the premiere seeing his old friend represented on screen again.
  • Simon Pegg is also a major fan of Trek, and he has said that he was placed in Star Trek (2009) (canonically the eleventh) to disprove comments his character made on the sitcom Spaced: "Sure as every odd-numbered Star Trek film is shit." He even co-wrote the second sequel to that.
  • Randy Pausch, who listed being captain of the Enterprise as one of his dreams in "The Last Lecture" appears as a bridge member of the Kelvin in Star Trek (2009). He walks past the captain's chair, says, "Captain, we have visual", and is not seen again.
  • Star Trek Beyond had cases in both director Justin Lin, who stated he grew up watching reruns of The Original Series, and Rihanna, who contributed a song to movie.

The Next Generation

  • Michael Dorn was a big Star Trek fan and went to audition for the role of Worf in full Klingon garb.
  • Ronald Moore arranged a tour of the Star Trek: The Next Generation set through his girlfriend and managed to pass a script to one of Gene Roddenberry's assistants while there. By the show's final season, he was head writer.
  • The entire role of Guinan was created because Whoopi Goldberg was a Star Trek fan (specifically, Nichelle Nichols was her inspiration to start acting) and wanted on the show.
  • Jean Simmons had been a longtime fan of the show and spent years begging the producers for a part. They obliged with the role of Satie in "The Drumhead", which became one of the most famous episodes of the series.
  • Robin Williams was also a big Star Trek fan, and visited the set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture while filming Mork & Mindy next door. The TNG episode "A Matter of Time" was originally written as a vehicle for him; but he had just wrapped the film Hook at the time, and his wife was nine months pregnant with their son, so he turned down the offer. The part went to Matt Frewer instead.
  • When Stephen Hawking visited the sets of the series, he said "I'm working on that" in regards to the warp core mockup on the Engineering set and asked to be seated in the captain's chair on the bridge set. This sparked an idea in the producers, who invited Hawking to film a cameo appearance as "himself" in the episode "Descent". (To this day, Hawking remains the only person ever credited "As Himself" in the franchise's history.)
  • Another famous Star Trek fan, Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac made an amusing cameo in the second season episode "Manhunt" as one of the weird fish-like Antadean ambassadors. Fleetwood even shaved off his trademark beard for the role.
  • Entertainment Tonight host John Tesh made a cameo as a holographic Klingon in the episode "The Icarus Factor". Tesh is a big Star Trek fan since childhood. Growing up in a strict religious family, he was not allowed to watch television as a child - Star Trek being the sole exception.
  • Astronaut Mae Jemison, another self-confessed Star Trek fan, made a cameo as a transporter chief in the episode "Second Chances".


  • Jason Alexander has credited William Shatner for him wanting to be an actor and watched the original series growing up. He guest starred in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager and played a comedic version of Kirk in The Ultimate Trek special.
  • Tim Russ, most famous for his role as Lieutenant Tuvok in Star Trek: Voyager, was a devoted Trekkie long before that and had already had several small roles in other Star Trek series.
  • King Abdullah II of Jordan is a giant Star Trek nerd. In 1996, when he was still Crown Prince, he appeared in a non-speaking role on Star Trek: Voyager.note 
  • Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello is a Star Trek fan, and made a cameo appearance in the sixth season episode "Good Shepherd". He previously appeared in a cameo in Star Trek: Insurrection. Producer Rick Berman knew about Morello as his children were fans of the band.


  • Scott Bakula (who played Captain Archer) became a Trekkie in the 1970s when the Original Series first went into syndication.
  • Tom Bergeron has been a Trekkie since the days of the original series, and got the role of D’Marr in the episode Oasis by impressing producer Rick Berman with his knowledge of trivia during a set tour.
  • Jolene Blalock (who played T'Pol) was also a Trekkie growing up.
  • Anthony Montgomery (who played Travis Mayweather) was a fan of the Original Series and had previously auditioned for several roles on Voyager.
  • Writer - Producer, and 4th season Showrunner Manny Coto is admittedly a huge fan of Star Trek, and felt it a great privilege and the high point of his life to work on the franchise.
  • Seth MacFarlane is another admitted fan, and he guest starred in two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. And then got to have the entire Bridge cast of The Next Generation be guest stars on Family Guy. Twice!
  • Gabriel Koerner, amateur 3D artist and huge Trek fan was interviewed for the documentary Trekkies in 1997. Fast forward eight years, and he was working on the CGI team for the fourth season of Star Trek: Enterprise, as well as the new Battlestar Galactica (created and produced by the above-mentioned Ron Moore).
  • Joel Heyman was a background character for most of season 1, and given he has shown big knowledge of Trek spaceships, it's safe to say he was a fan.



  • Admitted fan Stacey Abrams guest starred on the season 4 finale as the President of United Earth.

Star Trek Online

  • 90% of the development staff of Star Trek Online are this. Al Rivera, Daniel Stahl, Thomas Marrone and Jeremy Randall being the most prominent (the last two being promoted fanboys of STO proper) and are notable for getting the game released after Perpetual didn't do anything with the license and didn't want to see it die. Also Enterprise-F designer Adam Ihle, who has since gone on to be put along side other ship artists like Andrew Probert, Matt Jeffries and Mark Rademaker.

    Star Wars 
  • Samuel L. Jackson, a.k.a. Mace Windu, was a huge Star Wars fan before getting the part. He's even on record saying he would've played a generic Stormtrooper if it meant being part of the franchise at all.
  • Most, if not all, of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars voice cast have admitted to be long time Star Wars fans. Where do we even begin:
    • Supervising director Dave Filoni is a big Star Wars fan himself, who even went to see Revenge of the Sith on opening day while cosplaying as Plo Koon. As of 2016, he’s now the head of Lucasfilm Animation. He is also an executive producer and sometimes director and writer of the first live-action Star Wars TV show The Mandalorian.
    • Fan film TROOPS creator Kevin Rubio got to write the season one episode “Bombad Jedi”.
    • Matt Lanter was initially a downplayed example of this, but after voicing Anakin Skywalker, he's now a full-fledged Star Wars fan (and a fan of the character that he tends to voice).
    • James Arnold Taylor is a big fan of Star Wars, and after portraying Obi-Wan Kenobi in many video games and Star Wars: Clone Wars, he finally got to voice him in a major Lucasfilm production.
    • Ashley Eckstein is a huge self-proclaimed geek of Star Wars and got her Star-Making Role as the voice of Ahsoka Tano.
    • Anna Graves grew up with Star Wars and the novelizations, and got the role as the voice of Satine Kryze (along with other characters).
    • Jon Favreau is a fan of Star Wars and particularly Boba Fett. After chatting with Dave Filoni at the Lucasfilm studios during the production of Iron Man, he became the voice of Pre Vizsla. He would go on to create and write the first live action Star Wars TV series, The Mandalorian, and have a supporting role in Solo.
    • Sam Witwer is a massive Star Wars geek who is well known after his role as Starkiller from The Force Unleashed. He got to voice the Son and Darth Maul in this installment.
    • David Tennant also counts, being a fan of both Doctor Who (for which he has a long entry further down) and Star Wars, getting a guest role in the fifth season.
  • Ryan Weiber, one of the creators of the popular Star Wars fan film Ryan vs. Dorkman. After working for LucasArts for a time, he did special effects for The Force Awakens and Rogue One. Dorkman, real name Michael Scott, is also a budding filmmaker.
  • Matt Sloan, the voice of Chad Vader on the YouTube series by the same name, was eventually noticed for his uncanny impression of Darth Vader and eventually landed a role as Darth Vader himself in various video game spinoffs of the Star Wars franchise, specifically The Force Unleashed, the Empire at War expansion, Vader's Guest Fighter appearance in SoulCalibur IV, and Star Wars Battlefront (2015), along with portraying Vader as the Banker (albeit staying visible) in a Deal or No Deal special.
  • After making TROOPS, Kevin Rubio went on to write Star Wars comics and work on episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
  • Steve Sansweet, who has the largest personal collection of Star Wars related material in the world, was eventually hired by Lucasfilm itself to be their Director of Content Management and Head of Fan Relations, a position he held from 1996 until 2011.
  • Hayden Christensen always was interested in Darth Vader in his childhood. In Revenge of the Sith, the original intention was to have a large stuntman in the Vader suit, but Christensen convinced them to build the suit for him and use various camera tricks to make him appear to be the 6'8" David Prowse size. When he strolled onto the set clad in Vader armor, the crew cheered. He got to wear the big black suit again for Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • In 2005-2008, Star Wars fan club members competed to write databank entries for obscure characters that weren't covered previously, or covered very slightly. The winning writers of the entries were then rewarded with having their ideas be a part of Star Wars canon. And it got even better for some. As of June 2009, three of those authors were later hired by the company to write short fiction stories for the website.
  • As Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequels) put it:
    McGregor: I've been waiting nearly twenty years to have my own lightsaber. Nothing's cooler than being a Jedi Knight.
    • The fact that Ewan's uncle, Denis Lawson, played Wedge Antillies in the original trilogy surely added to the fanboy fire.
  • In 2003 a fan named Ara Roselani met Timothy Zahn at a convention. She was cosplaying as the Chiss Admiral Thrawn in his white uniform, and they became friends. When Zahn wrote Outbound Flight, he included the character Ar'alani, a female Chiss admiral in a white uniform.
  • It's no secret that Seth Green is a big fan (prime evidence: Robot Chicken). He voiced a one-off character in season two of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, who reappeared twice in season three (despite being killed in his original appearance) due to the non-linear nature of many of season three's episodes, and his character being the sidekick to Ensemble Dark Horse Cad Bane.
  • Cartoonist Genndy Tartakovsky grew up with Star Wars and eventually made Star Wars: Clone Wars for George Lucas in 2003 to 2005. The race of the character Durge was known as the Gen'Dai.
  • Curtis Saxton, physics PhD and writer of the infamous Star Wars Technical Commentaries, a very extensive site meant to figure out how the physics of the universe worked, was hired as a technical advisor for the prequels and eventually wrote some of the various Incredible Cross-Sections books, giving the Star Wars fans a massive edge in the Star Wars vs. Star Trek debates in the process.
    • They have come under fire, however. Particularly when Gary Sarli, Star Wars RPG writer and fellow scientist and Star Wars aficionado, pointed out the huge inconsistencies that went into making the books, specifically how Saxton's calculations for the Base Delta Zero command underestimated the number of ships involved by at least an order of magnitude, the amount of time required by at least an order of magnitude, and overestimated the thoroughness of the attack by about 3 orders of magnitude. Then he used these massively inflated numbers for the basis for almost everything else.
  • Modi is the pseudonym for a Hungarian fan who had been making unofficial maps of the Star Wars galaxy for years. When Lucasfilm decided to publish The Essential Atlas, they hired him to make some draft maps that professional artists would finish. His work ended up being such high quality that they scrapped the "professional artists" plan and just used his maps as is.
  • Grant Imahara was but a wee child when he first saw R2-D2 on the silver screen. Almost thirty years and one electrical engineering degree later, he became Artoo (or rather its pilot and main technician).
  • ILM visual effects supervisor Ben Snow remembers reading an article in a special effects magazine about Dennis Muren's work on The Empire Strikes Back, and wanting to work with Muren—he got his wish when the prequels came around.
  • F@NB0Y$ was a short fan film before it got turned into an actual Hollywood picture (with typical Hollywoodifacation, of course).
  • Warwick Davis, who played Wicket the Ewok, was a Star Wars fan when his grandma heard that Return of the Jedi was looking for actors under 4 feet. He had a big set of Star Wars action figures, which Mark Hamill completed for him.
  • J. J. Abrams, who has always been open about being much more of a Star Wars fan growing up than a Star Trek one, directed The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker.
  • Simon Pegg, who even added some potshots towards the prequels on Spaced, got a small role in The Force Awakens, and said suffering the heat of heavy alien make-up in a scorching desert was worth it just because he would now be on Star Wars.
  • Ansel Hsiao, known online as "fractalsponge," made Star Wars art for many years. Eventually, his work caught the attention of LucasArts, and several of his works became canon. His contributions stretch to another franchise: Halo, where Hsiao modeled the UNSC flagship Infinity.
  • Leland Chee, a longtime fan, was first the main tester of The Phantom Menace video game. He was hired by Lucas to manage the Holocron, which was THE definitive, top-secret collection of past, present, and future projects. He was also the czar of the EU, with his word being almost equivalent to that of Lucas. He received another promotion after the Continuity Reboot, being tapped for the Story Team now in charge of managing the new continuity. Oh, and he's also the manager of the Indiana Jones continuity.
  • Two British members of the R2-D2 Builders Club were hired to build and maintain the R2-D2 used in The Force Awakens, on Kathleen Kennedy's recommendation after she saw a demonstration of the club's work. The club's R2-KT droid, which memorializes a young fan, will also appear in the film.
  • The 501st Legion, a group of Stormtooper and Bounty Hunter cosplayers who make publicity appearances for Star Wars-related events, were hired as extras for some scenes in The Mandalorian since they had professional-quality Stormtrooper costumes readily available and the series' budget was pushing its limit. The group received a "Special Thanks" card, which also displays their logo, during the end credits of the episodes they appeared in.
  • Just about the entire of the cast and the director of Rogue One, really. Possible special mentions to Ben Mendelsohn (who described himself as a "Star Wars Tragic", reminiscing about Star Wars collectable cards back in the 70s and proclaiming he had 2 of the rarest card), Diego Luna (positively giddy as he told interviewers "I still can't believe I'm in a Star Wars film!"), and Felicity Jones (who "dropped everything" in order to join the film). For Luna's appearance on The Star Wars Show, he steals a framed poster from the wall on his way in, and is overjoyed when the interviewer gifts him a stack of Star Wars comics in his native Latin American Spanish.
  • Donald Glover has always been a huge fan of Lando Calrissian; in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Glover plays a younger Lando.
  • Pedro Pascal was a fan of the original trilogy as a child, with Boba Fett as his favorite action figure. When Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau asked Pascal to meet with them about The Mandalorian, he happily accepted. He assumed they wanted him to play a side character like a droid or "some bug" and was happy to be involved in Star Wars at all, and was surprised to learn they wanted him to play the title character. Pascal ended up finding so many other longtime Star Wars fans working on the show, that he shared the following observation in a documentary about Season 1:
    The most important aspect to a project like this is the love of the world of Star Wars, and to put that love into the storytelling. We all love special effects and fireworks and visual experiences that are incredible, but what we care the most about is relationships and characters.
  • Richard E. Grant had watched A New Hope during its theatrical debut when he was 20, and became a big fan afterwards. When he was approached by Abrams to play Allegiant General Enric Pryde for The Rise of Skywalker, he jumped on without hesitation. In fact, Grant was so excited, he more than once asked to be pinched in the shoulder, just to assure himself that he really was on the film.
  • Emily Swallow got a double dose of this through her gig in The Mandalorian, in which she portrays the Armorer. Filming the first season appealed both to her love of Star Wars, and her admiration of Taika Waititi, who directed the finale.
  • Robert Rodriguez found Boba Fett fascinating since age 12, and grew up to direct The Mandalorian Chapter 14 — Boba's first live-action speaking role since Attack of the Clones showed him as a boy. Rodriguez took the gig as an opportunity to finally make Boba as "badass" as he imagined, even expanding Favreau's script with more action for Boba to perform. He went on to help executive produce and direct a Boba-centric Spin-Off, The Book of Boba Fett.
  • Ming-Na Wen related to Luke Skywalker's desire to find purpose and excitement outside of his humble home, and grew up praying to God, Buddha, and The Force. One of her friends from The Joy Luck Club, Tamlyn Tomita, arranged for her to meet Deborah Chow, director of some Disney+ Star Wars content. Ming-Na convinced Chow to help cast her as Fennec Shand on The Mandalorian, where the actress left such an impression, that she went on to reprise the role in other Star Wars projects.
  • From the Mandalorian Season 2 rogues gallery, Diana Lee Inosanto and Richard Brake respectively agreed to play Morgan Elsbeth and Valin Hess out of enjoyment for Season 1. Inosanto went on to portray Elsbeth again in other canon media, and cast some of her fellow martial artists — including her husband, Ron Balicki, and adopted son, Michael O'Laskey — as Tusken Raiders in The Book of Boba Fett.
  • Rick Famuyiwa began developing a fascination with Star Wars after A New Hope became the first movie he watched in a theater. He's grown up to fulfill multiple duties on The Mandalorian: Director, writer, executive producer, and X-Wing pilot.

