Most of us are used to the idea that when actors get a role, they act the part from start to finish. Of course, we all know the existence of stunt doubles who are skilled and trained especially to replace the main actor when there are action scenes and dangerous things to be filmed. But did you know that there are a lot more reasons and exceptions that can justify the use of doppelganger? In fact, doubles happen much more often than we realize. Some of your favorite scenes could even contain a double and you never noticed it. Are you curious to find out if you were even fooled by the work of a double and a little (or a lot) of computer work?
These following actor replacement will probably shock you. But who knows, maybe you had the eye for picking up on that kind of thing. In that case, you would be an exception… Here are some actor swaps that went unnoticed.
10. Natalie Portman – Thor: The Dark World
The post-credits scene kiss scene between Thor and Jane Foster in Thor: The Dark World’s is one of the steamiest moments in all the Marvel movies. For a good reason: actor Chris Hemsworth isn’t making out with co-star Natalie Portman, but his actual wife Elsa Pataky.
9. Paul Walker – Furious 7
After Paul Walker tragically died in an automobile accident, the production of Furious 7shut down temporarily. There was no way to move forward without the lead actor. Walker’s family agreed that the movie should be finished and his two brothers volunteered as stand-ins, since both closely resembled the actor physically.
8. Brandon Lee – The Crow
Sadly, on set while filming his breakout role, the son of legendary martial artist Bruce Lee was shot by a prop gun that had a dummy round left in the chamber. He died after six hours in surgery. With only eight days left of filming Lee’s friend and stunt double Chad Stahelski stood in for him while special effects were used to give him Lee’s face while another stunt double help finished out some of the action scenes.
7. Harrison Ford – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
On the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Harrison Ford suffered a pretty severe back injury. unable to act for several weeks Ford was swapped for his longtime stunt double Vic Armstrong, who actually looked and moved like the lead actor.
6. Jennifer Aniston – Friends
Stand-ins are on set to replace actors when they’re not available. Usually, they don’t end up in the final cut. But in a random episode from the ninth season, when Aniston is standing next to Matt Leblanc, it’s not Aniston at all. Seems that Aniston’s stand-in wasn’t cut or edited out from the shot.
5. Oliver Reed – Gladiator
British actor Oliver Reed passed in the middle of the filming of Gladiator which forced the team to rewrite the ending and it still required quite a bit of visual trickery to pull together. During wide shots, they used a body double with Reed’s face digitally attached.
4. Bruce Lee – Game of Death
Lee died of a brain edema on July 20, 1973 which left Game of Death, of which Lee had already filmed about 40 minutes, in limbo. Five years later, Clouse decided to finish what Lee started. The crew used archival film and hired stand-ins to play Billy Lo, Lee’s character in the new version of Game of Death. In the movie, Lo both receives plastic surgery after a brutal fight and later fakes his own death and wears a disguise, making it easier for to replace Lee.
3. Michael Pitt – Hannibal
Pitt decided not to return for Hannibal season 3. When his character came back ready for revenge against Hannibal, Joe Anderson appeared in the role. Fortunately, in Pitt’s last appearance on the show, Hannibal drugs his character and convinces him to feed his own face to a pack of dogs.
2. Nicholas Brendon – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Xander Harris, Nicholas Brendon’s character, appears in all but one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But Brendon didn’t. His twin brother, who uses the stage name Kelly Donovan, often took Brendon’s place when the actor wasn’t available or when Buffy’s supernatural shenanigans required more than one Xander on screen at once.
1. Crispin Glover – Back to the Future Part 2
When Crispin Glover refused to act in the Back to the Future sequel producers recast the role. They then covered Weissman, the new actor, in make-up and prosthetics that had been cast from Glover’s face in the first movie. Weissman became a Crispin Glover doppelganger, much to the latter’s dissatisfaction. This switcher situation ended up in it resulted in not just a lawsuit against the producers, but new regulations from the Screen Actors Guild to prevent it from ever happening again.