That’s Me Up There: The Singular Art of Playing Yourself

By the close of the silent era, mainstream films had expanded their purview to make room for appearances by actors not playing roles but literally playing themselves. As talking pictures became the industry standard, glamorous narrative entertainment provided the logical entryway for this phenomenon, which soon grew to cast a widening net that drew in non-performers too. As the movies came of age, filmmakers brought forth visiting-big-star benedictions, in-on-the-joke self-parodies, sports figures re-creating triumphs, and individuals starring in dramatizations of their own lives. With respect to the latter, the forthcoming nationwide release of Clint Eastwood’s new thriller The 15:17 to Paris promises to raise the artistic bar even higher given that a trio of real-life 21st-century regular-guys-turned-heroes star as themselves in a feature narrative re-enactment. The Quad is pleased to present a parade of personages, in scenarios from the high-impact to the irreverent, including some who you might never expect to see in a movie—and some who never expected it themselves.

Past Screenings