Who is your favorite cinematic character? Mine is probably “Indiana Jones” (Harrison Ford) but it is so hard to narrow it down to just one. Maybe it’s “Ash” (Bruce Campbell) from the ‘Evil Dead‘ films, or maybe it’s “Darth Vader” (James Earl Jones) from ‘Star Wars‘ for all I know. What I do know, is that actors and actresses that become famous for memorable roles have sometimes revolted back at fans for only thinking of them as that character, regardless of the other roles they have played.
Clint Eastwood will always be remembered for his legendary career in film, but most people would agree that he is going to be remembered as “Dirty Harry” or as the guy that starred in all those western films of the 1960′s and 70′s. On TV, Jaleel White (where did he go anyways?) will always be “Urkel” and Dustin Diamond will always be “Screech“. In modern times I would say that Daniel Radcliffe will always, no matter what, be referred to as “Harry Potter” for the rest of his life. There is just no escaping the role that makes you famous, and some celebrities are even spiteful for the roles that made them famous. William Shatner has fought back at the media for only being known as “Captain Kirk” from the original ‘Star Trek‘ series and films, but he has lost that battle and now tries to simply ignore the publicity. Kristen Stewart aka “Bella” from the ‘Twilight‘ films has said repeatedly in interviews that she doesn’t like the fame and attention that has interfered with her life and wants to be known for her broad acting abilities besides the teen vampire series. Um, OK then. How about you quit complaining that fame and fortune is what you wanted in the first place. You are still a kid, try not taking crappy roles that only dramatic teary-eyed nerdy socially awkward teenagers care about. They are the ones who put that money in your pocket, shut up and go back to high school, I guarantee you’ll find a lot more to be unhappy about.
Then there are the celebrities that make a career out of one character and embrace 100% of their fame by celebrating the fans. Robert Englund aka “Freddy Krueger” has been doing this for over 25 years. Same with Paul Reubens aka “Pee Wee Herman” and to some extent Jamie Lee Curtis as the original “Laurie Strode” from John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween‘ and its sequels. Jamie Lee has been embracing that role for over 30 years now as the reason she became famous and is eternally grateful for the experience. She knows she was typecast as a “Scream Queen” for many years, something she is proud of.
Some actors and actresses take the same type of roles time and time again, another form of self-typecasting that they can only blame themselves for. Kate Hudson is notorious for playing the same character in every movie. Same with Julia Roberts, and basically everyone else in romantic comedies. Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey are known for zany, eccentric & humorous characters because that is what people expect to see them in. When they make a film that isn’t funny (The Majestic, Stranger Than Fiction) people stay away. My advice for celebrities is this: shut up, give us what we want and don’t complain that it makes you money. Who else do you feel is typecast in a role, whether it be good or bad for their career? Post in the comments section below or on our Facebook page. Follow @BarryIverson