Just because you share someone’s DNA doesn’t mean you have to be alike. Sometimes twins take similar routes in life and other times they end up radically different. Let’s take a look at celebrities with their identical or fraternal twin siblings — some you know, some you don’t.
Rami and Sami Malek
Rami Malek has received high praise for his roles as Freddy Mercury in the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, and as Elliot Alderson in Mr. Robot, a psychological cyber-thriller TV series.
The actor distinguished himself with his unique ability to play flawed protagonists — likely because of the intensity in which he prepares himself for a role.
Both Rami and his identical twin, Sami, were born in Los Angeles on May 12, 1981. Sami was born four minutes after his brother. The two took very different career routes. Instead of acting, Sami pursued a very different path in teaching.
Kiefer and Rachel Sutherland
Kiefer Sutherland is best known for stopping bad guys from doing bad things within 24 hours. He’s also known for his iconic role as David, one of the main vampire antagonists in The Lost Boys. The son of acclaimed actor Donald Sutherland, Kiefer’s got show business in his DNA — and so does his twin sister, Rachel.
Rachel Sutherland, however, does her work out of the limelight and behind the scenes, as a post-production manager and supervisor. She’s worked on a long list of television movies and series, most recently on the critically acclaimed series Mary Kills People.
Hunter and Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson is one of the most famous and recognizable actresses on the planet today, but her twin, Hunter, isn’t exactly a household name. He’s had a role here and there in the past, but nothing remotely close to his sister’s level.
In truth, acting isn’t his focus — and these days, he’s got other things on his plate.
Hunter Johansson is passionate about other things — namely, politics and renewable energy. He’s worked on the campaign of a former president and as a community organizer. He’s currently the Chief Executive Officer of Solar Responders, which is a charity organization that provides renewable energy backup systems to rescuers.
Laverne and M Lamar Cox
Fans of the hit Netflix original series Orange is the New Black will recognize Laverne Cox, who plays the prisoner, Sophia Burset. Cox is a staunch LGBTQ+ advocate, Huffington Post writer and actress who holds the honor of being the first openly transgender person nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
Her twin, M Lamar, also absorbed some of the creative genes. He’s multi-faceted: a musician, composer, performer and visual artist. His critically-acclaimed exhibit, Negrogothic, explores the “romance and horror” of being black in America through doom metal and performance art. M Lamar played Sophia Burset pre-transition in the third episode of Orange is the New Black.
Parker and Christopher Posey
Parker Posey has earned herself the title “Queen of the Indies,” for appearing in many critically-acclaimed, artsy, low budget films. She’s frequently cast in Christopher Guest-directed mockumentaries like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show, delivering a memorable performance in all her roles.
Parker’s TV acting career began when she played Tess Shelby on the popular soap opera, As the World Turns. The character actress credits growing up in a family full of interesting characters with giving her inspiration.
Her twin brother, Christopher, took a totally different career path: He became an attorney in Atlanta.
Eva and Joy Green
Eva Green has starred in a number of blockbuster films and popular TV series. More interested in artistic vision than mass appeal, she’s played Miss Alma Peregrine in the Tim Burton film, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and Vanessa Ives in the Gothic Showtime series, Penny Dreadful.
Eva says that she couldn’t be more different than her twin sister, Joy.
Joy appeared in a minor role in the Whoopi Goldberg film, Clara’s Heart, but doesn’t seem to have developed a taste for acting. Instead, she’d rather raise horses with her husband.
Vin Diesel and Paul Vincent
Action star Vin Diesel is truly one of a kind, but that doesn’t mean he can’t share half of his DNA with a twin brother. While Vin Diesel is a bona fide star in front of the camera, starring in heart-pumping action films like The Fast and the Furious, xXx and Chronicles of Riddick, his brother has mostly stayed out of the limelight.
That’s not to say the superstar’s twin is adverse to the entertainment industry. In fact, Vin’s non-bald twin has worked as a sound editor in the past. When rumors started circulating about Vin Diesel having a twin (that used someone else’s picture), the action star took to social media to set the record straight.
Gisele and Patricia Bündchen
Former supermodel Gisele Bündchen is one of the most recognizable faces in the fashion industry — so much so, that people hardly need to use her last name to identify her.
Much more than a pretty face, Gisele is known for pioneering several trends in the modeling industry, and her shrewd business acumen, appearing on Forbes‘ “100 Most Powerful Women.”
While Gisele’s twin sister, Patricia, certainly shares her sister’s stunning looks and sharp wits, she’s taken a different career path. After trying modeling, Patricia switched gears and began working as her twin sister’s spokesperson and manager. The twins are just two of five sisters.
Angel and Aaron Carter
At one point, Aaron Carter was on top of the world. As the younger brother of Backstreet Boys superstar Nick Carter, he became a mega-successful solo artist with his debut album, Aaron’s Party (Come Get It). But many people may not know he has another sibling in show business.
