21 Actors Who Pulled Off Playing Multiple Roles in One Film

It’s common to see actors play multiple roles in the same film. With the help of makeup, doubles, and screen magic, actors can play any role, from twins to completely separate characters. Here are 21 actors who proved their diverse range with multiple roles in the same film.

Ralph Fiennes in Sunshine 

Photo Credit: Kinowelt Filmverleih.

In this war drama, Fiennes played three characters. He skillfully played members of the same family spanning three generations, and his performances earned him a European Film Award for Best Actor.

Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future Part II 

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

While still technically playing Marty McFly, Fox also portrays Marty’s son and daughter in Back to the Future Part II. Marlene McFly is introduced as Marty’s future daughter, and Fox uses a wig and makeup to create a believable family resemblance.

Jason Isaacs in Peter Pan 

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Jason Isaacs showcased his talent in the 2003 film ‘Peter Pan,’ playing two key roles: Mr. Darling and Captain Hook. What most people don’t know is that this is because it’s tradition to cast the same actor in these opposite roles whenever the story of Peter Pan is staged or filmed.

James McAvoy in Split 

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

If there is one film that demonstrates McAvoy’s exceptional range, it’s M. Night Shyamalan’s Split. McAvoy skillfully plays multiple characters with distinct personalities without relying on costumes to distinguish them.

Tom Hanks in Cloud Atlas 

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Based on David Mitchell’s novel, Cloud Atlas alternates between six timelines. Several characters in the film assess the effects of their activities throughout time, and Tom Hanks is just one of the cast members who play many characters. Hanks plays six characters in the film who coexist across various periods.

James Remar in Django Unchained 

Photo Credit: The Weinstein Company.

In Quentin Tarantino’s brutal Western film, James Remar played two unique characters. One was slave driver Ace Speck, and the other was Butch Pooch, Calvin Candie’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) right-hand man.

Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove 

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Peter Sellers gives one of the best humorous performances in Dr. Strangelove. In this Cold War comedy, he plays a British military soldier, a German loony scientist, and the American President. 

Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap

Photo Credit: Buena Vista Pictures.

The brilliant directing and cinematography trickery in The Parent Trap was so convincing that even Disney’s CEO believed there were two of her. In a remake of the Disney film starring Hayley Mills, Lohan’s twins switch places, meaning Lohan plays Hallie while claiming to be Annie and vice versa.

Jesse Eisenberg in The Double 

Photo Credit: StudioCanal.

Jesse Eisenberg plays Simon James, a man who is driven to mental collapse when his doppelgänger, James Simon, begins to hijack his life, first with his job and quickly moving on to his personal life.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Enemy 

Photo Credit: Entertainment One.

Denis Villeneuve’s twisting psychological thriller follows Adam, a college lecturer who develops an obsession with an actor who looks just like him. Enemy profoundly reflects obsession and identity, and Jake Gyllenhaal is compelling in both parts. As the lines between the two men’s lives blur, Gyllenhaal effectively combines their small quirks and tics.

Lupita Nyong’o in Us 

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

In this Jordan Peele psychological horror, Nyong’o plays Adelaide and her alternate personality, Red, from an underground facility. While several actors play multiple roles in Us, both of Lupita Nyong’o’s characters have lines, whereas most doubles merely make noises.

Hugh Jackman in The Prestige 

Photo Credit: Buena Vista Pictures.

To successfully perform a teleportation illusion on stage, magician Robert Angier hires a lookalike. Hugh Jackman played both Robert Angier and his lookalike magician, Lord Caldlow.

Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks! 

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

In this Tim Burton film, President James Dale, played by Jack Nicholson, faces an invasion of extraterrestrials on our planet. In contrast to his more respectable part, he also plays Art Land, an unethical land developer who dresses in showy cowboy gear.

John Cleese in Monty Python and The Holy Grail 

Photo Credit: EMI Films.

Every Monty Python film has each member of the group performing various roles. In The Holy Grail, John Cleese plays several of the most memorable characters, including The Black Knight and Tim the Enchanter.  

Ben Mendelsohn in Captain Marvel (

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios.

The Marvel Universe has become quite adept in actors playing multiple roles since Dr Strange (2016) and the introduction of the multiverse. But before it became the focal point of the franchise, we had Ben Mendelsohn, who played two characters in Captain Marvel. He plays Keller, an important member of S.H.I.E.L.D., and also takes on the character of Talos, an alien Skrull General.

Bella Heathcote in Dark Shadows

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Australian actress Bella Heathcote played Victoria Winters in Tim Burton’s vampire fantasy film. She also played Josette du Pres, a ghost who haunts the protagonists’ mansion. 

Warwick Davis in the Harry Potter Franchise 

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

One of Warwick Davis’s significant roles includes the Head Goblin of Gringott’s Wizarding Bank. He later portrays Professor Flitwick, Hogwarts’s charms teacher, and plays the choirmaster. Eventually, Professor Flitwick and the choirmaster merge into a single character.

Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool 2 

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

It’s common knowledge that Ryan Reynolds starred as the titular character in the Deadpool films. But what isn’t widely known is that he played an additional role in Deadpool’s sequel as the voice actor for Juggernaut.

Doug Jones in Hellboy II: The Golden Army 

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

Doug Jones may not be a household name, but he is well-known for his outstanding portrayals of non-human characters. In Hellboy II: The Golden Army, he played the demanding roles of Abe Sapien, Angel of Death, and Chamberlain. 

Eddie Murphy in Coming to America 

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Eddie Murphy is so talented at humorous dialogue that he can even have entertaining discussions with himself. Murphy portrays four different characters in Coming to America, and it is arguably one of Murphy’s most entertaining films, especially when all four characters come into contact with each other.

Mike Myers in Austin Powers 

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema.

Mike Myers plays both superspy Austin Powers and his outrageous villainous rival Dr. Evil in all Austin Powers films. But Myers goes even further in his sequels, playing the Scottish hitman in the Spy Who S****** Me and the supervillain Goldmember in Austin Powers in Goldmember.

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Amy Watkins

Writer & Blogger

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