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Hey, Matt:

There are crime-solving reality shows that use actors in the recreations who look a lot like the real criminals. Have you heard any stories in which those actors were spotted on the street and turned in, thinking they were the real perps?

-- Langston in Spring Valley

Apparently, arrest is an occupational hazard for actors on America's Most Wanted. Several have been cuffed after well-meaning citizens spotted them. One poor schmo was arrested twice in one week. She played a particularly evil nanny-housekeeper who forged employers' checks and burned down their houses. According to the actress, two teenagers recognized her on the street and called the fuzz. A crowd gathered around her before she was hustled to the cop shop and the whole mess straightened out with her social security number and phone calls to her agent. A few days later she was confronted and detained in a restaurant. In a TV interview, one AMW actor said he knew of people hired to play mob bad guys, who received threatening phone calls from the real-life bad guys before the show was even taped, warning them to find another line of work.

AMW likes to cast look-alikes and does its shooting at the crime scene. They contact talent agents in the area to find local actors who match the specs. When you go for the audition, better bring head shots, your AFTRA card, and a bail bondsman.

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