ACTORS PLAYING ACTORS | fivethreeninety

So I started my acting course today at my local theatre & it was a bit scary but a lot exciting. I’m just so excited I’m finally doing something towards the career I want to have after such a long break from doing anything acting at all.
Acting is renowned for a being a tough ass business to break into, & funnily enough you see this most through actors playing struggling actors in film & television. 
So, here’s my list of my favourite actor’s, playing characters who are actors – if you get what I’m saying.

Cordelia Chase

Buffy the Vampire Slayer/ Angel

Cordelia will always be the original struggling actress to me. She first appeared in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as high school bitch turned confidant, & then moved across to the spin off series Angel where she became one of the most badass & heartwarming characters of all time. Her reason for moving to LA, where Angel was based, was to pursue an acting career – though it didn’t really work out for her. 

Aidan Bloom

Wish I Was Here

This film written by, directed by & starring Zach Braff is so so so underrated. He plays Aidan, a husband & father struggling to make any money through acting but refuses to give it up despite what everyone (bar his wife) is urging him to do. He’s such a beautifully broken character with a huge heart & I love it I love it so much. 

Penny Hofstadter 

The Big Bang Theory

I’m not a really avid fan of this show, but it is almost always on E4 so I end up watching it quite often. For the entirety of the show Penny has been an aspiring actress, making money by working as a waitress & getting a handful of acting jobs across the years. I did recently see an episode however where she quits her job & decides to try a full on, dedicated approach to acting & I hope she does well because I think she deserves way more than what she gets. I do also think that this was just the writers remembering “Oh shit – she’s meant to be an actress! It’s been ten years! We better do something!” but oh well.

Riggan Thomson


Riggan is a once great actor, who played the worlds most infamous superhero Birdman years & years ago – appropriate, considering actor Michael Keaton was Batman. Now a wasted actor with his superhero counterpart more famous than him, he’s put everything on the line; money & reputation, to write, direct, star in & co-produce his Broadway debut – an adaptation of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver. He is desperately determined to make it a success & gives a spectacular performance.

Daniel Hillard

Mrs Doubtfire

Absolute childhood classic. Robin Williams plays Daniel, a voice actor recently divorced from his wife & therefore estranged from his kids. In an attempt to get closer to them, he utilises his acting abilities & disguises himself as an elderly Bristish woman called Mrs Doubtfire & gets hired as a nanny. It should be a creepy storyline but it’s the most heartwarming thing & beloved by the whole world.

Lydia Howland

Still Alice

Played by Kristen Stewart, Lydia is the titular Alice’s daughter, who’s breaking into the acting world after recently finding her passion for it. Her mother doesn’t understand it as a career choice & constantly pushes her to find a ‘normal’ job; a conversation that always leads them to fight. When Alice begins to suffer from early onset Alzheimer’s, each of them grows to be more forgiving & understanding of the other making the two of them the most important relationship in the film in my eyes. 

Anna Scott

Notting Hill

Anna is everyone’s dream girl. She’s the world’s most popular & beautiful actress who by chance meets bookshop owner William – played by Hugh Grant. They grow to be friends, & then more than friends, & all the while under the public gaze. Together they struggle with manoeuvring a relationship the entire world wants to know every single thing about & Anna is a beautifully written, multi sided, strong yet vulnerable woman who is the heart of this film. 

Bob Harris

Lost in Translation

Bill Murray in a Golden Globe winning performance as Bob, a has-been actor in Japan filming a commercial for an alcohol company. He’s unhappy with life & bored, ashamed of being a neglectful father & in general fed up. It’s only by meeting Charlotte, played by Dcarlett Johannson that he turns his life around in the Sofia Coppolla Odcar winning classic. And Bill Murray just makes you want to hug him. 

Joey Tribbiani


I think Joey may be the best person on this list. Throughout the ten years of the show he goes from struggling actor taking any part he can get (including Al Pachino’s butt double) to cast regular in hit soap opera Days of our Lives, with various other roles all in between. Though he never really makes it huge during the show he’s never disheartened, & I just hope that his character went on to be a success. Because anyone who can play the lead role in a musical about Sigmund Freud deserves fame.
These are the characters I know & love who are actors, but if you know of any more let me know

I didn’t think I would be back doing this so soon after the crazy up & down year I’ve had, but I’m here doing it. I’m really glad I am.


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