It's always a fun surprise when watching a movie to realize that two of the characters are being played by the same actor or actress! Stars sure do love to make sure they get as much screen time as possible. This happens in a variety of movies, and with the help of prosthetics makeup and special effects, and most are totally unaware of it. From Eddie Murphy to Mike Myers, you are going to be surprised to find out these actors were playing multiple characters in one movie.
Meg Ryan: Joe Versus The Volcano
Joe Versus the Volcano was a 1990 rom-com starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. While it was not a huge hit at first, it late became a cult classic. In the film, Meg Ryan plays three different characters, Dede, Angelica, and Patricia. She was a true standout in this movie with her portrayal of three very different women.
Ryan managed to balance the women and give them distinctive personalities that were variations of one another. She also brought them to life in a more profound and personal way than it was written in the original script.
Dick Van Dyke: Mary Poppins
As a child, many of us thought we were so smart for being able to spell "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from Disney's Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. The movie stole the hearts of many and is still considered a classic. At the time, Andrews was just getting into the film industry, while Van Dyke was already well-known.
In this adventure through learning what is right and wrong from the lovable Mary Poppins we meet Bert, the chimney sweep played by Dick Van Dyke. What people may not know is that Van Dyke also lent his talents to play the uptight banker, Mr. Dawes Sr.
Eddie Murphy: Coming To America
In many movies that star the multi-talented Eddie Murphy, you can almost guarantee that he is playing more than one character. In the 1988 film, Coming to America, Eddie Murphy plays not one, not two, but four different characters. Although his primary role is that of Prince Akeem, he also shows his comedic brilliance sprinkled into other small parts.
Other than Prince Akeem, the spoiled African monarch who moves to New York to see the world, Murphy also stars as characters who hang out at the neighborhood barbershop. With significant help from Hollywood prosthetics, Murphy is transformed into Saul, the definitively Jewish customer, and the shop owner, Clarence.
James Remar: Django Unchained
It is hard to deny the genius that is a Quentin Tarantino movie, and Django Unchained is no exception. In the 2012 film, people often forget that James Remar played two characters because there are so many other things that grab your attention throughout the movie.
In the very first scenes, we see Remar as Ace Speck, one of the Speck brothers whom Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) has a matter to settle with. Later in the film, we see Remar reappear, but this time he is Butch Pooch. It is interesting because Shultz is the one who kills Ace Speck at the beginning of the movie, and then he, in turn, is killed by Pooch.
Ben Mendelsohn: Captain Marvel
Over the last decade, Marvel movies have become some of the most anticipated premieres in the industry. In one of the latest installments to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Brie Larson starred as the heroine in Captain Marvel. In the film, the villain is the sinister Talos played by Ben Mendelsohn.
Talos is this green creature of the Skrull species. After a shocking plot twist, we find out he is not all that bad. With the help of prosthetics, CGI, and makeup, most people did not notice that Mendelsohn was also playing Keller, Nick Fury's boss who Talos shape-shifts into while going undercover.
Mike Myers: Austin Powers
"Yeah, baby. That's shagadelic!" In the Austin Powers films, Mike Myers brilliantly plays the '60s nostalgic and perverted spy, Austin Powers. These movies became a pop culture phenomenon that showcased the talented and eccentric Myers in many different characters.
Myers portrayed the two main characters, Austin Powers and Dr. Evil, as well as Fat Bastard. These movies gave the world some of the best one-liners like, "Get in my belly," and "Are those frickin' sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads?" Mike Myers will forever be an icon because of this.
Margaret Hamilton: The Wizard of Oz
"I'll get you and your little dog too." As a child, everyone was afraid of the Wicked Witch of the West in the original Wizard of Oz. Margaret Hamilton nailed the performance with the help of an excellent costume and makeup team. However, don't forget that "you were there, and you were there, and Miss Gulch was there too."
Before Dorothy is transported to the colorful land of Oz, she faces her grumpy dog-hating neighbor, Miss Almira Gulch, who happens to be played by Hamilton as well. Many characters in this movie also play a role in the land of Oz because Dorothy imagines them all in her dream.