    Doctor Who 
Since Doctor Who has been running since 1963 (hiatus not withstanding), there's an entire generation of people who loved the show enough to work their way into the industry and onto the staff. Some of the more recent fans were born after the show had started running. Though some of them also ended up Running the Asylum.
  • Matthew Waterhouse had been a Doctor Who fan before he got the role of Adric and had a letter published in an early issue of Doctor Who Magazine (before getting the part).
  • David Tennant. He has said that it was because of Doctor Who and particularly, Peter Davison's performance as the Fifth Doctor that he wanted to be the Doctor. He even got into acting specifically to play the Doctor.
    • In 2007, Tennant appeared as the Tenth Doctor and in the special episode "Time Crash", Peter Davison guest-starred as the Fifth Doctor, while the Tenth Doctor met his earlier self. At one point, the 5th Doctor takes a close look at the 10th and laments "Oh no. You're a fan!" Near the end, the 10th tells the 5th that he "was [his] Doctor." The whole episode is David Tennant and Steven Moffat gushing in-character about the earlier doctor.
    • And now that Tennant has married Georgia MoffettPeter Davison's daughter, who also had a role as the Tenth Doctor's "daughter" in one episode — he's gone rocketing past mere "Promoted Fanboy" and it's possible a new Trope needs to be invented just for him.
      • And before the two even met, Georgia's son said that David Tennant was his favorite Doctor. David adopted him when he and Georgia married, so now Tyler's favorite Doctor is also his father. They're a whole Promoted Family.
    • Tennant, like everyone else, loved Sarah Jane Smith. Not only did he get to work with Elisabeth Sladen during "School Reunion," but he got to be the one to give her the heart-melting "Goodbye, my Sarah Jane," that Sarah Jane waited decades for.
  • Building off of Tennant's promotion? The Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison himself, was also this - having been a massive fan of the Second Doctor's run on the series. That's right, the Second Doctor crafted the Fifth Doctor, who in turn crafted the Tenth Doctor. Expect another Doctor in about 20 to 30 years based on Tennant...
  • Sixth Doctor Colin Baker is also a big fan of Doctor Who before and after his run — having been a regular viewer ever since the First Doctor's tenure and still watches the show to this day. He's gone on record saying that "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances" are the best episodes of the series.
  • Inverted with Matt Smith, who became a hardcore fan while playing the role. Watching the Second Doctor influenced his costume choice (particularly the bowtie), and he apparently wrote a fanfic where the Doctor meets Albert Einstein. He also apparently called up Steven Moffat in the middle of the night to rave about "The Tomb of the Cybermen" after watching it.
  • Peter Capaldi was also a lifelong fan of the series before getting the role of the Twelfth Doctor; his fan exploits during the 70's included writing a fan letter concerning the Daleks to the Radio Times, founding an official fan club and sending many letters to the production team during the 70's, which led to him meeting Jon Pertwee. In his first interview after his casting was announced, he said that he hadn't played the Doctor since he was nine (although he was in a 2008 episode of the program). What's more, not only was he a fanboy, he was Fan Dumb - his constant begging of the BBC to allow him to run the fan club, which already had a runner, annoyed the Doctor Who producer's secretary so much that she wrote a letter to the fan club president in which she said: "I wish the daleks [sic] or someone would exterminate [Peter C.] or something to that effect".
  • Nicholas Briggs was fascinated with the Daleks and other aliens growing up, and later got into both TV writing and voice acting, including several Doctor Who radio plays. When the TV series was revived in 2005, he was asked to be the voice of the Daleks (and the Cybermen and several other alien races), and later portrayed Peter Hawkins, the first voice actor for the Daleks in the docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time.
  • John Barrowman was also a big fan and also describes himself as an Otaku.
  • Russell T Davies, the first showrunner of the new series, was also a tremendous fan and had actually sent in scripts during the show's original run, and in the mid-1990s actually wrote an officially licensed Doctor Who novel for Virgin Publishing's New Adventures line. For years he'd stated that the only reason he would return to working for The BBC was if they were to start up Doctor Who again and let him run it (this is debatable as before signing on to do Doctor Who he was committed to produce a production of Casanova for the BBC). As early as 2000 there had been talk of him doing a revival, too. He also had a knack for pulling in other fans to work on the revived series.
  • Douglas Adams was a huge Doctor Who fan. He wrote three Doctor Who stories in the late Seventies ("The Pirate Planet", "City of Death" and the uncompleted "Shada") and was the show's script editor for the 1979 season. He had written the Affectionate Parody play Doctor Which while at school. The Krikkit storyline of Life, the Universe and Everything had also originated as a proposed Doctor Who movie screenplay.
  • There's a reason there's a Steven Moffat quote at the top of this page. In fact, Moffat appeared on TV once to discuss the show's failings at the time from a fanboy perspective. He later wrote short stories for the officially licensed Doctor Who Virgin Publishing line, and in 1999 wrote the Comic Relief spoof The Curse of Fatal Death.
  • Many of the people writing for the Doctor Who Expanded Universe and the revival television series had an involvement with the AudioVisuals fan audios series starring Nicholas Briggs as his version of the Doctor. One of the more prominent AudioVisuals creators, Gary Russell (who had auditioned for the part of Adric), has script edited for the Whoniverse shows and Briggs has voiced the Daleks, Cybermen and sundry other monsters (in both the new series and Big Finish Doctor Who, the latter of which he is also the executive producer of) and appeared in person in Torchwood: Children of Earth.
  • Neil Gaiman described writing "The Doctor's Wife" as the closest thing to being God he will ever experience (and gushed over both Moffat and RTD in a blog post after the episode aired).
  • Mark Gatiss is the only person to have the distinction of having written for each of the first four Revival Series Doctors and having appeared on the show as an actor twice. If you count Big Finish audios and the Virgin Publishing novels, he has written for seven Doctors, and he's also the only person to play both the Doctor and the Master.
  • Derek Jacobi, who, when he played the Master in the episode "Utopia", announced being in Doctor Who was one of his two unfulfilled ambitions. (The other was being in Coronation Street, which he fulfilled with a background cameo appearance in 2012.)
  • When Jamie was introduced in "The Highlanders", a young actor called Hamish Wilson was watching the serial and thought, "I could do that." Two years later, he did in the most literal way possible, briefly playing a mangled version of Jamie in "The Mind Robber".
  • When Lord Sugar got a cameo in "The Power of Three", he said in an interview that he'd been watching the show for more than forty years.
  • A rather different example than most: Bill "Pfutz" Pfutzenreuter and Barry Oursler, designers of a pinball machine based off the series, were big fans of the series proper.
  • Doctor Who has only produced two spec scripts from writers with no professional experience: Andrew Smith (seventeen at the time) with "Full Circle", and Marc Platt with "Ghost Light".
  • Jon Culshaw, an impressionist and Doctor Who fanboy who openly admits that his noted taste for velvet jackets is swiped from the Third Doctor, and who played the Fourth Doctor in several Prank Call segments on Dead Ringers. He got to play the Fourth Doctor for real in the Big Finish story "The Kingmaker", also voicing a fictionalized version of Tom Baker in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.
  • The extreme amounts of these in the revival of Doctor Who was spoofed in this sketch from John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme which follows the career path of a child whose dream is 'to be the man who makes the noise of the TARDIS'. As an excruciatingly brutal Brick Joke.
  • The Twelfth Doctor's title sequence was created by Billy Hanshaw, who put up a fan-made sequence on the Internet to show his graphic skills... and got a call from Steven Moffat, who was so impressed, he offered him the job!
  • Chris Chibnall was a fan in the eighties. He was the showrunner for the first two seasons of the spin-off Torchwood and became the showrunner for the main show after Steven Moffat left. He can be seen on YouTube haranguing John Nathan-Turner and Pip and Jane Baker on an '80s TV discussion show about the failings of Seasons 22-23.
  • Corey Taylor of the band Slipknot was a fan of the series, and when the production team learnt the band was touring Cardiff in 2015, they invited Taylor to not only visit the set, but to voice the Fisher King's roar in the episode "Before the Flood".
  • Playwright Rona Munro started watching the series as a little girl in 1963, and grew up to write "Survival" and "The Eaters of Light", making her both the last person to write for the original series and the first person to write for both the original and revival series. Discovering that her first (and as far as she knew, only) story for the series was the last one for a dead show walking was painful for Rona to say the least, on top of the personal difficulties she was having at the time. Returning to find the revival a massive success, made by people who loved and cared about the show, was a wonderful contrast for her.
  • Bradley Walsh was a fan of the show in the '60s, with his favourite Doctor being William Hartnell, but he drifted away during the '70s as he was too busy playing football. He subsequently went on to play the Pied Piper in The Sarah Jane Adventures and Graham O'Brien in the main series.
  • Mitch Benn is a huge Doctor Who fan, having written two songs specifically on the subject, and included several references in his other works. He is also a great fan of The Beatles. In Big Finish's 1963: Fanfare for the Common Men, he not only gets to appear in Doctor Who, he plays a character based on John Lennon.
  • Cosplayer Athena Stamos has become the official "appearance" of the War Doctor's companion Cinder, from the novel Engines of War. She has done official photoshoots, and the character model in Doctor Who Legacy is based on her.
  • Jemma Redgrave loved the show as a child and came back to it as an adult, watching it with her children. She was beyond thrilled to join the show as Kate Stewart, daughter of the legendary Brigadier.
  • Philip Segal, the driving force behind the 1996 TV movie, sold himself as a fan of the series—though evidently only of certain eras, going by certain comments (like when he said he had the Eighth Doctor riding a motorbike because he couldn't imagine any of the earlier Doctors doing that, when Three and Seven did it all the time).

