There is a theory out there that states that the Hemsworth brothers could play every single leading role in Hollywood. Why? They have both hair colors you’re ever going to see on screen, both body types, and frankly, the only race. Together they comprise Hollywood’s entire conception of diversity.
The funny thing about the following list is how much it highlights Hollywood’s lack of diversity. And we don’t mean in a specifically racialized, political way. This isn’t a critique of Hollywood’s potentially bigoted casting decisions, but rather its almost hilariously evident blandness. Much like pop music has sounded pretty much the same for the past twenty years, thanks to the cartel of Swedish producers handling every soundboard on the west coast, Hollywood movies and the actors therein have looked the same since people first gasped at the sound of talking in The Jazz Singer.
If you’re curious to see these sets of Hollywood twins, keep on clicking to find out the 20 sets of actors we can virtually never tell apart.
20. Will Ferrell and Chad Smith
“Will Ferrell is in The Red Hot Chili Peppers?” – At least one person every single time the Red Hot Chili Peppers play a show, so undeniable is the resemblance between the SNL funnyman turned movie mega-earner and rock musician Chad Smith. It really looks like Ricky Bobby just put on a backwards cap and decided that he was a famous bandmate. In reality, it’s a case of Hollywood dopplegangin’, but if you squint it looks like a ridiculous ploy Mugatu is pulling to get back at Derek Zoolander.
19. Atlanta de Cadenet and Rachel Bilson
Atlanta de Cadenet is the daughter of Amanda de Cadenet and Duran Duran bassist John Taylor. Like the daughters of many B-list celebrities (Stephen Baldwin, AHEM), she is now a “model.” Rachel Bilson you might recall from the television show The O.C., which people watched religiously until it fell harshly out of vogue. Whatever your opinions are on the two of them, one thing is undeniable: they look very much alike. As it turns out, brown hair, perfect teeth, and white skin are kind of a prerequisite for media attention.
18. Christy Turlington and Jessica Biel
Christy Turlington, alongside Christie Brinkley, Cindy Crawford, and Brooke Shields is a quintessential American beauty. Tall, thin, breathtaking, she embodied effortless American elegance in the late 80s and early 90s. It’s no surprise that the beauty industry would yearn for her second coming when her youthfulness waned. Enter Jessica Biel. Although she never attained the stratospheric rank of Turlington, there’s no question that Jessica Biel looks like the former supermodel. With her naturally slender and lanky physique, she could’ve followed suit.
17. James Franco and James Dean
If ever a Hollywood resemblance were preordained, it was James Franco and James Dean. For god’s sake, they share the same first name. The only difference is that James Dean died in a car accident before he could see his status as the world’s preeminent sex symbol deteriorate, forcing him to move into stoner buddy comedies to keep paying rent. For a while about ten years ago, James Franco was the heartthrob to many tween girls, preening along to the sounds of Gavin DeGraw’s “We Belong Together” in the film adaptation of Tristan and Isolde. Now, he’s not so sexy anymore, known primarily for sending that Scottish 17 year old weird, avuncular texts.
16. Dane Cook and Skylar Astin
Way back in the day, Dane Cook was like a comedian rock star. He could pack a stadium and get them roaring as though he were playing power licks. But then his career was swiftly deflated by repetitive joke-stealing allegations (unlike those against Amy Schumer, these ones were embarrassingly undeniable, to the point where he went on Louis C.K.‘s Louie and addressed them). Skylar Astin, the romantic lead in Pitch Perfect, is known as the singing guy who looks like that guy who used to be funny.
15. Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg
They’re both on talk shows. They’re both chubby (sometimes). And they’re both black. That’s about the only thing Oprah and Whoopi have in common. They don’t look alike. But that didn’t stop one beauty website from confusing the two of them at this year’s Oscars. When Whoopi showed up in wrist cuff and a big gown that showed her very un-Oprah-like shoulder tattoo, the website tweeted: “We had no idea @Oprah was #tatted and we like it.” The photo above shows Whoopi on the relevant night. Next to it is Oprah, looking nothing like her.
