It’s a feat few attempt: one actor taking on the challenge of playing identical twins. It’s more common for actors to go the Eddie Murphy route and play multiple characters in the same film or TV show than it is for them to play identical womb mates. And, generally, when one actor does play twins, the results are either wondrous and incredible with performances that marvel — or incredibly awful, with the element of identical twins coming across as more of a gimmick than anything else.
We decided to compile a list of actors from both the big and small screen who have taken on the challenge of portraying twins. The list runs the entire gamut of the talent spectrum, featuring Emmy winners, Razzie winners, and Lindsay Lohan, among others. Whether the almost mythical connection between twins is something real, or something that exists mostly in our minds, we’ve definitely enjoyed the various twin-counters brought to us from the pop culture-verse. On that note, here are 16 Actors Who Have Played Twins.
16. Jean-Claude Van Damme – Double Impact
Fresh from the vault of Van Damme’s early career, Double Impact has the early 1990’s written on every frame, from its hyper-color wardrobe to the sax-infested soundtrack. JCVD plays twins separated at birth, Alex and Chad Wagner. The latter brother grew up in the States and runs a martial arts studio, while Alex grew up in a Hong Kong orphanage and has a career in the underworld (yet both have JCVD’s French accent. Odd.).
Reunited by an old family friend, they decide to seek revenge on the baddies who killed their parents a few decades ago, but not without a little sibling rivalry and literal infighting first. See, Chad is more mellow, has slightly feathered hair, and prefers pink shorts and turquoise shirts, while the aggressive Alex chooses leather, gelled hair, and cigars as accessories — surely they can’t be expected to get along. The film is nostalgic fun if nothing else, and the performance(s) by Van Damme is/are hilariously campy.
15. Sean Young – A Kiss Before Dying
This ’90s noir film was maligned by multiple things, from a predictable plot to uninspired performances. The (very familiar) story goes like this: early ’90s Matt Dillon’s Jonathan woos Sean Young’s Dorothy, a naïve college student (like middle school naïve. She doodles a 7th grade-level portrait of she and Jonathan hugging, complete with hearts and her married name on it). When they stop to get a marriage license and the place is closed for lunch, Jonathan suggests they wait until it reopens up on the roof Dorothy elects to ignore that major red flag and agrees, and, of course, he throws her off the building and walks away with zero remorse, mailing a suicide note he wrote in the building’s lobby.
We then meet Dorothy’s twin Ellen, who doesn’t buy the note, and 20 minutes into the film, she literally solves the mystery of whodunit, telling a detective it must have been Dorothy’s boyfriend. Next, we learn that either early ’90s Matt Dillon was impossible to resist, or Ellen is as dim as her sister, because we see that she, like Dorothy, has fallen for Dillon’s killer con man. The movie is incredibly dull and notoriously bad – Young won Razzies for worst lead actress AND worst supporting actress for her performances, which we think makes this one worth inclusion.