'Men in Black 3' and 17 Movies With Different Actors in the Same Role
11:52 AM PDT 4/3/2012 by THR Staff
Josh Brolin plays a younger, equally sour Tommy Lee Jones in “Men in Black 3," making them the latest in a long line of actors to tackle the same role in films like "Titanic," "Austin Powers" and "The Godfather."
Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones in 'Men in Black III'
While Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones have worked together on two films (No Country for Old Men and In the Valley of Elah), they didn't actually share any scenes together. So the fact that Brolin does such an amazingly accurate imitation of Jones in Men in Black III is pretty astounding. The actors actually have some similarities in real life, too: both often spend their free time living on their ranches and have connections to Texas (Jones was born there, and Brolin's mother is from there).
Kate Winslet and Gloria Stuart in 'Titanic'
Both Gloria Stuart and Kate Winslet play the lead role of old and young Rose, respectively, on the period film, 1997's Titanic. Then 87, Stuart became the oldest woman to be nominated for an Oscar ever. And she and Winslet were the first actresses to be nominated for Oscars for playing the same character.
Zac Efron and Matthew Perry in '17 Again'
If Zac Efron grew up, would he look like Matthew Perry? No, probably not. But despite the physical differences, the High School Musical heartthrob and the Friends funnyman both portray the same character in the 2009 comedy 17 Again. In the film, Perry plays an older version of Efron as a disgruntled middle-aged guy whose marriage to his high-school sweetheart (Leslie Mann) is on the rocks. Following a magical encounter with a janitor, Perry transforms into Efron and relishes the opportunity to return to school and re-do his life trajectory.
Rob Lowe and Robert Wagner in 'Austin Powers'
Rob Lowe stepped into Robert Wagner's role as the diabolical (though dense) Number Two to Mike Myers' Dr. Evil twice on the Austin Powers movie franchise -- in 1999's The Spy Who Shagged Me and in 2002's Goldmember. But, some may not know that Lowe also made a cameo in the very first movie in 1997 as the uncredited "Decapitated Henchman's Friend."
Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney in 'Big Fish'
Although in Tim Burton’s Big Fish, Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney technically play the same character, Edward Bloom, what’s really interesting about this shared character is that the film’s themes – creating truth through fiction – works its way into their performances. While Finney is effortlessly gregarious and charming, the younger actor’s interpretation of Bloom is meant to be a fictionalized, ideal self of the older’s, which gives their performances a little leeway while still keeping true to the essence of the character.
Jenna Malone and Jodie Foster in 'Contact'
Few films have made better use of Jodie Foster’s fierce, searching intellect than Robert Zemeckis’ Contact. Even as a newcomer, Jena Malone does an equal job of laying the groundwork for Foster’s performance playing her character Ellie Arroway as a child. The young actress not only looks remarkably like we might imagine Foster might have looked (even knowing how she actually looked from her earliest roles), but she conveys the restless passion and palpable intelligence that Foster not only brings to every role, but clearly possesses in real life.
Mary Stuart Masterson and Jessica Tandy, 'Fried Green Tomatoes'
Spoiler alert: If you've never seen Fried Green Tomatoes, then you might not be aware that the narrator (Jessica Tandy) and the heroine of her flashbacks (Mary Stuart Masterson) are actually the same character in the Southern tale of thinly veiled sapphic sisterhood. It's sort of a predicable development, as eleventh hour reveals go, but it sure takes Kathy Bates by surprise.
Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando in 'The Godfather'
Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando hold the distinction of being the only two actors to win Oscars for playing the same role: as Vito Corleone, the two men distinguish themselves even as De Niro dovetails his performance into Brando’s, offering a quiet authority that belies febrile intelligence.
Jennifer Lawrence and Charlize Theron in 'The Burning Plain'
Before she was fighting for survival as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence played Mariana in Guillermo Arriaga's directorial debut, The Burning Plain. After her character accidentally blows up her mother and her lover and gets pregnant, she abandons her baby and her baby's father and takes the same Sylvia. The adult version of Mariana/Sylvia is played by the talented Charlize Theron, and both actresses succeed in bringing a mesmerizing, haunted woman to life on screen.
