You look a bit familiar… Five Most Effective Actor Allusions

There are many reasons why some characters in the movies seem a bit familiar. Sometimes, the actor has become so badly typecast that they only seem to play one character, as Matthew Perry and Hugh Grant seemed doomed to do in the 1990s (before Perry was cast in short-lived TV series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Grant in the Weitz brothers’ About a Boy, 2002). Sometimes a character is transferred completely from television to film, as Leslie Nielson’s Frank Drebin was from Police Squad to The Naked Gun series. But sometimes the reference, while deliberate, is more subtle.

An ‘Actor Allusion’, as defined on TV Tropes, is a casting in-joke or reference which refers to a previous role the actor has played. In most cases, the reference is a throwaway line or two and proceeds from the happy coincidence of that actor having been cast in that role (for example,
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