Updated: Mon, 01 Jul 2013 09:15:00 GMT | By Sean Plummer
You know me: When actors play themselves

Jean-Claude Van Damme in JCVD (2008)



Jean-Claude Van Damme in JCVD 2008 (© Rex Features)
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  • Let's look at a few films where actors play themselves (© Rex Features)
  • John Malkovich in Being John Malkovich 1999 (© Rex Features)
  • Everybody in This is the End 2013 (© Rex Features)
  • Neil Patrick Harris in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle 2004 (© Rex Features)
  • Bill Murray in Zombieland 2009 (© Getty Images; Rex Features)
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme in JCVD 2008 (© Rex Features)
  • Steve Coogan in The Trip 2010 (© Rex Features)
  • Joaquin Phoenix in I’m Still Here 2010 (© Rex Features)
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Jean-Claude Van Damme has never been a critical favourite; his acting dismissed alongside his onscreen fighting skills. But the Muscles from Brussels earned a certain amount of respect for playing a downtrodden version of himself in JCVD. The Van Damme on display here is tired, broke, and broken down; a C-level action star unsuccessfully fighting for custody of his daughter, who tells a judge that she gets teased whenever her dad’s movies play on TV. So when Van Damme gets caught up in a real-life bank robbery, authorities assume that the cash-strapped has-been is the criminal.

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