    Lord of the Rings 


    Kamen Rider 
  • Kamen Rider Decade got several at once.
    • Masahiro Inoue, the lead actor is a long-time Kamen Rider fan, especially Black and Black RX (Hell, he’s even part of the franchise’s Periphery Demographic both before and after Decade). When Decade's journey took him to Black RX’s World, Inoue made a blog post in which he effectively geeked out over the entire situation. After his season and directly associated movies have concluded, he didn't let it stop him, proceeding to poke into any big crossover movie he could find the time for, culminating in even joining the next anniversary show Kamen Rider Zi-O as a permanent cast member.
    • Inoue's co-star Ryouta Murai got this quite literally. As a child he was a huge fan of Kamen Rider Kuuga; jump ahead nine years, and he gets to be Kuuga (well, an Alternate Universe incarnation of the character) in Decade.
    • Pop musician GACKT is another promoted long-term fan, by giving him the role of Badass Normal Joji Yuki, AKA Riderman in All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker; he even appears in-character in the music video for the film’s theme song, “The Next Decade”.
  • Steve Wang and his brother Mike Wang are avid Kamen Rider fans, particularly of the Showa era television series. Then in 2009 they became the co-executive producers, writers, and directors of Kamen Rider Dragon Knight. Steve himself stated in an interview that producing Kamen Rider Dragon Knight was a dream come true for him.
  • Renn Kiriyama, who plays Shotaro in Kamen Rider Double, is like his predecessors a huge Kamen Rider fan. Specifically, he's a fan of Black, which might explain why Kamen Rider Joker, his character's solo Rider form, performs poses and finishing moves just like Black. He's also stated that Kamen Rider Ryuki was his favorite Heisei Rider series growing up, and that he was particularly fond of Kamen Rider Ouja. Unfortunately, Masaki Suda, who plays Shotaro’s Heterosexual Life-Partner Philip, has of late become too high profile and busy to reprise his role, which leads to awkwardness in more recent crossovers when Kiriyama reprises his role but no mention is made of Philip.
  • Keisuke Kato was also this; he is a big Kamen Rider fan and landed the role of Kamen Rider IXA in Kamen Rider Kiva as Keisuke Nago.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim:
    • Gaku Sano, the lead actor, has stated that he was a huge fan of Kamen Rider Kuuga growing up, and that he hopes to inspire children just as Joe Odagiri did before him.
    • Yutaka Kobayashi, the actor of the rival Baron, was a fan of Kamen Rider Ryuki growing up. Fitting as Gaim is tonally similar to Ryuki.
    • Mahiro Takasugi, Mitsuzane/Kamen Rider Ryugen’s actor, is also a fan of Kamen Rider Ryuki with a particular fondness for Kamen Rider Knight.
    • And to cap it all off, series writer Gen Urobuchi has admitted to drawing influence from Kamen Rider BLACK and, you guessed it, Kamen Rider Ryuki. Seems a fondness for Ryuki is a common trait in the cast and crew of Kamen Rider Gaim.
  • Kamen Rider Drive star Ryoma Takeuchi is another name for the list, this time being a fan of Kamen Rider Double and Kamen Rider Accel in specific. In fact, this paid off in the character focus movie Drive Saga: Kamen Rider Chaser: Takeuchi asked the staff if there was any way they could get Accel to cameo; thankfully actor Minehito Kinomoto was game, leading to the two Riders meeting thanks to Jurisdiction Friction and eventually teaming up.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid
    • Hiroki Iijima and Toshiki Seto, who portray Emu Hoju and Hiiro Kagami respectively, are fans of Kamen Rider Ryuki, to the point that their favorite riders are Shinji Kido/Ryuki and Takeshi Asakura/Ouja respectively. Seto would even costar with Asakura in a V-Cinema release.
    • Parado’s actor Shōma Kai is a massive fanboy for Kamen Rider Kuuga, which he made abundantly clear in most of his answers during a post-Ex-Aid cast interview.
  • Kamen Rider Build
    • Atsuhiro Inukai, the lead actor of Kamen Rider Build is a sheer Kabuto fan. Sento Kiryu is slightly childish Insufferable Genius to Tendou’s god one.
    • Eiji Akaso, who plays Ryūga Banjō and was previously in Season 2 of Kamen Rider Amazons, has said that his favorite Rider is Kuuga and his grandfather once gave him a toy Arcle for his birthday.
    • Yukari Taki, the actress for Sawa Takigawa, has expressed that her favorite Shōwa and Heisei Riders respectively are Kamen Rider V3 and Kamen Rider Accel, the latter of whom she actually costarred with in his own V-Cinema.
    • Yasuyuki Maekawa, the actor for Sōichi Isurugi/Blood Stalk’s human disguise, stated in a press conference that Skyrider and Stronger were his favorite Rider series growing up.
    • Build's writer, Shōgo Mutō, became a fan of Kamen Rider while watching it with his son, and aimed to give Build the same Multiple Demographic Appeal he enjoyed from the early Heisei series.
  • Kamen Rider Zero-One
    • Gai Amatsu/Kamen Rider Thouser’s actor Nachi Sakuragi is a fan of Kamen Rider Kuuga, Kamen Rider Hibiki, Kamen Rider Ghost, and especially Kamen Rider 555, even citing Masato Kusaka from the last of those as one of his inspirations for portraying Gai.
    • Hideaki Itō, who plays S/Kamen Rider Eden in the REAL×TIME movie, grew up watching Kamen Rider: Skyrider and Kamen Rider Super-1 in his childhood, and he joined his son in watching Zero-One itself during its broadcast run. He wanted to be a Kamen Rider, so his character was decided to become a Kamen Rider even before the script was finished.
  • Shin Kamen Rider (2023) is written and directed by Hideaki Anno as part of the Shin Japan Heroes Universe. Anno’s love of Kamen Rider cannot be understated; he cosplayed Rider 1 not just for conventions, but in the moments leading up to his own wedding. Speaking of which, his wife has mentioned that he uses the average size of a Kamen Rider toy as a unit of measurement for home furniture.

