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Andrew Scott discusses the magic of cosplay and how it's similar to acting

“It’s a uniquely human thing to want to dress up in someone else’s clothes,” Andrew Scott says

Image credit: BBC

Conventions wouldn’t be complete without cosplay. Can you imagine walking through the exhibit hall of New York City Comic Con or London’s MCM Comic Con without seeing a single cosplayer? It would take the magic out of these events. Cosplaying is more than playing dress up, it’s a celebration of yourself, and your favorite fandom. In fact, as you take a deeper look at the hobby, you’ll find that there isn’t much of a difference between actors and cosplayers.

Award-winning actor Andrew Scott (who you'll recognize from Sherlock, Fleabag, and All of Us Strangers) noticed this thread and explored it during a spotlight panel at London’s MCM Comic Con where he spoke about the relationship between acting and cosplaying.

“I think with fans of tv shows and movies, the characters that we really are attracted to aren’t necessarily the characters that look or seem the way we are. I think sometimes we’re attracted to characters who are worlds away from who we are as people. Maybe characters that are more confident than we are, or bigger in some way, or more colorful,” Scott said.

As he spoke, Scott looked into the crowd and couldn’t help but notice the cosplayers. That brought him to his next point. “I think that’s why it’s a uniquely human thing to want to dress up in someone else’s clothes like so many people do here. It’s such a human thing to do.”

Scott then related this to his live theatre experiences. “For me the great opportunity with doing shows is that I played characters of different ages, different backgrounds, and different genders, and different experiences. You’re never looking because I didn’t change costumes, you’re actually playing something that’s within you. I just wore my own clothes on stage, so you go towards the essence of who you are rather than what you look like, or what people might assume you’re like. Some of the characters I felt most connected to were actually characters that felt different biographically from me.”

Some interesting themes to consider the next time you’re at a convention. Cosplay is more than a hobby, it’s performance art.

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About the Author
Joshua Lapin-Bertone avatar

Joshua Lapin-Bertone

Contributing writer

Joshua is a pop culture writer specializing in comic book media. His work has appeared on the official DC Comics website, the DC Universe subscription service, HBO Max promotional videos, the Batman Universe fansite, and more. In between traveling around the country to cover various comic conventions, Joshua resides in Florida where he binges superhero television and reads obscure comics from yesteryear.