- In some movies, one actor takes on two roles and plays a set of twins.
- Actors like Nicolas Cage, Lindsay Lohan, and Bette Midler have played sets of twins in movies.
- Lisa Kudrow and Troian Bellisario have played twins in TV series.
Not everyone has a twin. But if you are an actor (or, at least, a person who owns some camera equipment and editing software) and are willing to put in extra hours, you can pretend to have a twin by playing them yourself.
And although some of the twins you see on-screen were actually twins (like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in “New York Minute”), such is not always the case. Actors like Lindsay Lohan, Armie Hammer, and Leonardo DiCaprio, have all played two people in one movie and, in some cases, you may not have even noticed that an actor didn’t actually have an identical twin after all.
Here are 13 actors who have played a set of twins onscreen.
Lisa Kudrow’s twin roles spanned across two TV shows.
Most “Friends” fans know Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay in the show’s 10 seasons, also played Phoebe’s twin sister, Ursula, in a few episodes. But Ursula technically existed before Phoebe did – Kudrow played Ursula, an absent-minded waitress on the sitcom “Mad About You,” before booking “Friends,” according to Comedy Central.
For a time, Kudrow appeared on both “Mad About You” and “Friends,” which ran back-to-back on NBC. Reportedly, NBC decided to bring Ursula into the “Friends” universe and make her Phoebe’s twin in order to make Kudrow’s presence on both shows a bit less confusing.
Adam Sandler played fraternal twins.
In 2011, Adam Sandler starred in “Jack and Jill,” a movie about fraternal twins (Jack and Jill), whose relationship grows increasingly dysfunctional as they age. Sandler played both Jack and Jill.
Lindsay Lohan has played twins more than once.
Many are familiar with Lindsay Lohan’s role in the 1996 reboot of “The Parent Trap.” In it, she played long-lost sisters Annie James and Hallie Parker who run into one another at summer camp and hatch a plot to reunite their parents by switching places.
Almost a decade later, Loha played twins once again in the poorly received 2007 thriller “I Know Who Killed Me.” In the film, Lohan played a pair of twins who had been separated at birth. They finally meet after being kidnapped and brutally tortured by a serial killer.
Hayley Mills was part of the original “The Parent Trap.”
Although many associate Lindsay Lohan with “The Parent Trap,” it was actually Hayley Mills who originated the role(s) in the first version of the movie, which was released in 1961. The twins in the ’60s film have different names – Susan Evers and Sharon McKendrick – but the plot of the movie is otherwise pretty similar to the ’90s version.
Armie Hammer played entrepreneurial twins.
In “The Social Network,”Armie Hammer portrayed Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, a pair of real-life rowing and tech entrepreneur twins. According to the film’s narrative, the twins conceived the initial idea behind Facebook, which Mark Zuckerberg(played by Jesse Eisenberg) co-opted and turned into the troubled multi-billion dollar empire it is today.
Critics didn’t love Leonardo DiCaprio’s stint as twins.
Leonardo DiCaprio‘s first post-“Titanic” role was in “The Man In The Iron Mask,” a loose adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas novel of the same name that also starred Jeremy Irons, Gerard Depardieu, and John Malkovich. In it, DiCaprio played both King Louis XIV, the cruel king of France, and his twin brother Phillippe, the imprisoned, rightful king who eventually supplants the king.
The film, which has a 48 on Metacritic, received middling-to-poor reviews from critics.
Nicolas Cage was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as twins.
Nicolas Cage took on the role(s) of twins Charlie and Donald Kaufman in 2002’s “Adaptation.” The Spike Jonze-directed flick tells the story of a self-loathing screenwriter trying to adapt the life story of a famed orchid hunter while also dealing with his twin brother, who just moved into his house. Cage was nominated for an Oscar for his performance.
Troian Bellisario played twins in a “Pretty Little Liars” plot twist.
Anyone who stopped watching “Pretty Little Liars” before the show’s sixth season may have missed out on the fact that Troian Bellisario didn’t just play high-strung Spencer Hastings throughout the series. Bellisario also played Alex Drake, a mysterious villain who was eventually revealed to be Spencer’s evil, long-lost twin.
Eddie Murphy has been known to play multiple characters.
Eddie Murphy is known for playing multiple characters in his films, such as “Norbit” and “The Nutty Professor” franchise. But he just played two in 1999’s “Bowfinger,” unstable mega-star Kit Ramsey and his shy twin brother, Jiff.
The film, written by Murphy’s co-star Steve Martin, is a satirical takedown of Hollywood culture and fame.
Tom Hardy has played notorious twins.
Freddie Highmore played twins when he was younger.
Freddie Highmore, star of “The Good Doctor,” played twins Jared and Simon Grace in the 2008 adaptation of “The Spiderwick Chronicles.” Highmore, then a 16-year-old child star fresh off of “August Rush,” acted alongside actors Mary Louise Parker, Nick Nolte, Seth Rogen, and Martin Short (or, in some cases, their voices).
In “Big Business,” Bette Midler played a set of twins.
In “Big Business,” two sets of twins are born on the same night in the same hospital. But when the nurse on duty accidentally mixes up the twins, one baby from each set of twins gets sent to families in different social circles. Decades later, both sets of twins encounter each other during the acquisition of the Jupiter Hollow factory, which one twins’ family owns and the other’s family works for.
Bette Midler played one set of twins, Sadie Shelton and Sadie Ratliff.
Lily Tomlin played the other set of twins in “Big Business.”
“Grace and Frankie” star Lily Tomlin played the other set of twins in “Big Business,” Rose Shelton and Rose Ratliff.
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