What does it mean when stars portray themselves? Are we getting a glimpse of “the real person”? Far from it! We learn instead that the actor and the image are not the same person. Few performances are as artificial as those in which actors play themselves.
In an interview with the acclaimed actor Michael Cain, Michael Parkinson said, “Yours is the most impersonated voice in the business.” Cain responds, “Oh yeah, everyone– I– I can do it.”
“Can you do it?”
“Yeah, yeah . . . ‘Ello, My name is Michael Cain.” (When he says his name, it sounds like “my cocaine.”) The interviewer and the studio audience laugh. Michael Cain does not. He says, rather seriously, “I sound like a bloody moron.” What does it mean when an actor criticizes his own image?