Actor/movie loop

actor-movie-loopWhat it is: A version of the six degrees of Kevin Bacon game – you’re basically trying to find links between actors via the movies they star in.

Best for: A small group, maybe up to six players. Two players work fine, too. You could even play by yourself.

What you need: Just your brains! If you want/need to cheat, IMDB on your smartphone would be a good resource.

How to play: My siblings and I would play this game on car trips or to kill time. We would start with someone naming an actor or actress. For example, Kate might name Anne Hathaway.

The next player, Michelle, would name another actor that Anne Hathaway appeared in a movie with. For example, Anne Hathaway appeared in Ella Enchanted with Cary Elwes. The next player might say that Cary Elwes appeared in The Princess Bride with Billy Crystal. It can be entertaining to simply name actors and movies and come up with a big long chain. This is also how you could play competitively. If someone on their turn can’t think of an actor and/or movie that hasn’t already been said, they’re eliminated from the game. The last player left wins.

In our version of the game, though, we played cooperatively. Our goal as a group was to get back to where we started (so in this game, Anne Hathaway). The whole loop might look like this:

  • Anne Hathaway appeared in Ella Enchanted with Cary Elwes.
  • Cary Elwes appeared in The Princess Bride with Billy Crystal.
  • Billy Crystal appeared in Monsters, Inc. with John Goodman.
  • John Goodman appeared in The Borrowers with…with that boy who helped the Borrowers…what was his name? [Quick IMDB check] Bradley Pierce.
  • Bradley Pierce appeared in Jumangi with Robin Williams.
  • Robin Williams appeared in Night at the Museum with Dick Van Dyke.
  • Dick Van Dyke appeared in Mary Poppins with Julie Andrews.
  • Julie Andrews appeared in The Princess Diaries with…Anne Hathaway!

It can take a while, but that’s all part of the fun. We really didn’t play that seriously. Half the time we didn’t even know the actors’ names: it was “that guy from ___, the villain, you know?” And our loops probably could have been done more efficiently, but we didn’t care if it took a while. (Also, side note, it can take a while/be harder if you’re keeping your blog family-friendly by trying to name only PG or G movies.)

There are some rules you might want to consider. Can you mention a movie or actor if they’ve been said before? (We said no.) Does voice talent in animated movies count? (We said yes.) Does it count if you don’t know the name of the actor? (We said yes, because we weren’t huge movie buffs.) Do multiple movies in a series (for example, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) count as the same movie? Do cameos count? Do TV shows count? If so, do guest stars count? Things like that.

Hope it can be an entertaining game for your and your family or friends!

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