Will Now Be Played By

Every Friday I try to post a definition for a term of soap opera jargon. Find them all on the Soap Opera Jargon page and if you have any suggestions please let me know.

Will Now Be Played By – This phrase is the common form for voice overs when a recast has happened. Soap operas are a continuing narrative. They must go on even if the actors don’t, so recasts will happen as a new actor or actress has to come in. Sometimes soap opera writers come up with elaborate explanations for recasts – like a car crash or fire required major facial reconstruction or that someone had plastic surgery voluntarily for some reason – these elaborate reasons often cause a problem later on. What do you do when the popular former actor wants to come back to the role with their original face intact? What do you do if you need to recast with someone else? After all how many major facial reconstruction surgeries can one person possibly have – even on a soap? A much more straightforward is a simple announcement right before the new actor appears in their first scene “The role of XX will now be played by YY.” Soap opera audiences are familiar enough with this that as long as the new actor is good in the role they readily accept this and have much less trouble than TPTB seem to expect when a hand-off like this occurs especially when the character was sent out of town so the change is not so abrupt, although even abrupt changes are usually handled quite easily. Sometimes a soap can have fun with this. A great example is on One Life to Live where “Todd” came back looking like a totally different person. This made perfect sense when it was later revealed he only THOUGHT he was Todd and he WAS in fact a totally different person which he only discovered when the real Todd returned after years away (he was busy being Paul Stenbeck on As the World Turns). Sometimes they will even play this voice over on a couple of consecutive days to make sure everyone has gotten the message. Check out this example of an episode with a two for one where there is a “Will Now Be Played By” double parlay for both J. Chamberlain and Alan-Michael Spaulding, but really those are the first lines they give a recast? “I’m back to being myself”?


An example of special interest to Manny fans is when Joie Lenz took over the role of Michelle.

Joie Lenz example

See also the entries for Recast and SORAS

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


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