Actors Playing Two Roles Is The Beating Heart Of Suck
I just finished checking out the trailer for the upcoming season of Fargo which looks AMAZING to me. Just flat out great. But as much as I want to pick out window treatments with Noah Hawley, one teeeeny thing irked me.
I hate, viscerally, when actors play two roles in the same thing.
It absolutely pulls me out of the suspension of disbelief. I’m like “Oh, look. A trick!” And I’m out.
Yes, it’s nice for the actor, getting to show off his or her range. It’s a nice way to work. It’s also a way to fellate an actor without having to actually, y’know…fellate them.
“I have a role in mind for you…”
ACTOR BARELY LISTENS, MIND WANDERING. FUCK YOU JESSICA FROM SEVENTH GRADE! HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?
ACTOR SITS UP. TWO ROLES? EDDIE MURPHY IN THE KLUMPS STYLE? OMIGOSH! YES YES YES I WILL PLAY THESE ROLES! THE GHOST OF HORATIO DEMANDS IT.
I know that a case can be made for the necessity of it at times, and yes, it is sometimes deftly pulled off. There is no Orphan Black without it. There’s no Cloud Atlas. It’s the very point of The Double. Multiplicity, too. In those cases, I can certainly understand, I still won’t go very far out of my way to watch them, mind you, but I get it.
The skill of the actor is completely lost on me when they engage in these…thespian gymnastics. Zach Galifianakis does yeoman’s work in Baskets as both Chip and Dale and I can barely watch that show any more. Armie Hammer does a perfectly respectable job as both Winklevossi in The Social Network and I still bristle.
And is there more of it happening? Is this a trend on the upswing? Because it suuuuuucks. Tom Hardy as both Mob Brothers in Legend? I think Tom Hardy is a rare talent and I can’t even pretend I’d sit through that.
That said, I will never say a bad word about Dr. Strangelove, so that’s the exception that proves the rule. The only other time it didn’t really get to me was when Mike Myers played both Austin Powers and Dr. Evil. Probably because I give comedy a longer rope and I was like “okay, fine.” But then he was also Fat Bastard and the absolute worst: Goldmember.
And it’s like COME ON DUDE. NO ONE ELSE CAN PLAY YOUR NEMESIS? YOU HAVE TO BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE? YOU ALONE ARE THE FUCKING YIN AND YANG? GET FUCKED.
And I like Mike Myers. I pretty much like all of the people listed above. But I don’t like the showiness of multiple roles and I don’t like how it makes me scowl and half-watch and I don’t like that it’s infecting one of my favorite shows.
Et tu, Fargo? Et tu?
I mean, yes, I’m going to watch the shit out of that, but damnit if I won’t grumble. And I love love love me some Ewan McGregor. But come on, Noah Hawley, come on. I thought we were of one mind on this! In Fargo 2 you had Todd Mann and Brad Mann play the Kitchen Brothers and they kicked ass!
You didn’t say “oh I’ll just get Eric Bana to play both brothers!” You made the right call. Two roles? Two PEOPLE.
And in Fargo 3, MacGregor’s characters aren’t even TWINS. Granted, if anyone can pull this off it’s you and Ewan McGregor, but even so:
Why, baby? Why?
To conclude: If you’re selling me the story of Hard-As-Fuck Federal Agent Clairvaux Thompson starring Laurence Fishburne? Sign me up.
If that story also has Laurence Fishburne playing Agent Thompson’s goofy twin brother Barnaby?
GET. THE. FUCK. OUT.
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