In honor of the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network, we’ve compiled our favorite movie twins of all time. There are plenty of twins in movie history – some are memorable, while others are infamous.
In The Social Network, actor Armie Hammer portrays both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss with a funny and charismatic edge. I had no idea it was the same actor playing both characters until the credits rolled and a recent edition of American Cinematographer Magazine explained the process.
Some scenes used motion-capture technology to duplicate Hammer. At some points, “tracking dots were applied to the face of actor Josh Pence to help facilitate visual-effects techniques that would replace his features with those of co-star Armie Hammer.”
Now that you’ve learned a little extra about The Social Network, let’s take a trip back and remember some of the best twins in movies. Sometimes movie twins play off each other like Abbott and Costello – other films present them as foils for each other. The dramatic potential of twins is massive and provides the opportunity for their presence in any genre. Even Michael Bay (unfortunately) found a way to add a robotic touch to the genetic specialty.
Some films make the sibling relationship the core of their plot, like The Parent Trap. But many of our favorite twins fall by the wayside to a bigger story, like The Weasley Twins in the Harry Potter franchise.
If we don’t choose one of your favorite movie twins, give them a shout out in the comments section and tell us why they are on your list.
Star Wars – Luke & Leia
Arguably the most famous twins of all time, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa redefined the relationship between brother and sister in the space opera. Separated at birth, they were reunited by fate – the rest is Star Wars history.
While Luke and Leia may be the most famous twins in movie history, they hardly look like twins. While this was essential to the identity issues in the Star Wars saga, it does add to the absurdity of it all. Twins separated at birth may grow to look slightly different, but the effort to cast actors that look similar to each other was clearly last on George Lucas’ priority list.
Many films would shape an entire story around the dilemma of twins separated at birth who eventually fall in love, Star Wars is so epic in scale that it becomes simply another chapter in an amazing tale. But we have their status as twins to thank for the wonderful relationship between Han Solo and Leia.
Harry Potter - The Weasley Twins
Fred and George Weasley are two of the most beloved characters in the entire Harry Potter universe. The wise-cracking, troublemaking pranksters constantly find themselves on the wrong side of authority. But all of these traits make the duo even more relatable and lovable.
The Weasley Twins used the famous Marauder’s Map before handing it off to Harry Potter to help guide him through Hogwarts. They’re confident, funny and stars of the school, unlike their younger brother Ron, who often bears the brunt of their jokes. The Weasley’s barrage of fireworks and subsequent escape from Hogwarts during the vile Professor Umbridge’s reign is easily their finest moment.
Even amidst the constant jokes, the Weasleys do add some heart and soul to the famous cast of the franchise. Hopefully the two-part finale of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will send them off with a legacy of their own. Based on the book, it should be a worthy, emotional farewell.
The Shining - The Grady Twins
There is no question that The Shining changed the way we look at pre-teen twin girls forever. Put those girls in matching light blue dresses and it will send any grown man running in the opposite direction.
The Grady Twins have only a brief onscreen moment, but it is a terrifying moment. As young Danny rides his tricycle down the labyrinthine hallways of The Overlook Hotel, he stumbles upon a pair of twins rumored to be dead. The haunting only gets creepier when they make a simple request: “Come play with us, Danny.”
There is no question the Grady Twins are a part of The Shining‘s cinematic thumbprint. Its legacy as a classic film is due in part to the creepy kids that haunt the hallways of The Overlook. There is no discussion of movie twins without bringing up the Gradys.
Matrix Reloaded – The Twins
One of the best aspects of The Matrix films is the diverse group of characters that live inside the Matrix mainframe. The Twins, portrayed by Neil and Adrian Rayment, make up what is undoubtedly one of cinema’s most dangerous and intriguing tag teams. Their trademark white dreadlocks and “ghosting” ability instantly marked them as two of the most memorable Matrix characters.
The Twins’ appeal goes beyond the bare essentials. When the two are onscreen, they bring a snarky humor and witty back-and-forth dynamic. Beyond personality, it is their fighting skills that deserve some recognition. The two are relentless with a blade and utilize their ghosting skills in the most sinister ways possible.
While The Twins only appear in The Matrix Reloaded, they have left their mark on the franchise. Beyond The Matrix, they could go down as one of the deadliest and most exciting evil duos in movies. Personally speaking, I would love to see them in a spinoff.
The Parent Trap (1961) – Sharon & Susan
Hayley Mills brought The Parent Trap to life, only to be glossed-over by a young girl named Lindsay Lohan in 1998. I should give Lohan some credit, she was an adorable child in the late ’90s and brought The Parent Trap to new generations of children like myself. Though, when I saw the original, I understood exactly what the remake was missing.
Mills was a child prodigy on camera. The Academy was so impressed with her performance in Polyanna they invented an award just for her – The Academy Juvenile Award. Her follow-up role was the dual part in The Parent Trap, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. A subsequent string of high-profile Disney films made her a child starlet.
Without the innovative techniques used in The Parent Trap to duplicate the same actress, we may not have experienced The Social Network‘s exhibition of Armie Hammer’s acting ability. Instead, a pair of identical twins with mediocre acting skills would have been cast to simply fit a mold.