Ferris Bueller, Jim Halpert, and Francis Underwood

The fourth wall is a term in television, movies, and plays where the character steps out of his role and addresses the audience directly. Think of it as an actor being surrounded by three walls on the stage. There are, of course, the back wall and the two side walls. The fourth wall is the space directly in front of the actor. When the actor speaks directly to the audience, he is breaking the fourth wall.

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