Some actors win awards, like Oscars and Emmys. Others have to put on their forced smiles and tell reporters that they're just happy being nominated. But a much smaller group of actors are fortunate enough (or unfortunate, in some cases) to be the owners of achievements unique to them, achievements that are almost impossible for anyone else to duplicate. They've happened purely out of coincidence, but sometimes it's like someone is contorting the fibers of the universe to make sure these very specific real-life memes keep popping up on an actor's IMDb page.
#5. Toby Jones Plays Characters Based on Real People That a Bigger Actor Later Plays in a Bigger Movie
Evan Agostini/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
You may not know him by name, but you've seen Toby Jones in tons of films, from small indie flicks to melodramatic Oscar bait to massive summer blockbusters. He was the voice of Dobby in the Harry Potter movies. He was Dr. Zola in the Captain America movies. He plays Rumplefuck Clowndickous (or whatever) in the Hunger Games movies. There are lots of over-the-top fictional characters on his resume, but he's also played plenty of short, stout, real-life white guys, like Karl Rove in W.:
Alfred Hitchcock in the HBO movie The Girl:
And Truman Capote in Infamous:
Warner Independent Pictures
It's just too bad that he's had two of his performances overshadowed by other actors who played the same real-life people as he played, and in bigger movies. Jones as Alfred Hitchcock in that HBO movie you've probably never heard of?
Anthony Hopkins played Hitchcock in Hitchcock, a movie that hit theaters two months after The Girl aired.
And how about Jones and Truman Capote?
United Artists/ Sony Pictures Classics
Philip Seymour Hoffman won an Oscar for his performance as Truman Capote in Capote five months before Infamous premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Poor Toby Jones. Dude can't catch a break.
#4. Laurence Fishburne Has Played Two Characters Who Were Originally White -- and Both Characters Are Named White
Laurence Fishburne is a black person. No, seriously. He is. Look at him:
Andrew Toth/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
In most contexts, the color of his skin wouldn't matter in the least. Yet, for some cosmically silly reason, the universe set in motion a series of events that has led to him twice playing characters who were originally written as a white person, and both of those characters are named White.
The most recent example was in the Zack Snyder reboot of the Superman franchise, Man of Steel. The editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet, Perry White, has been traditionally portrayed in film, TV, and in the comics as a middle-aged white guy. Snyder cast Fishburne in the role because he's cool, and if anyone raises a stink about Perry White not being white like he has been for 80 years, they're going to sound like a real dick, so who cares?
Warner Bros./DC Comics
Left: Respected actor Laurence Fishburne. Right: A walking ulcer.
That fact is mildly interesting at best. Here's where it gets silly:
The first time this happened was in Mystic River, the movie in which director Clint Eastwood realized that the key to getting an Oscar nomination is to make bleak movies everyone wishes they had never seen.
Also, make them blue
Fishburne was cast as a Boston police detective who is white in the Dennis Lehane book from which the movie was adapted. That character's name is Whitey Powers. You know. As in white power.
The character isn't a hardcore racist or a neo-Nazi or a member of the Klan in the book. I guess Lehane just thought that was a funny name for a white guy, and an even funnier name for a white guy that would later be brought to life on screen by a black guy.