6 thoughts on “Five Movie Characters Who Went Undercover Using Their Actual Names

  1. In fairness, James Bond did that a lot.
    It becomes a minor plot point in “DIE HARD” when John McClane’s ex-wife goes by her maiden name. It does confuse Hans Gruber for a while.
    When Buffy ran away to L.A. in “BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER,” she chose her middle name as an alias.
    And of course, there was the first costumed identity of Artemis Crock in the first season of “YOUNG JUSTICE,” which was just…Artemis, her first name. No one who wasn’t already a superhero figured it out. It helps to be named after a goddess!
    In the comics and cartoons, both Harley Quinn and Mystique have gone undercover using their real names. You’d think “Harleen Quinzel” is too unique a name for that to work, but Gotham is also a city which has never figured out that if they destroyed or bugged any structure which alluded to clowns or carnivals, the Joker would never have a hideout again.

  2. My first thought on reading the title of this article was the scene in Casino Royale where Vesper calls out Bond for using his real name when they set him up with a false identity. Of course, it turns out she’s helping the villain, so it really didn’t matter which name he used.

    I really wish Lucas had read the Star Wars novelization (Star Wars From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker by George Lucas) where Owen was Obi Wan’s brother. It’s still silly to keep Kenobi and Skywalker instead of giving Luke the last name Lars, but it would make more sense that Vader wouldn’t be familiar with Obi Wan’s siblings. Of course, it does raise the question how Owen and Obi Wan have different last names.

  3. My head-canon has long been that Skywalker is just an incredibly common name in the Star Wars galaxy. There were probably 7 different Skywalkers in Luke’s graduating class alone. (I say this as someone with a name so common I could probably go into witness protection without changing it)

  4. While it’s not exactly what you’re talking about here, I’m reminded of Cary Grant in “His Girl Friday” giving his name as Archie Leach, Grant’s real name.

  5. James, I like that. Then, of course there would be variations on the spelling of the last name like Skywalkyr and Skywelker like we have Johnson, Jonsen, and Johnsen.

  6. my related thoughts (which don’t concern movies)

    In the TV series Dark Blue (about a team of cops who do short term undercover operations) – in an early episode their newest recruit, a young woman who had joined the police using a false name while trying to put her shady past behind her, finds her cover id not standing up to scrutiny and, with no usable back-up fake id, has to switch to using her real identity for the undercover operation.

    In the Destroyer books, Remo Williams uses a lot of fake ids – all named Remo. The excuse in the books is that it’s hard to fake the automatic response on hearing your name, In the movie (The Adventure Begins / Unarmed and Dangerous) they instead make Remo a fake name.

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