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Movie Mom

One Role: Two Actors

posted by Nell Minow

The Daily Beast was inspired by Josh Brolin’s spot on performance as the 1969-era version of the character played by Tommy Lee Jones in “Men in Black 3″ to create a gallery of movies with two actors playing younger and older versions of the same character.  The most acclaimed are Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando as Don Corleone in the first and second Godfather movies.  I liked Ewan McGregor in Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy but was never convinced he was the same character played by Alec Guiness in The Original Trilogy.  The one who comes closest to Brolin’s feat in replicating the older actor’s vocal patterns and movement was Rob Lowe, who nailed the young Robert Wagner in Goldmember.

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It’s a cheat, but my favorite example is Peter O’Toole, who played the same historical character, the British King Henry II in 1964’s Becket and The Lion in Winter.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Martha

    Great point about Peter O’Toole. How about people playing a different role in a remake of an earlier film n which they appeared?

    • Nell Minow

      Great question, Martha! There are a lot of cameos by actors in remakes of the films they appeared in, most recently cast members from the television series “Dark Shadows” in the new Tim Burton film’s party scene. But there are other examples, too. Miriam Hopkins played one of the leads in “These Three” and then played the aunt of her original character in the remake, “The Children’s Hour.” And Patty Duke, who played Helen Keller in the play and movie versions of “The Miracle Worker,” played Annie Sullivan in the remake.

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