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Actors Who Played More Than One Role In The MCU

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is more than 15 years old and continues to grow. In May 2008, the first "Iron Man" film kicked off what would eventually become the biggest phenomenon ever to grip the box office. In 2023, the crossover film franchise entered its fifth phase, with "The Marvels" arriving in November as the 33rd movie in the continually growing collection. Mix in an assortment of Disney+ shows and the MCU has become massive.

With over 120 hours of content already released, powered by decades of comic book stories, it seems as if the MCU will never run out of ideas or characters to introduce in the constantly expanding franchise. However, the franchise may be running out of actors to fill all these roles.

As expansive as the MCU may be, there have been times when an actor has been cast in more than one role in the franchise. That can sometimes cause confusion for fans of a film series that is built upon characters crossing over into each other's movies. Other times, it can act as an Easter egg that catches the audience off guard. Either way, continue reading to discover all the times a performer has been cast in more than one role in the MCU.

Michelle Yeoh – Ying Nan and Aleta Ogord

Currently one of the biggest names in Hollywood, thanks to her recent Academy Award-winning performance in "Everything Everywhere All at Once," Michelle Yeoh is no stranger to action films. Between her appealing on-screen performances and high-flying martial arts skills, it was only a matter of time before Yeoh entered the MCU. But nobody expected the celebrated actress to land two unique roles at opposite ends of the Marvel Universe.

Yeoh made her first MCU appearance in James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" in 2017. A member of the Ravagers, a team which included Sylvester Stallone's Starhawk and Miley Cyrus's Mainframe, Yeoh appeared as Aleta Ogord. The character has deep comic book ties as a member of the original Guardians and a former Avenger. Despite intentions of having Yeoh and the Ravagers play more significant roles in the franchise moving forward, the actress reappeared as a different character in another corner of the MCU.

Playing a more pivotal role in 2021's "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," Yeoh arrived as the titular character's aunt, Ying Nan. A guardian of the Ta Lo, Yeoh's character not only leads the charge in the climactic battle but connects Shang (Simu Liu) with his ancestry. While Ogord did not show up in "Guardians Vol. 3," the actress could end up returning as Ying Nan should a "Shang-Chi" sequel ever surface.

Kenneth Choi – Private Morita and Principal Morita

"Sons of Anarchy" star Kenneth Choi was one of the first actors to have two roles in the Marvel film franchise. However, the filmmakers were aware of the double casting and created a unique loophole to patch up the continuity without a hitch.

Choi made his MCU debut in 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger" as Private Jim Morita. A member of the Howling Commandos, Morita has a storied comic book past, deploying on multiple missions with Sgt. Nick Fury and Captain America. In the film, Morita was an integral part of Steve Rogers' fight against Hydra, and Choi even reprised his role in an episode of "Agents of SHIELD." Unfortunately, when Captain America woke up in the 21st century, Morita and many of the Howling Commandos had passed away. But Morita's family made an unexpected return in "Spider-Man: Homecoming."

Kenneth Choi appears in the Spidey-flick as Peter Parker's high school principal. As he lectures Peter (Tom Holland) over his absences, a photo can be seen in Principal Morita's office. The photo, featuring Choi as his former "Captain America" character, was intentionally placed as a way of reconciling the actor's double roles. The subtle Easter egg insinuates that the principal is the descendant of Private Jim Morita, although it has yet to be confirmed by the filmmakers.

Damion Poitier – Thanos and Crossbones henchman

While he may not be the biggest star to appear in the MCU, Damion Poitier was, at one point, the most significant villain of the entire franchise. Best recognized for portraying Goldface in "The Flash" television series, Poitier is a stuntman and actor with primarily minor roles across two decades of film and television appearances. However, in 2012, the budding actor landed the role of a lifetime as the most formidable force in the world's most significant superhero franchise. Most surprising of all, he didn't even know who he would be portraying until the last minute.

"They kept it super quiet because they didn't want to put any spoilers out," Poitier said in an interview (via ComicBookMovie). "I didn't find out until they were casting my face to do the sculpt." The actor was given the significant role of Thanos the Mad Titan in 2012's "The Avengers," a part later filled by Josh Brolin. Hilariously, Poitier genuinely believed he was preparing to bring another villain to screen, "I thought I was going to be the Super Skrull because the whole rumor was that the Skrulls were going to be in 'Avengers.'" Despite Thanos being recast, Poitier did return to the MCU years later as a mercenary working alongside Frank Grillo's Crossbones in "Captain America: Civil War."

