- Actors take real risks to ensure their characters are realistic and compelling, making it difficult for them to let go of the role after filming.
- Some actors adopt the personality traits of their characters in real life, like Robert Downey Jr. with Iron Man and Ryan Reynolds with Deadpool.
- The Harry Potter cast, including Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, have similarities with their characters, showing their strong connection to their roles.
Actors are used to switching up their roles every time they sign on to a new project, and they have a variety of techniques to deepen their understanding of the part at hand — and yet there are stars whose characters have seeped into their real-life personalities. Method acting stories are always funny to hear, but that doesn’t make them any less true. In fact, actors take real risks to ensure that their characters are realistic, raw, and compelling to watch. The most difficult thing they have to do afterward is let go of the role once the movie is shot, and some stars are either unable to say goodbye to their characters or unwilling to do so.
On the one hand, dark dramatic parts can take a toll on performers, and even though they love their characters deeply, they aren’t rushing to reprise these roles when the film is over. On the other hand, it is much easier to keep coming back to wholesome characters, and it is not that surprising that actors adopt some of their personality traits in real life. For instance, Robert Downey Jr. famously relates to Tony Stark, his MCU character, and it has come to the point when it has become quite difficult to tell the man and the superhero apart. Downey Jr. is hardly the only example of an actor who has too much in common with his most famous character.
8 Robert Downey Junior
Tony Stark (Iron Man)
The MCU’s Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, was known to be cocky, self-confident, and extremely charming, and he took it all from the actor who played him, Robert Downey Jr. He portrayed the legendary tech billionaire for over a decade, and he slowly transformed into him. Tony Stark might have died in the MCU, but he is very much alive in the Iron Man star’s speech patterns, mannerisms, and sense of humor. However, the actor didn’t stop there; he also took up Tony’s noble hobbies and beliefs. In 2019, Downey Jr. launched The Footprint Coalition, a tech organization that works to restore the environment through sustainable technology.
7 Austin Butler
Elvis Presley (Elvis)
Playing the King of Rock and Roll would get to anyone, but Austin Butler preferred to embrace all things Elvis that came his way. He took method acting seriously, and in a three-year-long preparation for the role, the star trained with a vocal coach to perfect Elvis’ southern accent. Apparently, Butler didn’t want to throw years of hard work down the drain once the movie wrapped up, so he kept the accent. Elvis with its grand ending turned out to be a success, meaning that the actor’s efforts weren’t in vain. Butler’s lingering Elvis voice might come in handy in the upcoming stage adaptation of Elvis.
6 Ryan Reynolds
Wade Wilson (Deadpool)
Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson / Deadpool is best known for his sarcastic banter with his enemies that only Reynolds can pull off. The actor has been heavily involved with the Deadpool movies’ production from the start, serving as a producer and a writer, so it should come as no surprise that he cares a great deal about his character. Reynolds himself is as hilarious as his character, and his relatable X (formerly Twitter) posts have gone viral quite a few times. It will be fascinating to see if Reynolds’ portrayal of Deadpool changes in the upcoming chapter, and with Deadpool 3 set for a 2024 release, the wait won’t be a long one.
5 Rupert Grint
Ron Weasley (Harry Potter)
Harry Potter’s Golden Trio was so perfectly cast that they reminded the world of their characters from the beginning. When Alfonso Cuarón took the directing wheel of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, he asked the three actors to write essays about their characters. While Emma Watson turned in a 16-page-long piece in the best Hermione fashion, Daniel Radcliffe remained brief with his 1-page-long assignment, staying true to Harry’s personality, Grint channeled his inner Ron Weasley and decided not to hand in anything (via The Huffington Post). Apart from setting his priorities straight, Grint is also effortlessly funny and utterly charming, much like his Harry Potter character.
4 Emma Watson
Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
The only thing that Hermione Granger has, but Emma Watson doesn’t is bushy, uncontrollable hair. In everything else, they are identical. Just like Hermione, the Harry Potter actress strives for knowledge — in 2014, she managed to graduate from Brown University with a Bachelor’s in English Literature, juggling acting and studies. In 2023, Watson returned to college, beginning her Master’s in Creative Writing at Oxford University. The star’s similarities with her character go beyond her thirst for knowledge. They are both extremely humble yet confident, and by Watson’s own admission to UK Marie Claire (via The Irish Independent), Hermione’s perfectionism slid through the screen and into the actress’ mind.
3 Tom Holland
Peter Parker (Spider-Man)
The MCU’s Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, and the actor who plays him might as well be the same person. Tom Holland has portrayed Spider-Man as an adorable teenager who just wants to help people, but doesn’t always know how to do it best, and that is exactly the impression the star himself has made on the world. Peter is a bit on the awkward side, and Holland has incorporated that into his own personality — otherwise, there is no explanation for Holland’s continuous MCU spoiler slip-ups. Peter is growing up and becoming a tougher version of himself on screen, and the Spider-Man actor seems to be doing the same in real life.
2 Anne Hathaway
Mia Thermopolis (The Princess Diaries)
Mia Thermopolis in Garry Marshall’s The Princess Diaries was the role that put Anne Hathaway on the global radar, and that is the character who the actress shares the most similarities with. Although Hathaway isn’t part of a royal family, she bears Mia’s signature clumsiness — in fact, this is what caused the best unscripted scenes in both installments. There is even a story behind the making of The Princess Diaries‘ famous bleachers scene where Mia accidentally fell. The fall wasn’t intentional, Hathaway simply lost balance all of a sudden. To this day, Anne Hathaway exhibits the energy of a Genovian Queen with her presence.
1 Johnny Depp
Jack Sparrow (Pirates Of The Caribbean)
Johnny Depp has a diverse acting range, but his most memorable character is Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. From Jack’s quirky walk and one-of-a-kind mannerisms to his smug demeanor and facial expressions that live separately from his body, Johnny Depp has it all. It seemed like he became more and more like his character with each Pirates of the Caribbean installment, and it was especially evident in his promotional interviews for the movies. Of all his characters, Depp shares more personality-wise with Captain Jack Sparrow than with anyone else, and it suits him wonderfully.
Sources: The Huffington Post, The Irish Independent