Stunt doubles are the unheralded heroes of action films. While actors perform the monologues and the close-ups, their million-dollar limbs are too expensive to risk injury to. For that very reason, we have the courageous and the risk takers, the stand-ins used to perform daring stunts and action sequences in place of the actors.
The earliest stunt performers came into film in the early days, somewhere between 1903 to 1908. It’s debatable, but it’s likely that the first ever stunt double was used in The Great Train Robbery in 1903. We know for sure that a stunt double was paid to jump off a cliff into the sea in the 1908 film, The Count of Monte Cristo. Ever since then, stunt doubles have been a mainstay in the industry, taking the falls and the hurts for people with bigger names and bigger bank accounts, while rarely seeking any credit.
With today’s savvy audiences, films can no longer just have anyone perform a stunt. Not only do the costumes need to be identical, the stunt double needs to look like the actor as well. Since cameras these days show us even the fine details of an actor’s pores, a bad stunt double will look ridiculous and will not help the film stand the test of time. That’s why you see stunt doubles who are basically twins to the actors nowadays. The 20 examples on this list not only look like the actors they double for, they move like them; they have the same demeanor and gait in many cases. You’ll still find the odd movie that has an awfully identifiable stunt double, but the best of the best will make you wonder if the actor performed the stunts themselves. The short answer if you’re wondering, is no, they probably didn’t, unless the movie is starring Jackie Chan, then yes. Here are 20 stunt doubles who look identical to the actors.
20. Kate Beckinsale and Stunt Double
It’s difficult to find anyone who looks nearly identical to any actor, let alone someone who can also perform stunts. Now add in the complication of finding someone who is as beautiful as Kate Beckinsale. This is what filmmakers have struggled with throughout Beckinsale’s career. Whoever it was that found stunt double Alicia Vela-Bailey, struck gold though. The beauty has been performing stunts for years in major films for some major stars, including Beckinsale in the Underworld franchise and Total Recall, as well as Gal Gadot in several of her films.
19. Chris Hemsworth and Stunt Double
Former gymnast turned stunt double, Bobby Holland Hanton said he had to go through major training to get up to the size of Chris Hemsworth. Humans aren’t typically made in Hemsworth’s size, so it took 35 meals a day and two-a-day workouts for Holland Hanton to beef up… 35 meals a day. Hanton said the struggle was real because “Chris is naturally a monster and all he has to do is look at weights and he grows.” In the end, it actually looks like Holland Hanton may have matched the build of Hemsworth, if not surpassed it, but even though their facial features are close, he’s not a perfect match for the unnatural Hemsworth.
18. Anne Hathaway and Stunt Double
Jolene Van Vugt was a national champion motorcyclist when she came to the set of The Dark Knight Rises to act as Anne Hathaway‘s stunt double. In charge of driving the bat pod, Van Hugt needed to use her penchant for high speed to not only convince the audience that the motorcycle scenes were real but that she was actually Anne Hathaway. With the eye covers it makes it a bit easier to hide the features that set the two women apart, but overall they do look eerily similar. There’s also a rumor that Van Hugt ran the bat pod into an IMAX camera, destroying it, but that may not be true. We’re kind of hoping it is.
17. Gerard Butler and Stunt Double
Ele Bardha is a hardworking man, performing stunts in some of the biggest action movies around, but it is his work on Machine Gun Preacher that we’re most interested in here. Mainly because of how similar he looks to the main star, Gerard Butler. In real life, the two men aren’t all that similar, but you slap on a goatee, some greasy hair, a leather vest and some fake tattoos are the two are almost indistinguishable from each other (seriously, which one is Butler and which one is his stunt double?). Bardha has also done work recently on Deadpool, Transformers and Batman v Superman.
16. Dwayne Johnson and Stunt Double
For 13 years, Tanoai Reed has been the stunt double of Dwayne Johnson. It shouldn’t be all that shocking that they look so similar because the two are actually cousins, they have been all their lives. Reed has been in pretty much everything that The Rock has been in, doing the most dangerous of the stunts so Johnson doesn’t risk his incredibly expensive neck. That being said, Johnson does do many of his stunts and is no slouch when it comes to action. Reed was also the American Gladiator, Toa, when the show came back the second time around.
