90s classic Parent Trap is getting an outing on Channel 4 this afternoon. And what a film it is. Funny, heart-warming and full of tweenage scheming, the film stars Lindsay Lohan as a fresh faced 12-year-old playing two very different twins.
I still remember the gutting disappointment 10-year-old me felt when I realised Annie and Hallie weren’t real life siblings, but Lohan is far from the only actor to pull off this double act. Here are just some of the famous twos who’ve been played by just one…
Does Tom Hardy like what he sees when he looks in the mirror? We certainly do, so having him play both Kray Twins in the intimidating new biopic Legend makes us excited. The film, released this September, charts the rise of Ronnie and Reggie’s criminal empire, and the first trailer has already been released.
Why have one neurotic Nicholas Cage when you can have two? Charlie Kaufman is a screenwriter dealing with the mother of all writer’s blocks. His twin brother Donald – care-free, easy-living Donald – has no such hang-ups, and when he decides to get into the writing game too, can’t work out why his brother’s finding it so hard. Incidentally, the film is written by, you guessed it, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman.
Double Impact / Maximum Risk
Jean Claude van Damme enjoyed playing twins of himself so much he did it twice. In Double Impact, The Muscles from Brussels played twins separated at birth following a Hong Kong gangland hit. Totally coincidentally, both brothers end up setting up martial arts businesses in Los Angeles. What are the odds?
In Maximum Risk, Van Damme plays a cop who attends the funeral of someone who looks exactly like him. Turns out they were long-lost twins, so obviously it now becomes his mission to avenge his brother’s death. Oh, and just for completeness sake, Van Damme also starred in Timecop where he plays a time-travelling policeman who meets a younger version of himself. Make that a triple double then.
The Social Network
What is the plural of Winklevoss? Winklevi? Armie Hammer played rowing twins Cameron and Tyler in David Fincher’s film about the creation of Facebook, who take Mark Zuckerberg to court claiming he stole their idea.
The Parent Trap
Lindsay Lohan’s first film performance came as both Hallie Parker and Annie James in the 1998 remake, and, as you probably already know, it’s adorable. Hayley Mills played the twins in the 1961 original.
The Man In the Iron Mask
Leonardo DiCaprio lives a life of decadence as King Louis XIV of France, but a plan is formed to put his secret twin brother Philippe on the throne. Whether romantic lead or power-mad king, there’s always lots to love about Leo.
Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin made it double or quits in 1998, each playing a set of identical twins separated at birth who cross wires at the Plaza Hotel in New York. They (sort of) run into each other, while always just missing each other. Spoiler – they do eventually bump into each other. Hilarious.
Jesse Eisenberg must have enjoyed watching Armie Hammer play the Winklevoss twins so much he tried it himself. In The Double, written by British comedian Richard Ayoade, Simon James is driven increasingly mad by his successful, charismatic doppelgänger James Simon.
Matthew Rhys played two characters in ITV’s dramatisation of Daphne Du Maurier’s 1957 novel. Rhys’s performances as both wealthy bounder Johnny Spence and his poor doppelganger John Standing show that even TV dramas are not averse to digital multiplicity.
Thought Christopher Nolan’s Inception was weird? Try keeping a handle on this one, where Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman don’t play doubles, they play with the whole concept of doppelgangers. The story revolves around two magicians, each trying to outperform the other. We won’t spoil any more than that, but believe us, you’ll be rubbing your eyes come the end.