We’ve heard famous actors remind us time and time again that their on-screen roles don’t always reflect their real personalities. For instance, Zooey Deschanel once revealed that she could never relate to the “adorkable” Jessica Day, and Mindy Kaling expressed her frustration over how people always think that she’s the same as the overly dramatic Mindy Lahiri. But while some actors insist that they don’t have much in common with their characters, others have revealed that they actually share some major similarities with the people they play.
These shared characteristics are one of the main reasons why most stars choose to play certain parts in the first place, and we don’t blame them! After all, if an actor already identifies with their role, that means they can easily become their character and deliver performances that feel more sincere. And so of course, it comes as no surprise that these guys were able to pull off their roles so convincingly!
17. Ashley Benson & Hanna from Pretty Little Liars
Pretty Little Liars is full of stuff that could never actually happen in real life, but that hasn’t kept actress Ashley from totally relating to her character.
When asked by TV Guide which of the Liars she was most like, she responded, “I really relate to my character. I know what it’s like to be left out … I certainly went through a period of time where I got made fun of and people were so mean to me, so I can really relate to that. I don’t so much relate to the other girls.”
16. Evanna Lynch & Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter
Luna was the gentle, kind-hearted soul who wasn’t afraid to stand out and fight for what she believed in. And interestingly enough, Evanna shares these same qualities with her character!
She explained: “There are lots of similarities. She’s someone I really look up to, especially because of her outlook on the world. She doesn’t judge anyone and is curious about everything, and I’d like to have that [outlook]: not to take life too seriously, especially in the industry I’m in. In acting, it can get so competitive because everyone’s trying to make it. I think Luna reminds me that that’s not what I want, you know? Not to sound cheesy, but I just want to follow my heart and do things that make me happy. We share that outlook and appreciation for art and nature; she doesn’t look at something and try to understand it or try to claim it, she just appreciates it.”
15. Emma Watson & Hermione Granger from Harry Potter
We always suspected that Emma, aka the inspiring activist for gender equality, was a lot like the brilliant feminist, Hermione. For years, she tried to separate herself from her popular on-screen character, but it wasn’t until she had her interview with Gloria Steinem that she admitted to having an inner Hermione.
She said: “I feel as though I spent a long time trying to pretend I was not like Hermione. And, of course, I was rather like Hermione; I’ve finally come to accept the fact.”
14. Aisha Dee & Kat Edison from The Bold Type
The actress said in an interview that she was inspired by her character’s confidence and strength. In fact, there were times when she found Kat’s bravery a bit intimidating. But still, she often saw herself in Kat.
She said: “I have always been more attracted to characters that are strong and characters that make their own decisions and kind of direct their own life in the direction that they want to go. That’s how I see myself and it’s how I see my friends. We’re all making our own decisions, not being pushed around by circumstances.” She also went on to add that Kad was a “well-rounded character” and that playing her “just felt really natural.”
13. Katherine McNamara & Clary Fairchild from Shadowhunters
It turns out that Katherine and Clary have a lot more in common than we thought! In an interview, she explained how she can be headstrong, much like her brave character.
She said: “Clary’s very stubborn and I tend to be stubborn at times so I relate to her in that. And also, she has this really close relationship with her mom and with the people that she loves, and she would literally do anything, sacrifice anything for them, and I’d like to think that if I was in a situation like that I’d be the same way.
12. China Anne McClain & Jennifer from Black Lightning
Well, she may not be able to generate electricity or single-handedly take down two bullies in the blink of an eye, but she does relate to her character at times.
China Anne explained: “Something I find in common with her is she is trying to find herself and I feel like everybody, no matter what age you are, can relate to that, because we’re always growing and we’re constantly changing, and that’s something that she deals with a lot. Especially at the beginning of the show, so I can relate to that a lot.”
11. Debra Messing & Laura Diamond from The Mysteries of Laura
Words can’t explain how much we miss this show! But Debra Messing, who portrayed Laura, once explained how the role almost mirrored her own life.
She said: “I feel a kinship with Detective Laura Diamond in that we’re both very passionate about what we do for a living. And we’re both madly in love with our children and trying to juggle being a single, working mom with a crazy, erratic schedule.”
10. Gina Rodriguez & Jane Villanueva from Jane the Virgin
If you’ve watched the show, then you already know that Jane was under a ton of pressure to keep her virginity. And in an interview, Gina revealed that her real-life experience was actually quite similar. The actress got candid about how she struggled to balance her upbringing with her sexuality.
Gina said: “I was definitely raised with that. In all honesty, I used to feel guilty for masturbating. Oh my God, this extreme guilt! And that lasted way too long. Or maybe I masturbated too much! It’s OK to look back in retrospect and be like, it wasn’t good that I felt bad about touching myself. And it isn’t bad that I want to share my love with my boyfriend. I’m 32 years old, I’m an adult, I can do that!’” True, girl. So true.
