Döppelgangers in Hollywood

Döppelgangers in Hollywood

The word “döppleganger” was used to describe the supernatural double of a living person. In modern times the word has come to simply mean the look-alike of a person.

In the celebrity-obsessed culture we live in today, we thrive and enjoy watching films where actors portray famous celebrities from the past. The “biopic” has gained immense popularity in the past few years and credibility is given to those actors and actresses who are able to best portray the famous person being depicted in the film.

The increasingly popular online image-hosting service, “Imgur”, is a site where internet users (read, most of us) can upload and share images with friends, family and even random other online visitors. A frequent user of this service, a person who goes by the online nickname of “banana_rhino”, has posted another gallery of celebrities portraying famous people, or in other words, celebrities portraying celebrities. In this new batch of photos, “banana_rhino” shows us the similarities between a young Gary Oldman, who plays punk rocker Sid Vicious (from the band The Sex Pistols); Michelle Williams who dons the blonde hair and white skirt of Marilyn Monroe; legendary actor Anthony Hopkins who plays legendary artist Pablo Picasso and Val Kilmer bearing his soul as the tortured soul and frontman for The Doors, Jim Morrison.

While many of the roles are type-specific, as in, they are given to actors and actresses who “look the part”, some roles are given to actors and actresses who will bring the story to life, but who still need makeup, hair and costumes to make them at least resemble the person they are playing, if not depicting them as their film-star döppelganger. Meryl Streep played TV chef Julia Child in the biopic about her, but while Streep did not visually duplicate Child, the actress’s “chameleon-like” ability to channel Child’s energy and charisma made her the ideal choice for the role. Detailed makeup, clothes and hair styles can do a lot to morph an actor or actress to look like the person they are playing in the film as was the case with Kate Blanchett in her spot-on portrayal of Bob Dylan in the quirky documentary on the iconic folk singer, “I’m Not There”.

First image: Aaron Ralston (James Franco in 127 Hours)


Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron in Monster)


Allen Ginsberg (James Franco in Howl)


Bob Dylan (Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There)


Charlie Chaplin (Robert Downey Jr. in Chaplin)


Condoleezza Rice (Thandie Newton in W.)


Dean Martin (Joe Mantega in The Rat Pack)


Ernesto Che Guevara (Benicio Del Toro in Che)


Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek in Frida)


Jimi Hendrix (Andre 3000 in All Is By My Side)


Jim Morrison (Val Kilmer in The Doors)


Malcolm X (Denzel Washington in Malcolm X)


Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network)


Ray Charles (Jamie Foxx in Ray)

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One Comment

  1. Dirk
    December 4, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    … the german word is “Doppelgänger”.

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