Young And Old Actors Playing The Same Movie Character: Ranking The Best Performance
By Christopher Campbell
In the new movie “Looper,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the younger version of a character named Joe, while Bruce Willis portrays the same man in his later years. Thanks to time travel, the two inevitably meet. In order to sell the audience on these two actors being the same character in different periods of his life, Gordon-Levitt went through several hours of makeup work each day to better resemble the “Die Hard” star. The younger actor also studied the older actor’s other films to get his characteristics down perfectly. The result: Gordon-Levitt is being talked about as a better Bruce Willis than Bruce Willis.
Where this impersonation rates among the best of young-to-old casting will be determined when “Looper” hits theaters this Friday. For now, let’s take a look at the 15 greatest performances by actors who’ve played the same character.
Mayim Bialik and Bette Midler as C.C. Bloom in ”˜Beaches’ (1988)
All they needed was an 11-year-old with a red wig, but hired a star in the making to play a mini Bette Midler. Of course they did: If you’re going to cast someone as a younger version of Bette Midler in the role of a big star, you can’t just find any precocious child with a loud voice and a knack for tap. She has to be Divine with a capital D, and the future Blossom and ultimate doctor of neuroscience displays both the spunk and the drama we associate with the elder actress. Is it too corny to say she was the wind beneath Midler’s wings?
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