Joe Russo – multiple roles

Brothers Joe and Anthony Russo are the directors responsible for bringing audiences the monumental "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame" films, as well as two of the MCU's most beloved entries, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Captain America: Civil War." As former directors of the television sitcom "Community," the Russos included multiple nods to the series throughout their Marvel films with cameos from various cast members. However, this is not the only Easter egg that the Russos slipped into their MCU features, as Joe Russo made several subtle cameos as well.

Joe Russo's first appearance was in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" as Doctor Fine, a SHIELD surgeon who stitches up the wounds of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). The director jokingly took the character out of the MCU ahead of "Infinity War," telling Yahoo!, "Remember Dr. Fine, from 'Winter Soldier'? He's off the board. Wanted too much money." However, Joe Russo did return to portray the psychiatrist murdered by Helmut Zemo in "Civil War" and Bobby the support group member in "Avengers: Endgame." The director-slash-actor was also featured in a deleted scene from "Infinity War." Subsequently, Russo had one more secret cameo that was revealed by Karen Gillan during 2019's Comic Con Paris: "When we were filming 'Endgame,' we didn't have Josh Brolin there for my scenes with Thanos, so Joe played Thanos."

Chris Hemsworth and Taika Waititi – Thor/Korg and Hajo

They quickly became a fan-favorite bromance in "Thor: Ragnarok" when Chris Hemsworth's Thor joined forces with the crumbling rock creature Korg. Film director Taika Waititi voiced the beloved soft-spoken monster, who stuck by the God of Thunder's side through "Avengers: Endgame" and "Thor: Love and Thunder." The duo shares an onscreen rapport that perfectly encapsulates the lighthearted humor that has defined the otherwise action-packed MCU. Surprisingly, it is not the only time that Hemsworth and Waititi appear together — in fact, they share a credit.

During Thor's tenure as a gladiator during "Ragnarok," an assortment of fighters is showcased, including Waititi's Korg. One of the enslaved champions is a massive three-headed bald man credited with the name Hajo. At the center of the three faces of Hajo is MCU stuntman Shane Rangi, while on his sides are Chris Hemsworth and Taika Waititi. The triple-headed fighter is one of the gladiators freed from Sakaar that joins Thor's Revengers during the Battle for Asgard. Sadly, the character dies shortly upon arrival but makes for a great Easter egg.

Laura Haddock – Captain America fangirl and Meredith Quill

Actress Laura Haddock has been building a name for herself thanks to her involvement with franchises such as "Transformers" and "Downton Abbey." However, back in 2011, her first big screen credit came as "autograph seeker" in "Captain America: The First Avenger." The actress landed a slightly more significant role, portraying the ill mother of a young Peter Quill, in "Guardians of the Galaxy." The role of Meredith Quill naturally grew with the films, as an adult Star-Lord discovered more about his mother through his estranged father, Ego, portrayed by Kurt Russell. Both Russell and Haddock share multiple flashback scenes throughout "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2."

Of course, fans took notice of this double casting and were quick to ask director James Gunn about Haddock's role in "Captain America." "That's Quill's grandma," tweeted Gunn, who is never afraid of an audience question — although the filmmaker was equally fast to admit, "I just made this up." Despite the honesty, Gunn's Band-Aid for the situation works surprisingly well, especially when considering a similar explanation has been used for Kenneth Choi's double-duty in the World War II-era "Captain America" and the modern-day "Spider-Man: Homecoming."

Imogen and Isabella Poynton – Duranna and Lila Barton

Young Imogen and Isabella Poynton are twin actresses from the U.K. The pair, like many adolescent identical twin actors, share roles for their onscreen appearances. However, the girls only have two credits thus far in their blooming careers, and they are surprisingly both roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Poynton twins' first filmmaking experience came in 2014's "Guardians of the Galaxy." The girls portrayed purple-skinned Duranna, the daughter of Nova Corps member Rhomann Dey (John C. Reilly). Little Duranna and her mother, portrayed by Rachel Cullen, are narrowly saved by Rocket during the Battle of Xandar. Thanks to the Guardians' victory over Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), the child is reunited with her father following the film's climax.