15. Harrison Ford and Stunt Double
Vic Armstrong has been in the stunt game a long time. He rose to prominence as Harrison Ford’s main dude in the Indiana Jones franchise and he blew up from there. Now one of the preeminent stunt coordinators in Hollywood, Armstrong oversees the action stunts on a cajillion films including I am Legend, Thor, Mission Impossible, Gangs of New York and many more. Despite the personalized message from Ford to Armstrong possibly giving him the courage he needed to try and make it as an actor, Armstrong apparently never did learn how to talk.
14. Taylor Lautner and Stunt Double
Most people know one thing about Taylor Lautner, the poor guy isn’t the best actor around. But he is a pretty big deal in the martial arts world, or was at least. He was a national and world champion in Karate at a young age, and he translated that into a career in film. Even with this training, Lautner still needs some help performing stunts, especially with the more dangerous or technically demanding stunts, such as those in the film Tracers, which features fights and parkour, parkour and fights. Despite what Harrison Ford wrote to his stunt double, Vic Armstrong, few actors are probably as worried about their stunt doubles beating them out of a job as Lautner. Really, he should be scared.
13. Megan Fox and Stunt Double
When you need a stunt double to ride a bike for you, you have to ask yourself, am I worth it? That’s what Megan Fox was probably asking herself on the set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but then she looked at her face in the mirror and answered with a resounding, YES! Like Kate Beckinsale and several of the other beautiful human beings on this list, finding a stunt double who can pass for Fox has got to be a tough job. Her double of TMNT did pass, though, and with flying colors. With such an impressive young woman who can look as good as Fox and ride a bike, you have to wonder if the filmmakers ever questioned her acting ability. There must have come a time during filming while Fox was sputtering out wooden lines that the crew looked long and hard at the stunt double wondering, maybe we should give this one a shot.
12. Carrie Fisher and Stunt Double
Sitting there tanning together, looking all scrumptious on the set of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Carrie Fisher and her stunt double, Sandi Gross, were like mirror images. Dressed in one of the most famous outfits in cinematic history and one of the primary fantasies of nerds everywhere, the two stunners are impossible not to love. While Gross did perform some stunts on a few other movies, like Child’s Play 2 and Sister Act, she was never able to reach the heights that she reached working with her long-lost twin, Fisher. Despite what her name suggests, this picture should confirm that Sandi was certainly not gross.
11. Johnny Depp and Stunt Double
When people caught the images of Johnny Depp and his stunt double on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which is like the 6th or 7th installment, I’ve honestly lost count, they thought for sure they were seeing doubles. Nope, they weren’t. These are two very different people. Believe it or not. Perhaps it’s easier to match a stunt double to an actor when their costume is so elaborate, but they did pretty well with these two. Not that they did equal work, but it would be interesting to see what the discrepancy in pay was between the two men.
10. Jennifer Lopez and Stunt Double
Talk about twins. When Jennifer Lopez began shooting her music video “Follow the Leader” in Mexico, guests to the set were confused to find that there were two Jenny from the Blocks. The pair of twins turned heads everywhere they went, leading people to ask if J.Lo has a twin that no one knew about. Well it turns out that this was only Jenny from the Block’s stunt double. It’s unclear if the two are related, but they surely look it. As J.Lo reaches the end of her career, she’ll definitely need to use this lookalike more often to do those stunts that her aging hips won’t allow her to do anymore.
9. Daniel Craig and Stunt Double
Does that stunt double look familiar? Well, he should. It’s the guy who’s all jacked up on Mountain Dew that doubled for Thor in Thor. So how can this guy look so much like two different actors who look nothing alike? Well, your guess is as good as mine. Holland Hanton didn’t become one of the premiere stuntmen in Hollywood by eating cheesy poofs and crushing three seasons of House of Cards in a weekend. He spent his time running and jumping on and off stuff. This is what got him the role of James Bond’s action double in Quantum of Solace. This guy does flips, dives, swims, bounces, whatever you need, really.