Other Works:

  • C. M. Atanasio was an avid writer of fanfiction for Worm, a deconstruction of superhero tropes, until he eventually started writing his own deconstruction in the form of The Precipice.
  • Famous author Isaac Asimov became interested in the Science Fiction pulp magazines sold in his family's candy stores when he was a child. He began writing when he was eleven, and managed to get published when he was nineteen ("Marooned Off Vesta", 1939).
    • In 1977, he became editorial director of a science fiction magazine which was named after him.
    • And then in 2000, Honda named a really real, real robot after him as a nod to his near universally accepted 3 laws of robotics, which he invented.
  • Michael Moorcock became editor of the small UK-based pulp magazine Tarzan Adventures when he was just 16
  • Brandon Sanderson was a huge fanboy of The Wheel of Time, and was picked to finish the series after Robert Jordan's death.
    • And brought along some other fans for the ride: for a charity event, Sanderson raffled off chances to appear as bit characters in the final book. The randomly selected winners got a character based upon them, with a WoT-ified version of their name, and a basically matching physical description. The characters are all mostly resourceful protagonists of an everyman flavor, swept into the Last Battle.
  • Robert Bloch, author of Psycho, started his career with H. P. Lovecraft pastiches; Lovecraft eventually dedicated a story to him.
  • Abigail Breslin, fan of the American Girls Collection, played the main role in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.
  • Author Alafair Burke was already a fan of Mary Higgins Clark and jumped at the opportunity to work on the Under Suspicion (Series) with her. She stated in an interview that she was awed to learn Higgins Clark had also read some of her own solo work.
  • The Fighting Fantasy series, being a long-running franchise since the 80s, have several issues written by fans of the series, including Space Assassin by Andrew Chapman (who enjoyed The Warlock of Firetop Mountain as a teen), Battleblade Warrior by Marc Gascoigne (long-time fantasy fanboy who wrote two novels and several supplementary materials for the franchise as well) and Crystal of Storms by Rhianna Pratchett (fangirl ever since she's 9).
  • A fair number of Sherlock Holmes fans have gone on to write canonical (or as close to as is possible when the guy who owns the fandom is dead) material that have been published, performed on TV or radio or had some other decent stamp of approval. Working out who was a fan and wasn't is tough since there's a LOT of latter day writers. However, at the very least Stephen King and the above mentioned Isaac Asimov have written published Holmes stories and were fans.
  • Kingsley Amis was a noted fan of James Bond, writing a number of books on the subject, and finally was asked to write a canon novel for the series. Similarly, Raymond Benson had been fond enough of the series to write unofficial works before approached to write in canon, and eventually contributed six original novels. Notably, Benson ignored much of the earlier continuity.
  • Spider Robinson had always been a vocal fan of Robert Heinlein to the point that many of his own works included references to Heinlein and his works. As his career advanced, he met and became colleagues and friends with Heinlein himself. Callahan's Key even included a scene where the characters meet Virginia Heinlein (Robert's wife) and "adopt" Pixel, the cat who walks through walls. In 2006, he published Variable Star which was based on an outline written by Heinlein and Heinlein was given "top-billing" as the author on the cover.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a massive Sherlock Holmes fan and coauthored the novel Mycroft Holmes with Anna Waterhouse.
  • Maps in a Mirror: In this book, when describing "The Originist", Card begins by saying that Fan fiction is a terrible way to learn writing. However, he then describes how he felt "sixteen again" when given the chance to write a story in an Isaac Asimov setting. He knew that the story he wanted to write would be a Foundation story.
  • Viktoria Ridzel, better known online as Viria, is a popular fanartist for Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus series who was commissioned to draw the official character portraits for the series. She still does art for other Camp Half-Blood Series works like The Trials of Apollo.
  • Circa 1920 a twelve year old boy wrote a letter after L. Frank Baum's death that he could continue the Land of Oz series if needed. He was declined. 20 years later, Jack Snow became a "Royal Historian" (writer) for the Oz books with The Magical Mimics in Oz.
  • The Rise of Kyoshi: The writer F.C. Yee was a fan of the original Nickelodeon series when it was first shown.
  • Tom Palmer struggled with reading as a child, but found comics accessible; since he was a football fan, his favourite was Roy of the Rovers. When the comic was rebooted in 2018, he got to write the tie-in light novels.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman saw Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood as a Special Guest in the episode "Deal with the Devil", playing the role of "Reverend Thomas". The part was created for him when producers heard Rogers (who famously had a low opinion of TV in general) say that Dr. Quinn was one of the few shows he enjoyed watching. It was Rogers' first and only on-screen appearance as a fictional character.
  • Xuan Lu was a fan of the novel Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi before she was cast as Jiang Yanli in its adaptation The Untamed.
  • Michelle Trachtenberg guest starred in the the episode of House, "Safe". She revealed on the December 22, 2006, episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brien that House is her favorite show, she is friends with one of the producers and she asked to be a guest star. Trachtenberg also said she has a crush on Hugh Laurie, and during the scene in the elevator in which House searches her genital area for a tick, Trachtenberg said she played a joke on Laurie by putting a note between her legs that read "I Love You."
    • She also claims to have been a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer before joining the cast as Dawn Summers, and was even quoted gushing to Joss Whedon: "There was never a Buffy episode that sucked. I love you!" Joss's response: "So, next season, more Michelle, less Nick..."
  • In the 2008 American Gladiators, promotion to Gladiator in the second season was one of the grand prizes.
  • Kristen Bell was a big Heroes fan and friends with co-stars Zachary Quinto (Sylar) and Hayden Panettiere (Claire) before appearing as Elle Bishop in season two.
  • Speaking of Kristen Bell, both Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon had raved about Veronica Mars, (Smith on his website, Whedon on his website as well; he also wrote a rave review of the first season DVD set for Entertainment Weekly), and made guest appearances in Season 2. Also, fellow Buffy alums Alyson Hannigan and Charisma Carpenter were fans of the show before playing recurring roles.
  • Reese Witherspoon was such a fan of Friends that even if her film career was on the rise, she just had to make herself available to play Jill for two episodes. She eventually became friends with on-screen sister Jennifer Aniston, with both years later reuniting in The Morning Show.
  • Actor/comedian/author John Hodgman, a Battlestar Galactica fan who wrote a New York Times Magazine article about the franchise in 2005, got a cameo as a neurosurgeon on the show's final season.
  • Almost half of the Muppeters from Sesame Street: Or their interest of puppetry starts with Sesame Street (Kevin Clash, Steve Whitmire), or they have interest in Sesame Street as a show (Joey Mazzarino) or they liked puppetry for other reason, but their puppeteer hero is Jim Henson (Caroll Spinney).
    • One of the classic OG Muppet performers, Jerry Nelson, loved Sesame Street from the first time he saw it, and, having already worked with Jim Henson, joined the series beginning with its second season.
    • Neil Patrick Harris, who guest starred an episode, is also a big Muppet fan.
    • Jason Segel, a huge Muppet fan (and NPH's co-star on How I Met Your Mother) was selected to write and star in the movie relaunch of the franchise.
    • In a case crossing this over with So My Kids Can Watch, Jimmy Kimmel's daughter Jane is a huge fan of Sesame Street. He wound up doing a skit on his show with the characters.
    • The childhood dream of Stacey Gordon was to become the Muppeteer of one of the Twiddlebugs, which were her favorite characters. She then became the puppeteer of Julia.
    • John Tartaglia idolized Jim Henson growing up and was an especially big fan of Fraggle Rock as well as Sesame. He joined the cast of Sesame in his teens, then took over the role of Gobo Fraggle in 2013, a year after the death of the original performer, Jerry Nelson. In the 2020s, he's now the performer of Sprocket and Architect Doozer as well as Gobo and an executive producer on the reboots.
  • J. Michael Straczynski, once a science fiction fanboy extraordinaire, became a major science-fiction pioneer with Babylon 5, which arguably changed the genre (on television, at any rate) permanently.
  • Graphic artist and Mad Men fan Dyna Moe illustrated a Christmas card for her friend Rich Sommer, a member of the show's cast. In advance of the third season, AMC hired Dyna to create promotions for the show including a online avatar-generator.
  • This worked both ways with Amy Ryan's recurring role on The Office. Ryan was a big fan of the show and the people behind the show were all big fans of The Wire, even throwing a Shout-Out to it a few episodes before she showed up.
    • And then we get Stringer Bell showing up.
    • Another case in The Office was Ellie Kemper, who was a fan of the show before getting the role of Erin Hannon, and has declared that "being on set with them is like being in a dream, except the dream is real and I can reach out and touch them."
  • Hamish Blake and Andy Lee were fans of Rove Live in high school. Today they are probably the best reason to watch the show.
  • Johnny Depp got to be in his favourite The Fast Show sketch.
  • Richard Hammond was a devoted follower of the original Top Gear when he went to audition for the revival with Jeremy Clarkson. He claims that he finished the audition thinking what a great job it would be and fiercely envying whatever lucky sod finally got it (he did).
  • Elizabeth Taylor was a fan of General Hospital, so in 1981, she called the executive producer and asked for a cameo role. She got the role of Helena Cassadine.
  • Demi Lovato guest-starred on Grey's Anatomy, their favorite show.
    • Taylor Swift, another big fan of Grey's, had her song "White Horse" featured in one of the episodes.
  • Junya Ikeda, who portrays Gai Ikari/GokaiSilver in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, is a lifelong Super Sentai fan... just like his character. For bonus promotion points, he mentionned that in kindergarten, he wanted to be KibaRanger from Gosei Sentai Dairanger —- Gokaiger's Power Copying aspect allows for that.
    • Inverted with Nao Nagasawa (Nanami/Hurricane Blue in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger), who became a devoted fan of the Super Sentai franchise while playing the role.
  • Debby Ryan was for the most part an average American teenage girl who had a few acting credits under her belt and a huge fan of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. When she heard that they were holding auditions for a successor show, The Suite Life on Deck, she jumped at the chance and ended up landing the role of Bailey, one of the show's main characters. She's now one of Disney Channel's main attractions with a show of her own.
  • Rich Koz, the current Svengoolie, who applied for a writing position and became the show's star in both revivals when the original Svengoolie, Jerry G. Bishop, decided he didn't want the job back and gave Koz his blessing.
  • Kevin Smith spent the early '90s watching Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High on PBS at work, and is a huge fan of the franchise, giving it several Shout Outs in his films and even naming a character in Clerks after his favorite Degrassi character. So when the series was revived, Smith jumped at the chance to direct the last three episodes of the fourth season — and he wrote himself into a brief romance with Caitlin Ryan, the character he grew up infatuated with.
  • The Megaoptera from Primeval were designed by a 16-year old fan of the show called Carim Nahaboo, who'd won a competition to design the most interesting creature.
  • Melissa Good aka "Merwolf" is a Xena: Warrior Princess fan known for her popular fan fic and uberfic. She wrote a short story in an Expanded Universe collection and two episodes of the actual series (season six's "Coming Home" and "Legacy").
  • Rod Roddy, the announcer on The Price Is Right from 1986 to 2003, had previously attended a taping of the show in its early years to seek advice from original announcer Johnny Olson on how to find work as a television announcer.
    • The same thing happened with Rod's successor, Rich Fields, who took over in 2004. Rich attended a taping when he was 18, and during a commercial break, he asked Johnny how he could get an announcing job.
    • Drew Carey has spent decades hero-worshipping Bob Barker, and leapt at the chance to succeed him.
  • Mandel Ilagan was the founder of the newsgroup and a contestant on the 1998 revival of Match Game. By 2000, he'd become a writer for Greed, and later worked as a producer for Fremantle Media (while there, he created one of Price's pricing games) and then Fox Reality Channel.
  • Joss Whedon is a fan of Glee, and is particularly fond of the character Brittany. When he finally got to direct an episode, he couldn't help but gush about how much he loved the character to actress Heather Morris.
    • This is the entire purpose of The Glee Project: to find a brand new actor and character (and maybe more than one) for at least a guest arc on Season 3.