Jonathan Hyde: Jumanji
The original Jumanji was a defining movie of the '90s. The action-packed movie starred Robbin Williams, a young Kirsten Dunst, and the underrated Jonathan Hyde. He played two completely different characters which required a wide range of talents.
At the beginning of Jumanji, we see Hyde playing businessman, Sam Parrish. Laster in the movie as they are transported into the game, Hyde is the bloodthirsty British poacher, Van Pelt. While the characters were never shown on screen at the same time, it is interesting to see the similarities in the character's behavior.
Ryan Reynolds: Deadpool 2
When Deadpool was released, it was a whole new kind of superhero that people had not seen before. Ryan Reynolds portrayed this character that wasn't squeaky-clean like all of the other MCU superheroes. Deadpool was the character that did things a little differently.
In the second installment of Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds was back to play the sarcastic and crass superhero, but that wasn't the only role he played in the second film. Reynolds also provided the voice for the evil Juggernaut as the two went head-to-head in an epic battle.
Jason Isaacs: Peter Pan
From the original Disney cartoon adaptation to the multiple live-action versions, Peter Pan has had a plethora of stars take on each character. In the 2003 adaptation, it was time to return to Neverland with a new cast. Within that new cast, there was one face that appeared many times, Jason Isaacs'.
We first see him as Mr. Darling who is the loving father of Wendy and her siblings, and later in the movie Isaacs is transformed into Captain Hook. If you compare Mr. Darling and Captain Hook from the Disney cartoon, the characters are drawn to look similar, so there must be some symbolic message behind it.
Michelle Williams: Oz The Great And Powerful
"There's no place like home; there's no place like home." While there have been many adaptations of The Wizard of Oz, nothing compares to the original film. However, in the most recent version, Oz the Great and Powerful, the movie cast some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, like James Franco, Mila Kunis, and the talented Michelle Williams.
Williams played Glinda the Good Witch, who brought light and positivity to the land of Oz, but it wasn't the first time we saw her in the movie. In the beginning, she also portrayed Annie in the "real world" who was revealed to be Dorothy's mother.
Warwick Davis: Harry Potter
As we travel back to the mystical and magical world of Harry Potter, it is hard to remember the faces of every single character because there were so many. In the first and last film, we get to know Griphook, the goblin who works at Gringotts Bank. The multi-talented Warwick Davis plays him, but that is not the only role he had in Harry Potter.
Davis also portrayed the role of Hogwarts Charms Professor Flitwick. Both characters evolve in looks throughout the franchise,m but with the help of costume and prosthetic, you would never know that they are both played by the same actor.
Dean-Charles Chapman: Game Of Thrones
Game of Thrones is jam-packed with different characters that are diverse and complex in their own ways, so it is hard to keep track of who plays each role. One of the least tarnished characters in the series is Tommen Baratheon, the 19th Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, and the younger brother of King Joffrey.
Not only did Dean-Charles Chapman portray Tommen, but he also plays the role of Martyn Lannister, a young character who meets his tragic demise at the hands of Lord Rickard Karstark. With the confusing plotline and long episodes, it is easy to overlook the fact that these characters are both played by Chapman.
Frances O'Connor: Bedazzled
In the 2000s romcom, Bedazzled, Brendan Fraser stars as a shy man who tries to catch the eye of the girl he loves, but when the Devil sees how sad he is, she manipulates him to exchange his soul for seven wishes. Frances O'Connor plays Allison, the woman of his affections.
On his journey to wooing the girl of his dreams, he learns a lot about himself and ends up dating a different girl named Nicole. The new girl of his dreams looks exactly like Allion because they are both played by O'Connor. It seems like this man has a type when it comes to women.
Benedict Cumberbatch: Doctor Strange
In 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe began with Iron Man, and eight years later, after they had achieved a high level of success, Doctor Strange was released as part of this storyline. Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed the superhero who was a bit different than the rest of them because he was magical.
While many people fell in love with Dr. Strange, most people do not know that Cumberbatch lent his talents to another character in the movie. The giant cloud-shaped monster, Dormammu, was voice by Cumberbatch, which is strange because the characters had a head-to-head battle at the film's peak.
