It’s quite difficult for an actor to convincingly play one movie character, with all their faults, tics and foibles. Even the greatest actors in the world don’t always get the complexities of a performance right, even with all their attention focused on the part. Imagine the difficulty, then, of one actor facing down the challenge of playing not one character, but two, in the exact same goddamn movie.
It’s a challenge that Tom Hardy can be seen taking on in Brian Helgeland’s recent crime drama Legend. A biopic of London’s notorious Kray twins, Legend finds Hardy playing both brothers to movie-stealing effect, adding another talent to his ever-expanding wheelhouse.
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Throughout cinema history, actors have pushed themselves to play a variety of characters in single films (think Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers in a variety of films, or Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers). This list is for some of the more recent examples, though, from a century in which the practice of dual role-ing seems to have grown in popularity thanks to new technologies.
So, without further ado, here are eight great double performances from a single actor.