  • As a kid, John Kassir read and collected Tales from the Crypt comics, which became one of his all-time favorites. Years later after becoming a professional actor, Kassir was called in to audition for and then cast to voice the Crypt Keeper himself in the Tales from the Crypt TV series.
  • Daniella Monet grew up a huge Nickelodeon fan and said in an interview that getting to work on the hit Nick show Victorious is like a dream come true for her and she sometimes has to pinch herself just to make sure she's not dreaming.
  • 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!"
  • Quentin Merabet, who plays Ulrich in Code Lyoko: Evolution, claims to have been a Code Lyoko fan and that his favorite character was Yumi.
  • Hayden Panettiere told Nylon magazine that she's "a big country music fan", and this was a year before she began playing a country singer on Nashville.
  • Power Rangers Wild Force writer Amit Bhaumik was a long-time fan of the franchise before he got hired. During the season he gave various shoutouts to his fellow fans (mainly via naming places after them). However, he ended up causing a Broken Base when he attempted to insert elements from his fan-fiction as canon.
    • While there have been some fans in earlier seasons (such as Kevin Duhaney who played Ethan James in Power Rangers: Dino Thunder) in general, from Power Rangers Samurai onwards at least one if not more of the Ranger actors were a fan of the show as kids and are now old enough to be a part of it.
    • Power Rangers RPM actor Eka Darville (who played Red Ranger Scott) was a fan of Power Rangers as a child.
    • Yoshi and Peter Sudarso are huge fans of Power Rangers and the Super Sentai shows, to the point of cosplaying as Rangers and auditioning for parts on the show for several years. Eventually they were both cast on subsequent seasons of the show, Yoshi in Power Rangers Dino Charge and Peter in Power Rangers Ninja Steel. Yoshi's co-star Brennan Mejia is also a fan, and has mentioned attending the fan convention Power Morphicon a couple years before he was cast.
      • Yoshi's even inserted an in-joke for Sentai fans, with his character in one scene humming the theme from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, upon which his series is based. He also has the approval of Yamato Kinjo, Kyoryu Blue, his counterpart from Kyoryuger.
      • Yoshi visited Japan and finally had the chance to meet not only Yamato, but also Robert Baldwin (Kyoryu Cyan) and Masayuki Deai (Kyoryu Grey). Also as a bonus, he met the 2015 Super Sentai team, Shuriken Sentai Ninninger...because he had a cameo on the 34th episode on the show! Yoshi is the first Power Ranger actor to make an appearance on Super Sentai. (And for bonus points, Ninninger was the season that would later be adapted as Ninja Steel with Peter as part of the cast.) At this point, he's pretty much this trope defined.
    • With Power Rangers Dino Fury, the only one in the main cast who didn't watch the show as a kid is New Zealander Tessa Rao, due to the show being banned in there for many years, who despite that is also a fan. Both Kai and Chance's kids are also huge fans of the series that their dads have now become part of.
  • The Ultra Series is such a long-runner that many of the live actors and voice actors from the series' later installments were fans and avid viewers of previous installments when they were kids and often have a favorite Ultra hero or monster.
    • Tatsuomi Hamada is a great example. Beginning with his first appearance as Tagalong Kid Nao in Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial, he has made it clear that starring in the Ultra series is a dream come true for him. And then that was taken a step further when he was cast as Riku Asakura/Ultraman Geed, having once said that the role is a fulfillment of his childhood dream of becoming an Ultraman.
    • Megumi Han (who voiced Pega the Pegassa in Geed) is another good example. She's a huge fan of Ultraman and Ultraman Tiga, and hen she was announced as one of the cast for the Ultraman manga's motion comic, she got to meet Tiga in person and was moved to Tears of Joy.
    • Role Reprises are not uncommon in the franchise, so many of the ascended fanboys get a chance to meet the actors behind the heroes they watched as kids. Shunji Igarashi (Mirai Hibino/Ultraman Mebius) was quite excited to get to work with Hiroshi Nagano (Daigo Madoka/Ultraman Tiga) on Superior Ultraman 8 Brothers, while Tatsuya Negishi (Hikaru Raido/Ultraman Ginga) had similar feelings when meeting Taiyo Sugiura (Musashi Haruno/Ultraman Cosmos) on set for the Ginga S movie.
    • As for the writers, Chiaki Konaka and his younger brother Kazuya Konaka are fans of Ultra Series and watched the earlier entries in their younger days so they became a writer and a director for different Ultra Series shows, including Ultraman Gaia where they worked together.
    • Inverted with Kohji Moritsugu, the actor of Dan Moroboshi/Ultraseven. He once described being on Ultraseven as having "changed his life", and it shows. His restaurant in Kanagawa is loaded with Ultra Series memorabilia, including suits and props from the shows, and he was even the president of the Ultraseven Fan Club for a while. Yes, you read that correctly - Ultraseven is his own number one fan!
  • Radio shock jock Howard Stern was a fan of America's Got Talent and claims to have watched every season of the talent show before he joined the judges' panel in Season 7 (replacing Piers Morgan).
  • Danielle Campbell was a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries before being cast on The Originals.
  • The Wiz featured several celebrity fans of the musical and/or the movie, including Queen Latifah (The Wiz) and Mary J. Blige (Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West), in the 2015 NBC telecast.
  • Singer Shawn Mendes was a big fan of The 100, and got a bit part in the Season 3 premiere where he sings a song before being tackled by a drunken Jasper.
  • Survivor and Big Brother respectively have many examples of this since super fans have been cast in many seasons.
  • The Talk has an example of this which is very rare for a talk show. Rapper Eve who was one of the many ladies auditioning on air to be Aisha Tyler's replacement got the job. She admitted it to her hometown's CBS news station that she is a fan of the show. Another big fan of the show that did audition... Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child who notably disclosed her battle with depression on the show which made her suicidal during her time with Destiny's Child. Permanent co-host Sheryl Underwood gave Williams advice on dealing with depression since her husband committed suicide from it. Underwood and the permanent co-hosts of The Talk gave Williams full support sharing her battle with depression and wanting to normalize mental health as a discussion. Although Williams did not get the job, she replied to many fans on social media supporting her desire to be a permanent co-host on the show. Williams was extremely grateful to have been given to the opportunity to audition for one of her favorite shows.
    • Eve also had another one of those moments on the show. On February 9, 2018; Gina Rodriguez made a guest appearance on The Talk to promote her series Jane the Virgin which the ladies of The Talk made a guest appearance on that night's episode "Chapter Seventy-Four" in which Eve admitted to Rodriguez she is a huge fan of Jane the Virgin and was honored to be in that episode with her fellow co-hosts.
    • Co-host Julie Chen (who also hosts Big Brother) has some few notable Big Brother fans that currently (and have) sit at the table with her; Eve (which Sheryl Underwood revealed during the show) and Sara Gilbert (who admitted it walking into the Big Brother house when The Talk got to play ''Big Brother'' for the day). Former "Mother On the Street" Marissa Jaret Winokur is a huge Big Brother fan (who still communicates regularly with Chen about Big Brother) and is currently participating in the first Celebrity Big Brother in the US.
  • RuPaul's Drag Race: Season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen was inspired to do drag from watching the show. It premiered in 2009, and the later seasons have seen contestants who've been watching since they were children. There is something of a generation gap among the contestants, between the older queens who started their careers in the 80's, 90's, and 2000's when drag was still an underground niche, and the younger queens who grew up with the show and were able to use it as a "cheat sheet".
  • Margaret Thatcher became this for Yes, Minister. She was asked to present them an award, and insisted on writing a sketch which she performed with the cast. This sketch was broadcast live on national TV.
  • Ryan ToysReview, a famous YouTube channel, did reviews of products from several Nick Jr. shows (most notably PAW Patrol) before having his own show on the channel, Ryan's Mystery Playdate.
  • On What Would You Do?, during the part in each segment where John Quiñones comes out to reveal that the scenario is staged, the participants will often get excited and comment that they've watched the show.
  • Good Omens (2019):
    • Michael Sheen has been a fan of the book since it was originally released, and has indicated that he's familiar with the fanfiction written about it.
    • Jon Hamm is also a fan of the book and eagerly accepted the expanded role of Archangel Gabriel.
    • Nina Sosanya's agent was apparently reluctant to tell her she'd been approached for the role of Sister Mary Loquacious, assuming that Sosanya wouldn't want to accept the role of a Satanist nun. Turns out Sosanya was a fan of the book, knew exactly who the character was and didn't mind at all.
  • Many of the members of the child cast of Barney & Friends had watched the show when they were growing up. Most notably, Pia Hamilton (Min), who had been a fan of the Barney and the Backyard Gang videos the series adapted, appeared in the show's first few seasons.
  • Jack Waley-Cohen, a team captain on the very first episode of quiz show Only Connect back in 2008, went on to become the show's question editor (which is a more high-profile job on Only Connect than on most quizzes since they're frequently the subject of the host's in-game quips and regularly referred to by name).
  • One of Haley Jenkins' favorite shows as a kid was Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. She would eventually land a role in the spin-off Donkey Hodie as the titular character.
  • Legacies: Most of the younger cast, but in particular Kaylee Bryant. Bryant once revealed that she became a huge fan when she binged the first five seasons of The Vampire Diaries when she was fifteen and from there went on to watch the rest of the series and the other series in The Vampire Diaries Universe, The Originals. She also described joining the cast of this show and being able to walk onto the set of the old Salvator Mansion as a dream come true and is not afraid to fangirl about the franchise in interviews.
  • Quite a few Jeopardy!, question writers were fans of the show; at least one, Rocky Schmidt, was even a contestant!
    • Also applies to the numerous guest hosts who appeared following Alex Trebek's passing; many of whom mentioned their love of the show in interviews. They eventually settled on two hosts; one of whom, Ken Jennings, was a legendary contestant who won 74 games in 2004.
  • Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Sophie Lowe says that Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was her mother's favourite book when she was a child.
  • Iman Vellani was a comics fan who decided to purchase Ms. Marvel (2014) because Kamala Khan shared the same ethnicity with her (Pakistani), and loved the character so much that she ended up dressing as her to school. Then she actually became Kamala in Ms. Marvel (2022) - which is doubly adequate as the character is a superhero fan who becomes a heroine herself.
    • The character of Kamala Khan is a fan of superheroes and especially Captain Marvel in the MCU universe, then gets powers similar to Captain Marvel's to become an Ascended Fangirl, making Iman Vellani a Promoted Fangirl playing an Ascended Fangirl
  • She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has cases in both showrunner Jessica Gao, who once her pitch for Black Widow (2021) was called out as a Backdoor Pilot for She-Hulk asked Marvel to call her whenever they wanted to do the character, and actor Rhys Coiro, who had all the original comics in his parents' home, providing much research material for himself and director wife Kat.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
    • Sam Reid has been a fan of The Vampire Chronicles since he was 13 years old, and jumped at the chance to play Lestat de Lioncourt when he heard the show was in development.
    • Ben Daniels, who was cast as Santiago, is also a fan of the novels.
      Daniels: Be still my dark beating horror heart. I LOVE these books and I am over the full moon to be able to bring one of Anne Rice's creations to life in Rolin Jones' incredible retelling of these wonderful stories. Let the feasting commence.
  • Henry Cavill, who's famously a comics, video games, fantasy literature and tabletop games nerd, lobbied hard to get the role of Geralt of Rivia in Netflix's The Witcher, being a fan of The Witcher. In 2022 he announced producing and starring in a Amazon-produced Warhammer 40,000 live-action series — he's an avid player and the Warhammer universe has no secrets for him.
  • The special Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration had in its cast mostly actors and musicians who were fans of the cartoon, including Belle portrayer HER.
  • One Piece (2023): Executive producers Marty Adelstein, Steve Maeda and Matt Owens, along with actors Emily Rudd (Nami) and Mackenyu (Zoro) as well as cinematographer Nicole Hirsch Whitaker are longtime fans of One Piece. Rudd and Mackenyu even stated that they were portraying their favorite characters from the series, which was a dream come true for them.
  • One of Margaret Qualley's childhood idols was Broadway dancer and actress Ann Reinking, so she naturally jumped at the chance to play her in Fosse/Verdon, describing getting to work with Reinking over the phone as preparation for filming as being a dream come true.

