Having to prepare for a role in a movie isn’t always an easy thing to do. You have to learn your character’s mannerisms, motivations and aspirations. And then there’s those lousy lines someone else wrote that you have to remember.
Things really get pumped up a notch if you have to play multiple roles in the same movie, though. Like when actors have to play their own twin. Let’s take a look at some actors in cinematic history that made it work.
Lindsay Lohan – The Parent Trap (1998)
Much like the original movie where Hayley Mills did the similar thing, Lindsay Lohan played both twins in this story. While it wasn’t anything new by the time Lindsay Lohan adequately did it, the original movie back in the 60s was actually one of the first to use the double exposure technique on such a big scale.
Jeremy Irons – Dead Ringers (1988)
If you can’t get enough of Jeremy Irons, this is the perfect movie for you. While Jeremy played two twins that actually stood in for each other both professionally and romantically, he made it ridiculously hard on himself by developing different postures and voice modulations for both halves of the twin.
Jackie Chan – Twin Dragons (1992)
Even Jackie Chan couldn’t resist playing his own sibling. This thing was really popular in the late 80’s, early 90’s, and so was Jackie himself. If it sounds like a match made in heaven – it isn’t. The movie effects are so badly done both Jackie Chans occasionally literally move through each other.
Nicolas Cage – Adaptation (2002)
As you can tell by the date this movie was made, it was kind of too late to jump on the “look, our actor is playing siblings!” bandwagon. Thankfully, it had Spike Jonze tied to it, so it wasn’t that bad a movie at all. Nic Cage got credited for it twice, once as each brother, which is a pretty nice touch.
Jean-Claude Van Damme – Double Impact (1991)
JCVD isn’t a stranger when it comes to playing both roles in a movie, mostly because his movies require very little actual acting ability and a lot of martial arts prowess. While he mostly plays opposite himself, he did play as twin brothers in Double Impact.
Christian Bale – The Prestige (2006)
Almost a decade too late to the trend, this Nolan masterpiece has one of the best method actors of his generation play identical twins. Naturally, the fact that they’re twins and not just one really good magician is part of the plot twist, so you’ll only start appreciating the subtle differences in Bale’s performance on subsequent views.
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Man In The Iron Mask (1998)
It’s not the best Leo movie – in fact, it might be one of his worst – but he does play twins in this. He plays Louis XIV and his imprisoned brother Philippe in this movie, but we should probably mention that he won a Razzie for Worst Screen Couple after doing this movie. So, yeah.