These Actors Played Two Roles In The Same Film—Did You Notice?
1 Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool 2
- Principal character: Wade Wilson/Deadpool
- Significance: Wade Wilson is the primary character in Deadpool. He becomes Deadpool after undergoing an experimental mutation to cure his terminal cancer.
- Fun fact: Ryan Reynolds starred as the film’s main character while also working as a producer, editor, script doctor, and marketing executive.
While Ryan Reynolds was the well-known actor behind Deadpool, he also wore a different hat by voicing the character of Juggernaut, an escaped prison inmate, and the film’s ultimate villain.
- Secondary character: Juggernaut
- Significance: Juggernaut is an escaped prison inmate who agrees to help Cable, a time-traveling cybernetic soldier, kill the abusive headmaster of his orphanage.
- Fun fact: Ryan Reynolds’ secondary role as Juggernaut was kept under wraps. Not even the cast of Deadpool 2 knew he would be voicing the character until the last moment.
2 Mike Myers – Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
- Principal character: Austin Powers
- Significance: Austin Powers is a talented British spy and the star of the Austin Powers film series.
- Fun fact: Mike Myers premiered in Austin Powers after a two-year break from entertainment following his departure from Saturday Night Live.
Mike Myers not only conceived the idea and wrote the character of Austin Powers into existence, but he also took on the two biggest roles in the film.
- Secondary character: Dr. Evil
- Significance: Dr. Evil, also known as Douglas Powers, is Austin Powers’ archnemesis and twin brother.
- Fun fact: Past writers and actors on SNL believe the character of Dr. Evil was based on Lorne Michaels, SNL’s producer. In the second Austin Powers movie, he also adds the role of Fat Bastard to his range.
3 Hank Azaria – Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
- Principal character: Kahmunrah
- Significance: Kahmunrah is the older brother of Ahkmenrah. He wants to steal the magical tablet to open the door to the Egyptian underworld.
- Fun fact: Hank Azaria tested out various accents for Kahmunrah, including Alabama jargon and English pronunciation, before settling on a Boris Karloff-inspired voice.
In addition to playing the main antagonist of the film, Hank Azaria also played other characters, using various voices to render himself almost completely unidentifiable.
- Secondary character: Abraham Lincoln
- Significance: Ahkmenrah’s magical tablet brings to life the statue of Abraham Lincoln located in the Lincoln Memorial. The statue then proceeds to give advice to Larry Daley.
- Fun fact: Hank Azaria also voiced the character of The Thinker.
4 Pat Roach – Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Principal character: Giant Sherpa
- Significance: The Giant Sherpa is a criminal-for-hire living in Nepal who was recruited to find the Ark of the Covenant by the Nazis.
- Fun fact: Pat Roach started his career as a professional wrestler before making the switch to acting.
Because of his large size, Pat Roach was the perfect choice to play not one, but two villains in the Indiana Jones movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Secondary character: German mechanic
- Significance: The German mechanic, another part of the Nazi effort to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant, beat Indiana Jones in hand-to-hand combat, but died when he got caught up in an airplane’s propellers.
- Fun fact: Pat Roach actually appeared in the first three Indiana Jones movies, often playing the role of a menacing henchman.
5 Eddy Murphy – Coming to America
- Principal character: Prince Akeem
- Significance: Akeem Joffer, the main character in the film, is the heir to the throne of the fictional African nation of Zamunda. He travels to the United States hoping to find the woman he will marry and make queen.
- Fun fact: The opening dance of the film at the palace was choreographed by singer, songwriter and dancer Paula Abdul.
Eddy Murphy often plays several roles in his films and Coming to America is no exception! He also plays no less than 3 secondary characters.
- Secondary characters: Randy Watson, Clarence, and Saul
- Significance: Randy Watson is a soul singer who courts the woman Akeem is trying to seduce. Clarence is the owner of the barber shop where Akeem goes, while Soul is the Jewish customer of the barber shop.
- Fun fact: Coming to America was in fact the first film in which Eddy Murphy played several roles.
6 Dick Van Dyke – Mary Poppins
- Principal character: Bert
- Significance: Bert is a chimney sweep and odd jobs man who also happens to be a close friend of the magical Mary Poppins.
- Fun fact: In the new film Mary Poppins Returns, Dick Van Dyke makes a brief cameo appearance as Mr. Dawes Jr.
While Dick Van Dyke is well known for his beloved role as Bert, most fans don’t realize that the talented actor also plays another crucial character in the film.
- Secondary character: Mr. Dawes Sr.