     Music Videos 
  • Lit were huge fans of Twisted Sister, and were overjoyed when not only did they get to parody "I Wanna Rock" for their "Zip-Lock" video, but Dee Snyder himself showed up to cameo in it.
  • Tony Hawk is a huge "Weird Al" Yankovic fan, and revealed in an interview that he made a very small cameo appearance in the video for "Smells Like Nirvana".

  • Lyman F. Sheats Jr. was one of the best pinball players during his time. After a stint of programming games at Data East Pinball, he went to Williams Electronics/Midway to program Brian Eddy's Attack from Mars and Medieval Madness. Once the company closed their pinball division, he eventually went to Stern and programmed many of their games until 2021 (when he left and partnered with the Chicago Gaming Company).
  • John Popadiuk went from designing his own pinball tables at the age of six, to producing several hit Physical Pinball Tables to running his own studio creating hand-made pinball machines for die-hard collectors.
  • Jon Norris created his own pinball game, distributed flyers for it, and then secured a job as a designer at Premier.
  • Roger Sharpe was simply a top-rated pinball player before he was called to appear in court and make the Skill Shot that saved pinball. And that, in turn, was before he become a pinball author and designer.
  • Slash of Guns N' Roses was already a pinball player and collector (he owned over twenty tables at one point) before he took his idea for a Guns N' Roses pinball game to Data East (and subsequently made another one with Jersey Jack Pinball over a decade later).
  • Black Hole was originally conceived by Joe Cicak, a pinball player from Pennsylvania, who gathered up some friends to build the prototype and present it to Gottlieb.
  • Steve Ritchie was promoted to pinball designer after creating Airborne Avenger in his off-hours for a year, then showing his design to Atari president Nolan Bushnell.
  • Before doing the artwork on Stern's Metallica pinball, "Dirty" Donny Gillies, a freelance artist, had previously customized an Earthshaker! machine into a Metallica game for the band.
  • John Borg:
    • He was a longtime Metallica fan long before he got to develop a pinball game based on their music.
    • Borg was a massive fan of Rush - the first concert he ever attended was part of their Moving Pictures tour - long before he became the designer of Rush (2022).
  • Keith Elwin was a successful professional pinball player who made a homebrew table based on Archer. He was later hired by Stern as a game designer, retheming his older game to create Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast and continuing on from there (including games like Jurassic Park (Stern)).
  • Bowen Kerins started as a professional pinball player and tutorial producer who eventually became the head of programming at Spooky Pinball (debuting with Rick and Morty).
  • Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies was a known aficionado of both pinball and Rush for years before he got involved with a game based on the latter band. In fact, the surviving members of the group specifically asked for him to get involved with the project because they'd met him before and knew he was knowledgable about pinball.
  • During pre-release publicity for Alien (2017), Andrew Heighway described Alien and Aliens as his all-time favorite films, which is why he sought the license to make a pinball table based on them.
  • James Bond 007 (Stern): As highlighted by promotional material, George Gomez was a longtime fan of the early James Bond films prior to designing the cornerstone models.
    George Gomez: [Sean Connery] is my James Bond. My aunt took me and a buddy to see Goldfinger in 1965 when I was 10: big theatre, marquee lights, red velvet seats. She dropped us off with popcorn and candy money and told us that she had seen it and we would love it. We called her from a pay phone in the lobby after the first showing and told her we’d like to stay to see it again. We did. Cool aunt — I’ve dedicated the game to her in the credit roll.

  • Just about every pro athlete (unless they were raised/groomed from birth by a pro athlete parent) fits this trope, particularly the "big four" team sports in the United States.
  • This also applies if a sportsperson in a team sport ends up playing for the team they grew up - and probably still - supporting.
  • ESPN held the "Dream Job" contest, where the winner would become a SportsCenter talent. Mike Hall, who won the first contest, now works for the Big Ten Network.
  • Bill James, baseball statistician, got his start developing his take on sabermetrics (baseball statistical analysis) while a night watchman in a pork products factory. In 2002, he was hired by the Boston Red Sox and helped them pick up two World Series trophies in 2004 and 2007.
    • He's not even the biggest example on the Red Sox. Theo Epstein grew up less then a mile from Fenway Park and dreamed of working for the team his whole life. Then he was hired on as the General Manager (the youngest in history) and assembled those same Championship squads.
    • Interestingly, a Bill James fan started doing statistical analysis on the 2008 Presidential election, putting his sabermetrics expertise to work analyzing voter polls. Nate Silver is now the head of the enormously well-regarded FiveThirtyEight blog, originally on The New York Times website and now part of ESPN, making him a promoted fanboy in a completely different field from his original interests.
  • Dave Flemming grew up listening to Jon Miller when he did broadcasting for the Baltimore Orioles. He is currently one of the play-by-play announcers for the San Francisco Giants and his usual partner when broadcasting is none other than Jon Miller himself.
    • Jon Miller grew up idolizing announcers like Russ Hodges and Vin Scully and pretending to "call" the simulated baseball games he played on Strat-o-matic as a kid.
  • Many of the people involved in running the Scripps National Spelling Bee were winners when they were kids.
  • Chilean economist and politician Jaime Estévez was a big fan of the Universidad Católica soccer club and later became its executive president.
  • Brandon Crawford was born and raised in the Bay Area of California and was a huge fan of the San Francisco Giants. His family had season tickets to Giants games and even purchased a commemorative brick outside the Giants' stadium, AT&T Park. He now plays as shortstop for the Giants and has won two World Series with the club, not to mention a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove to boot.
  • Keith Olbermann has one of the largest collections of baseball cards in the world (over 35,000) and had his first baseball book published when he was 14. He's now a consultant for Topps and writes an official blog for MLB (oh, and does that other thing).
  • Formula One:
    • Lewis Hamilton started angling for his hero Ayrton Senna's seat by age 9, copying the Brazilian's helmet design and approaching team owner Ron Dennis. And then there's this video.
    • Sebastian Vettel grew up idolizing the legendary fellow German F1 driver Michael Schumacher. There is this photograph of a young Vettel receiving his karting trophy from his hero whom he would later race against (and beat) in F1.
  • Now-retired IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti adores Jim Clark. Many people have a piece or two of memorabilia. Franchitti has an entire room full of it. And when offered an opportunity to drive Clark's Indy 500-winning car, he made sure he dressed in a replica of Clark's own overalls and period-appropriate gear.
  • Suk Hyun-Jun of AFC Ajax. He essentially showed up at Ajax's practice fields with a pair of cleats and repeatedly asked to join the team. After being allowed to practice with the teams reserve squad the trainers were impressed enough to offer him a 1 year contract.
  • Chad le Clos was a huge fan of Michael Phelps while growing up and his biggest dream was to race against him one day. Not only did he get the chance to do that at the 2012 Summer Olympics, he beat him for gold! Afterwards, he went up to Phelps and told him, "You're my hero."
  • These two photos are of Johan Goosen standing next to Jean de Villiers, a member of the Springboks (South Africa's national rugby team) - in the first one, he's just a boy; in the second, he's a Springbok himself.
  • Derek Jeter didn't just want to be a professional baseball player. He specifically wanted to be a shortstop for the Yankees, his favorite team growing up. Now he's considered one of the best players to ever don the pinstripes.
  • David Freese grew up in the St. Louis area and was a big fan of the Cardinals. In 2011, he became both the NLCS Most Valuable Player and the World Series MVP playing third base for... the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • A substantial portion of NASCAR's current crop of younger drivers in the field like Kyle Larson, Trevor Bayne, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano grew up as fans of Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, or Darrell Waltrip, among others. Denny Hamlin is still a card-carrying member of Gordon's fan club.
  • In 2002, Joe Silva was a Mixed Martial Arts superfan working at an arcade parlor when he called up an executive at the Ultimate Fighting Championship with some unsolicited suggestions. He made an impression and spun this opportunity into becoming the UFC's long-time chief matchmaker, exercising an incredible amount of control over the company's events and the sport's direction.
  • Figure skaters:
    • Kristi Yamaguchi was 5 years old when she watched Dorothy Hamill win gold at the 1976 Olympics. 16 years later in Albertville, Hamill wished Kristi luck just before she took the ice and delivered a gold-medal performance of her own, becoming the next American woman to win the ladies event.
    • Yuzuru Hanyu has idolized Evgeni Plushenko since he was a child, even specifically copying Plushenko's hairstyle. They very nearly competed against each other at the Sochi 2014 Olympics, but Plushenko had to withdraw and retire due to injury. Now, they often appear in ice shows together, including Hanyu's own show Continues with Wings, the cast of which are all skaters who inspired Hanyu.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Vin Diesel is a huge Dungeons & Dragons fan, who got to write the introduction to Wizard of the Coast's D&D 30th anniversary book.
  • The 3rd Edition version of D&D's Ravenloft setting, produced by Arthaus under license from WotC, was crafted almost entirely by fans. Arthaus recruited them from the "Kargatane", a web-based group of fanzine writers. (TSR's original Ravenloft design team took its name from an in-game secret police force, the Kargat, and the Kargatane are their brainwashed mook underlings, so....)
  • The best Exalted freelance writers come from the forums; by 2011 it'd got to the point that the majority of the writing team and at least one of the developers had started on the forums.
  • Aurora Nikolaeva made a complete Age of Aquarius career from a fan to a leading developer.
  • A good number of folks now working in R&D of Magic: The Gathering come from the ranks of former players, up to and including the head of R&D, Mark Rosewater.
    • And several more entered the ranks through a semi-reality series called The Great Designer Search, which pulled its contestants from the ranks of players and fans of the game.
  • Most of the development staff of BattleTech nowadays are these, having grown up playing the game in the '90s. Even the artist in charge of the recent visual revamp of the game's original 1980's 'Mechs came in as "king of the fan artists."
  • Jerome Mchale, the head of the Yugioh division of Konami America is a former player with a few Shonen Jump Championship tops.
  • Matthew Mercer was a massive fan of TTRPGs in general growing up. Not only did the show spawned from one of his home games become the now world famous Critical Role said web-show's popularity has lead to Wizards of the Coast publishing not one but two official Dungeons & Dragons setting guides set in Mercer's homebrew world of Exandria. As well as them having published more indepth guides through third party printing houses, and eventually their own in-house Darrington Press.

