On Kill Eve, Jodie Comer’s character, Villanelle, takes on many accents, including Russian, American, Scottish and Australian. In real life, Comer comes from Liverpool. The actor revealed that her penchant for multiple accents actually stemmed from something she used to do with her father as a child.
“It comes from growing up,” Comer Explain in the season 2 premiere of Kill Eve. “Me and my dad, if there was an advertisement with a stupid voice, we would always imitate it around the house, joking.”
On stranger things, Joseph Quinn’s real-life guitar skills certainly came in handy for Eddie’s “Master of Puppets” sequence. Turns out this scene was a bit team efforthowever – Quinn learned the song from Metallica and mastered it, but it was guitarist Aiden Fisher’s hands that were used in these close-ups.
“I had been playing guitar since I was very young, so I was lucky to have a foundation there,” Quinn explained in a interview with Collider. “When I read the scripts the next morning, I went out and bought a guitar and started maniacally learning ‘Master of Puppets’. By day, me and Gaten [Matarazzo, who plays Dustin] I just got on the motorhome and I just got in. It was very fun. I played most of it. We brought in some kind of black belt guitarist to do the solo because I’m a human being. It’s very fast, but the rest, I tried my best to figure that out.”
In the Legacy episode, “Since When Do You Speak Japanese?”, Josie is revealed to be fluent in Japanese when acting as a translator for a demon-possessed samurai, Kurutta. This was written after the writers discovered that Josie actor Kaylee Bryant (who is part Japanese in real life) could speak Japanese.
“I spoke Japanese a few times on the [Instagram] Live and one of our writers, Penny Cox, saw me speaking Japanese and immediately went to see Brett [Matthews, showrunner] and was like, ‘We have to make this happen somehow,'” Bryant explained in an interview with BuzzFeed. “And then all of a sudden I had a script between the hands. So it was a surprise, but fun.”
Bryant clarified that they weren’t fluent in Japanese, but she could speak it “at the level of maybe a sophomore on a good day.”
In Office episode, “Michael’s Birthday”, everyone goes to an ice rink to celebrate Michael’s birthday. In a episode of the office ladies podcast, Jenna Fischer (who played Pam) revealed that the writers intentionally chose this setting because they wanted to showcase Steve Carell’s skating skills.
“Steve Carell is a very, very good ice skater. He played hockey growing up [and] he played hockey every week as an adult,” Fischer said. “The writers had on one of their maps hanging on the wall [in the writer’s room] that fact that Steve was a good ice skater, and they were always looking for a way to incorporate that.”
In fact, Carell hoped to break into the NHL when he was younger. “It clearly didn’t go well,” he said in a interview with ESPN. “You know, you reach a point in your life where you have to be honest, and that wasn’t going to happen. But I enjoyed it. I played in college.”
On Delighted, Samantha wiggles her nose to cast spells. This was incorporated because Elizabeth Montgomery (who played Samantha) had a habit to twitch her nose whenever she got nervous in real life.
According Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery of Herbie Pilato, it was director William Asher (who was also Montgomery’s husband at the time) who imagined the idea to incorporate the quirk into the pilot.
In an episode of Criminal minds, Spencer flirts with a bartender while trying to impress him with magic tricks. It was written because Matthew Gray Gubler (who plays Spencer) is good at performing magic tricks in real life.
“I grew up in Las Vegas [and] I wanted to be a magician when I was a kid,” Gubler revealed in a interview with Western Australia. “Then I discovered movie magic and loved acting in my own silly movies.”
In the Joy episode “I Am Unicorn”, Chris Colfer’s character Kurt twirls sai swords in a memorable performance. Colfer is actually very good with swords in real life. “I’m some kind of ninja,” he joked on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.
“I was really a big fan of Xena: Warrior Princess when I was a kid,” Colfer explained in a interview with NRP. “Gabrielle had the sai swords and I was like, ‘I want to do this!’ and I just really wanted to learn. So the first job I ever had, I used that paycheck, which was like $20, and bought myself some swords.
Speaking of which, Harry Shum Jr.’s dancing skills not only shaped his Joy character, Mike, but they too later became useful for a Shadow Hunters stage. Shum’s character Magnus dances with Dot in the Season 2 episode “Those of Demon Blood,” and it’s pretty adorable.
On A tree hill, Haley (played by Bethany Joy Lenz) is shown to be a talented singer, but it wasn’t originally written into her character. The idea of having Haley as a singer was incorporated into the plot after producers overheard Lenz at random singing on the tray.
This, of course, turned out to be a pretty big aspect of Haley’s story in Season 2 when she went on tour with musician Chris Keller (and her marriage to Nathan nearly ended).
“I was probably singing before I could speak,” Lenz said in a interview with TODAY. “Musical theater is my passion. If I could afford it, I’d just do a dinner theater and live a simple life.”
There is a deleted stage in the Angel episode “Waiting in the Wings” where Winifred (played by Amy Acker) performs as a ballerina. The creators came up with the premise for the episode — in which the group goes to see a ballet — after finding out about Acker’s background in dance.
Teen Wolf Actor Arden Cho (who played Kira) said her martial arts training mainly helped her perform stunts for the show. Indeed, the actor is actually a black belt!
“I grew up training — my dad is a grandmaster — so I’ve grown up with it all my life,” Cho said in a interview with the Center for Asian American Media. “And that ended up being a plus. We learn all of our fight sequences usually the same day. … I’m really lucky that my stunt man takes the time to teach me everything and [that] I can do a lot of my own stunts. I don’t think that’s always the case.”
In the Friends episode The one where Joey speaks FrenchPhoebe (played by Lisa Kudrow) is shown to be fluent in French. Kudrow can also speak French in real life – moreover, her husband, Michael Stern, is French.
There is a scene on CO where Sandy (played by Peter Gallagher) publicly serenades his wife, Kirsten. In real life, Gallagher is a talented Broadway performer – he’s even been nominated for a Tony Award!
It was CO creator Josh Schwartz who came up with the idea to blackmail Sandy. “[Schwartz] said, ‘I gotta sing you on the show,'” Gallagher said in a interview with billboard. “And my response was, ‘That’s crazy. It would be so embarrassing. Who wants to hear Sandy Cohen’s song styles? I would put away my socks [on the show] singing ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’?”
And finally, on Pretty little Liars, Janel Parrish (who played Mona) got to show off her singing skills a few times. Notably, Parrish performed Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” in the Season 5 episode “A Dark Ali”.
In a interview with Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Oliver Goldstick explained the decision to incorporate a musical number into the episode: “Everything [the cast] have incredible hidden talents and singing is one of them. And I thought it was a shame we didn’t use that, and [so] we found a way to platform it in one of the last 10 episodes.