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Listen to me Truman, there's no more truth out there than there is in the world I created for you. The same lies, the same deceit. But in my world, you have nothing to fear.
~ Christof trying to persuade Truman to stay.

Christof is the main antagonist of the 1998 film The Truman Show.

He was portrayed by Ed Harris, who also played General Hummel in The Rock, Carl Fogarty in A History of Violence, Mitch Wilkinson in National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Wilford in Snowpiercer, Blair Sullivan in Just Cause, Leonard Dekkom in Geostorm, and The Man in Black in Westworld.

Biography

Christof was a creator of a massive TV corporation who adopted Truman Burbank, one of six unwanted pregnancies. He made the baby the star of his new show The Truman Show.

However, he kept Truman trapped in a fake enclosed world of Seahaven where all of the people around him including Truman's best friend Marlon were actually actors and, without his knowledge, filmed every aspect of his life and broadcasted it, such as Truman's first step and first day at school.

During the show's run, Christof tried every aspect of stopping Truman from discovering the truth, though many people who thought that Truman was more of a prisoner than the star tried every aspect of revealing the truth, but failed.

Christof then went as far to fake the death of Truman's TV father Kirk to give Truman aquaphobia to stop him from leaving. Though Christof had arranged for an actress named Hannah Gill who played Meryl as a love interest for Truman, the star met and fell in love with another cast member Sylvia who played a background character named Lauren. Sylvia tried to tell Truman the truth, but Christof sent an actor impersonating Lauren's father and took her away.

Truman then married Meryl, but never forgot about Sylvia. Christof hoped to have Truman produce a child, which would create another prisoner.

He could still see Truman was suspicious of everything that was going on around him, especially when Meryl panicked and went out of character so he brought Kirk back onto show, removed Meryl and decided to produce another actor to star as Truman's new love interest.

After these events, Christof arranged an interview with his fans. Sylvia contacted him telling him how disgusted she was about how he was treating Truman. Christof replied that Sylvia knew nothing about Truman and was in no position to make such judgments. He continued that the world he has given Truman gives him a normal life and the world outside is the real sick place. Sylvia disagrees and tells Christof that Truman will one day prove him wrong.

When Truman escapes from the camera's view for the first time in his life and overcomes his fear of water and goes sailing in order to escape, Christof tries to stop him by adding thunder and rain into the enclosure, not caring if Truman dies as long as the show is still on the air, much to the rest of the crew's horror. Truman however continues to struggle on, not caring what Christof throws at him.

When Truman finally discovers the truth and is just about to leave through the exit door, Christof tells Truman of everything he had done for his star his entire life and says that he may have lied to him, but his world was different from the real world, giving Truman the freedom of pain and misery so he should stay on the show.

Truman refuses and does a final bow before leaving, ending the show for good. The rest of the crew break transmission for the show and Christof is left in misery. It is unknown what happens to Christof after that, but it is possible that he went broke and lost all of his fortune.

Personality

Christof is revealed to see Truman as a son whom he really cares about because of him watching his main star his entire life. However, he was also a possessive man, and he tried every single act to stop Truman from discovering the truth believing that his world was better than the real world including even trying to drown his own actor. When Truman finally decided to leave, it is hard to tell whether Christof was sad to lose his star or whether he had lost his fortune.

Trivia

  • Christof's name is similar to Jesus Christ, which is fitting considering he sees himself as the God of Truman's world, though outside he's more like a Demiurge.
  • Christof's decision to kill Truman at the ending of the film is often considered one of the most evil moments by a villain. Christof's decision to drown Truman was ranked number 4 on Cracked.com's list of "The 7 Most Ridiculous Movie Character Overreactions", with the article reading: "It isn't until after he sees that his murder attempt has failed that Christof actually tries to bargain with Truman to save his show like a reasonable person."

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