You know how they say that everyone in the universe has an identical look-alike? In the case of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this could be a case of casting the same actor. Including stunt doubles, stand-ins and extras, there are over 200 actors in the MCU that have played multiple roles. (I’m not exaggerating – I wrote them all down while researching this article!)
Let’s take a look at some of the more notable examples of one person playing two or more roles.
10. Isabella and Imogen Poynton
Twin sisters Isabella and Imogen have some unusual bragging rights: Not only do they both play the daughter of John C. Reilly’s character Rhomann Dey in Guardians of the Galaxy, they both play Hawkeye’s daughter Lila Barton in Age of Ultron. Due to labor laws, casting twins is not unusual for children – however, not many people can say they played two halves of two different characters in the same universe.
9. Matt Gerald
You may remember Matt as Melvin Potter, the man who makes armored suits for Wilson Fisk and eventually Matt Murdock in the show Daredevil. You may not remember him as the Seagate prisoner “White Power Dave” in the Mandarin-centered short All Hail the King. Before rewrites, Matt was also slated to appear as a Seagate prisoner in Ant-Man; this fact, coupled with the “W” tattooed on White Power Dave’s chest, spawned the fan theory that White Power Dave was actually intended to be Ant-Man villain Whirlwind (aka David Cannon) before Matt became a recurring character on Daredevil.
8. Damion Poitier
It’s May 4, 2012. The credits are rolling for The Avengers and people are leaving, but I know better. Then we see him, the mastermind behind it all: Thanos! The only think stopping me from crying out his name is the fact that I have no idea whether it’s pronounced Than-ohs or Thay-nose. Curse you, written word! Though Thanos was recast as Josh Brolin for subsequent appearances, we got to see original stand-in Damion Poitier once again as one of Crossbones mercenaries in Captain America: Civil War.
7. Joe Russo
Joe played a doctor working for S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Bucky’s real C.I.A. interrogator, who was murdered and impersonated by Colonel Helmut Zemo in Captain America: Civil War. These are both minor roles – so why do we care about Joe? Because alongside his brother Anthony, Joe directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War and currently has Avengers 3 and Avengers 4 on his plate as well. On his own, he also directed Bridge and Tunnel, the second half of Agent Carter’s two-part premiere.
6. Enver Gjokaj
Any MCU fan would instantly recognize the talented Enver as Chief Daniel Sousa in Agent Carter. However, the crazy MCU fans like me remember that we actually saw Enver years earlier; he played a cop fighting the Chitauri invasion in New York City in The Avengers. The deleted scenes for the movie actually reveal a much longer subplot for our cop, in which he meets up with Beth the waitress and ultimately is killed in the invasion.
5. Seth Green
Wait, Seth Green is in the MCU? He sure is – he has appeared in uncredited roles not once, but twice! The actor and Robot Chicken creator can be spotted in a literally-blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo as a attendee of the Stark Expo in Iron Man 2, as well as voicing Howard the Duck in the post-credits scene for Guardians of the Galaxy.
4. Tony Curran
The power of makeup, wardrobe and context! In the opening to Thor: The Dark World, we see Thor’s grandfather Bor fight back Malekith and the Dark Elves during the Convergence thousands of years ago. If you take off the fake beard and elaborate Asgardian helmet and throw him in modern day Hell’s Kitchen, you’d recognize him as Finn Cooley, the pill-popping Kitchen Irish mobster with rage issues who tortures Punisher after the death of his son (and, more importantly, theft of his money).
3. Kenneth Choi
“You got heart, Principal. Where ya from?”
Kenneth Choi plays iconic Howling Commando Pvt. Jim Morita in Captain America: The First Avenger, reprising his role in an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. post-WWII flashback. His uniform can be seen on display in the Smithsonian Institute in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Agent Antoine Triplett’s mother has a photograph of him with the other Commandos in a later episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well. Leaving the past behind, Kenneth has been cast in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and is rumored to play the principal of Peter Parker’s school, Midtown High.
2. Alfre Woodard
Not only does Alfre play two different roles in the MCU, she is playing both roles in the same year! In September, keep an eye out for Alfre as “Black” Mariah Dillard, one of the major villains of the upcoming Luke Cage – however, she can be spotted in theaters as another comic character: Miriam Sharpe from Captain America: Civil War, the angry mother of a victim of superhero collateral damage who confronts Tony Stark and kicks off the war.
1. Paul Bettany
I know this one feels like cheating, because J.A.R.V.I.S. and Vision could essentially be considered the same character. Hear me out! For years, Paul Bettany voiced J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark’s personal A.I. for his Iron Man suit. Imagine getting the call and finding out that instead of going into a booth and recording a voice for two hours, you will now undergo several hours of makeup and play The Vision. Keep in mind that in the comics, Jarvis is a butler, and Vision is based on the recorded brain patterns of the deceased Wonder Man! Linking these two characters in such a unique way is unprecedented. And remember what Vision said: “I am not Ultron. I am not J.A.R.V.I.S. – I am. I am.”
But that isn’t all, folks! Because there are so many instances of this phenomenon, I will be back next week with ten more.