Aaron’s twin sister Angel’s music career never took off the way her two brothers’ did, so she focused on modeling instead. Recently, there’s been a lot of highly-publicized tension within the Carter family. Hopefully, the famous family can resolve their issues.
Jason and Jeremy London
Both of these identical twins have appeared in some iconic starring roles in the 1990s — Jason as Randall in the star-studded cult classic Dazed and Confused, and Jeremy in 7th Heaven and the raunchy Kevin Smith-directed comedy, Mallrats.
The actors have competed for the same role before, auditioning for a part on the 1991 film, The Man on the Moon. Jason won and Jeremy played his stunt double. Both actors have achieved moderate acclaim in made-for-TV movies and television series in the 21st century, but have yet to repeat the success they found in the 1990s.
Dylan and Cole Sprouse
These two starred in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, a Disney Channel original series based on the exploits of trouble-making twins living in the Tipton Hotel. The popular show ran from 2005 to 2008 and spawned a sequel series as well as a TV movie.
The pair is commonly billed as the Sprouse brothers. Their first major theatrical roles were in the hit Adam Sandler comedy, Big Daddy.
Both brothers graduated from New York University in 2015. As a gag, the brothers accepted each other’s diplomas at the ceremony. Being a twin offers plenty of opportunity for mischief.
Tia and Tamera Mowry
This one will be no surprise for fans of ‘90s sitcoms. Tia and Tamera starred in Sister, Sister — a show about identical twins that were separated at birth, only to reunite as teenagers. The show is set for a modern reboot.
Both sisters have had continued success in the entertainment industry after the hit show ended in 1999. Tia has appeared in recurring roles on Rosewood, Mistresses and Me, Myself, and I. Tamera co-hosts The Real with Adrienne Houghton, Loni Love, Tamar Braxton and Jeannie Mai.
Jill and Jacqueline Hennessy
Fans of Law and Order: SVU know Jill Hennessy as Assistant District Attorney Claire Kincaid, who was tasked with seeking justice for the victims of heinous offenses in 69 episodes. She also starred as Jordan Cavanaugh in the hit television show, Crossing Jordan.
The Canadian actresses’ twin sister may not be as well known as Jill to American audiences, but Canadians will easily recognize her name from her work as a journalist and television host.
The twins shared their on-screen debut in the critically-acclaimed horror film, Dead Ringers. Jill also stepped in to cover for her sister in several episodes of SVU, when Jacqueline had scheduling conflicts. Must be nice to be two places at once.
Willow and Autumn Shields
Acting definitely runs in this family. Even though these two are fraternal twins, they still bear a striking resemblance to one another. You’ll recognize Willow Shields from the mega-popular Hunger Games series, playing Primrose Everdeen, the younger sister of the protagonist, Katniss Evergreen.
Autumn has mostly appeared in smaller films, like the 2008 short, Edgar’s Journey. The twins’ brother, River Shields is also an actor, aappearing in several of the same films as Autumn. Hopefully, we’ll see continued success for the whole family of thespians.
Michael and Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher has come along way in his career — from raunchy, juvenile comedies like Dude Where’s My Car and prank TV shows like Punk’d to a critically acclaimed biopic on late tech-billionaire Steve Jobs. But he isn’t the only Kutcher who’s had a remarkable life.
Ashton’s fraternal twin brother, Michael, suffers from cerebral palsy and had to get a life-saving heart transplant at age 13. Now, he’s a motivational public speaker, businessman and advocate for organ donation and children who suffer from his same affliction.
Alanis and Wade Imre Morissette
“You Oughta Know” that one of the most popular singer-songwriters of the 1990s has a twin brother. Alanis Morissette’s brother, Wade Imre Morissette, is also a musician. His talent has enabled him to tour the world as part of The Lululemon Yoga Pilgrimage, which allowed him to perform and promote the popular athletic clothing company.
Onstage, he plays guitar and harmonica, getting the audience to chant and sing along with him. Wade is also a yoga instructor and therapist, and has works published in the Yoga Journal. The man of many talents credits his twin sister as being a “major influence” in his life.
Shawn and Aaron Ashmore
These two twins have made use of their identical looks in several roles but, for the most part, they’ve pursued independent careers. According to Aaron, Shawn usually gets cast as a nice guy, while Aaron gets cast as an antagonist.
Fans of superhero movies will recognize Shawn for his role as Iceman in several of the X-Men films, while video gamers will know him from the critically-acclaimed Quantum Break. Aaron played Jimmy Olsen in Smallville, and currently plays Randall Wishart on Cardinal, a popular Canadian crime-drama television series.
Giovanni and Marissa Ribisi
Here’s another pair of siblings you’ve both seen in popular movies and shows, but probably weren’t aware are twins.
