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    30 Identical Actor Siblings Who Shared A Role, And 15 Actors Who Played Their Own Twin

    I still want to believe Lindsay Lohan has a secret twin.

    Sometimes, one role in a TV or movie requires multiple actors to play it. It could be that the character ages onscreen, or the character might be so young that having multiple child or baby actors makes filming more manageable. Often, these kinds of roles are given to siblings because they look similar enough to pass as the same person.

    Mary Kate and Ashley
    ABC Family / Via giphy.com

    Other times, however, one actor will play multiple parts — their main role as well as that character's identical sibling.

    Hallie and Annie in "The Parent Trap"
    Buena Vista Pictures Distribution / Via giphy.com

    Here are 15 actor siblings who shared a role:

    1. Dakota Fanning played Lucy Diamond Dawson in I Am Sam, and her younger sister, Elle Fanning, played the 2-year-old version of Lucy.

    Dakota and Elle as Lucy at two different stages in life
    New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection / New Line Cinema / Via youtube.com

    The role made Dakota the youngest nominee in SAG Awards history.

    2. Penélope Cruz, who plays Angelica in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, was pregnant during filming, so her younger sister, Mónica Cruz, was her body double during the sword-fighting scenes.

    As Angelica, Penélope is in the water up to her waist, and Mónica's face is shrouded in darkness
    Walt Disney Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection / Walt Disney Pictures / Via youtube.com

    Director Rob Marshall came up with the idea because he didn't want to recast Penélope.

    In 2011, Penélope told the Telegraph, "Mónica came at the end to do some scenes. She’s a dancer and very good with a sword because she’s done a film herself.”

    3. Twin sisters Malika Haqq and Khadijah Haqq played Penny Lent, the antagonistic cheerleader who can multiply herself into clones, in Sky High.

    the cheerleader clones smile for the camera
    Buena Vista Pictures / © Buena Vista Pictures / Courtesy Everett / Everett Collection

    Khadijah told E!, "Thanks to movie magic, we learned that it could be done with any amount of multiples. So when we were in the waiting room [at the audition], there were triplets, there were twins, there were singles. So you didn't have any really clear direction on where they were going to go with this, but we knew we had an up. There's two of us. So that's good. That's gonna help us."

    4. Laverne Cox's twin brother, M. Lamar, guest-starred on Orange Is the New Black as her character, Sophia Burset, in a flashback scene set before her transition.

    Sophia in prison, Sophia as a firefighter
    Ali Goldstein / © Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection / Netflix

    Laverne told HuffPost that after an intensive search for the right actor, "Our casting director found out that I have a twin brother, and she insisted that he should audition for the role."

    5. Jeremy London played Nathan Bedford for two seasons on I'll Fly Away, but his twin brother, Jason London, took over the role for the 90-minute series finale.

    Jeremey in show show versus Jason in the movie
    Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection / Warner Bros. / Via youtube.com

    The show was canceled before shooting on the finale began, and Jeremy had already booked Angel Falls

    Ironically, Jason was initially cast as Nathan in the original series but let the part go to Jeremy because he was busy filming a movie.

    6. Twin sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen both played Michelle Tanner on Full House from 1987 to 1995.

    Michelle and Melina
    ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Both actors appeared together onscreen in several episodes. Aside from Michelle, they played Melina, the Tanners' cousin from Greece, as well as "Good Michelle" and "Bad Michelle," who were physical manifestations of her conscience.

    7. On Sons of Anarchy, twin brothers Ryder and Evan Londo played Abel Teller, which was a notoriously heavy role for such young actors to play.

    Abel listening to a story
    FX Networks / © FX Networks / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Their dad, Tom Londo, told People magazine, "No violence has leaked over. I know some would assume it might have. The weird thing for me is that in the show they play such a sad character, but in real life they are the exact opposite. ... They understand it’s all for pretend."

    8. In Thor: Ragnarok, Luke Hemsworth played a version of Thor — a character who's typically played by his little brother Chris Hemsworth.

