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In the TV show Supernatural, Season 6, Episode 15, Sam and Dean find themselves pushed into an "alternate reality" where they are two actors acting in a TV show called Supernatural. And their names (in the alternate reality) are Jared Padalecki (Sam) and Jensen Ackles (Dean).

In real world, those two are the two main actors in Supernatural (in our time, our world). Its the same case with Misha Collins (Castiel) and Robert Singer (Producer and Bobby Singer). Also in this reality, Genevieve Padalecki is Sam's wife (this is also true in real life- Jared Padalecki is married to Genevieve Padalecki).

Is there any specific name for this kind of technique? The real actors acting as themselves in the perspective of their characters?

If there is, are there any specific reasons and work that go into this?

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I believe Metafiction is the umbrella term that covers this specific technique, and related ones. Metafilm being the specific subset that are TV/film works. They essentially are catch-alls for works that have some sort of self-awareness to them.

Self-reflexive works would be closer to your specific scenario. They're works where the work refers to its real-life self.

  • @Roshnal "This Is The End" is a good example. :) – Faizan Rabbani Dec 22 '14 at 15:47

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