10 Roles You Never Knew Were Played By Twins
It’s not unusual for a single actor to play twins. Armie Hammer did it as the Winklevii, in The Social Network; Tom Hardy played both Krays in Legend; Christian Bale did it, in secret, in The Prestige.
It’s not unusual, either, for twins to star alongside one another, often playing twins on-screen as well as off. Heck, the Olsen twins made a career out of this as child stars.
What’s more unusual, however, is when a set of twins appear on-screen together not as two different characters, but as the same one.
Still, though highly uncommon, the sight of this rare phenomena has graced our screens on several notable occasions.
Scroll down for ten instances where you had no idea two actor twins were playing the same role.
10. Sarah Connor in Terminator 2
Alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s Linda Hamilton’s name above the credits, but she’s not the only one who played humanity’s last hope Sarah Connor in Terminator 2.
In one scene towards the end of the sci-fi sequel, the T-1000 disguises itself as Sarah Connor.
The real Sarah Connor then appears behind the T-1000 in the same shot, and blasts the android with a shotgun.
There’s no clever camera trickery here: that’s Linda Hamilton and her identical twin sister, Leslie Hamilton, playing both ‘Sarah Connors’ in the same frame.
9. Julian in Big Daddy
1999’s Big Daddy is a rare thing: not only is it an Adam Sandler comedy that’s actually watchable, but Sandler himself comes across as warm and likeable in it.
Much of this is down, of course, to the relationship that Sandler’s Sonny has with his surrogate son, Julian.
What you might not know is that Kevin is played by not one but two actors: brothers Dylan and Cole Sprouse.
As child actors, the Sprouse twins reached their height of fame playing twins in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, but prior to that the brothers had made several movies and TV shows in which they played the same role.
8. Sophia Burset in Orange is the New Black
Since it began as one of Netflix’s flagship original shows six years ago, Orange is the New Black has given us some of modern TV’s most memorable characters.
Sophia Burset, the transgender woman and prison hairstylist at Litchfield Penitentiary, is one such character.
Played by trans actress Laverne Cox for most of the series, producers had a bright idea when they looked to casting an actor in the role of Sophia pre-op.
M Lamar, a musician and artist based in New York, also happens to be Cox’s twin brother – so it made perfect sense that he would play Sophia back when she was Marcus.
7. The Woman in Red extras in The Matrix
Two decades on, the Wachowskis’ action sci-fi extravaganza The Matrix for many fans continues to harbour secrets.
Did you notice, for example, anything interesting about the background artists in the Woman in Red scene on last watch?
For this scene, set inside one of Mouse’s computer programs, the Wachowskis wanted to give the impression of a repeating computer world by filling it with duplicate people.
To achieve this effect, the directors cast only identical twins as extras for the scene, resulting in a subliminal mind-hack.
6. The hospital security guard in Terminator 2
Sarah Connor isn’t the only character who gets the twin treatment in Terminator 2.
Again necessitated by the fact that the T-1000 keeps shapeshifting into other people throughout the film, director James Cameron brought twin actors onto the project.
This time, he hired Don and Dan Stanton, identical brothers previously seen on-screen together in Good Morning Vietnam and Gremlins 2.
They play the security guard at the hospital where Sarah Connor is kept, and the T-1000 – in the guise of the same guard – who so memorably puts one of his ‘fingers’ through the guard’s head.
5. Carrie Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie
For eight years and as many seasons, Little House on the Prairie starred a set of twin actors with hardly anyone even realising.
Carrie Ingalls, one of three daughters to Ingalls patriarch Charles, was played from 1974 to 1982 by Lindsay Sidney Greenbush.
Only, Lindsay Sidney Greenbush was never a real person, but two people credited as one.
Lindsay Sidney Greenbush was actually Lindsay Greenbush and Sidney Greenbush, twins who alternated at playing Carrie for near a decade.
4. Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
From 1997 to 2003, Nicholas Brendon played everyman heartthrob Xander Harris opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar in Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
He wasn’t the only one, however. For two episodes, Xander split into two different versions of himself.
To account for the scenes where both Xanders appeared on-screen, in the season five episodes The Replacement and Intervention, Whedon drafted in Brendon’s brother, Kelly Donovan.
It made sense – Kelly was Brendon’s identical twin, after all – while prior to season five, Kelly had already acted as a Xander stunt double.
3. Court Foster in The Man in the Moon
For indie film fans in the 90s, it almost seemed like Hollywood was now just a race to prove which was the more talented brother out of Jason and Jeremy London.
While Jason had a good start, bagging roles in the likes of Dazed and Confused and The Man in the Moon, Jeremy eventually won out.
But before Jeremy went on to Mallrats and a starring role in Party of Five, he had to settle for being his brother’s stunt double in The Man in the Moon.
Though Jeremy had auditioned to play Court Foster himself, it was brother Jason – who had simply been at the audition after driving his brother there – who won the role.
2. Abel Teller in Sons of Anarchy
No less than three actors played Abel Teller, Jax Teller’s son, from the series’ beginning in 2008 to its conclusion in 2014.
At first, Tyler Silva played Abel, from 2008 to 2010, before the decision was made to replace him from season four onwards.
Producers cast twins Ryder and Evan Londo, to alternate in what was set to become an increasingly taxing role.
Each twin even carved out their own niche, with Ryder saved for “more of the sensitive stuff” and Evan kept in reserve for any action scenes.
1. Lily in Modern Family
Given the fact that they all basically look the same anyway, it’s not unusual for baby siblings to play infant characters in TV shows or movies.
Emma in Friends, baby Mary in Three Men and a Baby, The X-Files’ miracle child William: all were played by a pair of siblings.
More recently, Modern Family’s Lily – adopted daughter to Mitchell Pritchett and Cameron Tucker – was played by twins.
Now played by just one actor, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, for the first two seasons of Modern Family, Lily was played by Ella and Jaden Hiller.