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Trivia / Night at the Museum

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  • Acting for Two:
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • Much like his character Akhmenrah, Rami Malek is Egyptian.
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    • In the third film Larry mentions he is half-Jewish and half-Irish, just like his actor Ben Stiller.
  • All-Star Cast: Much like National Treasure, it's quite surprising to see so many big name stars in this film, including Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Amy Adams, Bill Cobbs, Paul Rudd, Ricky Gervais, Carla Gugino, Steve Coogan, Hank Azaria, Owen Wilson, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, Dan Stevens, Hugh Jackman, Alice Eve and Alice Eve. There's also Rami Malek and Jon Bernthal, who would gain greater recognition from the public for their roles in hit TV shows. And for Francophones, Alain Chabat, a renowned French comedian of the 1980s.
  • Billing Displacement: Craig Robinson is listed as one of the major actors in the credits, even though he only appeared for approx. 5 minutes.
  • The Cast Showoff: Dick Van Dyke gets to bust a few dance moves at the start of his cameo in the third film.
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  • Corpsing: According to Shawn Levy, the scene in the second film where Larry and Amelia talk to the metal bust head of Theodore Roosevelt took almost forty takes because Amy Adams and Ben Stiller couldn’t stop laughing at Robin Williams' delivery.
  • Fake Nationality: Since the movie concerns historical figures, things can get a bit awkward with the casting choices.
    • Sacagawea is portrayed by the half white, half Japanese Mizuo Peck. She has mentioned that she may have some Cherokee ancestry through her white father but like many other white Americans who claim Native American heritage, it is unverifiable and indigenous tribes do not view them as valid members of their ethnicity. A recognized sociological phenomenon among white Americans is to appropriate indigenous culture and forge an indigenous ancestry to "feel more American" and absolve themselves of white guilt. Besides that, Sacagawea was a Lemhi Shoshone and not Cherokee, and there are very few Lemhi Shoshone alive today (fewer than 5,300).
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    • Hank Azaria is a Sephardic Jew who plays the Egyptian Kahmunrah. The Jewish people have a complicated history with Egypt. According to Exodus, the Jewish people were kept enslaved in Egypt and were instructed to never settle in Egypt again. Though the Exodus story is not historically credible. In the 1950s, as a backlash against Israel, Egypt began a mass expulsion of its Jewish population and there are now fewer than 10 Jewish people left in Egypt today.
    • Half Irish American and half Chinese actor Patrick Gallagher portrays Attila the Hun. The Huns are an extinct ethnic group so it would be impossible for a him to be portrayed by an actor today who fits his ethnic description. Nobody knows for sure what Attila the Hun even looked like, though it is likely he had a typical East Asian appearance. It is speculated that the Huns originated as the Xiongnu, a (probably) Yeniseian-speaking ethnic group from Siberia who were the sworn enemies of the Han Chinese. The Xiongnu's crushing defeat at the hands of the Chinese pushed them westwards. It is hypothesized that these Xiongnu then absorbed many other ethnic groups as they swept across Central Asia and became the group identified by Europeans as the "Huns". Since Gallagher is half Chinese, this may be quite amusing to the history buff.
  • Image Source:
  • The Other Darrin: Nick was played by Jake Cherry in the first two films, but then by Skylar Gisondo (who looks nothing like Cherry) in the third. It seems the movie is attempting a timeshifted actor, but both actors are the same age.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • First of all. Dick van Dyke is one of the Big Bads in the first movie.
    • Ben Stiller's playing the main role in a series of children's films.
    • Don't forget Mickey Rooney!
    • Ricky Gervais very much goes against his famous role in The Office (UK) (where he played a goof of a boss) as the no-nonsense museum manager.
  • Role Reprise: In addition to Ben Stiller playing Larry in all three of the movies, he also reprised his role in a Wii game based on Battle of the Smithsonian.
  • Uncredited Role: Owen Wilson is uncredited in the first film, despite Jedediah being as big a role as Octavius.
  • What Could Have Been: An early draft of Battle of the Smithsonian had Ahkmenrah traveling to the Smithsonian with the others instead of being Demoted to Extra.