Actors and actresses make fortunes by being able to convince the public that they are someone else. Even for those who can master this skill, it can still be difficult to play one role: themselves.
Dolly Parton is well known as a singer and actress. She is also famous for her self-deprecating sense of humor. She decided to enter a celebrity impersonation contest in Los Angeles. Without disclosing her actual identity, she got ready for the competition. She said she, “made my beauty mark bigger, the eyes bigger, the hair bigger, everything. I just got in the line and I just walked across… but I got the least applause.” The person who was deemed to be the most realistic Dolly Parton was a man in drag.
Dolly isn’t the only celebrity to suffer this fate. Commonplace readers will remember a similar thing that happened decades earlier to the great comedian Charlie Chaplin. (Read about it here.)
The same fate happened to Ernie Hudson, but with more serious consequences than failing to win a contest. The actor, who played Winston Zeddmore in the 1984 version of Ghostbusters, auditioned for the same role in the animated TV series. Hudson said, “I went in to read the material, and the guy said, ‘No, no, no, that’s all wrong! When Ernie Hudson did it in the movie…’ And I’m like, ‘Well, wait a minute: I am Ernie Hudson!'” His protests were to no avail. The role was given to Arsenio Hall.
When Hugh Jackman showed up at Comic-Con, dressed as his iconic alter-ego Wolverine, he prepared himself to be swarmed by admiring fans. The reality was disappointing, to say the least. His appearance garnered the attention of a grand total of two people. One admirer said, “Not bad.” The second opined that he was “too tall.”
Read more fun facts about contests.