14. Jada Pinkett Smith and Zoe Saldana
Jada Pinkett Smith is known mostly for being Will Smith‘s super muscular wife, allegedly a Daughter of Bilitis. Zoe Saldana is one of the hottest items in Hollywood today, although she’s facing a little bit of controversy over her portrayal of Nina Simone. Simone was a black jazz singer from the 1960s. In order to play her in the biopic, the Puerto Rican Saldana had to darken her skin and wear a prosthetic nose. Many people considered this minstrelsy and blackface, arguing that the role could’ve gone to Viola Davis instead. Regardless, the resemblance between these two is pretty undeniable, it even being sometimes hard to tell them apart.
13. Ellen DeGeneres and Henry David Thoreau
Okay, we realize we’re being a little cheeky with this one. Obviously, it’s easy to tell apart Ellen and HDT, if anything just because the latter never appears in a color photo. But some high school jokesters, upon seeing a picture of him, realized that he looked a lot like the affable talk show host and the comparison went viral. And truly, it’s hard to deny the similarity between the two of them. We thought it would be fun to pass it on to you, even if it deviated slightly from the guiding principle of this article.
12. Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester
Minka Kelly, daughter of Aerosmith guitarist Rick Dufay, is an American actress best known for her role as Lyla Garrity in Friday Night Lights (although you might also recognize her as Adam Levine‘s girlfriend from the Maroon 5 video “One More Night”.) Leighton Meester is best known for her role as Blair Waldorf in the CW show Gossip Girl, although she made a song with Robin Thicke that had sort of lukewarm success and she made big waves when she announced that she had been born in prison. All that said, we dare you to tell them apart. It’s virtually impossible with how similar the look. But hey, more hotness to go around, right?
11. Sarah Hyland and Mila Kunis
Modern Family is basically the only project Sarah Hyland has ever done. She has maybe appeared in a few other things, but we dare anyone to name one off the top of their heads. Mila Kunis, on the other hand, appears to be one of the busiest women in Hollywood, starring in blockbuster movies all while voicing Meg on Family Guy for over ten years and starting a family with notorious prankster Ashton Kutcher. She is unstoppable. But if ever she is stopped, Sarah Hyland could easily just step in and take her place, the obvious successor for roles written for her, so blatant is their resemblance.
10. Jessica Chastain and Bryce Dallas Howard
Which one is which? Jessica Chastain is one of the most cast-able women in Hollywood these days, having appeared in films such as The Martian, Interstellar, and Zero Dark Thirty in the past five years alone. Bryce Dallas Howard is an up and comer who you might recognize from Jurassic World and the Seth Rogen/ Joseph Gordon-Levitt dark comedy 50/50. With their matching auburn locks, fair eyebrows, and light eyes, it’s difficult to tell these two ladies apart. It’s even harder because they both have sort of weird names to remember. It’s even harder when you throw freaking Christina Hendricks into the mix, although her chest is in a league of its own.
9. Amanda Peet and Lake Bell
Amanda Peet was known for her movie with Ashton Kutcher, A Lot Like Love, for a long time. Recently, she has been cast on the Duplass brothers show “Togetherness”, Sundays on HBO. Lake Bell never really attained that level of fame. She’s been in two Ashton Kutcher movies, What Happens in Vegas and No Strings Attached, but never as the female romantic lead. She wrote the movie In A World… and starred in it, and although it was a hit with the critics, it didn’t familiarize people with her name in any meaningful way. This is perhaps because she bears such an intense resemblance to Amanda Peet that there is no “need” for her. They’re virtually indistinguishable, so why cast the less famous one?
8. Zachary Quinto and Eli Roth
Here is another set of actors that you may not have even realized were two different people. Zachary Quinto, unless you’re a huge American Horror Story fan, you probably recognize from Star Trek as the new Captain Spock. Eli Roth is best known for his role as Sergeant Donny Donowitz, aka “The Bear Jew”, in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. With their heavy brows, dark, intense gazes, and obviously very thick (albeit clean shaved) beards, the two look like (twin) brothers. Just wait for the moment until they’re cast as two sides of the same coin in a blockbuster movie.
