by D.W. Lundberg

Friday, January 16, 2015


New year, new feature here at Finding The Wrong Words...

Have you ever looked at a particular actor and thought, "Why, he/she is the spitting image of this other actor/actress I love so much! This can't be a coincidence. If I didn't know better, I'd say they were separated at birth!" And the idea fascinates you so much that you're compelled to check the IMDb, only to find that the two actors are not, in fact, related in any way?

How can this be? More importantly, why hasn't anyone had the bright idea to cast these folks as family members in a movie before? This is especially distressing once you realize that Hollywood has a long and tortured history of casting people who obviously have no business being siblings. Kurt Russell and William Baldwin in Backdraft, for example (wouldn't it have been simpler to hire, I don't know, Alec Baldwin as Billy's older brother?). Or Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves, cast as (half) brothers in Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing (yeah, right). The eclectic ensemble of 2003's Cheaper By The Dozen are clearly the product of an extramarital affair or two, with blonde, brunette and redheaded children all running around under the same roof. And can anyone point out the family resemblance between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in Twins? (Okay, so that last one's a joke).

To be fair, casting directors are sometimes inclined to hire an actor based on actual talent, rather than how much they resemble the person playing their mother/father/ distant cousin. But that's no excuse for (thus far) failing to cast people who not only look alike but who are also capable of turning in a good performance on occasion.

Needless to say, this topic has been nagging at me for quite some time. Below, I've compiled a list of examples I've noted in the past - six for now, more to follow, for reasons I'll explain in a moment. The similarities could be minor, from the color of their hair to the way their lips move when they talk, to the swell cleft in their chin. Or they could be major, like an identical hairline or facial structure. I'll leave it to you to decide which is which:

Helen Hunt               Leelee Sobieski
(TwisterAs Good As     (Deep ImpactJoy
It Gets, Soul Surfer)    RidePublic Enemies)

Possible Relation: Mother / Daughter

Notes: One of the earliest examples of AWSPOAFMs, and an idea that's been plaguing me since Deep Impact. Neither actress seems incredibly busy these days... what say you, Hollywood?

David Duchovny           Mike Myers
(Californication, The    (Wayne's World, Austin
X-FilesReturn To Me)   Powers, Shrek)

Possible Relation: Brothers

Notes: I'm not the only one to notice this. Myers even did a spot-on Duchovny impression on Late Night With David Letterman here.

Keanu Reeves             Noah Wyle
(Bill & Ted, Point       (A Few Good Men, ER,
Break, The Matrix)       Donnie Darko)

Possible Relation: Brothers

Notes: Don't think to hard about this one. Or the Matrix might have to reset itself.

Amy Adams                Isla Fisher
(Junebug, Enchanted,     (Wedding Crashers
American Hustle)         Definitely Maybe)

Possible Relation: Sisters

Notes: I have to admit, before my Amy Adams infatuation kicked in, I often got the two of them mixed up. Is it the red hair?

Val Kilmer               Dallas Roberts
(Top Gun, Tombstone    (The Good WifeDallas
Batman Forever)          Buyers Club)

Possible Relation: Brothers

Notes: First off, if you aren't watching The Good Wife on CBS, then you're missing what is consistently the best-written show on television. But it's TGW that initially had me and my wife convinced that Mr. Roberts and Mr. Kilmer were actually brothers, even if their biographies rudely suggest otherwise.

Teresa Palmer            Kristen Stewart
(I Am Number Four,       (Panic Room, Twilight,
Warm Bodies)             Adventureland)

Possible Relation: Sisters

Notes: I don't care if Ms. Palmer is Australia-born with blonde hair, while Ms. Stewart is obviously not. It's the eyes. The same emotionless eyes. Also their shared love for the undead.


So there you go. Do you agree with my choices? Or fail to see the parallels? Are there any celebrity doppelgangers you yourself may have noticed, which I've neglected to include on this list? In the five years I've written for the blog, it's been a struggle to make it more interactive, something I hope to remedy in 2015. So, for the purposes of future posts on the subject, I leave it to you, Avid Reader, to suggest other famous faces you think should be paired as filmic family members.

This can be done in a variety of ways. First, you can always leave a suggestion in the comments section below. Or you can message me on FTTW's Facebook page. Or Twitter. Or Medium. And it doesn't have to be today, or tomorrow, or even the next week, but whenever the feeling strikes you - whether you're watching television, or sitting in a darkened movie theater with your significant other, and the thought crosses your mind ("Gee, that person on the screen looks almost exactly like..."). The point is, if you suggest something I find especially interesting, I will post that here at a later date, and will happily credit you for it, so the idea can be mulled over and debated for centuries to come. I'd love to get your input on the subject, in the hopes that it tickles your fancy enough to make it a regular column here on the site.

C'mon, Hollywood. Must we do all your dirty work for you?

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