I was driving through Griffith Park, on my way to don my monkey puppet for the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, when I went past the filming for Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill. In it, he plays both the brother and annoying sister of the title. As I went past, I saw Mr. Sandler decked out in his requisite fat suit and wig, spazzing around on a soccer field. I was the scariest thing I saw all night.
As an actor, I always wonder why certain folks feel the need to play several characters in the same film. I’m not talking about when actors have to play twin brothers or sisters or what have you, I mean that they play two separate characters entirely. It always seems odd to me. And it always seems like there are several actors who do this more frequently than most.
I think the record for the most characters played in a single film (besides when comedy troupes like Monty Python or Kids in the Hall make a film) has to go to either Alec Guinness for Kind Hearts and Coronets or Tony Randall in The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao. But as for actors playing multiple roles, it’s practically no contest. There were plenty like Nic Cage, Michael J. Fox and Ted Raimi that have done two films where they were more than one cast member. But here are the five who’ve dual (or in some cases multi-) roled:
5. Kevin Kline: Dave, Fierce Creatures, Wild Wild West
4. Mel Brooks: Spaceballs, History of the World: Part I, Blazing Saddles
3. Mike Myers: Austin Powers in “Goldmember,” Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, So I Married an Axe Murderer
2. Peter Sellers: The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu, The Prisoner of Zenda, Undercovers Hero, Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Mouse That Roared, I’m All Right Jack
1. Eddie Murphy: Meet Dave, Norbit, The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Bowfinger, The Nutty Professor, A Vampire in Brooklyn, Coming to America