Hollywood is a place that represents the world of opportunity and dream actualization. The ironic thing about it is that most people who make it there, are actors who play by the script and not necessarily by reality. Actors portray an image of themselves through the roles that they play in movies and TV shows. Some actors get the opportunity to play the part of a past icon, or even to play themselves in real life. However, most of the actors in Hollywood have to convince their audiences that the roles they are playing were made for them, something that most of them do so well.
Characters that play themselves have it easier since they do not have to spend a lot of time and effort trying to get into character. However, some actors play a role so well and at times for so long, that we are not able to tell whether they are acting or just being themselves. Other actors have roles that would easily describe them in real life. Some actors pick roles that require a lot of focus and seriousness, such as being good parents, officers of the law, investors etc. just as they are in their real lives. Some end up in real-life dramatic breakdowns, struggling with drugs, problems with the law, psychotic problems, mental illnesses, and other attributes that they can draw from to help them fit in a particular role. Here are 10 such actors who play their role so well, owing to the fact that at times, they are not even acting.
10. J.W. Cortes – Detective Carlos Alvarez – Gotham
J.W. Cortes is an actor in the popular show on Fox called Gotham. Cortes plays the role of a detective called Carlos Alvarez, who fights crime in Batman’s turf. The interesting thing here is that Cortes is a police officer in real life, and no one understands the job more than he does. By day, he is a New York City police officer enforcing the law on real citizens, and at night, he fights crime in Gotham. In his role as Detective Carlos Alvarez, he will have the advantage of knowing what crime will happen, and what he needs to do to catch the crooks, something he can only wish would happen in real life.
9. Christopher Reeve – Dempsey Cain – Above Suspicion
Christopher Reeve is famous for his role as Superman, though that is not the reason why he made this list. Reeve also acted as Dempsey Cain in a suspense-thriller called Above Suspicion in 1995. In this thriller, he played the role of a paralyzed officer who planned to kill his wife who was cheating on him. The bad news in this story is that within a week of the movie showing, Christopher fell off a horse, an accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Christopher Reeve ended up living like the character he portrayed, and he died 9 years later from cardiac arrest.
8. Lennon and Maisy Stella – Maddie and Daphne Conrad – Nashville
Lennon (15) and Maisy (10) are two girls in the popular TV musical drama Nashville, who go by the stage names Maddie and Daphne Conrad. These two are real-life sisters from Ontario, Canada, and are daughters of the musical duo MaryLynne and Brad (otherwise known as the Stellas). Lennon and Maisy are also real-life musicians who have accomplished a lot in their tender age, and have taught themselves how to play the piano, the guitar and the ukulele. What is interesting is that even on the set of Nashville they act as sisters with a bright musical career ahead of them, and have a mother who is a celebrity Country musician. These girls execute their roles with perfection, because most of the time they are just being themselves.
7. Lisa Robin Kelly – Laurie Forman – That ’70s Show
Lisa Robin was an actress who was born in Connecticut, famous for her role as Laurie Forman in That ’70s Show. In her role, she plays a self-absorbed, manipulative troublemaker, who is always a mess and a heart breaker. No one really liked the character she played, and due to her standoffish personality, Laurie did not have many true friends. In real life, Lisa was always in and out of trouble, and she found herself on the wrong side of the law on several occasions. She had a drinking problem and sadly passed away in a rehab in California, after battling with alcohol and drug abuse for a long time.
6. Mayim Bialik – Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler – The Big Bang Theory
Mayim Bialik goes by the name Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, the neuroscientist girlfriend of Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper in the popular comedy The Big Bang Theory. She acts as a nerd in all respects, thanks to her weird relationship with Sheldon and her understanding of neuroscience that not many people in the world have. The interesting thing here is that she in fact has a PhD in Neuroscience from UCLA, which she completed in 2008. Dr. Maylim Bialik is quite different from Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler in many ways, but when it comes to talking science and using the science lab, the two are one and the same. Mayim has a passion for acting and raising her children, and she would easily fit in the life of her TV character without a problem.
5. Hugh Laurie – Dr. Gregory House – House
Hugh Laurie plays the leading role in one of the most famous medical dramas in history, House, which is named after his character. In real-life, Hugh Laurie is not a doctor, but an established actor, musician, author, comedian, and singer. Anyone who has watched any of the 12 seasons of House must be convinced by now that Hugh is a real-life medical doctor. The show has audiences around the world, with medics, and everyone else, finding a lot of interest in the captivating episodes. Real-life doctors have found inspiration and answers to their patients’ medical conditions as a result of watching House, evidence of just how good the series and the acting is. Hugh Laurie’s convincing portrayal of the moody doctor probably comes from some of his own personal battles. He’s publicly stated that he struggles with severe clinical depression, a condition he continues to get therapy for.
4. David Duchovny – Hank Moody – Californication
David Duchovny plays the role of the character Hanky Moody, a novelist in the popular show Californication. Moody’s main character flaw is that he has an unappeasable desire for sex, which proves to be a hindrance to his creativity and writing potential. This lustful desire brings about issues in his marriage, and he now has to struggle to keep his family together. The situation seemed to be playing itself out in real life when David released a statement in 2008 claiming to be battling with an addiction to sex. Although Duchovny is likely to have picked up the habit from his days battling alcoholism and suspected extramarital affairs, just like his character, his addiction might be preventing him from finding true happiness.
3. Kerry Washington – Olivia Pope – Scandal
Many people recognize Kerry Washington by her stage name, Olivia Pope. Pope is the lead actor in the intriguing ABC drama series Scandal, created by Shonda Rhymes and inspired by Judy Smith. Olivia is a crisis management professional whose organization works to protect the image of the White House. Olivia’s quick thinking and effectiveness makes her a gladiator that can get the presidency out of any trouble, and Kerry Washington’s onscreen presence and fantastic acting skills make her the perfect fit for the role. Kerry Washington enjoys the role of Olivia Pope, and if she were to become the real-life President’s Press Secretary or even his ‘fixer,’ no one would even bat an eyelid.
2. Tracy Morgan – Tracy Jordan – 30 Rock
Tracy Morgan is Tracy Jordan, a character in 30 Rock, who is egocentric, peculiar and a total nightmare to be around. The staff of “TSG” works around the clock, trying to clean up Tracy’s mistakes, a job that nobody enjoys. Tracy wastes a lot of time and embarrasses everyone around him, especially those that have to work with him. The character Tracy Jordan is truly a depiction of Morgan in real life. He has said very disturbing things on live TV about Sarah Palin, and made a joke about stabbing his son with a knife if he would ever speak in a gay voice. Real-life Tracy says the dumbest things that require people around him to go out of their way to save the situation.
1. Charlie Sheen – Charlie Harper – Two and a Half Men
Charlie Sheen is famous for the role he played in Two and a Half Men as Charlie Harper, a role that was the exact representation of who he was in real life. Charlie Harper was a character into very young women, he was a playboy, a party guy, who did not take anything too seriously. This character is the perfect description of who Charlie is in real life, with the main difference between the two being that one has to deal with cameras and a script whereas the other does not. It is his rudeness and careless attitude that led to his losing his acting role in Two and a Half Men, but it seems like he is still in character to this day. Real life Charlie has spent time behind bars, and been in and out of rehab, in and out of three marriages, and in and out of relationships with adult entertainers. Charlie Sheen is definitely Charlie Harper.