I've seen a few examples of actors rehearsing a scene, but in different accents to their own.

In Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg and Peter Serafinowicz pretend to be John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

In Star Trek, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto rehearse in a German and Irish accent, respectively:

And Michael J Fox in Back to the Future:

I imagine it's a way to let off steam, or make a long day of filming entertaining, but is there a specific term for what's seen above?

For example, does the director say: "One more take, but this time let's do [term]", or is it more likely an idea that springs up on set?

  • 3
    There's absolutely zero legit use for this footage except for the Blooper Reel, so I'd imagine it's just a way to blow off steam of get the "sillies" out of the actors. As a result, Luciano's answer is probably most relevant to this question. Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 18:58
  • 2
    I'm sure you can find any number of blooper reel where they use silly accents. Adding the Michael J Fox one doesn't really add much to the question. What is wrong with the current answer in your view? You might have to accept that there may not be a more technical term for what you are defining here.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 22:46

1 Answer 1


From the Merriam-Webster, the technical term would be:


to assume or act the character of

IMPERSONATE, PLAY, and ACT mean to pretend to be somebody else. IMPERSONATE is used when someone tries to look and sound like another person as much as possible. You're good at impersonating celebrities. PLAY is used when someone takes a part in a play, movie, or TV show. You can play the part of the spy. ACT may be used in situations other than performing in a drama or pretending to be a person. Act like you're a dog.

So the director could say "One more take, this time act as John Lennon" or "do it with a German accent". I'm not sure anyone would ask "impersonate a german", it's quite clear that do as means impersonate.

The term is more commonly used when referring to someone in the 3rd person, "he was a John Lennon impersonator".

Also from the same dictionary:


an imitation or representation of salient features in an artistic or theatrical medium
especially : an imitation in caricature of a noted personality as a form of theatrical entertainment

More sources: https://www.wikihow.com/Do-Impressions-of-Famous-People

  • Trying out a different accent is would not be considered equal to being another person, right? It can be a part of impersonation. Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 7:16
  • @AnkitKante I don't understand the downvote, read my answer: "t's quite clear that do as means impersonate." So I did say doing accents is also impersonation. It's voice impersonation.
    – Luciano
    Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 9:14
  • I just shared my opinion. I did not downvote your answer. Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 9:22

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