- Significance: Mr. Dawes Sr. is the greedy, elderly director of the bank that employs Mr. Banks. Despite his minor role, he is also the major antagonist of the film.
- Fun fact: In the film’s end credits, Mr. Dawes Sr. is credited as Navckid Keyd, an anagram of Dick Van Dyke’s name.
7 Jonathan Hyde – Jumanji
- Principal character: Samuel Parrish
- Significance: Samuel Parrish is the cold, unfeeling father of Alan Parrish who plans to send his son to boarding school.
- Fun fact: Star of the film Robin Williams once explained that the fear of separation from one’s parents depicted in the film was something he could relate to, as he felt similarly as a child.
While Jonathan Hyde played an important role as Alan’s father, he donned an entirely different outfit, complete with fake facial hair, to play a different, equally as crucial character in the film.
- Secondary character: Van Pelt
- Significance: Van Pelt is a big-game hunter who is released into the real world from the game of Jumanji. His goal is to keep the players from finishing the game by any means necessary.
- Fun fact: Fan theories suggest that Van Pelt is played by the same actor as Alan’s father because the hunter is Jumanji’s manifestation of the person the player dreads the most.
8 James Remar – Django Unchained
- Principal character: Ace Speck
- Significance: Ace Speck is one of two brothers transporting black slaves at the start of the movie. He is killed by bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz.
- Fun fact: Though he only played small parts in this film, James Remar is a renowned actor who has played a variety of roles in iconic films like Miracle on 34th Street and The Warriors.
James Remar got a little poetic justice for his initial character in the film, Ace Speck, when his secondary character, Butch Pooch, killed the man who killed Speck.
- Secondary character: Butch Pooch
- Significance: Butch Pooch is the bodyguard of Calvin Candie who ultimately kills Dr. King Schultz.
- Fun fact: In addition to his many movie roles, Remar has starred on popular television series like Sex and the City, Grey’s Anatomy, and Dexter.
9 Arsenio Hall – Coming to America
- Principal character: Semmi
- Significance: Semmi is Prince Akeem’s best friend and personal assistant. He will accompany him on his adventure in the United States, and he will hate almost everything about American culture.
- Fun fact: The McDowell’s where Akeem and Semmi found employment was filmed in a Wendy’s on Queens Boulevard.
Like Eddy Murphy, Arsenio Hall also wore several costumes in Coming to America: those of Morris, a girl in a bar, and Reverend Brown!
- Secondary characters: Morris, Girl in a bar, and Reverend Brown
- Significance: Morris is the second barber in the barber shop where Akeem and Semmi go, the girl in a bar is one of those they meet in a bar and is particularly unattractive, and Reverend Brown is the Reverend who makes a speech during the Black Awareness Pageant.
- Fun fact: Coming to America was Arsenio Hall’s first big film, which had mainly played on television before.
10 Benedict Cumberbatch – Doctor Strange
- Principal character: Dr. Stephen Strange
- Significance: Dr. Stephen Strange is the lead character of the film—a neurosurgeon who explores mystical powers after a career-ruining car crash.
- Fun fact: Marvel’s Doctor Strange has such a loyal following that the very first comic book, released in 1963, sold for $61,000 at an auction.
While Benedict Cumberbatch was busy carrying the Doctor Strange movie as the film’s titular character, he also took on another, smaller role at his own request.
- Secondary character: Dormammu
- Significance: Dormammu is a villainous, supernatural entity who aspires to bring the Dark Dimension to Earth.
- Fun fact: Cumberbatch actually suggested taking on the role of Dormammu to the film’s production, adding another layer of meaning to the character as a reflection of Strange’s worst qualities.
11 Ben Mendelsohn – Captain Marvel
- Principal character: Talos
- Significance: Talos is a shape-shifting Skrull General who seeks to save his people from the Kree Empire.
- Fun fact: While playing Talos, Ben Mendelsohn stuck to his native Australian accent. When he switched to his secondary character, he embraced a fake American accent.
In Captain Marvel, Ben Mendelsohn took on two incredible roles, wowing MCU fans and showing off his range as an actor.
- Secondary character: R. Keller
- Significance: R. Keller is the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the 1990s who investigates Carol Danvers’ arrival on Earth.
- Fun fact: At one point in the film, Keller is taken over by shape-shifting Talos, which is convenient since both characters are played by the same actor.
12 Mel Brooks – Spaceballs
- Principal character: President Skroob
- Significance: President Skroob is the leader of Planet Spaceball who plans to steal fresh air for his dying planet from the nearby planet of Druidia. To accomplish his goal, he kidnaps Princess Vespa on her wedding day.
