Do you ever wonder if actors encounter something twice, once on film and once in real life? If you act for a living, you pretend to experience monumental moments, drawing inspiration from whatever you can imagine, what you've heard or what you've read, but what if you actually lived that experience in real life? It would make sense then that that would give you a better perspective. This can also go the other way; an actor might first experience a traumatic event through a character in a movie and then something similar happens to them later in life, like a morbid dress rehearsal for the real thing. With all the films being made each year, there are bound to be some crossovers with real life, but that doesn’t mean they are any less surprising when they do happen.
There are several different types of these crossovers, call them divinely inspired or coincidences, but there are also intentional crossovers, moments when a scripted scenario becomes reality, either because the director wanted it that way or because something went wrong. This helps the actor's performance because they're reacting as opposed to acting, something that comes naturally to everyone. This event is now real, so the actor's response is automatic and, of course, believable. If nothing else, these connections between character and actor make the line between the two a little thinner. Here are 15 actors who suffered similar trauma to their characters.
15 Injured Achilles, Brad Pitt – Troy
14 True Fear, The Cast - The Blair Witch Project
13 Fruit Diet Peril, Ashton Kutcher – Jobs
12 Strangled, Diane Kruger – Inglourious Basterds
11 True Fear, Entire Cast - Alien
10 Mourning Wife, Liam Neeson – Love Actually
9 True Fear, The Kids - Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
8 True Fear, Tippie Hedren – Birds
7 Real Disgust, Jason Miller – The Exorcist
6 Hanged, Michael J. Fox – Back to the Future III
5 Drug Abuse, Robert Downey Jr. – Less Than Zero
4 Nearly Drowned, Viggo Mortensen – Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
3 Real Panic, Isla Fisher – Now You See Me
2 Actual Wax, Steve Carell – 40-Year-Old Virgin
1 Mourning Son, John Travolta – Face/Off
In the 1997 film Face/Off, John Travolta's character is shot but the bullet ends up killing his young son. Travolta's character lays over his son and cries. The death of the child creates a void in the character's life that sticks with him for the entire film. Though this scene was overly dramatic in Face/Off, 12 years later, Travolta would be confronted with a similar loss in real life. While vacationing in the Bahamas, Travolta's real son, Jeff (16), suffered a seizure that claimed his life. Again, these type of coincidences are bound to happen, but it doesn't make it any less tragic when it happens to an A-Lister like Travolta.
Sources: People; ABCNews; DailyMail
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