8. Shia LaBeouf and Stunt Double
Back when Shia LaBeouf was young, innocent and free, he needed stunt doubles, like the one pictured above, to do his stunts for him. Nowadays LaBeouf just waits for someone to perform a stunt then steals it and passes it off as his own, then pretends it was all a social experiment or an art project (or whatever). It’s possible, knowing LaBeouf’s history, that this unnamed stunt double was just minding his own business, having fun, looking like he normally does, when LaBeouf saw it, liked it and plagiarized it. Hopefully this stuntman found another lookalike because LaBeouf doesn’t really need a stunt double now that he barely gets any parts.
7. Mark Ruffalo and Stunt Double
Stuntman Anthony Molinari has been in several major movies performing stunts for some of Hollywood’s biggest names, but it’s his work with his virtual twin, Mark Ruffalo, that is the most interesting. These guys are a spitting image of each other, which is strange because they seem like very unique-looking men. Ever since the similarities between the two was first noticed, Molinari has been a mainstay on Ruffalo films, including Now you See Me 1 & 2, Just Like Heaven, Reservation Road and Avengers.
6. Christian Slater and Stunt Double
Here we have Christian Slater and his stunt double, mister stuntman, filming the movie The Forgotten. It’s pretty hilarious how much the two look alike. Slater has a very unique charisma and he almost certainly has untreated vision problems that could be fixed easily with prescription glasses, but the stunt double looks just like him. Seriously, though, didn’t Slater’s mother ever tell him that squinting will give him premature wrinkles. If he wants to keep the same stunt double over the years, he’s going to have to get those eyes looked at and relax his face muscles a little bit.
5. Tom Hardy and Stunt Double Jacob Tomuri
Did you ever hear that story about the stuntman and stuntwoman for Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road? The two stunt doubles that met on set, fell in love and got married? Yeah, we don’t really care about those two. Here we’re talking about Jacob Tomuri, the other stunt double from Mad Max: Fury Road, the guy who looks just like Tom Hardy. Well this guy has been in some insanely massive films like Avatar, The Revenant, The Hobbit and more. We like that.
4. Emilia Clarke and Stunt Double
Would you just look at that? Sweet lord, Rosie Mac. She really doesn’t even look that much like the unbelievable Emilia Clarke, but would you just look at her? Mac has been Clarke’s stunt double for a while now on Game of Thrones and the world is a better place because of it. Mac is a dancer, a singer, an actress and she’s absolutely stunning. There is a serious debate to be had here. If you were looking for a Targaryen Queen, would you want Clarke or Mac? This is a tough one. We’re here for you Mac. We want to see you succeed in your career, for the good of everyone, so keep pushing.
3. Robert De Niro and Stunt Double
Robert De Niro is getting kind of old. It’s a really sad statement to make, but it’s the truth. Now that he’s getting up there in age, he needs stunt doubles who are there with him to make the stunts look realistic. For the stunts that De Niro’s character needed to do for Bad Grandpa, the filmmakers enlisted a guy who looks just like him. At least in this picture they do. Actually in that picture, it’s really hard to tell the two apart. Sure, the huge glasses help, but the similarities are still uncanny.
2. Natalie Portman and Stunt Double
There’s been so much talk about Natalie Portman and her insane doppelganger stunt double/dance double Sarah Lane, but we’ll wade through it a bit here. Sarah Lane is an extremely accomplished soloist from the American Ballet Theatre. When she came on board and started dancing as Portman’s double, everything was gravy. Upon the film’s release, there was even a video that showed Portman’s face being digitally added to Lane’s body on some ballet shots. Then came the Oscar buzz and a controversy started. How much dancing did Portman do? Lane was credited as “Stunts,” but many argue that she did almost all the dancing. Director Darren Aronofsky, and Portman argued that Portman did most of the dancing, having studied a bit of ballet as a child and undergoing intense training leading up to the film, Portman was capable. You know what, who cares? These two look so much alike and that’s what is most important.
1. Mark Wahlberg and Stunt Double
Which one is Mark Wahlberg? Seriously. It’s probably the one on the left, but you have to admit, they are a spitting image of each other. It’s true, from the front they don’t look as close as they do from the side, but what stunt double is getting up-front close ups? If the camera was on the side of the double during an action shot, it would be virtually impossible to know if it’s Wahlberg or if it’s his body double. Flabbergasting.