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(almost unbelievably) Good Casting Decisions

August 19, 2013

It is a goal of mine one day to have an article published on, so I thought I’d practice by writing one which has been knocking about in my head for a while.  It is of course going to be too personal, so I’ll take the Cracked rejection as already received.

Sometimes watching a programme or film can be excruciating when characters who are supposed to be related, or even the same character in different periods, look completely different (“Neighbours”, Australian soap par excellence, is the worst serial offender).  We live in an age of CGI, prosthetics and make-up, it isn’t that difficult to make one actor seem similar to another.  It can be offensive, the disregard that producers can have for their potential viewers.

However, sometimes, just sometimes, the casting is so amazing it is hard to believe the actors aren’t actually related (it doesn’t count if they actually are – I’m looking at you Amelia/Amy Pond). Here are a few of my favourites.  Be warned, plot lines may be revealed so if you haven’t seen the programmes or films mentioned and might want to, don’t say I didn’t tell you!

NB (for the NSA and whatever other group has too much time on its hands): I’m not posting photos because I don’t have the relevant permissions, so thank you very much for reading anyway.

Once Upon a Time:

Bailee Madison/Ginnifer Goodwin as young/old Snow White

Casting director – Veronica Collins

Same face, same mouth, same crying style, same eyes, same level of talent (high, I like them both)… Has Hollywood mastered cloning?  Or Canada, seeing as that is where it is filmed?  Could explain why everyone is so darn nice despite the many, many firearms per population headcount…

The Returned/Les Revenants (TV Series):

Yara Pilartz & Jenna Thiam as the twins Camille & Lena

Casting Director – Emmanuelle Prévost

I have a thing for twins, being one myself.  I googled the actors and cast several times, as I simply could not believe they weren’t related.  They aren’t, according to my exhaustive (okay, brief forays onto google – NB: other search engines are available) research.  I still think the t’interwebes is lying to me.

Game of Thrones:

Kit Harington & Richard Madden as half-brothers Jon Snow & Rob Stark

Casting director – Nina Gold & Robert Sterne

The one, and only one, good thing to come out of The Red Wedding (damn you George RR Martin, and your free hand with the sword) is that I will no longer be saying “where are we again?” to whomever I am watching the show with when one of these two appears on the screen.

And thank you for Jason Mamoa, however brief his role.

Harpers Island:

Christopher Gorham & Elaine Cassidy as Abby Mills & Henry Dunn

Original Casting by – Sharon Bialy, Sherry Thomas & Matthew Skrobalak

This actually ruined the entire series for me.  I said at the beginning the actors looked so similar that they could be related, and it would be a massive red herring if they weren’t, so I thought this throughout the series.  Of course, the plot twist was exactly this.  The casting, in this particular instance, was just TOO good.

Having said that, it was filmed whilst the scripts were being written and the actors didn’t know what was going to happen from one week to the next, so maybe I’m just psychic.

Worthy Runners-Up:

  • Mystique – X-Men movies.  Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence do have an amazing resemblance when in character-costume (i.e. looking like non-mutants), but being covered in blue paint and prosthetic does make their ultimate resemblance much easier.  Nearly, but not quite there.
  • The Panic Room – Jodie Foster and Kristin Stewart as mother and daughter.  I’m not including this because Twilight.

Worst Attempt EVER:

Lucy Robinson from Neighbours (I can never forgive you, Australia, despite your beautiful coastline and possession of the Great Barrier Reef) played by, in order, Kylie Flinker & Sasha Close & Melissa Bell.

No attempt at all was made to cast actors who looked like each other.  Lucy went from dark-haired, tanned and short very-much-a child, to tall, pale and seemingly several years older (the early teenage years hit FAST), to finally being short again, blonde, buxom and all-of-a-sudden old enough to be sexually alluring!  Of course, precedent for totally different looking actors had been set with the Darius Perkins/Jason Donovan “Scott Robinson” shocker, but really, what were they thinking?  Are there really so few actors in Australia? It does seem to be a running theme for Australian soaps to do this, so maybe there aren’t.  Mind you, it didn’t stop me watching the show.

I’d be interested to read your clone-casting favourites oh two readers of mine, so please do comment.  Kudos to the Casting Directors I’ve credited.  You have earned your pay packet.  If you haven’t been listed, ‘nuff said…


From → Geekery

  1. Kate permalink

    I howled with delight having watched “Crazy Stupid Love” with the SPOILER that Emma Stone had been in it from the beginning and there was SPOILER the big reveal that she was Julianne Moore’s daughter the whole time. It was a moment of “WELL OF COURSE SHE BLOODY IS!” and that gave me the big happies.

    Non honourable mention to the rebooted Dallas. There is NO WAY IN HELL that pig ugly producer’s child that they cast to play Christopher in the 80s grew up to look like that.

  2. Kate permalink

    If you’ve been watching The White Queen I think they did a good job with the two Queen Elizabeths – they both had a very similar look.

  3. Kate permalink

    And am I allowed to say that Ginnifer Goodwin is not a young Snow White but in fact her daughter, Emma Swann?

    • Kate permalink

      replying to my comment because I can’t work out how to delete it. I thought Ginnifer Goodwin WAS Emma Swann. Why did I think that? MY BAD.

      • I like your examples so much (as I have not seen any of the programmes, I shall look them up) that I am going to allow your terrible, terrible faux pas to fade from memory without you losing geek points.

        • Kate permalink

          I’m not sure I’m going to allow the fact that you and more importantly YOUR HUSBAND have not watched the White Queen pass without you both losing history geek points however 😉

          • It’s like The Tudors. They changed too much. I haven’t been able to separate from historical inaccuracy yet, but it will come.

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