Some similarities between ER actors and the characters they play! : LUSENET : ER Discussions : One Thread

I've been noticing that there are some similarities between ER actors and their characters. Here are some things that I've picked up from bios on the NBC webpage, ER discussion forums, talk shows where the actors were guests, etc. -

*Noah Wylie's birthday is June 4, and in one eppy (I think "Full Moon Saturday Night" where he was talking to the psychic lady) Dr. Carter said his birthday was June 4. Also, somebody mentioned that Noah said on some talk show that he has a thing for infomercials, and they gave him a George Foreman grill on the show. In this week's episode, Carter told Gamma he got up and watched some infomercials.

*In the episode where Cleo was helping the high school basketball player, Cleo said she played the sport herself. Also, in this week's episode Cleo told Jackie she was from Indianapolis. In the NBC page, it says Michael Michele is from Indiana and she played basketball in HS or college (I forgot which)

*On the NBC ER page, Erik Palladino talked about the rough friends he hung out with in New York, & we know that Dr. Dave is kind of rugged (if that's the right word) and that he had to go to medical school in Grenada because he goofed off in college.

*On Rosie O'Donnell when she had the cast of ER on there, I think Laura Innes said something about how she liked to cook, and she picked the FOOD category when Rosie played the trivia game with her. In the episodes where Carter was living in Weaver's basement, we saw her cooking in the kitchen several times, and she was making those drinks in the blender & she had to show Carter how to seed a cucumber, because he wasn't doing it right!

Anyway, these are just some things I have noticed. Feel free to add more if you know of any others. Do you think this is un-original when it comes to creating a character, or do you think it helps to make the character seem more real for them? I mean, maybe if there are a few elements from their own lives in the character, it can make it more realistic. Any thoughts?

-- Melanie (, April 29, 2000


I can't think of any specifics, but George Clooney & Julianna Margulies seem quite similar to their "ER" characters. I guess they share a similar sense of humor with their characters. :-)

Actually, I just thought of one or two. I read an article or interview where JM admitted to being a "cashmere whore," and Carol Hathaway has a great sense of style.

George Clooney and Anthony Edwards both enjoy basketball in real life, I believe, and their characters have this hobby, as well.

-- Arianne (, April 29, 2000.

Another one --

I don't know if Carol is a big knitter, but Julianna Margulies knits in real life and her character was knitting a hat for the babies in "Humpty Dumpty." :-)

-- Arianne (, April 29, 2000.

Melanie, I would imagine that with all the pages and pages of dialogue the actors need to learn for every episode, it makes their jobs slightly easier to have their characters share some aspects of the actors' own personalities. It would make certain scenes appear more natural and would allow the writers to flesh out a character by using hobbies, background information and preferences that are already "there".

As in real life, also, it would make the characters just that much more interesting to the viewers. Who would have said that Kerry, married to her job, would be a superb cook? Or that "blue collar" Carol, pretty adept with a sledgehammer (remember her scene with Shep when they knocked down the wall in her house to reveal the fireplace?) would also be crafty and enjoy knitting (BTW, didn't that "hat" for the twins end up more like a blanket?)

-- Emma (, April 29, 2000.

I think in one interview Anthony Edwards said that he sometimes has trouble separating himself from Mark Greene. I can imagine that after playing a character for five or six years, you really do start to become that person. And more of yourself is put into the character too.

Carter and Noah have the same b-day, but they are a year apart! Carter is a year older than Noah. That's pretty cool.

-- Joanne (, April 30, 2000.

It probably also helps to have characters with interests similar to the actors because then they already know how to do certain things. Can you imagine having to go out back and shoot some hoops if you had never touched a basketball? I know in movies actors often get lots of training to perform certain skills, but on a show like ER, where would they ever find the time to practice? If the actors already know how to do things like knit, play basketball, who knows, maybe even seed a cucumber, it must make filming more smooth!

-- Annie (, April 30, 2000.

When I see one of the cast in an interview (i've seen only a few) or read one, I usually see many similarities in their general personalities. Anthony seems so nice and smart and articulate like MArk; both Eriq and Peter seem abrupt, almost anti-social really; Noah is the nicest most personnable person, how does he survive in that industry?; Alex seems capable and outgoing like Elizabeth. I've always thought that an actor cannot perform "nice" positive qualities as well as he can "not nice" ones- its easier to be the villian. So that fits with Laura and Paul being very pleasant. BTW, I had always hoped that Laura Innes had been hired even with her disability, until I found out it was all just pretend :(.

-- May (, April 30, 2000.

She might not have a disability, but Laura Innes sure should have some empathy for someone with one. She had a trach when she was one to remove an acorn shell, spent quite a bit of time a while back in the hospital for a burst appendix, and weeks in the hospital when her son was very prematurely. (All per IMDb)

-- Diana (, April 30, 2000.

Carol and Julianna both have 2 older sisters.

-- frances christine (, April 30, 2000.

Alex Kingston has a raunchy sense of humor, which doesn't seem to apply to her character too much. When I saw her on the Conan O'Brien Show a while back, I think she almost had to be bleeped a couple of times. But she was very nice and personable, I agree with that. And Noah is just so adorable, I don't know how he gets by in this cutthroat business either. But I hear he's getting married soon, so that probably keeps him sane.

-- Cecelia (, May 01, 2000.

Goran and Luka both have one brother. Luka's father was a train conductor and Goran's father was a bus driver.

-- Manon (, May 02, 2000.

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