10 Times an On-Screen Alter Ego Took Over
Released today (October 19), the movie Look Away revolves around a teenage girl, Maria (India Eisley), who's pushed around by bullies at school, and at home by her berating father (Jason Isaacs).
But Maria gets a new lease on life when her reflection offers to help her. The alter ego, Airam, is able to come out of the mirror and step in for Maria, taking charge of school and family life. The shift in confidence is instantly noticeable, but there's one small problem: Maria is now stuck in the mirror.
Clearly, she didn't realize what she was signing up for:
Check out 10 films (other than the obvious superhero picks) where alter egos rule:
1. The Stepford Wives
The 1975 movie The Stepford Wives is based on Ira Levin's 1972 satirical novel by the same name. It revolves around Joanna Eberhart (Katharine Ross) who moves to Stepford, Connecticut, with her husband and family. She notices something is up with the women in the town, who are all so docile and agreeable. It's like they've been programmed to please. And, yep, these women are not the originals, having been replaced with something diabolical.
2. An American Werewolf in London
In John Landis' 1981 film, An American Werewolf in London, two American college students are attacked by a werewolf. One makes it, and one... doesn't. The surviving friend (David Naughton) keeps waking up in odd places, like the zoo, but has no idea how he's gotten there. It turns out, in the evening, he's running around London, but he's not quite himself.
3. Naked Lunch
In 1991, William S. Burroughs' 1959 novel Naked Lunch was made into a movie. It's about a man, Bill Lee (Peter Weller), who works as an exterminator. After being exposed to toxins for a long period, he develops delusions that he's a secret agent, and his life takes a turn for the absurd.
4. The Dark Half
Stephen King's 1989 novel The Dark Half made it to the big screen in 1993. Timothy Hutton plays a crime novel writer, who decides to hold a mock funeral for his antagonist as a publicity stunt. But, the fictional character isn't having it, and becomes a living, breathing entity who goes on a killing spree.
In the 2002 sci-fi space thriller Solaris, a psychologist (George Clooney) is sent to a research station orbiting a planet to check in on the crew. It seems like a pretty straightforward mission, but is he really living the life he thinks he is?
Halle Berry takes on the role of psychiatrist Miranda Grey in 2003's Gothika. She wakes up in the asylum where she works, but has no idea why she's been institutionalized. She's been accused of murdering her husband, but she knows there is no way she would be capable of such a terrible thing.
7. Secret Window
2004's Secret Window, also based on a story by Stephen King, is about around a writer, John Turturro (Johnny Depp), who's working in a secluded cabin in the woods. Strange occurrences abound and Turturro believes he knows who's behind them, but... he doesn't peg himself as the culprit.
8. Stranger Than Fiction
In the 2006 film Stranger Than Fiction, Emma Thompson stars as a novelist who suffers from writer's block. But that issue is quickly overtaken by another more pressing concern: Her hero (Will Ferrell) comes to life, tracks her down at her apartment and pleads with her not to kill him off. Naturally, this makes her question her sanity, and... how to end the story.
9. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
2013's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty revolves around an office worker (Ben Stiller) who's floating through life in a daydream. His imagination takes over, and he zones out, which provides relief from stressful moments. His inner life, it seems, is stronger than reality.
10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The 2016 prequel to the Harry Potter series stars Eddie Redmayne as the wizard Newt Scamander, who's visiting NYC. In addition to the fun and fantastical creatures we meet in the movie, there's a menacing being on the loose. Let's just say, the swarm-y black cloud threatening the muggle and magic world is also a person, who's much less intimidating in real form.
Bonus: And then there's Jennifer Lawrence's real life alter ego, "Gail," who comes out when the actress has a little too much to drink...
Here she is explaining the transformation on The Ellen Show:
Is an alter ego always a bad thing?