Where have I seen them before?

I’m not sure if this is something everyone says, but it’s happened often enough for me to be blogging about it!

I want you to picture the scene, a new show or film is on the television. This has actors in it – a pretty standard thing to watch. In walks a new character and there it is. The comment “oooh where have I seen him/her before?”

I’m not entirely sure of the purpose of this statement. Some actors regardless of new role will also be viewed as Dr Who, Harry Potter or a character from a long-running soap. No matter how great David Tennant was in Broadchurch, he’s still always going to be Dr Who. That’s fine, actors know some roles will define their careers. Others play a number of less central character roles so pop up in scenes all over the place. They might be killed off in a murder mystery then be a short-term love interest in a different series. They don’t have that one set role where everyone will identify them as Dr Who for example.

But I think people are missing the point. You’re going to expect to see an actor play more than one role – it is their job after all. They wouldn’t be a very successful actor if they only ever played one role. I’d almost accept it if at one time they were a relatively successful actor but now they’ve had a bit of a lull so are on a reality TV show or TV advert, for you to ask where they were before. Unless this is the case don’t mentioned it.

You should be enjoying the character for the new role they are playing, not constantly worrying about what you saw them in last.


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