Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 October 2020

Double up: 13 celebrity actors who have played opposite themselves in film and TV

In his new upcoming film 'An American Pickle', Seth Rogan plays two characters. We take a look at actors who have done the same

HBO Max has released the trailer for the upcoming comedy film An American Pickle, in which star Seth Rogan plays opposite himself.

The film revolves around the story of an immigrant, played by Rogan, who travels to America in 1920 in pursuit of a better life for his family. While working at a pickle factory, he falls into a vat of brine that preserves his life for a 100 years. In 2020, he comes back to life and connects with his only surviving relative, his great grandson, again played by Rogen.

Many filmmakers have used this technique in their storytelling, which when done well has led to some award-winning performances.

We look at 13 outstanding performances by actors who have played opposite themselves:

Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much is True (2020)

Based on the 1998 best-selling novel by Wally Lamb, adapted and directed by Derek Cianfrance, this HBO miniseries follows the parallel lives of identical twin brothers, one of whom is schizophrenic. It's a remarkable performance by American actor Mark Ruffalo.

Paul Rudd, Living With Yourself (2019)

In this Netflix Original comedy series, Paul Rudd plays Miles Elliott, a man struggling in life, who upon undergoing a spa treatment, finds out that he has been replaced by another and better version of himself. Rudd, who play both Elliott and his clone, earned him his first Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a comedy series.

Will Smith, Gemini Man (2019)

Thanks to the latest technology in cinema and filmmaking, Will Smith plays himself and his 23-year-old clone. This Ang Lee science-fiction thriller tells the story of a 50-year-old assassin who finds himself being chased by someone who has able to predict his next move. When he finds out that this person is his clone, he tries to find out where it came from.

Tom Hardy, Legend (2015)

In Legend, Tom Hardy plays twin brothers Reggie and Ronnie Kray, who were infamous in 1960s London for having orchestrated robberies and murders. Hardy received numerous awards and nominations for the role, including Best Actor at the Toronto Film Critics Association and Best British Actor of the Year at the London Film Critics' Circle in 2016.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Enemy (2014)

In this psychological thriller, Jake Gyllenhaal plays a college professor named Adam who spots that an actor in a movie looks exactly like him. Upon tracking him down, Adam stars to secretly live his life. The Canadian-Spanish film received five Canadian Screen Awards and was name Best Canadian Film of the year at the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards in 2014.

Jesse Eisenberg, The Double (2013)

Based on the 1846 novella The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, this black comedy thriller tells the story of an office employee challenged by the arrival of a new colleague at the workplace who looks exactly like him. Both roles are played by Eisenberg. The film screened at Sundance Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.

Sam Rockwell, Moon (2009)

This science fiction film follows the story of an astronaut named Sam, played by Sam Rockwell, whom two weeks before his scheduled return to Earth after a three-year-period working at a lunar station, starts to suffer from hallucinations and has an accident. This leads to his discovery of a double, also played by Rockwell.

Hugh Jackman, The Prestige (2006)

In Christopher Nolan's masterful The Prestige, Hugh Jackman plays a magician named Robert Angier, who at one point in the film uses a double, also played by Jackman, to perform a trick called New Transported Man. The Prestige won Christopher Nolan Best Director at the SFX Awards.

Nicolas Cage, Adaptation (2002)

This comedy drama star Nicolas Cage as writer Charlie Kaufman and his fictional twin brother Donald. Kaufman is a screenwriter, who is struggling to adapt Susan Orlean's book, played by Meryl Streep. The film is directed by Spike Jonze, who's also behind Being John Malkovich, the next film on our list.

John Malkovich, Being John Malkovich (1999)

In this comedy fantasy film, John Cusack plays a puppet master who discovers that a door in his office leads to the mind of Hollywood actor John Malkovich, who plays himself in the film. In a scene, Malkovich sees every person around as himself.

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

One of Leonardo DiCaprio's earlier films, The Man in the Iron Mask tells the story of four muskateers. The swashbuckling heroes devise a plan to replace the hated King Louis XIV with his twin brother who had been imprisoned for six years with an iron mask on his face. DiCaprio played the king and his twin brother in the film.

Jean-Claude Van Damme, Double Impact (1991)

In this Jean-Claude Van Damme action film, the actor plays identical twin brothers who are separated at birth when their parents are killed. They are reunited after 25 years to take revenge on the people who killed their family.

Eddie Murphy, Coming to America (1988)

In this comedy film, Eddie Murphy plays a rich African prince who goes to New York looking for a wife. Murphy has played doubles in his films multiple times such as in The Nutty Professor. However, in this one, Murphy play Prince Akeem as well as the many of the characters the prince meets on the way. Coming to America 2 is expected to come out this year.

Updated: July 5, 2020 05:05 PM

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