- Fun fact: Mel Brooks originally wanted to name the film Planet Moron, but he shifted to Spaceballs when Morons From Outer Space was released.
Not only did Mel Brooks direct Spaceballs, but he also took on two quirky characters within the film.
- Secondary character: Yogurt
- Significance: Yogurt is an old sage who is the master of a metaphysical power known as the Schwartz.
- Fun fact: When Mel Brooks took on Spaceballs, he hadn’t directed a movie in six years.
13 Michelle Williams – Oz the Great and Powerful
- Principal character: Glinda
- Significance: The daughter of the late king, Glinda leads and protects the peaceful kingdom of Oz.
- Fun fact: Michelle Williams was almost cast as Evanora, as she was the director’s first choice for the role.
Although she delayed the filming of Oz the Great and Powerful because of press commitments surrounding her other film, My Week With Marilyn, Michelle Williams shined in not one, but two roles in this much-anticipated film.
- Secondary character: Annie
- Significance: Annie is the love interest of Oscar, a traveling circus performer also known as Oz.
- Fun fact: It is revealed in the movie that Annie goes on to become the mother of Dorothy Gale, the protagonist of The Wizard of Oz.
14 Frances O’Conner – Bedazzled
- Principal character: Alison Gardner
- Significance: Alison Gardner is a colleague of Eliot Richards, who he is head-over-heels in love with.
- Fun fact: Frances O’Conner was born in England, but grew up in Australia.
Although O’Conner was somewhat new to the acting world, she showed off her range by playing two very different characters in Bedazzled.
- Secondary character: Nicole Delarusso
- Significance: Nicole Delarusso is Eliot Richards’ neighbor who bears a striking resemblance to his initial love interest, Alison, but has a very different personality and interests.
- Fun fact: In addition to these two crucial roles, Frances O’Conner also took on a variety of smaller, uncredited parts in the film.
15 Warwick Davis – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- Principal character: Filius Flitwick
- Significance: Filius Flitwick is a professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he is the Charms Master and the head of Ravenclaw house.
- Fun fact: Warwick Davis also played Wicket the Ewok in the 1983 film Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
While Warwick Davis took on the charming (no pun intended) role of Charms Professor Filius Flitwick, he also appears at another key point in the first Harry Potter film: at the Gringotts Wizarding Bank.
- Secondary character: Gringotts bank teller
- Significance: This particular bank teller is never given a name, but he acts as Head Goblin for the Gringotts Wizarding Bank and is the first to lead Harry Potter to his vault.
- Fun fact: Over time, the Goblin may have been fired from his position, as he wasn’t seen when Harry and his friends later broke into the bank to steal Voldemorts Horcrux.
16 Mark Hamill – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
- Principal character: Luke Skywalker
- Significance: In this film, Luke Skywalker is a powerful Jedi master who exiled himself on a deserted planet as punishment for his failure to teach future Jedi generations effectively.
- Fun fact: Mark Hamill didn’t like The Last Jedi, as he felt Luke’s representation wasn’t a fit for the original character.
Mark Hamill reprised his classic role as Luke Skywalker in the most recent Star Wars trilogy, but he also took on a second role in The Last Jedi.
- Secondary character: Dobbu Scay
- Significance: Dobbu Scay is a character in a club on Canto Bight who accidentally mistakes BB-8 for a slot machine and fills him with coins.
- Fun fact: Dobbu Scay is an anagram, allowing the writers to sneakily name the character after the film’s editor, Bob Ducsay.
17 Jack Nicholson – Mars Attacks!
- Principal character: President James Dale
- Significance: President James Dale is the leader of the United States at the time when hundreds of Martian ships arrive on Earth.
- Fun fact: Mars Attacks! was based on a set of controversial baseball cards that made the rounds in family homes in 1962.
Beyond encouraging other big-name celebrities to join the cast, Jack Nicholson also took on two roles in Mars Attacks!.
- Secondary character: Art Land
- Significance: Art Land is a dishonest land developer and the husband of Barbara Land.
- Fun fact: In the film, Art Land dies when a large Earth globe that fell off a building rolls over him.
18 Anthony Daniels – Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- Principal character: C-3PO
- Significance: C-3PO is a protocol droid built by Anakin Skywalker and fluent in over six million forms of communication.
- Fun fact: Anthony Daniels is the only actor to appear in all nine Star Wars films.