  • The general tendency/chance for this to happen is pointed out in many a Tony Opening Ceremony.
  • Andy Mientus was known for being the creator and maintainer of the first Spring Awakening group on Facebook, which had been granted official status. Several years later he was cast in the touring production of the show as Hanschen. He then went on to co-direct (with his husband, Michael Arden) the first production of what would become the Spring Awakening Broadway revival. When the original Hanschen for that production, Joey Haro, left, Mientus became a Descended Creator note  and stepped back into the role of Hanschen for the rest of the productions of Deaf West's Spring Awakening, from Los Angeles to Broadway.
    • From that same production, Josh Castille (Ernst) remarked that he used to watch Andy Mientus on TV (SMASH), and wound up kissing the latter eight shows a week.
  • In a documentary on Matt Lucas, he mentioned how he had been a lifelong fan of musicals and of Les Misérables in particular, and had always wanted to have a part. He was cast as Thenardier for the 25th anniversary concert.
  • Tom Chambers, known mostly as Sam Strachan from Holby City, has a history in musical theatre and his adoration of Fred Astaire's drum dance number in A Damsel In Distress led him to record his version of the number and send it out to various casting directors (which landed him his Holby City role). In 2011, he got the lead in the stage adaptation of Top Hat, aka. Fred Astaire's character.
    "I watched his films constantly from the age of ten upwards. I love his dancing style, his imagination and choreographic creativity. He is the reason I have fought for so long to work in this industry. He has kept me going and he is responsible for me getting my first big break."
  • A sixteen-year-old Richard Wagner attended a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio in April 1829 starring the actress and singer Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient (1804-1860). He was so impressed that he sent a note to her afterwards saying that because of her he would now devote his life to creating opera. As it turned out, Schröder-Devrient would play leading parts in the first performances of Rienzi (1842), The Flying Dutchman (1843) and Tannhäuser (1845). In the latter two cases Wagner got to conduct her himself.
  • More than a few cases where a work left unfinished by the composer's death was completed by either a pupil of the composer (especially if said pupil was not really notable in their own right) or a scholar in a subsequent generation. Thus, the completion of Mozart's Requiem by his pupil Franz Sussmayr might qualify - or possibly the completion of Puccini's "Turandot" by Franco Alfano - but a more obvious case is Mahler's 10th Symphony completed by Deryck Cooke.
  • Tim Minchin has stated that the part of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar was the only theatre role he had any interest in growing up, and his dream came true during the 2012 UK arena tour of the show.
  • Derrick Davis was only 11 when his parents took him to see The Phantom of the Opera after much begging on his part. He wrote a letter to then-star Davis Gaines and received an autographed picture-—which he carried with him while on tour as the third African-American to play the Phantom.
    "After seeing the show 14 times between then and now, it's definitely a dream come true."
    • Similarly, Emilie Kouatchou first saw the show during a school field trip. In October 2021, she became the first black actress to play the role of Christine in the Broadway production, first as alternate, then as the main one as of January 2022 until the show closed in April 2023.
    • Actor John Riddle first saw the Toronto production of the show as a boy while visiting family and declared to his father "I'm going to do this someday". He too would eventually join the Broadway cast, being the final actor to play Raoul.
  • Having been founded in 1913, the Takarazuka Revue has amassed enough of a following for generations of actresses to have auditioned for the Takarazuka Music School because they were fangirls. Amusingly, there's video of Takarasiennes note  fangirling over another: Ichiro Maki (Snow top, 1993 - 1996) bounced delightedly in costume upon meeting Asami Rei (Snow top, 1980 - 1985), for example. Kanou Yuuri admitted to walking down the staircase of her middle school like it was the Grand Staircase. Some actresses chose their stage names as a reference to Takarazuka, or to other actresses: Haruno Sumire ("Sumire no Hana" being the Revue's theme song), or Ayakaze Sakina, after Ayaki Nao. It would possibly be easier to list actresses who aren't Promoted Fangirls.

  • Kelly McKiernan, once an administrator/webmaster for the BIONICLE fansite and forum BZPower, was temporarily hired by LEGO (the makers of Bionicle) in 2007 to serve as webmaster for the official Bionicle while the then-current webmaster was on maternity leave. Even after the main webmaster returned to work in 2009, he stayed on at LEGO as the toy line's co-webmaster.
  • Joseph Kyde grew up a giant fan of Transformers through adulthood, and ended up on the Hasbro Design Team for the franchise.
  • Tamagotchi has a promoted fangirl; the Japanese fashion model Rola, who was a huge fan of the Tamagotchi craze when it originally started, was given a Tamagotchi character based off of her named Rolatchi to promote the Tamagotchi 4U. Rolatchi also makes several cameos in the fourth installment of the anime series, GO-GO Tamagotchi!.

  • When the original artist for Erfworld, Jamie Noguchi, left after the end of Book 1, then fan Xin Ye was hired as the new artist after she sent in fanart for one of the intermission updates.
  • Andrew Hussie of MS Paint Adventures wrassled up a sound team consisting of the best composers from the MSPA forum for Homestuck, who compose music for the flash animations. They now have their own indie record label under "What Pumpkin". Later, to widen the variety of art found in flash animations, Hussie gathered an art team to draw various pieces found in animations and sometimes static pages, and they also sell art prints (Ascended Fanart, basically.) of stuff the art team has done. All in all, Hussie's team almost entirely consists of fans with the exception of himself and Lexxie.
    • Also, for each official song that is released a piece of specialized album art accompanies it. Originally all the songs just had the main album artwork, and then there were pictures from the comic itself, but now most of the artwork is drawn by fans.
  • Jeffrey Wells wrote an extremely long and surprisingly good fanfic for the Narbonic comic. It was so good that author Shaenon Garrity not only featured it as filler during most of Narbonic's run but also wound up working with Jeff to write her later comic Skin Horse. Neither of them are exactly sure how, tho.
  • One fan of Enjuhneer cosplayed one of the characters at an anime convention, ran into the creator of the comic, and was put into the comic for being the first cosplayer that the creator had heard of.
  • For the first Electric Wonderland comic, Peter Paltridge enlisted a fan of some of his older series, Jesse Barboza, to provide drawings. One of Jesse's solo webcomics, Forever 16, also became a regular feature in Peter's periodical, BANG! Magazine.
  • The Life of Nob T. Mouse features a meta example where series writer/artist Zoe Robinson originally made The Life Of Nob T Mouse as a fanfiction comic for The Blobland Band, before meeting the franchise's creator, Hubert Schlongson, and winning ownership off him in a game of poker.
  • Nebula artist Toc made several pieces of fanart for the comic before becoming one of its official creators.