Tom Hanks: Cloud Atlas
In the movie Cloud Atlas, Tom Hanks carries the film by playing six different characters! That's a lot of costumes and makeup changes, especially if the characters are in the same scene. The Oscar-winning actor showed his talents and why he has been so successful in his industry.
By portraying six different characters, Hanks plays into the premise of the whole movie, which swings from one storyline to another. Most of the people in this movie play six different characters spread out over the 500-year timeline. It was ridiculously ambitious, but they managed to pull it off.
Michael J. Fox: Back To The Future Part II
Back to the Future was hands down one of the best movie series to come out in the '80s. In the second movie we watch as Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, hops into the flying DeLorean to travel to the year 2015. He catches a glimpse of himself marrying his highschool sweetheart, and the couple has a few kids.
One of the children is a high school-aged girl named Marlene. She makes a brief appearance, and it is clear that she bears an uncanny resemblance to her father, Marty McFly. Well, that it's because Michael J. Fox also plays Marlene. It was not hard to tell he is playing both characters, but it was a shock to see Fox in drag for the first time.
Ben Stiller: Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb
In the Night at the Museum franchise, Ben Stiller uses his particular brand of comedy to liven up this wacky movie. In the movie, Stiller plays the night watchman, Larry Daley, whose job it is to guard the museum at night after it has closed.
The problem for Stiller's character is that everything in the museum comes to life at night, so he has to make sure none of the exhibits get away, or they will be turned to dust at sunrise. From soldiers to cowboys and neanderthals, he has to wrangle them all. One of the neanderthals is named Laaa, who also happens to be played by Stiller. In one scene, Laaa and Daley get into an argument, which must have been difficult to film.
Edward Norton: Leaves Of Grass
In the 2009 crime comedy, Leaves of Grass, Edward Norton plays twins Bill and Brady Kincaid. One twin is a college professor, while the other is a weed enthusiast and entrepreneur. The film put Norton's skills to the test because the brothers were supposed to be opposites.
The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2009, and Norton received positive feedback about his performance because playing brothers is never an easy task.
Jake Gyllenhaal: Enemy
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to fight with yourself physically? Look no further because the movie Enemy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, which will show you what that is like. While this is probably the most obvious on the list, it is still notable because the premise is that they know they look alike.
Gyllenhaal plays the part of this obsessed man and his doppelganger, who might just be a figment of his fragmented psyche. He gives each character personality quirks and mannerisms that kept the audience engaged and make the characters seem frighteningly real.
Arsenio Hall: Coming To America
Coming to America wouldn't have been the same without the talents of Arsenio Hall. Like Eddie Murphy, Hall can transform himself into a multitude of personas in the most hysterical way. His main role in the film was as Semmi, the prince's right-hand man, friend, and servant.
Hall also had other small roles of character in the barbershop. It must have been hard to keep a straight face on set when it was just Hall and Murphy going back and forth as different characters. They are comedic dynamite in this classic film.
Adam Sandler: Eight Crazy Nights
Eight Crazy Nights is undoubtedly the most underrated Adam Sandler movie on his long list of roles. This could be because it is a cartoon, but for those who know and love this film, it is a cult classic. Sandler lends his voice to many of the characters in the 2002 hit.
Sandler plays the protagonist, Davy Stone, who is animated to look like Sandler, and he also plays Whitey and Elanor. The elderly brother-sister duo takes Davey in to help him get back on his feet after he gets in trouble with the law. This movie was different from other mainstream holiday movies because it showcased Hanukkah rather than Christmas.
Hilary Duff: The Lizzie McGuire Movie
"Hey now, hey now, this is what dreams are made of!" If you weren't dancing around your living room to this song as a preteen, what were you doing with your life? The Lizzie McGuire Movie was indeed the most iconic movie of the early 2000s, and in it, we see Hilary Duff as Lizzie as she has the adventure of a lifetime on her school trip to Rome.
While in Rome, Lizzie meets pop-star Paolo, who convinces her to impersonate his former partner Isabella at the International Music Awards. On the night of the performance, Isabella returns to Rome to reveal the truth about Paolo. In the end, we see the epic performance by Lizzie and Isabella, who are both played by Hilary Duff. Shocking, right?
