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Roles You Didn't Know Were Played By Twins

We all know that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen used their powers combined to play the role of Michelle Tanner on Full House. But a twin stepping in as a body double or playing half of the role isn't just reserved for onscreen babies and precocious TGIF characters. Identical twins have popped up in lots of films without you ever noticing.

Julian - Big Daddy (1999)

In Big Daddy, Adam Sandler adopts a kid to impress a girl and, through the miracle of film, ends up not causing the child irreparable harm. Turns out that Julian, the little kid lead, was played by twin brothers Cole and Dylan Sprouse. This was their first big film, though they'd played roles on TV for quite a while.

After Big Daddy, they continued to get acting work, eventually landing the titular roles in the Disney Channel show The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. It made them Disney stars for a time, though the boys took a break from acting to go to New York University and make fun of each other on Twitter, among other things. Dylan is now making mead in a Brooklyn brewery. Cole has survived child stardom and managed to continue his acting career. He's currently on Riverdale as the controversially not asexual Jughead.

Sarah Connor - Terminator 2 (1991)

We were all lucky to get one Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2, but during one scene we were graced with two live Hamiltons. During the scene where the T-1000 replicates Sarah Connor, director James Cameron didn't need to make any CGI magic. He used Hamilton's twin sister Leslie to get the shot. Hopefully, Leslie gets asked to sign some Terminator merch from time to time since she did make an amazing scene possible.

Agent training scene - The Matrix (1999)

You might think that The Matrix used twins to make up some of its many Mr. Smiths, but no, that was all Hugo Weaving. (He's just incredibly talented.) The Matrix used identical siblings that you probably didn't even notice. Though the film used a lot of incredible technology for some revolutionary shots, the directors chose to go with the real thing for the agent training scene. As Neo walks through a constant stream of people, if you look closely, you can see that faces keep repeating. In an interview with Matrix Fans, the Wachowski siblings said, "We had the idea that Mouse just doubled people instead of making originals. But we couldn't afford to do it digitally, so we ended up hiring as many doubles, or as many twins, as we could find in Sydney." So the Wachowskis found every twin they could hire in Sydney for extra depth to a scene that most people never notice. That's why The Matrix is still great.

Xander - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2000)

In the Season 5 episode "The Replacement," we get an hour of double the Xander action. For all those split-screen shots on a TV budget, the director used a very lo-fi solution: Nicholas Brendon's twin brother Kelly Donovan. In addition to doubling his brother on "The Replacement" episode, he did Xander's stunts throughout the run of the show. The twins haven't worked together since, but Donovan is a now a set designer and Brendon went on to a role in Criminal Minds. Unfortunately, he also struggled with alcohol addiction and pleaded guilty to choking his girlfriend in 2015. It seems like Brendon is trying for sobriety and will hopefully return to our screens sometime soon if he can get to a better place.

Liz and Julia Nolan - Big Brother (2015)

For Season 17 of CBS's still-running reality show Big Brother, twin contestants Liz and Julia Nolan competed as one person. The girls would switch off who actually lived in the Big Brother house and had people fooled for a while. Sadly, when the house members figured out the twist, they started calling the girls "the skinny one" and "the fat one." Remember, these are identical twins and though one has a slightly slimmer face, "the fat one" is a pretty bad exaggeration. In the end, Liz stayed in the house to compete for the prize, eventually settling at second place. Still, pretty impressive that the twins could switch in and out of a house where people have nothing to do but find problems with each other and get away with it for so long.

Claire Kincaid - Law & Order (1996)

Jill Hennessy, who played assistant district attorney Claire Kincaid on Law & Order, got so busy at one point that she literally needed to be in two places at once. Luckily for Hennessy, she has a twin who happily filled Claire's shoes from time to time. Jacqueline Hennessy didn't get to do any intense courtroom scenes, but she worked as a stand-in for her sister on the long-running New York procedural. This wasn't Jacqueline's first time on camera. The Hennessy twins played ladies of the night in the Jeremy Irons film Dead Ringers. Nowadays, Jacqueline sings harmonies on her sister's new album, and the two occasionally perform together.

Sophia - Orange is the New Black (2013)

A recent twin twist really caught us by surprise when we found that Laverne Cox had some help from her twin brother in her role of Sophia on Orange Is the New Black. For the flashbacks of Marcus, Sophia's life before her transition, the Orange Is the New Black team was pretty lucky that Cox's brother was available and talented enough to carry off the difficult role. At one point, the team tried to use Cox for her own flashbacks, but no matter the makeup they tried, she didn't look enough like a man. She told Yahoo, "I did my best to butch it up, and it wasn't butch enough, apparently." So they decided to hire another actor, and Cox's twin, M. Lamar, was perfect. He had no acting training, but either his experience as a musician or his natural talent gave him the performance skills necessary to do the part justice.

Ticket girl - Twilight Zone (1960)

For an episode of the Twilight Zone that's pretty much It's A Wonderful Life but with Jack Klugman and trumpets, the director had to use a twin trick to get an important shot. In "A Passage for Trumpet," Klugman is just realizing that he no longer exists. After he tries to talk to a ticket girl, who can't see him, he glances over at a mirror. He can see the reflection of the ticket girl, but his face is nowhere in the mirror. Though it's a short shot, it's pretty tricky, especially since CGI wasn't an option. So they just built a mirror-image set on the other side of the frame and hired twins to play the ticket girl. The result is an incredibly creepy moment made possible by the magic of genetics.

Court - The Man in the Moon (1991)

Jason London, best known for his role in Dazed and Confused, got his film debut as the lead in Man in the Moon. His twin, Jeremy, was actually the one who wanted to audition for the film and convinced his brother to drive him there. Since he was already standing around the audition room, Jason read for the part, too. Unfortunately for Jeremy, the casting staff chose Jason. Co-starring with Reese Witherspoon, the role landed him great reviews and the start of a promising career. But while Jason got to handle all the parts of the role that involved speaking and kissing Witherspoon, his twin brother Jeremy was on hand for all the stunt work.

An actor himself, Jeremy went on to have a pretty lively career with roles in Mallrats, 7th Heaven, and Party of Five. Though the twins were equally talented, Jeremy fell into a spiral of drug addiction and eventually appeared on Celebrity Rehab. His family still worries about his mental health. Jason hasn't exactly stayed out of trouble either. He was arrested for a bar brawl in 2013, but he hasn't made any infamous headlines since.

Real-life swap - Rami Malek

Rami Malek of Mr. Robot hasn't needed his brother for any of his acting jobs, but his twin needed a real-life double when he was in college. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Rami tells the story of their real-life twin switch. Sami needed to do a Greek monologue for his theater class, but it needed to be good. If he didn't get a high enough mark for his performance, he'd fail the class. So Sami asked his actor brother if he could show up, do a monologue, and leave before anyone noticed that Sami gained a bunch of acting talent since the last class. Rami did it!

When his monologue was over, the class was stunned. The teacher asked if "Sami" could come back and perform again for another class. Ever the good brother, he made sure that his monologue got his twin the points needed to graduate, then promptly rejected the encore and bolted before the ruse could be discovered. That teacher got an early performance from an Emmy-winning actor and she never even knew.