I know it is a long word other than humming. There is a name for the action of talking with your mouth closed in movies.

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    Are you refering to ventriloquism (which isn't limited to depictions in movies, though) or what is it you are talking about?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Feb 6, 2014 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


The answer depends very much on the circumstances.

If you hear the character's voice, but none of the other characters do, it's a voiceover.

If multiple characters are conversing without speaking aloud, it's telepathy.

If the character is intentionally throwing his voice (multiple characters can hear him, but he isn't moving his lips), it's ventriloquism.

If the character is speaking softly without moving his lips (for the benefit of only one or two other characters standing close by), it's subvocalizing.

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    What is it called when the character is actually talking (you the audience sees this), but none of the other characters do? An example of what I'm talking about can be seen in episodes of House of Cards where the camera changes view and Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) speaks to it without other characters hearing it. His character is the only one in the series which does this. Very cool effect. Feb 6, 2014 at 19:17
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    The general term for any time a character addresses the audience is breaking the fourth wall. I'm not familiar with the scenes you're referring to, but it sounds like a type of voiceover - the character is imparting information to the audience directly - just using a fourth-wall-breaking technique.
    – Roger
    Feb 6, 2014 at 19:23
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    In the theatre, it's referred to as an "aside" (which TIL is a synonym for "breaking the fourth wall")
    – db9dreamer
    Feb 6, 2014 at 21:29
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    @dav1dsm1th Yes! Thank you! For the life of me, I couldn't remember that word.
    – Roger
    Feb 6, 2014 at 21:32
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    There is also "internal monologue" where the actor is speaking to themselves or as if to another actor off screen or in a fantasy. Feb 10, 2014 at 20:17

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