9. Tahj Mowry & Tucker from Baby Daddy
We all remember Tucker as the bold friend who had no filter, but he did have some good qualities! Tahj once mentioned that while he didn’t relate to Tucker’s tendency to say whatever came to his mind, he did relate to Tucker’s loyalty to his friends. He also mentioned that both he and his character are quite fashionable, saying: “Tucker is very into his fashion, he’s very stylish, and I like to think I’ve got some style.” Well, judging by his outfits on Instagram, that’s definitely a similarity.
8. Emma Stone & Mia in La La Land
Emma went from being a struggling actress to being an A-Lister who portrayed a struggling actress in an Academy Award-winning film. Now that’s what we call a success story. It’s also kinda meta.
In an interview, she explained how she connected with Mia: “I relate to pretty much every audition in the movie. I’ve had a version of those many many times… I wasn’t getting called back for anything when I first moved to LA and so, they just stopped sending me out. There was a large swath of time where nobody wanted me to come in and that feeling was actually worse than any of the, you know, the initial auditions and being kind of rejected.” We’re so glad she persevered!
7. Reba McEntire & Reba Hart from Reba
The country music queen and actress once explained that the writers took inspiration from her real-life personality to create Reba Hart, a fierce single mom of three. This one’s not all that shocking.
She said: “There really is a lot of the Reba Hart character in the real Reba. I’m very stubborn, very family oriented, I’ll argue cases of the heart for you. We have a lot of discussions on the show about how we want to portray the family. At one point, the kids were going to be talking back to me, and I said no. We don’t want the kids talking back and being disrespectful. I don’t let Shelby do that to me. We have a job to do, and we want to portray family life as it should be.”
6. Jean Luc Bilodeau & Ben Wheeler from Baby Daddy
Well, not in the sense that he’s a single dad struggling to take care of a baby he never knew he had. But he explained that as he continued to play Ben, he realized that they had more in common than he once thought.
He said: “I mean, you work on a character so long that you both learn things from each other. I guess in the first couple of seasons I would have said no, we’re not very similar at all, but as the show progresses I slowly started to kind of change him more of into who I am and vice versa. I’ve learned things from Ben as well. I could say we’re similar but were still very very very different. I hope to God I don’t have a kid anytime soon.”
5. Diane Guerrero & Maritza from Orange Is The New Black
Anyone who has truly observed Maritza’s character knows that there’s more to her than her manipulative schemes and cruel jokes. In fact, Diane Guerrero brought her better qualities to light while explaining what she had in common with the character.
She said: “I see a lot of similarities. Like, definitely her sense of doing anything just to get a laugh and to smooth over a situation. I think that she wants to make the best of living her life in jail and to be as real as possible. That’s how I try to live my life as well. I really try to make the best out of every situation. I just find the humor in it because, at the end of the day, it is better to laugh than to cry, even though I do a lot of the crying. She so desperately wants that human connection and I think that that’s how I live my life too. I love to make connections with people. I love to be loved and that has come to bite me after at times because trying to be well-liked all the time makes people not to like you.”
4. Vicky Jeudy & Janae Watson from Orange Is The New Black
Janae was known for being passionate about racial inequality, and that’s exactly what Vicky identified with most while playing the character.
She said: “I definitely connect with Janae’s view on justice and equality. She’s a fighter. I’m a humanitarian at heart in my everyday life. She’s in prison with the rest of her inmates and they are missing their loved ones. As humans we all have moments when we are separated from a loved one. Either when someone moves away, ends a friendship, death, whatever it is.”
3. Lauren Graham & Lorelai from Gilmore Girls
When Lauren was asked whether she related more to her Gilmore Girls character or her Parenthood character, she picked Lorelai. We should note, though, that a huge difference between the two is Lauren’s love of cooking.
She said: “I relate more to Lorelai Gilmore, probably… I mean, I speak quickly more in attitude and just in athleticism of what that work is and was for me, as an actor, that’s a place I feel really comfortable and exhilarated, so, in that way I guess I relate a little more to that world and that language.”
2. Sara Ramirez & Kat Sandoval from Madam Secretary
On the show, Kat Sandoval was a legendary political strategist who’d taken a break from the world of politics – only to be lured back in by the secretary of state. Seeing as how the actress took time off from acting and then returned to do this show, it’s no wonder why she relates to Kat.
Sara explained: “One thing that I know that we have in common is we both took a step back from our respective fields for over a year. I understand how important it can be to acknowledge when a break is needed, for whatever reason, especially when the intention is to come home to oneself in ways that couldn’t occur authentically without that time away. So I really respect Kat for knowing and valuing herself enough to make that move in her life.”
1. Camila Mendes & Veronica from Riverdale
Believe it or not, Camila has been told that she didn’t look “Latina” enough for certain projects. But thankfully, she broke through and landed the perfect role – one that she could relate to on a personal level.
Regarding her character Veronica, she said: “I know what it’s like to be the new girl. I spent a lot of my childhood moving around, so I was constantly adjusting to different environments and finding a new identity. Veronica’s world completely changed after her father’s scandal, and that degree of change makes you very vulnerable.”