Same-Actor Crossover

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Trope · Genre
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Related: Crossover
See Also: Hewligan, Evil Twin
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Same-Actor Crossover is a crossover that features two characters who are played by the same actor. A story where characters played by different actors supposed to be one and the same are not same-actor crossovers, but same-actor fusions.

Different types

This crossover can be achieved in several ways:

  • Family: The characters may meet because they are related; for instance, a story where two characters are cousins, long-lost siblings, or even twins. It's the most common in gen fics, but also happens in fics that feature a pairing.
  • Doppleganger: If the fanfic features a pairing, it may pair up two characters played by the same actor. This is sometimes called doppelganger fic or doppelganger porn, although doppleganger fic does not always involve a crossover.[1]
    • In another variant, a character meets, and it's often paired with, a character identical to their partner or friend, with whom the first character may or may not have feelings for. The second character is a character played by the same actor that plays the partner.
  • Both characters may be the same person: In some cases, the two characters from different shows are written as the same person, just under different names and sometimes in different time periods.
    • Long-lived characters may have assumed different identities over time. For example, in Queen of Swords, a show set in 19th century California, two of the supporting cast were played by the same actors who played Methos and Kronos in Highlander (Peter Wingfield as Dr. Helm and Valentine Pelka as Col. Montoya). One of Methos' common past professions in canon and fanon was medical doctor, and several stories were written where Dr. Helm was one of Methos past personae. Montoya was often written as Kronos for a reprise of one of the secondary Highlander slash pairings. The fact that Highlander canon had Duncan MacLeod in America at the same time helped seal this crossover's popularity.
    • In thrillers stories, a character may maintain several identities at the same time. In Once a Thief the character of Victor Mansfield was played by the same actor who played Alex Krycek on The X-Files. The OaT character was a secret government agent who used to be a cop before he was arrested and spent time in prison and Krycek started out as an FBI agent who is later revealed as a double agent. Krycek disappears for longer periods of time just to suddenly resurface for a few episodes and in same-actor crossovers one explanation for this is his Vic Mansfield identity.
    • Personality Modification: The character may have become another person due to voluntary or involuntary "reprogramming"; this is a common trope in crossovers involving characters from Dollhouse and same-actor characters from other shows. For example, several Dollhouse stories have depicted Echo (played by Eliza Dushku) as a new personality imprinted onto the Buffyverse's Faith.
  • Cloning: In the science-fiction genre, clones may be used to explain the resemblance. In Once a Thief's Vic is often written as a Krycek clone. In Highlander the character of Cory Raines was also played by Nick Lea, the Krycek actor. Cory was a Robin Hood-like character who stole from the rich to gave it to the poor and that fit well with one fannish interpretation of Krycek. That's why they are sometimes written as the same person too.
  • Shape-Changing: Sources with canon shape-changers may use them to explain why a character from another show is actually the same person, regardless of any dissimilarities in the portrayal of the characters. This trope is often seen in crossovers involving Angel's Illyria (played by Amy Acker), who might thus take the place of Root from Person of Interest, "The Cellist" (Agents of SHIELD), etc.

In some cases, several of the above could be used at the same time.

Same Actor Fic

Family

  • Sugar is Sweet by Russet McMillan: Jim Ellison (The Sentinel) meets Mack Wolfe, his long-lost twin brother of One West Waikiki; both are played by Richard Burgi.
  • Tarlan's Endless Road series, is a Stargate Atlantis/Century Hotel crossover in which Century Hotel's Michael turns out to be Rodney's long-lost granduncle, shunned by the family for living with another man, John's supposedly-dead grandfather. John and Rodney are also a couple. Both Michael and Rodney are played by David Hewlett.

Dopplenganger

Same person

Mulder in the Middle cover by The Theban Band. It shows Mulder, Krycek, seven Krycek clones (characters the actor played on other shows and one OMC), and Mac Ramsey, the other half of the Vic/Mac pairing from Once a Thief.

Cloning

  • Mulder in the Middle by Orithain: X-Files crossover series where Mulder gets to meet (and sleep with) several different characters that were all played by Nicholas Lea, the actor who played Krycek on The X-Files. There is also a casefile that explains it all: The characters from The X-Files (both of them), Once a Thief, Xtro II, Moloney, Lonesome Dove, and Sliders are all Krycek clones. In the end the pairing included nine people, seven of them played by the same actor (the eighth was an OMC Krycek!clone).

Split OTPs

A common variation of the Same Actor Crossover takes one half of a popular OTP and pairs them off-- not with their usual partner, but with someone who looks almost identical to that partner. These types of stories are extremely common in 6 Degrees of Canada and Stargate Atlantis (Hewligan), among others.

Meta

Art Examples

References

  1. See for instance A Perfect Mirror by Gin/backinblack, a Dark Angel story which pairs off two characters played by Jensen Ackles who are, canonically, clones, thus achieving doppleganger porn without a crossover.)