15 Celebrities Who Played Famous People and Met Their Characters in Real Life
Every celebrity must be prepared to play many characters, especially when it comes to personalities that actually exist. This makes the challenge of reflecting their lives even greater because of all that’s involved in receiving their reactions to “seeing” themselves on the big screen. That’s why their encounters can become emotional because deep down, each actor becomes an admirer of that person.
Bright Side researched 15 actors who not only played a celebrity but also met them in person and shared pleasant experiences.
1. Christian Bale met Dicky Eklund.
Christian Bale played a former boxer named Dicky Eklund in the movie, The Fighter. The 2 got to know each other at the 2011 SAG Awards, which was a great surprise for the actor, who did not expect to meet him at the event where he also won an award for his performance.
2. James Franco met Aron Ralston.
The movie, 127 hours, is based on real events, as you probably know. Aron Ralston, the main character played by James Franco, is a real person, and both of them were interviewed together. The actor explained the challenge he had working in a large part of the scene where he was the only actor with no other character to interact with.
On the other hand, Ralston himself had made sure that Franco could properly reflect that key moment in his life, where he had to make a tough decision to save himself from the place where he was trapped in his journey. The real protagonist said he was satisfied with the great work of the production team and the actor.
3. O’Shea Jackson Jr. met Ice Cube.
O’Shea Jackson Jr. starred as Ice Cube in the movie, Straight Outta Compton, playing him in his early days as a rapper. In a chat between the 2, the actor said he felt nervous because he had never done anything like this before. For his part, the singer could not imagine anyone else who could play him and considered Jackson Jr. for the role.
4. AnnaSophia Robb met Bethany Hamilton.
AnnaSophia Robb played Bethany Hamilton in Soul Surfer, the story of a teenage surfer who suffered a terrible accident, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her passion. Both were interviewed to talk about the film, and the actress said that Hamilton guided her to learn how to surf, so she also enjoyed the sport and felt admiration for the sea.
On the other hand, the surfer said she liked how the film was able to reflect what she went through in that stage of her life, where she discovered her true passion. She also said that, at first, she was afraid that they would make the part where she suffered the shark attack way too dramatic, but she thought that they did a good job and helped to spread her own version of the story.
5. Eddie Redmayne met Stephen Hawking.
Eddie Redmayne played the famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking in the movie, The Theory of Everything. The actor said he felt nervous about taking on the role of such an important person as Hawking and was glad to have met him a few days before filming.
For his part, Hawking felt honored to be represented in such a movie, and on his Facebook account, he uploaded a post, saying: “Eddie Redmayne did a good job playing me in The Theory of Everything. There were moments when I thought it was myself. Watching the movie gave me a chance to reflect on my life.”
6. Will Smith met Muhammad Ali.
Will Smith played boxer Muhammad Ali and, during filming, they got to know each other so that Ali could guide the actor in his work. Smith went through a tough process, as he had to gain muscle mass and faithfully represent Ali within his biopic. The actor remembered him saying in a Facebook post that he changed his life, also calling him a friend and mentor.
7. Kristen Stewart met Joan Jett.
In an interview with Kristen Stewart, she recalled when she was practicing to play rock singer Joan Jett in the movie, The Runaways. When Stewart met her in person, she asked to trust her, even though it would be difficult because she is not in the music business. For the actress, Jett is a strong and great person, so she said she would do her best to reflect her image on-screen.
8. Reese Witherspoon met Cheryl Strayed.
Reese Witherspoon played Cheryl Strayed, a woman who went on a long journey of self-discovery to heal the wounds of her life. In an interview, the actress revealed that she went through some difficulties, but when she met Strayed, the 2 hit it off and discovered that they had more in common than they thought they did.
Even so, Witherspoon had to get used to the discomfort to show a greater realism about the life of this traveler, and one of these things was to stop shaving her legs. This allowed her to reflect on her own life and make changes to move forward.
9. Mark Ruffalo met Michael Rezendes.
Mark Ruffalo played a journalist named Michael Rezendes for the movie, Spotlight, and according to what he said in an interview, he asked him several questions to play the role well. For his part, Rezendes felt that the actor was very intrusive, but then he remembered that he also does the same when he’s investigating something for his job, and that made him take it easier. The 2 hit it off right away and appreciated each other’s efforts in their respected professions.
10. Brad Pitt met Billy Beane.
Brad Pitt played Billy Beane in the film, Moneyball, and in an interview with both of them, Beane said that he didn’t think a film about his life would ever be made. Pitt, for his part, had said that this was one of the most important roles of his career and that he would do his best to reflect the paternal side of the famous baseball player.
11. Jesse Eisenberg met Mark Zuckerberg.
Jesse Eisenberg became famous for playing Mark Zuckerberg. The 2 met on Saturday Night Live, where the actor began with a monologue that was interrupted when Zuckerberg went on stage.
Originally, the plan was for Andy Samberg to appear disguised as Zuckerberg, while the real creator of Facebook was behind the scenes, watching what was happening on a screen, but he then decided to join them in the show. When he stood next to Zuckerberg, Eisenberg asked him what he thought of the movie, and he replied that it was “interesting.”
12. Morgan Freeman met Nelson Mandela.
In an interview, Morgan Freeman said that he had a hard time adopting Nelson Mandela’s accent to play him in the movie, Invictus. For that, he had to meet him on a few occasions, thus forming a close friendship.
However, the actor already felt a certain familiarity with the well-known South African activist because when he saw him on television, he heard him say that he would like to see Freeman play him. And that’s exactly what happened, several years later.
13. Don Cheadle met Paul Rusesabagina.
Before filming, Don Cheadle had met with writer Paul Rusesabagina in order to play him in his biopic. The actor asked him several questions about his tastes to get to know him better and even lived with him for a week to adopt his posture, manner of dress, and behavior.
14. Al Pacino met Jack Kevorkian.
Al Pacino played a doctor named Jack Kevorkian in the film, You Don’t Know Jack. When they met, Kevorkian praised Pacino’s great work, saying that many scenes in the film moved him.
15. Sandra Bullock met Leigh Anne Tuohy.
Sandra Bullock achieved great success playing Leigh Anne Tuohy in the film, The Blind Side, which reflects her interaction with a homeless boy. Surprisingly, the actress did not want to play this part at first, but after a few meetings, she finally accepted the role.
Both Bullock and Tuohy have a good relationship and, in a talk they had face to face, Michael’s mother said she felt nervous when she saw the actress in front of her house. Eventually, she felt that the actress would do a good job at portraying this part of her life.
Do you know someone who deserves their own movie? What excites you most about seeing a celebrity play someone who made a contribution to the world?