    Web Original 
  • Its Just Some Random Guy is known on YouTube for his I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC videos that use Marvel and DC action figures to parody spots comparing Marvel and DC movies in the style of the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads. While not hired by Marvel or DC, he was hired by New York Comic Con to do bits in the style of his videos, which were approved by Marvel.
  • The case of the almighty union of They Might Be Giants and the Homestar Runner creators is an odd one. They're fanboys of each other and came together out of a mutual excitement for the other's work, with the result of the H* R creators doing music videos for TMBG, and TMBG writing and performing music for H* R.
  • Many of the contributors on Channel Awesome started out as fans of The Nostalgia Critic. Almost all of them had been featured as Transmission Awesome's Awesome Blog of the Week before being picked up.
  • Many fashion bloggers, ie: Tavi Gevinson, Brian Boy.
  • James Rolfe is a huge film geek, particularly B and horror movies. He became an amateur filmmaker himself, and after one of his movies involving bashing video games turned him into an internet hit, most of his productions are available on his website, and he does film reviews and countdowns on both his site and Spike TV!
    • He's also making a short appearance in the upcoming remake of Plan Nine From Outer Space.
  • Arglefumph, famous for his Nancy Drew walkthroughs, entered a photo contest to have a cameo in the remake of "Secrets Can Kill." The results of said contest? Well, check out this video. Also qualifies as a funny moment.
  • YouTube personality Tobuscus wrote the immensely popular Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Literal Trailer, which got more views than the original and attracted the attention of Ubisoft, which paid for him to go to E3 2011 and interview the Assassin's Creed: Revelations development team. As a result of this, he is now a featured performer at gaming conventions, and his fame has also landed him a voice acting gig.
  • Most people working for Rooster Teeth after the first few years fall into this to some degree or another. Most notably among them are Barbara Dunkelman, who organised fan events for the group before being officially hired, and Gavin Free, who, as a fan turned forum moderator turned intern turned Red vs. Blue director turned Achievement Hunter turned Rooster Teeth Creative Director, might just be one of the biggest examples in the entire history of this trope.
    • Red vs Blue itself had the cases of animation director Monty Oum, and writers-directors Miles Luna (seasons 11-13) and Joe Nicolosi (15-16).
    • "Mojojoj" is a very popular RWBY fan artist, noted for his insanely-fast-yet-very-well-drawn art work. He ended up becoming part of the crew to help out with the spin-off series, RWBY Chibi.
    • Another fan artist, Dishwasher, noted for drawing the RWBY cast with a robot \ Cyberpunk theme, was hired by Rooster Teeth to help with their mecha series gen:LOCK.
    • A third RWBY-related hire was Jordan Scott, who had created a web-game called RWBY: Grimm Eclipse. RT would use the title for their actual RWBY video game, with Scott as part of the team behind it.
  • JonTron was a fan of Egoraptor's work long before they collaborated on Game Grumps.
  • Most of the current authors for the Whateley Universe started out by writing fanfic for the universe and then being asked to join the 'canon cabal'.
  • Worm has Interlude 19, focusing on a web forum within the story made up of thinly disguised versions of regular posters in the serial's comments section.
  • Actor Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) expressed his fondness for Marble Hornets on Twitter. Years later, he would be cast as the Operator in the official Marble Hornets movie.
  • Many famous video game countdown artists (such as Speedyman 157 and Maverick Hunter Zero 75) started out as fans from works of other famous countdown artists (Speedyman 157 said that the reason he made countdowns was because he was a fan of peanut3423 and Maverick Hunter Zero 75 made countdowns because he was a big admirer of Itionobo 2).
  • Chuggaaconroy:
    • On Valentine's Day 2015, Nintendo of America tweeted Chuggaaconroy a picture of Kirby giving his trademark smile with the caption "I've absorbed your friendship!".
    • Chuggaaconroy himself cites ProtonJon as having been one of his primary inspirations to get into doing LPs in the first place. Now, not only is he one of the more notable modern LPers in his own right, he and Jon are friends and, alongside NintendoCapriSun, make videos and attend conventions together under the group name The Runaway Guys.
  • Paolo emailed Harvey Morenstein asking for advice on how to do his own epic meal. The cast and crew of Epic Meal Time road-tripped to his location and cooked with him.
  • On the video game music podcast Nitro Game Injection, Suraida, the newest co-host, was originally a dedicated listener. She ended up being invited onto the show for episode #142 to fill in for one of the other hosts, returning for a few more episodes before popular demand from fans led her to becoming a semi-regular co-host.
  • Loafy Molasses of food review group CultMoo started out as a mutual friend of Guerro and Herr Pink who brought them Wienerschnitzel one day for a "Deep Fried Whaaaaat" episode. He would end up joining the group. He lampshades it in the second McDonald's DFW episode.
    Loafy: Back when I was just a fan, and I was watching these videos, and I got so uber-jealous... That's how you should be feeling right now. You should be soooo jealous. 'Cause you'll never know.
  • Game Grumps:
    • Ashley "Starexorcist" Swaby went from a fanartist of the show to a concept artist on Ross O'Donovan's upcoming series Gameoverse.
    • Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard was a fan of the series for years before eventually making several appearances on the channel, as well as an appearance in a Ninja Sex Party music video. Dan and Arin are also fans of Stranger Things, so it's a win-win situation.
  • On the topic of Game Grumps and Ninja Sex Party, Ross O'Donovan was one of NSP's very earliest fans and introduced longtime friend Arin Hanson/Egoraptor to their music, who became a fan too. Both of them got to work directly with Dan and Brian at Grumps on Steam Train and other series; they've both featured in many different NSP music videos over the years; and Arin even started another band, Starbomb, together with Brian and Dan.
  • Dr. Ed Hope, aka Dr Hope's Sick Notes, is a fan of Cells at Work!. He was later hired to play Helper T-Cell in this Real Trailer, Fake Movie for a live-action Cells at Work.
  • Gregory Austin McConnell started his career in media as a Fandom VIP of lonelygirl15 under the nom de plume Mason, where he made snarky fanfic vlogs about the events on the show, often lampshading various plot holes. He won the second "The Show is Yours" contest that LG15's production company EQAL held to allow fans to create a canon spinoff, and the result was the show LG15: Outbreak. Unfortunately, as he recounted years later in this vlog, the experience creating Outbreak was a disaster that demonstrated just how out of his depth he was, to the point where he blames himself for killing LG15 and says that he gained a new respect for Show Runners as a result of his experience.
  • Scru Face Jean had been doing Epic Rap Battles of History reactions for two years before he appeared in Mansa Musa vs Jeff Bezos. As you can see in his reaction to that video, he was pretty excited about the opportunity.
  • The Strong Bad Email "parenting" has a skit at the end where Homestar Runner does background voices for Alex Hirsch. Alex had been a fan of Homestar Runner for many years, and the Brothers Chaps had worked with him in the past on Gravity Falls, so this was a natural fit.
  • SMPLive: Yahiamice, though it didn't work out for him very well. He says that he felt the others didn't like him very much due to his enthusiasm, and was later banned for making a trap in the End.

    Audio Dramas 
  • Simon Pegg is a big fan of the Strontium Dog comics, and got to voice Johnny in the CD adaptations.
  • Grandmasterof Demonic Cultivation Mo Dao Zu Shi Some of the people involved in the fanmade song "Same Path, Different Routes" eventually worked in the audio drama.

    • Three of the singers ended up singing official songs for the franchise. Aki Ajie (Wen Qing's singing voice) and Wu En (Lan Wangji's singing voice) performing the first and second ending songs of the audio drama, respectively; and HITA (Jiang Yanli's singing voice) eventually sang the vocalized version of "Xianyun", the donghua's rendition of "Wang Xian".
    • There are the voice actors who lent their lines in the fansong but are cast as completely different characters in the audio drama. Kuo Haojun (Wen Qing) voices Meng Shi, and Xu Jing (child Wei Wuxian's voice actor) voices minor character Bicao.
  • There's a fanmade audio drama [1] that covers the Yi City arc, with Zhang Jie voicing Xue Yang, Wei Chao voicing Song Lan, Feng Sheng voicing Xiao Xingchen, and Kuo Haojun voicing A-Qing. Later on, the former gets cast as Wei Wuxian's official voice actor in the donghua; whereas the latter three would voice Lan Wangji, Nie Mingjue, and Meng Shi, respectively, in the official audio drama.

  • The user Avan on the Furtopia forums - who is also mentioned under the video game folder in the Transcendence entry - is the likely, and only mentioned, candidate to join the staff in the proposition of taking over the free web-hosting services with his own server, with the only other option being to shut down the web-hosting services.
  • Jakayrta/Zarrelion became Cornova's beta/co-writer after he left a deep review on the first chapter of Poké Wars: The Incipience.
  • The Internet is full of this: if you're a fan of a long-standing website, you might be surprised at how many of the administrators and/or writers were once commenters on the same site.
  • garfieldodie was initially a big fan of Swing123's fanfic Calvin & Hobbes: The Series, and he contributed a few ideas for "Confessions of a Prank-Loving Tiger". Starting with the next episode, he became the fic's cowriter.
  • Voltalia started off as a big fan of Kidfic before being brought on as the fanfic's co-author.
  • From the Yogscast:
    • InTheLittleWood is supposedly this to the Yogscast after being noticed for his musical parody creation skills.
    • Strippin initially got to know Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane through community games, and eventually applied to do volunteer work for the site. Later, a paid position opened and he applied for the job, getting it because Lewis was pleased with his prior work. Eventually, he appeared on the Christmas livestreams with Martyn and Sparkles*, asking at that point if he could try making his own channel, getting the go-ahead. The rest is history.
    • William Strife was supposedly a Yognaut before he joined.
  • It is very common for administrators and moderators on many forums to be promoted ordinary members.
  • The Coca-Cola fan page on Facebook.
  • CaptainSparklez was a huge fan of SeaNanners when the former was doing his old channel. With the latter's help, he ended up becoming one of the more popular channels on YouTube and now plays games with the latter quite regularly, also knowing him in real life.
  • Anthony "Master" Le was a fitness consultant who started building his own Iron Man suits and releasing videos of the suit builds online in the lead-up to the release of Iron Man 2. His suits gained so much popularity that Jon Favreau took notice and hired him to do promotional events during the publicity tour for Iron Man 3.
  • Jacksepticeye started out as a big fan of the likes of Markiplier and PewDiePie. Eventually, as he started growing his own channel, his subscriber count soon hit the millions and he found himself befriending and often collaborating with the two, among others.
  • Hermitcraft: The Hermitcraft Recap, "a show by fans for fans", is a resource used by both the fanbase and occasionally the Hermits themselves to keep up with the happenings of the server, since there are too many Hermits and too many different points of view for any one person to reasonably be able to keep up with. As a result, narrator Pixlriffs is a Fandom VIP with a channel that have come to rival some of the Hermits in terms of size; later, not only has Pix gotten the chance to collaborate with some of the Hermits and other big YouTubers on the Empires SMP, but the Empires Season 2 crossover with Hermitcraft Season 9 has led to Pix being whitelisted onto the Hermitcraft server itself as a guest.
    (Grian calls for Impulse to play the intro jingle of the Recap)
    Pix: This week on Hermitcraft... me.
    (Everyone else laughs)
    Pix: That's right, folks! I made it!

  • Ryan O'Connell used to drink lots of wine and read books about wine and, despite a total lack of formal training, he now operates O'Vineyards in the south of France and runs a wine blog that allows him to hang out with all the famous winemakers and wine writers he admired from afar.
  • In 2005, Steve Wade, a Tasmanian-based Saab fan, launched a blog about his favourite car. Six years, 5,400 articles and 50,000 comments later, Saab formally credited SaabsUnited with helping to save the company, and employed him in their newly-formed global social media marketing team (based in Melbourne, Australia). Unfortunately, it didn't seem to save the company in the long haul.
  • A list of them appear in this Cracked article.
  • Gossip journalist David "Spec" Mc Clure was fascinated by Audie Murphy's military career and arranged to meet him when Murphy was filming his first supporting role in a film. The two became good friends, with Mc Clure co-writing To Hell and Back, both the book and the movie script, and acting as an informal press agent for Murphy. Murphy's second wife, Pamela, was also something of an Promoted Fangirl. She had been trying to meet him ever since she saw him on the cover of Life magazine in the mid-forties, and finally succeeded in the early fifties. They dated steadily while the divorce from his first wife was finalized, married shortly thereafter, and despite some rough periods remained married until his death.
  • When the Japanese casting director for Unbroken met with Miyavi, he had little knowledge of the film, its story, or anything about it. When she asked him who his favorite actor was, he immediately answered with Angelina Jolie...having absolutely no idea that she was the director behind the project, or that she was a fan of his and had sought him out personally for the role of Watanabe. He later jokingly said on an episode of Ellen that this was why he got the part.
  • Eddie Izzard got to be this for a time, when Monty Python gathered for a television interview, post-Chapman, and she sat among them. When she started answering their questions, they looked at her like some party-crashing stranger and shooed her offstage. But John Cleese refers to her as 'the Lost Python'.
  • Zodiac Starforce, artist Paulina Ganucheau is a huge fan of the magical girl genre, especially Sailor Moon. Just check out her Twitter feed...
  • Technically, every priest, pope or equivalent in any given religion can be considered a promoted fanboy.
  • The Make A Wish Foundation often grants their beneficiaries minor roles in movies and TV shows.
  • Naomi Watanabe is a Japanese comedian who rose to fame thanks to an impersonation of Beyoncé. She later got noticed by the singer herself and worked as a model for her Ivy Park clothing line.
  • Domee Shi, director of Pixar's Bao and Turning Red, started on her journey of a career in animation by watching Aladdin so many times that she wore out the VHS tape.
  • An 18-year-old school student once produced a homemade ad for the then-new iPod Touch, set to CSS's "Music is My Hot Hot Sex". Apple themselves were impressed enough to ask if they could actually broadcast it as a television commercial, which the student agreed to.

Alternative Title(s): Promoted Fangirl, Promoted Fan