7. Abigail Breslin and Chloe Grace Moretz
Although Abigail Breslin has popped up here and there, in August Osage County and Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens, most people probably still remember her as the girl dancing to “Superfreak” in Little Miss Sunshine. Chloe Grace Moretz has had more luck. She was in Laggies, Kick-Ass, and If I Stay, among others. She’s also set to appear in the Neighbors sequel, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. Once again, perhaps this is another case of the market choosing one of two similar “products.” Coke doesn’t compete with Gatorade, it competes with Pepsi. Although lots of people like the latter, the former is simply more famous. (Following this analogy, would Dakota Fanning be RC Cola?) Point is the two look very similar.
6. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen
Come on, on a list of “20 Actors We Can Never Tell Apart”, there had to be an MK n’ A entry. It’s perfectly true: we can never tell them apart. They look so similar! Hmm… maybe it’s because they’re actual twins, not twins in the analogical sense we’ve been using it so far. Although it’s hard to say that they’re actually actors. It seems that they’ve left acting behind, choosing instead to focus on their giant fashion and beauty empire. They didn’t even come back to Fuller House for one single episode (leading to a cringe-worthy gag where the entire cast stares at the camera after Danny says they’re “focusing on their fashion career” or something.)
5. Ryan Murphy’s Men
Speaking of American Horror Story, take a look at this picture of all the men from season 5. From left to right we’ve got: Matt Bomer (a fried of Ryan Murphy‘s since he played Blaine’s brother on Glee), Cheyenne Jackson (best known to most for his performance on 30 Rock), Finn Wittrock, Max Greenfield, and Wes Bentley. The similarity between the actors has been pointed out in many media publications, including an article on Bustle appropriately titled: “Why Do The AHS Hotel Men Look The Same?” It seems like someone has a type…
4. Matthew Hicks and Prince Harry
Okay, admittedly one of these men is a very minor “celebrity” and the other is a famous face recognized worldwide (thanks, colonialism!) But the reason they appear on this list is because the similarity is so striking that they made a television show out of it. I Wanna Marry Harry was a reality show on which women competed for the attention of the Prince of Britain. The only catch: he wasn’t actually the Prince. He was an impostor named Matthew Hicks. Only at the end was it revealed that he wasn’t actually the redheaded son of Diana, and the question of whether true love would conquer king-f***ing was answered.
3. Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Javier Bardem
Although many people remember Jeffrey Dean Morgan from The Good Wife or Grey’s Anatomy, I personally remember him as Nancy Botwin’s dead husband from Weeds (because I have no life and only ever watch shows of middling popularity that no one else is talking about). Javier Bardem, on the other hand, is categorically known for two things: 1) No Country for Old Men, and 2) playing an effete villain in Skyfall. And if you’re about to be like: “No! He was in Biutiful in 2010″ you can just not. Despite being from distinct ethnic backgrounds, the two studly actors look very similar. Take a look for yourself if you disagree.
2. Jamie Pressly and Margot Robbie
Jamie Pressly for four seasons played Joy Turner on the NBC comedy My Name is Earl. She’s been in other stuff, like I Love You Man and I Hate My Teenage Daughter, but she’s best recognized for her work in the sitcom. Margot Robbie is an up and comer in the movie industry, having recently appeared in The Wolf of Wall Street and Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot. With their blonde hair, blindingly white teeth, strong jaws, and blue eyes, it’s hard to tell the two apart. Although apparently producers and casting directors thought Margot had a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that Jamie didn’t have, because she made it “big” while Pressly only made it medium.
1. Chris Klein and Cory Monteith
Chris Klein, Oz from American Pie, hasn’t really done much since the end of the teenage sex comedy franchise. He had a lot of promise, what with his good looks, likeable persona, and athletic physique, but somehow his career just never took off. Cory Monteith played a VERY similar “introductory” character in the form of the sensitive football playing Finn on Glee. Unfortunately, Cory Monteith passed away a few years ago from a drug overdose, the saccharine optimism of Glee obviously a stark contrast with his tormented inner-life.