Armie Hammer: The Social Network
In 2010, everyone and their mother were joining the popular social media network, Facebook, so people were interested in how this idea came to fruition. The Social Network followed the journey of how Mark Zuckerberg invented the popular social media site, and that story would not be complete without the Winkelvoss twins.
In this critically acclaimed movie, Armie Hammer plays both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the identical twins who sued Zuckerberg for stealing their ConnectU idea to create Facebook. For those who didn't know Armie Hammer, they assumed it was actual twins playing these roles instead of one actor.
Eddie Murphy: The Nutty Professor
"I don't know why everyone's tryin' to lose weight in the first place! Ain't everybody supposed to be the same size; we're supposed to be all different." In the movie, The Nutty Professor, Eddie Murphy plays different members of the Klump family who have varying opinions on him losing weight.
The most memorable scene is the Klump family dinner, where Eddie Murphy plays Papa Cletus Klump, Grandma Jenson, Ernie Klump Sr., and of course, Sherman Klump. Each character varies in personality and body size/gender. It is hard not to laugh at this bizarre tale about a professor who wants to change his appearance to find love.
Tom Hardy: Legend
For historical accuracy, Tom Hardy was chosen to play both Ronnie and Reggie in the movie Legend. The film was based on the real-life Kray twins who were the most notorious London-based gangsters in the '50s and '60s. The twins muscled their way into the criminal market in London and eventually gained the attention of America heavyweight Meyer Lansky.
Legend tells the story of the Kray twins' rise and fall from the beginning of their crime-filled life up until their last days. Hardy was so compelling as the Kray twins because one twin was the controlled operator, while the other was a psychopath who would fly into a rage at any moment.
Sylvester Stallone: Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
You know you are getting older when you remember seeing Spy Kids 3: Game Over in theatres with the red and blue 3-D glasses. The Spy Kids franchise was fun for the whole family with all the futuristic gadgets and bizarre characters.
Throughout the three films, there was a wide range of unforgettable characters, including Sylvester Stallone as the toymaker. In one scene, he appears as a few different people to help him make sense of his wild ideas. There was a hippy, a scientist, and a war general, all giving him different advice that he didn't care to hear.
Lindsay Lohan: The Parent Trap
If you were just a child in 1998 when The Parent Trap came out, you might have thought that real twins played Hallie Parker and Annie James. However, both girls were played by the one and only Lindsay Lohan. With the help of CGI and a body double, they pulled off the appearance of having two identical actresses.
Lohan's body double was seven years older than her, but she was crucial when it came to making these two characters believable in the same room. While we enjoy the illusion of Lindsay Lohan as a twin, the world does not actually need that.
Peter Sellers: Dr. Strangelove
In the 1964 film, Dr. Strangelove Peter Sellers takes on multiple roles, including Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove himself. Sellers was a pioneer when it came to using various characters played by the same actor.
Along with being one of the first to use this multiple character method, he is also considered one of the best in execution. Sellers played these characters so differently to make sure they were individuals. He helped pave the way for actors like Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers.
Alec Guinness: Kind Hearts And Coronets
Kind Hearts and Coronets is a 1949 British comedy that featured Dennis Price, Joan Greenwood, Valerie Hobson, and Alec Guinness. The movie is loosely based on the novel Israel Rank: The Autobiography of A Criminal by Roy Horniman. In the film, Alec Guinness plays a total of nine different characters.
The nine characters are Lord Ascoyne, Reverand Lord Henry, General Lord Rufus, Admiral LordHoratioo, and the rest of the D'Ascoyne family. At one point, seven of his characters appear on screen together, which took several days to process because the technology was not as advance then as it is today.
Michael Palin: Monty Python And The Holy Grail
In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Michael Palin manages to play a plethora of different characters, even some who had the most insignificant role. H played peasants, leaders, monsters, and knights. Out of all the other Pythons, Palin played the most characters, having 12 parts.
By having people play multiple characters in this movie, it allowed for improv to change the direction of a scene, which made it even more comedic than directors had initially planned.
