10 Actors Who Refused To Play Themselves On Screen

Robert Pattinson HATES using his real accent.

Usual Suspects
Gramercy Pictures

One of the most common criticisms you'll hear about certain actors is that they basically just "play themselves," with the likes of Adam Sandler, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen, and even the great Jack Nicholson often criticised for repeatedly playing characters who appear incredibly similar to their own public personas.

The assumption, then, is that these actors are effectively bringing a lot of their actual selves into their roles, whether out of laziness or because it's just an established brand that works.

But there are also actors who prefer to go the other way entirely, imbuing as little of themselves as possible in their performances and instead preferring to create a character thoroughly divorced from who they really are.

These 10 actors all took roles which could've potentially reflected their public image right back at them and changed things up, all in the hope that audiences would see more than the actor just playing a riff on themselves.

In one especially extreme example it even resulted in the actor getting fired from the gig altogether.

But if nothing else, you can appreciate these performers not wanting to merely rest on their laurels, getting outside of themselves in order to get into character...

10. Cate Blanchett - Ocean's 8

Usual Suspects
Warner Bros.

One of the few truly memorable things about Ocean's Twelve is the gleefully self-indulgent scene where Julia Roberts briefly plays herself, but Ocean's 8 co-writer and director Gary Ross couldn't get away with quite the same gimmick for one member of his ensemble cast.

Back when Cate Blanchett was in talks to play Debbie Ocean's (Sandra Bullock) partner-in-crime Lou Miller, the character was actually named "Cate" in the script, as Ross and co-writer Olivia Milch had written the part with Blanchett in mind.

But as Ross himself explained, the actress wasn't particularly keen to play what audiences would interpret to be a fictionalised version of herself, and asked Ross to change the name:

"We wrote Cate's character Cate and called her Cate in the script. And then Cate fortunately wanted to do it, but kind of gently let us know 'Guys, this isn't really appropriate anymore.' She was very sweet, but 'I don't think we should name the character after me.' We're like 'Yeah, that's a fair point.'"

Given that Blanchett is quite the acting chameleon - hell, she played Bob Dylan and got an Oscar nomination for it - it's fair to assume she prefers to keep a clear distance between herself and the parts she plays.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.