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cap, captain miss america
So, I had this dream last night.

It was about a 30-ish film actor who had sort of JUST entered the ranks of household name movie star.

He had a little problem.

Every time he wrapped a film where he played the lead, he somehow spawned a doppelgänger. Each doppelgänger acted like the character he’d played in the film. So, one of the doppelgängers was a washed up pro ball player, one of them was a pirate, one of them was this shy housepainter, etc etc. He had like six or seven of them. But, you know, he’s a successful movie star making millions per picture, so he just kind of pays to support them, and they all live in his house with him.

This makes his life kind of complicated. He doesn’t want anyone to find out about the doppelgängers, so they just kind of hang out in his huge house in California, watching movies and playing video games and swimming in his pool and stuff. Not all of them get along.

This also has kind of put a damper on his ability to date, like, ever.

Then he’s shooting a movie in this old farmhouse, and the niece of the woman who owns it is staying there. He’s kind of entirely smitten with her, but doesn’t make a great impression.

He has to leave to go film in Singapore, but he really likes this girl. So, what does he do? HE LEAVES THE DOPPELGÄNGERS BEHIND AS THEY OFFER TO COURT HER FOR HIM.

You can totally see how this works out.


It had really interesting implications as far as fandom and identity and fetishization of film stars/inability to separate them from their characters. The guy who the dream was about had been in a couple big action blockbusters with significant fandoms and seeing the differences between those doppelgängers personalities and his own, and how people tended to treat him as if he was like the characters he portrayed, particularly those characters, was really interesting-- the girl who lived at the farmhouse commented on it when she became aware of how people treated him (them) when whey were out in public.

It also made him seriously consider the roles he took-- he couldn't play anyone mentally ill, or addicted, or with any other serious problems without the knowledge that he'd be creating a person who had to suffer with those problems. He also wouldn't play villains or killers. He was constantly frustrating his agent by turning down really plumb roles.

Now I keep thinking about, like-- in the dream, the quirkier characters were the ones he'd played when he was younger, before he understood the full implications. The pirate was the first one-- and he'd discovered it because the poor guy, believing he was a pirate, was let loose on LA on his own. He'd started seeing news reports about himself getting into a speedboat chase and he was like, what, that's not me, so he went to the police department to find out what was going on, and discovered this poor guy with no identity, no papers, and he kind of adopted him. He became more and more committed to only playing characters who would be able to lead functional lives and have a positive impact on society over the years. But I wonder what would have happened if he had played a supervillain early in his career, and then all the other doppelgangers had to get together to fight him.

I also suspect, oddly, that the dream might have been because I saw someone on tumblr do something that really disrespected an actor's privacy to the point that it made me super uncomfortable.

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That is a fascinating thing to think about, if every role an actor played created a doppelganger. Would our entertainment get cheerier as a result or would less responsible folks just not care? Would all of Shakespeare's tragedies get put away forever?

Thank you for sharing this dream, I'm going to be pondering it too.

Well, the things that happen to the characters don't necessarily happen to them, they just have the same personalities. Does that make sense?

But yeah, like, the tragedies with really awful people? I don't know. The actor was a singularity, though. So it was just about him, and the tough decisions he had to make. And his responsibility to the people he'd created.

This whole dream is just amazing. Wow. Serious gear-turning in my head.

Also, may I follow you on Tumblr? :)

Go for it! teaberryblue on tumblr!

I think I might have to write it. I need to know more about being a film actor, and about LA to do it, though.

It was really fascinating.

The niece from the farmhouse ended up getting involved with the housepainter doppelganger from the romantic comedy, rather than the film star himself, in the end, but there was also this moment of consideration on her part that she was effectively dating a person whom another person created. And she got along with the actor himself, and dated him briefly, too, but their lifestyles were ultimately incompatible. And one of the other doppelgangers talked about wanting to become an actor, too. Though I woke up before that came to fruition.

Edited at 2014-04-01 03:59 am (UTC)

Would the doppelganger's acting roles have spawned yet more doppelgangers? Or does the power not extend to him?

And what if he wasn't any good as an actor? And then the original actor's reviews would get spotty as his quality seemingly varied wildly...

No, it's just the dude (whom I'm calling Henry) who has the powers. Early in his career, he tried to get a couple of his doppelgangers to fill in for him, but none of them were any good at acting, even as themselves.

I've decided that if this turns into more of an action-type-story, he's going to end u having to face off against the villain he played in his sophomore year high school play.

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