Interchangeable actors

By this I mean two people you could effortlessly swap in for each other in the majority of their roles and many people might not even notice. Another thread mentioned Dead Calm, a film where I mistakenly thought for years that the villian was Ray Liotta and not Billy Zane. Another one would be Anthony Hopkins and Michael Caine, though they’re different enough in that you want Hopkins for the edgiest roles, and Caine for when a comedic touch is needed-but they’d still be interchangeable for most of their roles.

There probably is more female ones tho (at the risk of sounding sexist, so donning flame retardant suit).

Mark Strong (Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Green Lantern) and Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter series of films, The Patriot). If your film calls for “sinister, lipless, English douche with receeding hairline” I think either will do.

Tommy Lee Jones and Ed Harris.

I know someone who for years thought that Danny DeVito, not Bob Hoskins, starred in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman.

Not to mention Dick York and Dick Sargent.

No way! “Bewitched” went straight into the crapper the moment Sargent replaced York!

For years, I thought that the German spymaster in “36 Hours” (which I saw when I was ten or so) was played by Arthur Hill. Imagine my surprise last weekend when they showed it on TCM and I saw the role had gone to Rod Taylor instead!

Clive Owen and Gerard Butler. Not that I mind either (or both) of them.

Ashton Kutcher and Owen Wilson. Even after seeing the latter in Midnight in Paris (which I really liked) I still have trouble remembering which is which.

I used to have a hard time remembering which actor was Tobey Maguire and which one was Jake Gyllenhaal, and was not at all surprised when 1) Gyllenhaal was chosen to replace Maguire as Spiderman when it looked like Maguire’s health would not allow him to continue with the series and 2) they were eventually cast as brothers in Brothers:

In a pinch Wes Bentley could probably sub for either of them.

Robert Downey Jr. and a flaming bag of cat shit.

Actresses. Natalie Portman and Keira Knightley. This was used in the Phantom Menace rather well.

Actors. Kevin Bacon and Jon Bon Jovi to an extent.

When I was a kid in the 80s, I would confuse Michael Douglas with Kurt Russell. It’s kind of like the two Bills; they’re not all that alike, but they only stuck in my head as generic famous white guy.

Loads of people think Javier Bardem and Jeffrey Dean Morgan are each other. I’m sure someone reading this thought so.

Ditto Logan Marshall-Green (the guy in Prometheus) and Tom Hardy. I went into Prometheus unspoiled, and for about 30 minutes thought, ‘huh, didn’t know Tom Hardy was in this.’

Those last two pairs even grow the same highly distinctive beards as each other. Unreal.

ETA: Logan Marshall-Green is a twin. So really, there’s three of that guy out there.


Michelle Branch and Vanessa Carlton

Those two have to be the lookiest likeys there ever has been.

For me I think Ed Harris and Tommy Lee Jones could swap easily enough. They don’t look alike, but in terms of character acting they are at an equal quality level, and a similar intensity, accents excepted.

I always though that Glenn Close and Meryl Streep were completely redundant. Two middle-aged, homely, great actresses. Why do we need both?

Streep intrigues me in a sort of une jolie-laide way. Glenn Close has long called to mind the chicken lady from The Kids in the Hall.

LOL…the suggested search on that one adds Robert Downy jr, and they do make a pretty good matching trio.

Someone needs to cast the three as brothers.

Likewise, if Tom Sizemore didn’t have so much trouble with the law, we wouldn’t need both him and Michael Madsen. But since TS is as likely as not to be in the slammer on any given day, we’d better keep them both around, just in case.

Chris Rock and Chris Tucker.

There are a ton of actresses which are absolutely interchangeable but which normally last one or two movies: the “pretty girl #17” type. One of the big To-Dos for a young actress is managing to separate herself from that pack.

Bloody hell, are we sure that Morgan isn’t related to Bardem? Maybe their daddy traveled a lot. JB and Benicio del Toro have a somewhat similar look in that both have rough features and similar eyes (the kind that’s called “moorish eyes” in Spain), but they look as cousins, tops. Morgan and JB look like brothers.