16 Movies That Slyly Reference Their Stars' Iconic Roles

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Hollywood loves to remind its audience about the past - and not just by making throwback films about the glory days of the industry (although that's also a thing). Filmmakers can't resist poking the audience's brain with references and nods to other films. Dropping an allusion to an actor's previous role is one popular method - for example, if someone like Ryan Reynolds quotes from one of his own movies or just straight-up name-drops a character he (or his costar) has played elsewhere.

Movie references in other movies aren't a new thing. They've been popping up for decades, and they're so commonplace that as soon as you read about them, you'll be shocked you didn’t recognize them sooner. 

Modern audiences are more prepared for films to be referential, with comic book adaptations requiring that viewers retain knowledge about a library of films, but actors and filmmakers have been winking about their previous projects since before movies were called talkies.