Beyond bringing C-3PO to life, Anthony Daniels also makes a brief appearance outside of his droid costume in an early scene of Star Wars Episode II.
- Secondary character: Dannl Fayttoni
- Significance: Dannl Fayttoni is an extra at the Outlander Night Club.
- Fun fact: This character also appears in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith at the Galaxies Opera House.
19 Taika Waititi – Thor: Ragnarok
- Principal character: Korg
- Significance: Korg is a Kronan warrior who teams up with Thor when they’re both trapped on Sakaar.
- Fun fact: In addition to his other secondary characters, Taika Waititi was also one of the heads of a three-headed alien called Haju.
In addition to directing Thor: Ragnorak and giving the character a new life, Taika Waititi also played two important roles in the film.
- Secondary character: Surtur
- Significance: Surtur, the ruler of Muspelheim, initiates Ragnarok using the power he draws from the Eternal Flame.
- Fun fact: While Clancy Brown voiced Surtur, Waititi did all the performance-capture work to bring the fire demon to life.
20 Ben Stiller – Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
- Principal character: Larry Daley
- Significance: Larry Daley is the main character of the Night at the Museums films. A security guard at the New York Museum of Natural History who is now accustomed to all the skeletons, wax statues and stuffed animals that come to life at night, Larry tries, in this 3rd opus, to save his unlikely friends when the magic tablet that brings them back to life stops working properly.
- Fun fact: At about 1 hour and 11 minutes in the film, Ben Stiller’s children make an appearance in the movie. They play the children who observes Larry and his gang when they are sitting in the bus.
In Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, not only did Ben Stiller reprise his role as Larry for a third time, but he also dressed in a second costume for the first time in his career, that of Laaa.
- Secondary character: Laaa
- Significance: Laaa is Larry Daley’s Neanderthal doppleganger. He is the latest addition to the museum’s Neanderthal exhibit.
- Did you know: This film is dedicated to the memory of Mickey Rooney and Robin Williams who are both part of the cast, but who unfortunately passed away before the release.
21 Margaret Hamilton – The Wizard of Oz
- Principal character: The Wicked Witch of the West
- Significance: The Wicked Witch of the West is the main antagonist of The Wizard of Oz. Known for her green skin, the Witch seeks revenge against Dorothy for killing her sister while also trying to obtain Dorothy’s ruby-red slippers.
- Fun fact: During her fiery exit from Munchkinland near the start of the film, Margaret Hamilton sustained second and third-degree burns when the stunt didn’t go as planned.
While trying to avoid further injuries on set, Margaret Hamilton also had to worry about playing another character in this classic film, this time one entirely unrelated to Oz.
- Secondary character: Almira Gultch
- Significance: Almira Gultch is the Mayor of the town where Dorothy lives. At the beginning of the film, she tries to put Dorothy’s pet dog, Toto, down for attacking her.
- Fun fact: Hamilton later explained that she took on the iconic role in The Wizard of Oz because the story was her favorite book when she was a child.
22 Jason Isaacs – Peter Pan
- Principal character: Captain Hook
- Significance: Captain Hook is Peter Pan’s ultimate nemesis in Neverland, who seeks revenge against Pan after the boy cuts off his hand and feeds it to a crocodile.
- Fun fact: Disaster almost struck for Jason Isaacs while filming Peter Pan when one of the harnesses broke during a flying scene and left him dangling by his feet.
Jason Isaacs got to show his range in Peter Pan by playing two entirely different characters who also happened to sport very different physical appearances.
- Secondary character: George Darling
- Significance: George Darling is the strict, somewhat cold father of the Darling children.
- Fun fact: Having the same actor play both George Darling and Captain Hook is a tradition in theater performances of Peter Pan, which is why it was replicated in the movie.
23 Michael J. Fox – Back to the Future Part II
- Principal character: Marty McFly
- Significance: Marty McFly is the main character of the Back to the Future films. With the help of his good friend Doc Brown, he uses a time machine to travel to the future in the second film.
- Fun fact: In the four years between Back to the Future one and two, Michael J. Fox forgot how to ride a skateboard, which he later realized was an early sign of his Parkinson’s Disease.
In Back to the Future Part II, Fox decided to use an easy method to ensure his future daughter in the film looked like him: he played the character himself!
- Secondary character: Marlene McFly
- Significance: In Back to the Future Part II, Marty visits his future family and briefly encounters his daughter, Marlene.
- Fun fact: The line Marline recites in the film—”Mom? Mom, is that you?”—are the same words spoken by Marty each time he wakes up in an unfamiliar place throughout the series.