    Chris and Luke as Thor
    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection / Marvel via Disney+

    Their youngest brother, Liam, was up for the role of Thor originally. After he didn't make the final cut, Chris's manager called the casting directors and asked if they'd like him to bring Liam's older brother back in. 

    9. All of the background actors in the agent training scene in The Matrix were sets of identical twins and triplets.

    Dozens of clones pass by
    Warner Bros. / Via youtube.com

    They used identical siblings to make it look as if the same people had been copied over and over in the simulation.

    10. Linda Hamilton played Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and her twin sister, Leslie Hamilton Freas, was her body double in the scene where a T-1000 imitates Sarah and in the playground dream scene.

    Sarah's clone points a weapon at her
    TriStar Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Leslie didn't do any acting outside of the movie, but she was a nurse. Sadly, she passed away in 2020.

    11. Twin brothers Dylan and Cole Sprouse shared the role of Julian in Big Daddy.

    Dylan or Cole in the 1999 movie versus now
    Sony Pictures Releasing / Courtesy Everett Collection, Joshua Blanchard / Getty Images for A24

    Cole reunited with Adam Sandler at the Uncut Gems premiere in 2019.

    12. Twin sisters Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush both played Carrie Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie for eight seasons.

    Both girls dressed as Carrie
    NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Sidney told the Malibu Times, "When you grow up doing something from a young age, you think everyone does it. You think it is all normal, everyday life. By the time I was 12, it was all over."

    13. Twin sisters Cali and Noelle Sheldon shared the role of Emma Gellar-Green on Friends from 2003 to 2004.

    Rachel holding her baby Emma
    Warner Bros. / © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    They also played a girl named Emma in the movie Novel Romance

    14. On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Nicholas Brendon played Xander Harris, and when Xander was split into two people in Season 3, his twin brother, Kelly Donovan, guest-starred as his other half.

    Kelly and Nicholas laughing at each other
    The WB / Via youtube.com

    Nicholas did most of the acting and speaking for both roles, but Kelly acted as a body double. He also had a few lines when both halves of Xander needed to speak directly to each other.

    15. And twin sisters Ella and Jaden Hiller originally played Lily Tucker-Pritchett on Modern Family, but they "retired" after Season 2.

    Mitchell kisses baby Lily on the cheek
    ABC / © ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Halfway through filming the second season, their parents realized the girls weren't enjoying it, so they turned down a lucrative offer to return for the following season.

    Aubrey Anderson-Emmons took over the role for the rest of the show.

    And now, here are 15 actors who played their own siblings:

    16. Lisa Kudrow was already playing Ursula on Mad About You when she booked the role of Phoebe Buffay on Friends, so NBC approved executive producer David Crane's idea to introduce Ursula as Phoebe's twin sister.

    Phoebe confronts Ursula at work
    NBC / Via youtube.com

    Ironically, Lisa's real-life sister, Helena, served as her body double when they needed to shoot scenes with both Phoebe and Ursula on Friends.

    17. In The Man in the Iron Mask, Leonardo DiCaprio played both the villainous King Louis XIV and his secret twin brother, Philippe Bourbon.

    The king on his throne and Philippe in a tavern
    United Artists / Courtesy Everett Collection

    The movie is based on the novel The Vicomte of Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas père, which speculates on the true identity of a masked prisoner who was held as a prisoner for 34 years during King Louis XIV's reign.

    18. In Adaptation, Nicolas Cage played screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and his fictitious twin brother, Donald.

    The two brothers arguing
    Columbia Pictures / © Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    The real Charlie Kaufman wrote the screenplay.

    19. Eddie Murphy played both Kit Ramsey and his lookalike brother, Jiff, in Bowfinger.

    Eddie wore glasses to be Jiff
    Universal Pictures via Everett Collection

    Initially, the role of Kit was written with Keanu Reeves in mind, but when producer Brian Grazer suggested to screenwriter and star Steve Martin that Eddie Murphy could play two roles instead, they decided it would be "brilliant" and made the change.