Imogen and Isabella returned to the MCU in "Avengers: Age of Ultron" as Lila Barton, the daughter of Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye. The archer's youngest child at the time is seen bonding with the super team as they hide out at the Barton home. The role was later passed over to Ava Russo, daughter of director Joe Russo, for the opening events of "Avengers: Endgame" and the 2021 Disney+ "Hawkeye" series.

Seth Green – himself and Howard the Duck

Seth Green is better known for making a mockery of nearly every superhero in popular culture on his long-running animated series "Robot Chicken." His habit of making the strongest Marvel heroes look like doofuses make it all that more surprising that Seth Green has a few MCU credits under his belt. The actor first made a brief cameo as an Stark Expo attendee, alongside his real-world wife Clare Gran, in "Iron Man 2." However, like so many other actors quietly infused into superhero movies via filmmaker James Gunn, Green also landed himself the part of Howard the Duck.

One of Marvel's most beloved obscure characters, Howard the Duck has been a part of the comic company's lexicon for some time. The anthropomorphic duck first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1973 and is surprisingly one of the publishing company's first characters to feature in his own movie in 1986. However, in the MCU, Howard Duckson, voiced by Green, has popped up in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" films and the climax of "Avengers: Endgame." Green has also taken on the duty of voicing the fan-favorite fowl in the animated Disney+ series "What If...?"

Gemma Chan – Sersi and Minn-Erva

As the MCU continues to grow, the powers-that-be seem less and less worried about double-casting performers. Case in point: Gemma Chan, who was featured in two prominent roles on opposite ends of the Marvel galaxy. It is no surprise why Marvel wanted Chan in the franchise, as the fast-growing star has landed some major projects in recent years, including "Crazy Rich Asians" and "Transformers: The Last Knight."

Chan was cast in 2019's "Captain Marvel" as the formidable Minn-Erva, the Starforce sniper working under Jude Law's antagonist character Yon-Rogg. However, with Minn-Erva shot down by Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) in that film, Marvel Studios was not going to let a great actress pass them by and gave Chan a starring role in 2021's "Eternals." Portraying Sersi the matter manipulator, Chan had the most significant character arc of the title team, developing a relationship with Kit Harington's Dane Whitman and ending the film as the new leader of the near-immortal supergroup. With an "Eternals" sequel still in the cards, Chan is expected to play a significant role in the MCU moving forward.

Sean Gunn – Rocket and Kraglin

Being related to a big-time filmmaker has paid off for Sean Gunn, who has appeared in a slew of brother James Gunn's movies. Sean has been involved in every one of James' MCU projects and even switched sides when the latter crafted "The Suicide Squad" for the DCEU. Fittingly, Sean is one of the few actors to portray more than one character in a DC movie, playing both Weasel and Calendar Man in the 2021 film. But doing double duty was a practice that Sean started in the MCU, as he has more than one credit in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise.

Most notably, Sean plays the part of Kraglin Obfonteri, a member of the Ravagers and former right hand man to Yondu (Michael Rooker). More recently, Kraglin has aligned himself with the Guardians, joining the group for "Thor: Love and Thunder," "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special," and the upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3." However, Sean is also responsible for the motion capture performance of Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper, and sometimes for Groot, who is voiced by Vin Diesel. As such, Sean has played more than one character in multiple MCU outings, including the "Guardians" trilogy and "Avengers: Endgame."

Benedict Cumberbatch – Doctor Strange and Dormammu

The talented Benedict Cumberbatch may be known for playing heroic roles such as the title detective in the "Sherlock" television series and Doctor Strange in the MCU, but the British actor has also played some formidable antagonists, including the dragon Smaug in "The Hobbit" films and Khan in "Star Trek Into Darkness." So it's hardly a shock that upon joining the MCU, Cumberbatch not only played the Sorceror Supreme in "Doctor Strange," but also his own villain, the classic comic book baddie Dormammu.

"It was sort of my idea," Cumberbatch told CinemaBlend. "I went, 'Look, if this is going to work, rather than being a big ghoulish monster, if it's some kind of reflection of [Strange] — if it's something that he's giving that's coming back at him in a really horrific way, that would be fun! And I'd be happy to do the voice for it. Any facial capture.'" The filmmakers were pleased to oblige Cumberbatch's request, and the actor played dual parts for the film's climax: "It's not immediately noticeable," he added, "but a lot of the animation is sort of like a mirror reflection, a rippled mirror reflection, of him, of Strange." Interestingly, Cumberbatch would again play his own enemy in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," portraying a darker version of the Master of the Mystic Arts from an alternate dimension.

