Incredibly difficult for an actor to pull off, but these 10 men and women did a fantastic job portraying identical twins!
In the upcoming I Know This Much Is True HBO miniseries, Mark Ruffalo will play identical twin brothers, following his stunning performance in Dark Waters. Dominick (Ruffalo) and Thomas Birdsey (Ruffalo) are twins with paranoid schizophrenic Thomas Birdsey (Ruffalo), who is attempting to find the correct treatment for his brother.
That led us to thinking about some of the best performances by performers who have played twins on screen throughout the years. Here are the ten best performances by actors portraying identical twins, without further ado!
1. Christian Bale: The Prestige (2006)
Our first choice for commemorating the Muscles from Brussels was Jean-Claude Van Damme, who played identical twins in Double Impact. Then again, we decided to go with an Oscar-winning actor, rather than a lesser known actor!
In Chris Nolan’s The Prestige, Christian Bale’s dual identity is a key story premise without which the “magic act” would fall apart. The trickster disguises himself as Alfred Borden, a rival magician of the turn of the century, in order to deceive audiences into believing that he can do magic. It’s a sly plan!
2. Bette Davis: Dead Ringer (1964)
In Dead Ringer, a superb and horrifying Warner Bros. horror film from 1964, Bette Davis takes on the dual role of Margaret DeLorca and Edith Phillips, and she nails it.
Margaret’s wealthy twin sister Edith was brutally murdered by her blue-collar twin sister Edith in cold blood, and Edith quickly assumed her identity. Pretending to be her wealthy sister, on the other hand, is proving to be much more difficult than anticipated. Davis is flawless in all performances, bringing a sense of realism to them both. At one point, Lana Turner was in consideration for the role, but she turned it down because she didn’t want to portray twins.
3. Armie Hammer: The Social Network (2010)
Armie Hammer eventually made it big as the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network, despite his previous performances as Male Prefect in flicka, Abercrombie Boy in spring breakdown, and Skateboarder in the last hurrah.
David Fincher’s seamless CGI augmentation helps Hammer bring to life the tall, wealthy, and gorgeous Harvard twin twins who end up suing Mark Zuckerberg over the likeness of their social media program. Hammer plays both Cameron and Tyler to the best of his ability, even though there isn’t much of a difference between the two.
4. Eddie Murphy: Bowfinger (1999)
In Bowfinger, Eddie Murphy portrays two identical twins with personalities so far apart that they could not be more different. It’s one of his best and most underappreciated performances.
Adapted from Steve Martin’s novel of the same name, the film tells the story of a movie producer (Bowfinger) who is forced to rethink his strategy after he misses out on the opportunity to hire Kit Ramsey (Martin) (Murphy). Jiff (Murphy), an ultra-geeky lookalike Bowfinger encounters on the street, is hired as a last-ditch effort to save the day. Jiff and Kit aren’t genetically related, therefore Bowfinger can’t make others believe they’re the same person.
5. Margot Kidder: Sister (1973)
Sisters, a chilling horror film starring Margot Kidder as identical twins Danielle and Dominique Blanchion, is directed by Brian De Palma in the director’s trademark sleek Hitchcockian style.
Grace (Jennifer Salt) is a reporter who stumbles to witness a murder in the apartment building across the street in this Rear Window-like thriller. Danielle, a French fashion model, is suspected of the murder, according to Grace. The plot thickens, however, when Danielle informs the authorities that her identical twin sister Dominique has arrived!
6. Paul Dano: There Will Be Blood (2007)
Paul Dano portrays twin brothers Eli and Paul Sunday in There Will Be Blood by Paul Thomas Anderson. Only four days to prepare for a dual part, and Dano holds his own against Daniel Day-Lewis, a dangerous heavyweight.
Dano was only supposed to play Paul on Sunday, after all. P.T. Anderson asked Dano to portray both Eli Sunday and Paul throughout the filming of the movie. Four days after accepting the job, Dano began filming the significantly larger character of Eli.
7. Tom Hardy: Legend (2015)
The 2015 film Legend, starring Tom Hardy as identical twin brothers Ronald and Reginald Kray, is a dazzling display of acting. He earned a British Independent Film Award for his stunning work as a result of this.
Legend is based on a true story about the Kray brothers, Ronnie and Reggie, who terrorized London in the 1960s. Despite their eventual separation, the story of the brothers’ amazing rise and tragic fall remains captivating. Reggie tries to clean up his act and become a legitimate businessman while Ronnie is in jail. It’s no secret that old habits are hard to break.
8. Nicolas Cage: Adaptation. (2002)
Nicolas Cage is the only actor whose performance highs and lows are so vastly different. In his prime, he’s a force to be reckoned with. In his absence, I’m left wondering, “WTF?”
In Spike Jonze’s superb translation of Charlie Kaufman’s meta-screenplay, Adaptation, Cage is at the top of his game. Chris Cage portrays Charlie Kaufman, a screenwriter who is struggling to adapt The Orchid Thief, a book about a thief. In contrast to Charlie’s demeanor, Donald, Charlie’s twin brother, comes and begins writing the screenplay on his own. For his two roles, Cage was nominated for an Academy Award!
9. Edward Norton: Leaves Of Grass (2009)
Edward Norton’s performance as twin brothers in Leaves of Grass is something that should be talked about more often. I think it’s one of his greatest yet!
With Tim Blake Nelson at the helm, the story revolves around an Ivy League professor who receives word that his crossbow-wielding twin brother in Oklahoma has been slain. On his way home after the funeral, Bill (Norton) discovers that his pot-smoking redneck brother Brady (Norton) has survived. A significant agreement is struck with competing pot sellers after the two guys make apologies.
10. Jeremy Irons: Dead Ringers (1988)
While Dustin Hoffman won the Oscar for his outstanding performance in Rain Man, many people believe that Jeremy Irons, who played Beverly and Ellie Mantle in Dead Ringers, deserved the award more. Unfortunately, he was left out of the running entirely.
David Cronenberg’s film follows two identical twin gynecologists who take advantage of the fact that their patients are unable to tell them apart. Despite this, they are poles apart. Bev, on the other hand, is stiff, guarded, and significantly more conservative than Ellie. Things are going well until Clare (Genevieve Bujold), a sultry screen idol, shows up and threatens to separate the twins.