Celebrities are known for many things: Some are triple-threats (or attempt to be), and succeed across multiple venues. Others are talented in one specific area and completely hone the skill – whether it’s comedy or drama.
Actors who do impressions are another avenue entirely. Those who appear on sketch shows like Saturday Night Live are known for being especially talented in this area, but there are plenty of others who have an array of impersonations up their sleeves despite being movie stars or famous musicians. These funny men (and women) show off their talents in one of the greatest ways possible: Emulating each other.
15. Benedict Cumberbatch
There’s no denying that Benedict Cumberbatch is quite a talent, but he was seen primarily as a very serious star — that is, until Marvel came along. His role as Dr. Stephen Strange has allowed him to loosen up a bit, much like his co-stars.
It turns out that he’s amazing at doing impressions, especially of those he’s spent a lot of time with. In the first minute of this video, he impersonates several other Avengers, perfectly nailing each one of them.
14. Stephen Colbert
He whips out his Donald Trump impression almost every night on The Late Show, so it’s already been established that Stephen Colbert is very good at impersonating fellow celebs. But he has at least one surprising one up his sleeve.
Back before he had his own show, Colbert was a regular player on The Dana Carvey Show. In one episode dedicated to The Beatles, he played the lesser-referenced George Harrison. We may have completely forgotten about this, but he reminded us in 2017 when he brought it out while interviewing Liverpudlian and fellow comedic actor Peter Serafinowicz.
13. Jim Carrey
Few comedians are known for their over-the-top performances the way Jim Carrey is. His ability to completely embody any character he plays means that he is quite skilled when it comes to impersonations.
Many may know one of his most notable emulations of another celebrity: his performance as the late Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon. But he’s also picked up a few others along the way, including an impersonation of Clint Eastwood (demonstrated in front of the man himself) that’s guaranteed to amaze you.
12. Alec Baldwin
If you haven’t seen this one, where have you been? After portraying the Donald Trump-esque (but really, much more lovable) businessman Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock for several years, his former boss and co-star Tina Fey convinced him to up the ante and appear as then-presidential candidate on Saturday Night Live.
What happened next no one could have seen coming. Baldwin’s tenure impersonating Trump continued and continued after the IRL guy became the Republican nominee and then, shockingly (and devastatingly), the president. Baldwin has other commitments and isn’t an SNL regular, so he’s had to cut back, but he still shows up every now and then to perfectly capture 45’s essence.
11. Tom Hiddleston
Move over Cumberbatch, there’s another Brit portraying a character in the Marvel universe who is fantastic at impressions. Of, course, there’s room for both Benedict and Tom Hiddleston, who spends most of his time in interviews being asked to impersonate everyone from his co-stars to Sesame Street characters.
On The Graham Norton Show, Hiddleston acted out his favorite scene from the movie Heat, where he played both Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone’s characters — as De Niro himself set on the couch watching him. It’s both an impressive display of his talents and an adorable exhibit of his admiration for the actor.
10. Ariana Grande
This is probably one of the last names you expected to see on this list, but it’s pretty legitimate. Pop princess Ariana Grande has both an impressive range in her singing voice and an acting background, making her the perfect person to impersonate her fellow pop stars when they sing – but also some of your favorite actors, too.
Grande appeared on SNL in 2016, and her greatest skit was one in which she played an intern at JAY-Z’s Tidal streaming service who had to sing the hits of fellow divas Shakira, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston, among others — and she nailed it. Seriously, these are some amazing musical impressions. She also pretended to be Jennifer Lawrence during a “Family Feud” skit and, one word: wow.
9. Anne Hathaway
That’s right — Hathaway hosted SNL in 2012, and she appeared in a segment where she played Holmes appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She captured the actress’s signature half smile and sweet-sounding voice. Then, she even mocked the media’s obsession with Holmes and her daughter, Suri Cruise.
8. Kate McKinnon
As an SNL cast member, Kate McKinnon has a lot of celebrity impressions in her arsenal. From playing Ellen DeGeneres in the aforementioned skit opposite Hathaway to movie and pop stars (both male and female), there’s no one she can’t play.
But there’s one person she’s best known for portraying: Hillary Clinton. McKinnon brought out her impression of the politician on numerous occasions throughout her presidential run, but none were quite as notable as the 2015 skit in which she starred opposite the real Clinton, who played a bartender in whom she confided.
7. Will Ferrell
As a former SNL cast member himself, Ferrell has also done many impressions. He pulls off a pretty impressive Harrison Ford, for one.
But like McKinnon, one of his most popular impressions is of a politician. Ferrell has impersonated George W. Bush on countless occasions, specifically as a returning guest on SNL. That’s not even the only place he’s pulled this one out: He has appeared as the former president in skits for Funny Or Die and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
6. Maya Rudolph
Yet another SNL cast member with impressive impersonation skills is Maya Rudolph. She’s also known to bring out her skills in other arenas, like she did on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show when she perfectly nailed Gwen Stefani.
One place you might not expect the actress to tap into her impersonations? At a commencement speech. But she did just that at the 2015 ceremony for Tulane graduates, where she channeled Oprah AND Beyoncé.
5. Robin Williams
He’s one of the most famous impersonators of all time: The late Robin Williams. During the comedian’s illustrious career, he captured the voice and spirit of many that came before him.
One of his greatest impressions is one of the most commonly attempted — that of actor Christopher Walken. Williams’s impression is miles above the rest though… if you don’t believe us, watch this.
4. Kate Hudson
One of the most entertaining things is seeing actors emulate their co-stars. Having worked together a few times now, Kate Hudson clearly knows this actor inside and out.
While honoring Matthew McConaughey at an event, Hudson gave a speech and whipped out her best impersonation of her old friend. She perfectly captures his southern drawl and playful nature and we’re obsessed.
3. Tina Fey
Back to SNL stars impersonating politicians. Tina Fey had actually already left the show by the time former Alaska governor Sarah Palin came onto the national scene during the lead up to the 2008 election as John McCain’s running mate, but that didn’t stop Fey from returning on occasion to portray her.
The likeness between the two in terms of looks is striking, but Fey went the extra mile to nail Palin’s midwestern accent and too-cheerful affect. Her appearances even won her an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Star, so clearly she was the perfect person for the job.
2. Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera has been compared to Britney Spears for most of her career. The two starred on The New Mickey Mouse Club at the same time as children, and then broke out as teenage pop stars in the early ‘00s simultaneously.
So it probably feels good when Aguilera can poke fun at her counterpart. She sang “This Little Piggy” in the style of Spears on The Tonight Show during Jimmy Fallon’s popular Wheel of Musical Impressions game. She also took it a step further on a promotion for The Voice in 2015.
1. Bradley Cooper
Another actor who is shockingly good at impressions is Bradley Cooper. He has taken on quite a few celebrities, plenty of which have been captured and shared on the internet.
All of his impersonations are good, but two of the best are of his Wedding Crashers co-stars, Owen Wilson and Christopher Walken. Seriously, this guy can do it all.