    20. Troian Bellisario played Spencer Hastings on Pretty Little Liars, and during the series finale, she also played Spencer's long-lost twin sister, Alex Drake.

    Alex has Spencer trapped
    Freeform / Via youtube.com

    Troian begged showrunner I. Marlene King to tell her the plans for Spencer's character arc, so Marlene revealed to her that she'd be playing her own twin long before it was set in stone.

    21. In Legend, Tom Hardy played identical twin gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray.

    The brothers in a limo together
    Universal / © Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

    The film was based on a true story.

    22. Dove Cameron played the titular twins in Liv and Maddie.

    Liv and Maddie forming a heart with their arms
    Disney Channel / © Disney Channel / Courtesy Everett / Everett Collection

    Initially, she'd auditioned for a completely different role, and she didn't find out she'd be playing twins until she got the part. The only details about the characters she was given in advance was that "one of them plays basketball [and] the other is an actor."

    She told the BBC, "I literally sat in an office for three months with my director, writing out every difference I could think of. One is left-handed, one is right-handed, their voices are different. ... There are backstories that nobody will ever know except for me."

    23. In Twin Dragons, Jackie Chan played separated-at-birth twin brothers Ma Yau and Bok Min.

    Jackie Chan as a fighter and a violinist
    Miramax / © Miramax / Courtesy Everett Collection

    His characters were called John Ma and Boomer in the dubbed version of the film released in the US. 

    24. Mark Ruffalo played twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey in I Know This Much Is True.

    One brother is nervous, and the other is confident
    HBO / Via youtube.com

    Mark shot all of Dominick's scenes, then he underwent both a physical and emotional transformation to film all of Thomas's scene.

    Director Derek Cianfrance told Variety, “It was like working with two different people. That takes so much skill and commitment.”

    They also utilized motion capture technology and a body double (actor Gabe Fazio, who also played Shawn Tudesco) to pull it off convincingly. 

    25. In The Parent Trap, Lindsay Lohan played identical twins Annie James and Hallie Parker.

    Lindsay Lohan playing Annie and Hallie in "Parent Trap"
    Walt Disney Co. / © Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

    She again played identical twins, Aubrey Fleming and Dakota Moss, in I Know Who Killed Me.

    26. William Schallert played Martin Lane on The Patty Duke Show, and he also played Martin's twin brother, Kenneth, in Season 1.

    He wore a mustache to be the brother
    ABC / Via youtube.com

    Patty Duke, the star of the show, played Martin's daughter, Patty Lane, and her identical cousin, Cathy Lane.

    27. Jeremy Irons played twin gynecologists Beverly and Elliot Mantle in Dead Ringers.

    one brother wear a suit, and the other wears a t-shirt and glasses
    20thcentfox / © 20thCentFox / Courtesy Everett Collection

    To help him differentiate between the characters, he reportedly stood on the balls of his feet while shooting scenes for one twin and stood on his heels while in character as the other one.

    28. James Marsden played Steve Wood on the first season of Dead to Me, and he returned as Steve's "semi-identical" twin brother, Ben, in the second season.

    James changed his hair for Season 2
    Saeed Adyani / © Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

    While his return wasn't planned originally, James reached out to series creator Liz Feldman and half jokingly asked if there was any chance he could come back.

    She told Variety, "I did immediately think, Twin. I sat down with one of my best friends, Kelly Hutchinson, who’s also a writer on the show, and I told her about James’s email. We looked at each other, and we were both like, ‘Twins?’”

    29. Bette Midler played twins Sadie Shelton and Sadie Ratliff in Big Business.

    Bette Midler as twins
    Gus Van Sant / © Gus Van Sant / Buena Vista Pictures Distribution / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Her role was originally written for Barbra Streisand.

    30. And finally, Lily Tomlin played the other set of twins, Rose Ratliff and Rose Shelton, in Big Business.

    Lily Tomlin as twins
    Buena Vista Pictures Distribution / Courtesy Everett Collection

    Her role was originally intended for Goldie Hawn.