Paul Bettany – JARVIS and Vision

Out of all the actors to play more than one character in the MCU, Paul Bettany had one of the more interesting transitions into his new roles. The British actor is one of the few performers to have ties all the way back to the MCU's humble beginnings in 2008's "Iron Man." Bettany started his MCU journey in the relatively small but vital role of voicing Tony Stark's AI computer system JARVIS. Bettany told GQ that the position was jokingly pitched to him by director Jon Favreau with a phone call saying, "I need the voice of a personality-less robot and I thought of you immediately." Bettany took the part and was in Stark's earpiece through all three "Iron Man" films and the first two "Avengers" entries.

Things took a significant turn for Bettany's character in "Avengers: Age of Ultron," as the computer program was given sentience in the form of the synthetic superhero Vision. Bettany would continue as Vision through "Captain America: Civil War" and "Avengers: Infinity War," where the character was destroyed. But Vision returned, via the powerful magic of his girlfriend Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), in the Disney+ series "WandaVision," where the character would evolve again into another form, White Vision, landing Bettany a third role in the MCU as a robot that will seemingly never die.

Patton Oswalt – the Koenigs and Pip the Troll

Initially part of the alternative standup comedy scene of the 1980s and '90s, Patton Oswalt spent a few years getting a foothold into acting before his mainstream breakthrough role as Spence on the sitcom "The King of Queens." He soon became an extremely prolific actor in film and television, and eventually began to rack up roles based in the various geek fandoms he had long spoken about in his standup and in interviews — including comic books and superheroes. 

In 2004, Oswalt appeared in his first Marvel movie when he played Hedges in "Blade: Trinity." After voicing a few animated characters for various DC television projects throughout the 2000s, he eventually joined the MCU when he landed a recurring role on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," beginning with its first season in 2014. Technically, Oswalt checked the box of playing multiple MCU characters just via that show alone, as he actually played quintuplets: Billy Koenig, Ernest Hazard Koenig, Sam Koenig, Thurston Koenig, and Eric Koenig. But he's not only on this list thanks to that: he would return to the MCU when he voiced Pip the Troll in a mid-credits scene for the 2021 movie "Eternals."

Peter Mensah – General Joe Greller and Qovas

William Hurt reprising his role as Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross in "Captain America: Civil War" was one of the first times that the MCU seemed to directly acknowledge the movie "The Incredible Hulk" in any real way. Sure, the Hulk and Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) continued to exist in the MCU, but he was played by a different actor (Mark Ruffalo) after the character's MCU debut — leaving most of the cast of the 2008 movie as MCU one-offs for a long time. And this fact was hammered home by an actor from that movie later coming back to the MCU as an entirely different character.

Peter Mensah played one of Ross's allies, General Joe Greller, in "The Incredible Hulk." Ten years later, Mensah got the opportunity to play another MCU role, one with a little more heft to it. In six episodes across Season 5 of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", Mensah played a Remorath named Qovas. Like Gen. Grellar, Qovas was another MCU original creation, but this one played a bigger role in the mythos and allowed Mensah to flex his acting chops a lot more, rather than just playing an incidental side character. Unfortunately, Qovas didn't survive behind his five-episode arc — though that leaves Mensah available to come back and play yet another different MCU character someday. 

Linda Cardellini – Laura Barton and Lylla

There are various reasons why Clint "Hawkeye" Barton stands out from the rest of the original Avengers crew — and not just because he doesn't seem to bring as much to the table in terms of powers or abilities. Unlike the rest, Clint is a family man with a wife and children, so it always felt like he had a little more personally at stake than his teammates. And said wife, Laura Barton, was played by Linda Cardellini — who appeared in both "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Avengers: Endgame" as well as the Disney+ series "Hawkeye."

With "Hawkeye" not coming back for a second season, it seemed like Cardellini's time in the MCU might have been over. That is, until she was called upon to play anthropomorphic otter Lylla in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." Initially just referenced in the first "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie, Lylla finally appeared on screen in "Guardians Vol. 3," voiced by Cardellini. It wasn't the first time she voiced a comic book character, as she had also portrayed Nasthalthia Luthor in the 2011 direct-to-video animated film "All-Star Superman." 

