Tom Hardy portrays identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray in the biopic Legend, premiering in the U.S. today (November 20). The real-life brothers, who wreaked havoc on London during the 1960s, differed in the way they dressed, who they pursued romantically and how they handled heated situations. Hardy hones in on these contrasts to differentiate between the two.
He’s not quite at the level of Tatiana Maslany, who takes on many roles in BBC America’s Orphan Black, but we give him cred where due.
Here are 10 other actors who have taken on the challenge of playing more than one role in a film:
1. Hayley Mills
Hayley Mills starred as twin girls separated at birth, ultimately reuniting at summer camp, in 1961’s Parent Trap. The girls’ parents divorced when they were babies, with Sharon growing up with their mother (Maureen O’Hara) and Susan living with their father (Mitch Evers). The girls realize they’re related and agree to switch places, each returning home with the other parent at the end of camp. In 1998 Lindsay Lohan took on this role in The Parent Trap remake, opposite Natasha Richardson and Dennis Quaid.
2. Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons takes on the role of twin brothers Elliot and Beverly Mantle, who both grew up to be gynecologists in 1998’s Dead Ringers. It might seem odd they share the same career path, but that’s just the beginning of the creep factor. The two also share women, unbeknownst to their clients they unwittingly seduce. The twins differ in their clothing choices, use of eyewear and mannerisms.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio
1998’s The Man in the Iron Mask stars Leonardo DiCaprio as both King Louis XIV and his brother Philippe who has been hidden away his entire life. The three Musketeers know of Philippe’s existence and scheme to release him, with the plan of replacing the unfair king with his kinder brother. The brothers are identical, but the king has a look of menace.
4. Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox reprised his Back to the Future role as Marty McFly in the 1989 sequel Back to the Future Part II. He heads to the future, 2015 to be exact, where he observes his own children Marty McFly, Jr. and Marlene McFly, both portrayed by Fox. His son looks just like him, but a tad bit wimpier, according to McFly senior. And his daughter, well, she’s a girl, so the difference is easy to spot.
5. Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson not only portrays two different characters in 1991’s Dead Again but in two different time periods. She takes on the roles of pianist Margaret Strauss who was killed in 1949 and Amanda Sharp, a modern-day woman struggling with amnesia. The flashbacks are in black and white, so it’s easy for the viewer to differentiate between the lookalikes.
6. Mike Myers
Mike Myers portrays both Charlie Mackenzie and his dad Stuart in 1993’s So I Married an Axe Murderer. The younger Mackenzie is picky about the women he’s dating and ends up breaking off relationships quickly. He finally meets a girl he can get serious about but then gets a weird feeling she might be an axe murderer. His dad is older, from Scotland and loves haggis. Myers didn’t stop here: He tackled multiple characters in the Britcentric Austin Powers series, with roles like the International Man of Mystery himself, Dr. Evil, and the villainous Fat Bastard.
7. Eddie Murphy
1996’s The Nutty Professor sees Eddie Murphy as Professor Sherman Klump, Buddy Love, Cletus Klump, Mama Anna Klump, Grandma Klump, Ernie Klump Sr. and Lance Perkins. Whew! That’s a lot of characters for one actor, but he handles them all with care. The Nutty Professor is a sort of Jekyll and Hyde story, except it’s more Science Geek and Lothario.
8. Nicholas Cage
2002’s Adaptation stars Nicholas Cage as screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and his directionless twin brother Donald. Charlie has writer’s block while Donald falls into some luck after attending a screenwriting class. Both have frizzy, curly hair, but Donald has a sweeter and more enthusiastic disposition than his down-in-the-dumps, successful brother.
9. Freddie Highmore
Freddie Highmore starred in 2008’s The Spiderwick Chronicles as twin boys Jared and Simon Grace. The boys and their older sister Mallory (Sarah Bolger) move into a creepy house in the middle of nowhere with their mother (Mary-Louise Parker). Jared is deemed a trouble maker, with Simon coming across as more bookish.
10. Dominic Cooper
2011’s The Devil’s Double tells the thrilling, yet terrifying, story of a young man being forced to act as a body double for Saddam Hussein‘s sadistic son Uday. Dominic Cooper portrays both Uday and Latif Yahia, who was pulled off the street and forced to enter their lives. Latif has a strong resemblance to Uday naturally, but just to make sure there’s no mistake, he goes under plastic surgery and wears fake teeth as an insurance. Latif was basically kidnapped, but he assimilates to the life of luxury rather easily. Cooper does an outstanding job with both roles; you actually forget they are one and the same actor.
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