Christian Bale: The Prestige
Christian Bale is one actor who transforms his body and mind for each role he portrays. In The Prestige, he showed the world once again how he commits to a character fully, and he was playing two different parts. For a majority of the movie, he portrayed Alfred Borden, the enemy of Hugh Jackman's character, Robert Angier.
Although his second character was not in the entirety of the movie, Bale's other role as Fallon was incredible. Spoiler alert, at the end of the film it is revealed that the two characters played by Bale are twins. That was a major plot twist.
Nicolas Cage: Adaptation
In 2002, Nicolas Cage played the role of twin brothers Charlie and Donald Kauffman in the film Adaptation. The twins were complete opposites, so Cage was challenged with the task of playing two completely different characters while interesting with himself.
Cage would have to go back and forth multiple times in one scene, and he became frustrated. Spike Jonze directed the film, and he said that is was hard to find one actor to play two roles because the characters required such different energies.
Mel Brooks: Blazing Saddles
In the 1974 satirical Western comedy, Blazing Saddles, Mel Brooks plays Governor William J. Lepetomane and an Indian chief. The purpose of the movie is to be one giant racist and sexist spoof about the movie industry, which Brooks heavily embodies in both characters.
Brooks is no stranger to playing multiple roles within one movie. In the film Spaceballs, he portrays the characters of Yogurt, a play on Yoda, and President Skroob. However, Blazing Saddles was arguably his best work by far.
John Cleese: Monty Python And The Holy Grail
John Cleese appeared as Sir John Lancelot, the Brave in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but this was not the only character he was portraying. If you didn't know, he also played seven other roles, including the Black Knight and Tim the Enchanter. The six core members in Monty Python collectively played 40 characters.
Monty Python popularized this style of comedy, and it not only made the movie funnier, but it saved them a lot of money instead of hiring extra actors. They must have been happy to keep their budget small.
Jeremy Irons: Dead Ringer
In 1988, Jeremy Irons played in a dual role as identical twin gynecologists in the movie Dead Ringer. This was another movie where it was hard for directors to find twins or one actor who wanted to play twins. Robert De Niro was asked, but decline the offer because he felt uneasy about the subject.
Jeremy Irons took on the difficult task of playing the twins, and he was given two dressing rooms and two sets of costumes. He figured out a way to differentiate the characters on screen, and it worked in his favor.
Leonardo DiCaprio: The Man In The Iron Mask
Young Leonardo DiCaprio, with his long hair, is pure gold, but the real focus is his portrayal of the protagonist and villain. In The Man in the Iron Mask, DiCaprio plays twin brothers that were separated at birth, one as a king and the other prisoner. The film focuses on King Louis XIII and a group of musketeers who plot to switch him out with the prisoner in the iron mask.
Despite how much everyone loves young Leo, the movie was a flop. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 33 percent, and DiCaprio won a Golden Raspberry Award for worst screen couple for his interaction as the twins.
Jesse Eisenberg: The Double
Jesse Eisenberg is known for his phenomenal work in The Social Network and Adventureland, but one of his most underrated roles was in The Double. He plays Simon James, who is socked when a new co-worker stars at his office that looks identical to him.
The new co-worker is James Simon, and although Simon James sees how identical they are, no one else in the office sees the resemblance. Talk about frustrating, right? Eisenberg crushed this role as he typically does in all of his movies. He does double the work, and it was a huge success.
Michael Fassbender: Alien: Covenant
In Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant, Michael Fassbender played the role of two androids, Walter and David. Walter is the android that is with the crew of the Covenant spaceship while David serves on the Prometheus ship.
The director told Fassbender that he would be playing two different roles, and he thought it would be an exciting challenge to make these similar characters have different personalities. He said that filming was intricate and difficult, but he enjoyed working on the movie.
Jean-Claude Van Damme: Double Impact
Jean-Claude Van Damme can do no wrong in our books. In the 1991 action film, Double Impact, Van Damme took on the roles of Chad and Alex Wrangler. He decided to take on this demanding role to change his image. One of the twins was violent, while the other wasn't, so he thought it would be a good challenge.
The movie has romance, comedy, and action, so it was something everyone could enjoy. Van Damme did so well in this role that director Sheldon Lettich went on to cast him for other similar roles.