When actors face off against...themselves
Playing both halves of a male-female twin set in ''Jack and Jill,'' Adam Sandler joins a long list of actors who have acted opposite themselves. Dual questions: Why did they do it? And how did they do?
Jeremy Irons, Dead Ringers (1988)
Just the phrase ”identical-twin gynecologists” is kind of chilling. Then add ”a psychological horror movie by David Cronenberg.” Obviously this is a job for Jeremy Irons, master of the highbrow kinky. Irons maintains cool control of the brothers’ two different patterns of disintegration while wielding frightfest gynecological tools to create the most disturbing twins you’ll ever see. A
Eddie Murphy, The Nutty Professor (1996)
Murphy plays both humongously fat professor Sherman Klump and the prof’s trim-tiger alter ego, Buddy Love, at full throttle (as Jerry Lewis did before him). Yet with so much manic Murphy energy to go around, dual roles are, in the end, not enough. So how about Murphy times seven? The star also plays almost the entire Klump family, all farting around the dinner table. B+
Doubly groovy, baby!
Mike Myers, Austin Powers (1997-2002)
One meeellion dollars? More like a worldwide box office revenue of $675 million. Myers always appears to be channeling multiple personalities at once — a little of him goes a long way. Who better to play James Bond-ilicious superspy Austin Powers and his nemesis, Dr. Evil, for maximum parody power? B+
Lindsay Lohan, The Parent Trap (1998)
It’s almost heartbreaking now to watch Lohan, then so brimming with as-yet-unbruised talent and fresh-faced sweetness, in her movie debut. The 11-year-old star-in-the-making takes a twosome role created 37 years earlier by beloved Hayley Mills and effortlessly makes it her own. A-
Nicolas Cage, Adaptation (2002)
Cage is devilishly subtle in a fat suit as competitive brothers — the only way to carry off Charlie Kaufman’s quadruply ingenious story structure replicating the kind of crazy personality splits symptomatic of writers in general and successful Hollywood screenwriters in particular. A
Dominic Cooper, The Devil’s Double (2011)
The devil was Saddam Hussein’s sadistic, psychopathic playboy son Uday; his unlucky body double was purportedly Latif Yahia, an Iraqi soldier forced into service. The truth of this ”true story” is questionable, but the movie is riveting, all because of Cooper’s bravura double work as a decent man forced to imitate the actions of a dangerous madman. A