Tim Guinee – Major Allen and Clay Wilson

Tim Guinee was a part of the MCU before most, as he played the role of Major Allen in "Iron Man." While a fairly minor role, Allen nonetheless came back for "Iron Man 2" and was once again played by Guinee. Considering that Terrence Howard was fired as Rhodey before he got to do a sequel, the MCU still wasn't afraid to recast characters at that point — so Guinee coming back wasn't necessarily a foregone conclusion and he was likely thrilled that he was asked to return.

He was probably even more thrilled when "Iron Man 2" didn't end up being his final MCU role, or Major Allen the biggest character he played within the universe. In 2017, he was cast as existing Marvel character Clay Wilson for two episodes of the (then) Netflix series "The Punisher." While he never got to fully become the hero known as Force like Clay Wilson does in the comics, it was still a role with a lot more depth and complexity than Major Allen and it gave Guinee a lot more to do. With characters from the Netflix Marvel universe slowly getting integrated into MCU films and Disney+ shows, maybe Guinee can reprise Clay sometime in the future — and actually get to be Force this time. 

Alfre Woodard – Miriam Sharpe and Mariah Dillard

Many of the articles written about Season 2 of "Luke Cage" called special attention to the performance of actor Alfre Woodard, with some saying she stole the show as villain Mariah Dillard, aka Black Mariah. Paste magazine even called her "the most interesting antagonist on TV." That said, her almost Shakespearean demise — poisoned to death by daughter Tilda Johnson (Gabrielle Dennis) — means that we've likely seen the last of Black Mariah in the MCU. 

It would be great to see Woodard play more MCU characters, since she crushes every role she takes on. But it's easy to forget that Mariah Dillard was actually her second MCU character. In the same year she made her debut on "Luke Cage," Woodard also appeared in a small role in "Captain America: Civil War." She played a woman named Miriam Sharpe, whose son was one of the casualties of the battle of Sokovia as depicted in "Avengers: Age of Ultron." And with Miriam Sharpe actually having been an existing comics character as well, Woodard is an especially rare example of an actor playing two MCU roles that were both legacy Marvel characters. 

Judy Greer – Maggie Lang and War Pig

Another MCU wife and mother who ended up voicing a different character in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" is Judy Greer. The prolific actor — who has over 150 screen credits to her name — first showed up in the MCU in "Ant-Man" as Maggie Lang. Well, technically Maggie is an MCU ex-wife, as she and Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) are already divorced when she makes her MCU debut. Greer reprised the role of Maggie for "Ant-Man and the Wasp" but not for the third Ant-Man film — not because someone else played the character, but because the character just wasn't in the movie at all.

Like Linda Cardellini, Greer got to add a second MCU character to her filmography thanks to a voice role in a "Guardians of the Galaxy" film. In "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," Greer plays War Pig, a guard for the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). Unlike Cardellini's Lylla, War Pig was not an existing Marvel character but was created by James Gunn specifically for the movie. Seeing as how War Pig is killed, that's going to have to be a one-and-done role for Greer. But there's no reason she can't play Maggie Lang again — or someone else entirely — in a future MCU project. 

Stan Lee – multiple cameos

Stan Lee, one of the masterminds of the Marvel comic book universe and many of its greatest superheroes, was the voice and face of the publishing company for decades. As a legendary pop culture icon, it was no wonder that nearly every movie based on a Marvel character included an appearance by Stan the Man. The comic book creator built a collection of cameos in superhero films long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was conceived, ranging from 1989's "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk" to more recent projects outside the Marvel Studios umbrella, like "Deadpool" and "Venom."

When the MCU took its first steps with 2008's "Iron Man," Lee was there to make his personal favorite cameo appearance — a scene that has Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark mistake him for Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Following that, Lee managed to appear in every MCU movie through 2019's "Avengers: Endgame," which was filmed before his passing in November 2018. Lee even managed to cameo in every MCU television series to that point, including "Agent Carter," "Runaways," and all six Netflix series. From appearing as a delivery man to an astronaut and sometimes even himself, Stan Lee has appeared in more Marvel films than any other actor, and it's a record that will likely never be broken.