There are a few actors who can boast playing their own twin in movies and TV shows. It’s a good idea because it guarantees a completely identical match, you have a lot more casting options, and producers probably save a bit of money because they don’t have to pay two separate people. But there are times when twins are needed, and those situations can involve twins sharing a role.
Young actors and actresses sharing a role makes sense, especially when there are labor rules to adhere to and temperamental personalities to deal with. Sometimes, twins share a role because it adds to the creativity of the film or TV show. And there’s always the priceless element of surprise when people find out that there’s more than one person playing a role.
Here are 15 actors who have shared a role with their twin:
15. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as Michelle on Full House
If you know your twin facts, you should know that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen shared the role of Michelle Tanner on Full House. Although, the producers didn’t originally want us to know this. In the credits, especially during season one, they credited the character simply as “Mary-Kate Ashley Olsen.” Of course, the truth is common knowledge now. Fun fact: In some of the earlier seasons, Mary-Kate and Ashley aren’t even sure which one of them is in some scenes, despite them being fraternal twins.
14. Lisa and Michelle Blair as Mary in Three Men and a Baby
You probably know the three men from Three Men and a Baby. There was no mystery about Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck in the roles in the 1987 movie. What is less obvious was who played the baby, Mary Bennington. The credit is shared by Lisa Blair and Michelle Blair (now Ontonovich). The twins were just four-months-old when they were in the movie. Talk about starting early, huh?
13. Dylan and Cole Sprouse as Ben on Friends
There were a lot of great actors who are appeared on Friends. One thing that all Riverdale fans need to know is that the role of Ben Geller was played by Dylan and Cole Sprouse on the later seasons of the show. Ben was played by a few different actors throughout the show including another set of twins, Charles Thomas Allen and John Christopher Allen from seasons three to five, before Cole and Dylan took over for seasons six to eight. Interestingly, the OG baby Ben from season two was only played by one actor, Michael Gunderson. Probably because he got hardly any screen time.
12. Travis and James Riker as William on The X-Files
Jackson Van De Kamp/William Scully was played by a few different people throughout the show. You likely deduced the changes of appearance in some cases, but you might not have realized when twins Travis and James Riker were playing Scully‘s son, especially since they were only babies. When you have a baby actor, you need to have multiple ones and you cannot get better than an adorable set of twins.
11. Jeremy and Jason London as Court in The Man in the Moon
Do you remember Court Foster in The Man in the Moon? You know, the boy Dani Trant (Reese Witherspoon) meets at the creek during that one eventful summer? Jason London was cast in the role despite his twin Jeremy London also trying out. #Awkward It wasn’t a total loss for Jeremy. You might see Jason credited as the role in the movie, but Jeremy technically still did play part of the role — as his brother’s stunt double.
10. Joe and Mike Mayer as Little Ricky on I Love Lucy
Here’s your proof that they’ve long used twins for singular baby roles in Hollywood. Little Ricky in the classic TV show I Love Lucy was played by twins Joe and Mike Mayer when the character was a newborn. (The part of the older version later went to Keith Thibodeaux.) So everyone is clear, none of the actors were Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz‘s actual kids. They did welcome a son, Desi Arnaz, Jr., at the same time their characters had a baby, but they didn’t want their offspring in the biz. Good call.
9. Leslie and Linda Hamilton as Sarah in Terminator II
Think it’s always twin babies playing roles? Think again. Leslie and Linda Hamilton both played the role of Sarah Connor in Terminator II: Judgment Day. Linda played the part in the first Terminator from 1984. When it came time to show there were multiple Sarahs, the crew didn’t have Linda play her own doppelganger. They made use of her actual twin, Leslie. Remember that this was days before high-tech CGI so it was a lot easier to have two people sharing a scene together to actually be there rather than to try and cut the scene with one person.
8. Laverne Cox and M. Lamar as Sophia on Orange is the New Black
Everybody knows Laverne Cox as Sophia Burset on Orange is the New Black so you might be wondering how exactly M. Lamar Cox fits into this whole thing. If you’re a OITNB fan, you might recall the episode where Sophia is shown before her transition as a firefighter. That was not Laverne playing the part; it was her twin. Yup, M. Lamar. He has appeared in two episodes of the show… so far.
7. Dashiell and Fox Messitt as Tommy on Fuller House
Here’s another set of Full House twins for you. This time it’s on the reboot, Fuller House, and the Olsens aren’t involved. Dashiell and Fox Messitt play Tommy Fuller Jr. Unlike the Olsen twins, both boys have their separate names appear in the credits. They look so similar you’d have no idea which boy is playing the part.
6. Evan and Ryder Londo as Abel on Sons of Anarchy
In addition to not overworking one baby, twins are often cast in certain parts because one twin has a better temperament for certain scenes. Totally understandable seeing as kids can be a bit unpredictable! That’s the case with Evan and Ryder Londo who played Abel Teller on Sons of Anarchy. One boy tended to do the sensitive parts while the other took the dramatic ones. Given that show’s propensity towards violence and heavy stuff, it was probably beneficial that they didn’t have one kid in the environment for too long.
5. Dylan and Cole Sprouse as Julian in Big Daddy
Yup, it’s the Sprouse boys again. This time they’re sharing the part of Julian “Frankenstein” McGrath in Big Daddy. It’s an interesting choice that they cast the twins for the role because the character is meant to be five. But, you can’t tell it’s two kids playing the role, can you? Plus, it meant that both of them got to hang around with Adam Sandler.
4. Saunders Triplets as Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
We’ve talked a lot about twins, hence the title, but we’ve got a set of triplets to add to the list. Think back to the Harry Potter scenes when he was a baby. That obviously wasn’t Daniel Radcliffe. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, it was one of the Saunders triplets. Their individual names were never given, but they’re apparently two boys and a girl. The trio also have an uncredited part in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
3. Noelle and Cali Sheldon as Emma on Friends
It turns out that there were a number of twins on Friends. Little Emma Geller-Green was played by twin sisters Noelle and Cali Sheldon. When the twins appeared on the show, they were just two years old. Hands up if you wish that they would now be *friends* with the Sprouse twins now?
2. Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush as Carrie on Little House on the Prairie
Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush are credited for playing the part of Carrie Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie when it aired from 1974 to 1982. They started on the show when they were four years old. If you do the math, they were 12 when it wrapped. As twins get older, it can be harder to share a role, but they pulled it off. Want to see where they are now?
1. Nicholas Brendon and Kelly Donovan as Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Want another adult twin moment? How about Nicholas Brendon and Kelly Donovan both playing Xander Harris on Buffy the Vampire Slayer? It occurred on a memorable episode from season five called “The Replacement.” If you haven’t seen it, we don’t want to give too much away. Basically, we end up with two Xanders. Instead of Nicholas doing both parts, they called in the services of his twin brother, Kelly Donovan.