Jessica Chastain and Helen Mirren in 'The Debt'
As if giving six or seven great performances in just one year wasn’t enough, Jessica Chastain further established herself as chameleon by successfully portraying the younger version of Helen Mirren’s character Rachel Singer in The Debt. Not only does Chastain provide a foundation for Mirren’s deep-rooted angst, but she manages to create a loose but recognizable template that balances their performances as the character with the personality of both actresses. A tour-de-force.
River Phoenix and Harrison Ford in 'The Last Crusade'
In 1989, River Phoenix portrayed a younger -- and arguably more swashbuckling -- version of Harrison Ford in the sequel Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The third installment of the Indy franchise showed Phoenix as the surly teenage son of a Holy Grail-obsessed absentee father (Sean Connery, who filmed alongside Ford). Nicknamed "junior" by the elder Dr. Jones, the future professor and explorer runs into trouble when he steals a precious artifact from cave-dwelling robbers while on an outing with his Boy Scout troop.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in 'Looper'
Audiences have seen Joseph Gordon-Levitt grow up on screen, from his 3rd Rock From the Sun days to last year's 50/50, but Rian Johnson's Looper takes it to another level. The Golden Globe nominee will play an assassin in the near future that features time travel as a regular commuter option -- and the hook is that he's been assigned to kill his future self, played Bruce Willis. You may not see the resemblance now, but the younger star donned hours of makeup and prosthetics to take on a look closer to that of a younger Willis.
Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy in 'Star Trek'
Announced at Comic-Con 2007, the casting of Zachary Quinto as a young Spock in the J. J. Abrams reboot of the Star Trek film franchise had original actor Leonard Nimoy's blessing. Abrams would later say in an interview that Quinto "brought a gravity and an incredible sense of humor" to the role.
It should also be noted that in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, four actors played the character at various ages: Carl Steven, Vadia Potenza, Stephen Manley and Joe Davis.
Ryan Gosling and James Garner in 'The Notebook'
Before he was a getaway driver for hire or an idealistic presidential candidate staffer, Ryan Gosling played a man on a mission to get the girl he loved in 2004's ultra-romantic drama The Notebook. He played the young version of Noah, while James Garner played the older version, who was reciting the story of his long and tumultous courtship of his lady (played by Rachel McAdams in the story and Gena Rowlands in the later years).
X-Men: First Class
Although superhero stories have a long history of reimagining their characters (much less recasting actors in the same role), few have done so as effectively as Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class.James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult step into the spandex of their cinematic predecessors Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Rebecca Romijn and Kelsey Grammer, respectively, not just rebooting the film series for a new generation but reimagining the characters in a context that adds depth and perspective on their behavior in the previous films.
Jennifer Connelly and Elizabeth McGovern
It’s almost hard to imagine then-14-year-old Jennifer Connelly becoming the acclaimed actress that we now know from A Beautiful Mind and many other movies, but in Sergio Leone’s 1984 masterpiece Once Upon a Time in America, she sets the tone for Elizabeth McGovern -- instead of the other way around – as Deborah, lifelong love interest to the main character Noodles (played by Robert De Niro as an adult). Her delicate combination of childhood innocence and burgeoning sexuality sets into motion the future of those two characters’ relationship to one another, even as it heralds the arrival of a talent that continues to appreciate today.
Mayim Bialik and Bette Midler in 'Beaches'
Mayim Bialik, who went on to star in Blossom, started her film career by playing the young Bette Midler in 1988's tear-jerker Beaches. Bialik first appears in the film as the young Cecilia 'CC' Carol Bloom, hanging out under the beach boardwalk and avoiding her overbearing stage mother, where she runs into Hillary Whitney (Marcie Leeds). The two bond, and build a friendship that lasts a lifetime until Midler's adult version of CC reunites with her BFF (played by Barbara Hershey) after getting bad news about Hillary's health.
Therapy? Yep, the 'Still Alice' star has had plenty. And now, today, the onetime outsider is a five-time Oscar nominee who also believes in family and the ability to control her own fate: "I've completely created my own life. Structure, it's all imposed." Watch video