Marissa Ribisi is known for her roles in Dazed and Confused, Pleasantville and Felicity. Marissa was married to Grammy award-winning artist Beck for 15 years before splitting in February 2019.
Giovanni Ribisi is mostly recognizable for his role on the wildly popular Amazon Prime video series, Sneaky Pete. Ribisi also played the part of Parker Selfridge in the 2009 mega-hit, Avatar — a role he’s set to reprise in the upcoming sequels.
Jon and Dan Heder
Jon Heder is instantly recognizable for his memorable performances in side-splitting comedies like Napoleon Dynamite and Blades of Glory. Many fans may not be aware that Jon has a twin brother, who has also found a successful career in show business.
While Jon has achieved considerable fame and attention for his comedic roles in front of the camera, his identical twin, Dan, has carved out a name for himself as a visual-effects artist on blockbuster movies like Spider-Man: Far from Home. The two appeared together in the four-part short film, Sockbaby.
Linda Hamilton and Leslie Hamilton Gearren
Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) from the Terminator films is one of the most iconic action-movie characters of all time. She also has an identical twin, Leslie.
Leslie didn’t take up acting as a career, though she has ended up in a movie with her sister.
Leslie was Linda’s double in a couple of scenes of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, including the scene where the T-1000 imitates Sarah Connor. When you have to film a movie about a bad guy that can take on another person’s likeness, it helps to hire some twins who can act. For that reason, identical twins Dan and Don Stanton also appear in T2.
Nicholas Brendan and Kelly Donovan
Nicholas Brendan is an actor best known for his role as Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Brendan decided to pursue a career in acting as a way to overcome a stutter. The actor found the speech disorder so debilitating, he didn’t date until he turned 21 years old.
One advantage of being an identical twin is always having the perfect double on hand — quite an advantage for an actor. Brendan made use of this advantage in a couple of episodes of Buffy. However, Kelly Donovan has also had some acting roles, though his career in show business has mostly been behind the camera.
José and Ozzie Canseco
José and Ozzie Canseco both became professional baseball players, even playing on the same team for a brief period of time. While Ozzie played well in the minor leagues, he never enjoyed anywhere near the success of his twin brother in the big leagues.
While José was deservedly renowned for his slugging ability, Ozzie never hit a home run in a major league ballgame. That being said, he holds the record for most homers in a season in the Atlantic League, an independent professional league. Hilariously, José Canseco is notorious for sending his twin brother out to events in his stead (much to the chagrin of event organizers).
James and Oliver Phelps
It’s hard not to recognize these twins from their roles as Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter film franchise. Despite having no prior acting experience, the pair decided to audition (six times) for the part. They landed the roles in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and the rest is history.
James and Oliver Phelps haven’t done too much acting outside the Harry Potter series, though they do have roles in the film 7 Days: The story of Blind Dave Heeley. Hopefully we see much more from this lovable duo.
Albert and Allen Hughes
These two twins are famous for their directing skills. Usually billed as the “Hughes brothers,” Albert and Allen Hughes are responsible for critically-acclaimed films such as Dead Presidents and The Book of Eli.
The Hughes first broke into the entertainment industry by directing music videos for hip hop artists Tone Loc and Tupac Shakur.
Reportedly, Albert and Allen are fraternal twins, though the pair suspect they may be identical… Time for a DNA test!
The twins employ a divide-and-conquer strategy when filming: Albert uses the knowledge he picked up in film school to take care of the technical elements of film-making, while Allen works more closely with the actors.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen aren’t identical twins
You knew these two had to show up on this list, right? The ‘80s and ‘90s were full of popular sitcoms, and this pair often stole the show on one of the biggest hits, Full House. At first, the show producers tried hiding the fact that two people played Michelle Tanner, implying that it was only one actress by crediting Mary-Kate Ashley Olsen.
Of course, the secret didn’t last long and, shortly after the secret got out, the twins began appearing beside each other in films and TV shows.
Even the biggest fans of Full House may not be aware that Mary-Kate and Ashley aren’t identical twins; despite bearing an uncanny resemblance to one another, they are actually fraternal.
Judy and Joselin Reyes
Fans of the medical comedy Scrubs will immediately recognize Judy Reyes as Carla Espinosa, the nurse who was the voice of reason when J.D. and Turk acted foolishly. More recently, she’s played Zoila Diaz in Devious Maids and stars as “Quiet Ann” on Claws.
Joselin hasn’t enjoyed the same level of success as her twin sister, but she’s still landed roles on some hit television shows, including Law and Order: SVU, The Blacklist and even as Carla’s sister on Scrubs. Joselin is set to appear in Lady of the Lake, an upcoming thriller.
Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush
Some fans of Little House on the Prairie might not be aware that Carrie Ingalls was played by two actresses. If you look closely, you may notice that Carrie has a slight gap between her front teeth in certain scenes, and in others it’s gone.
Hiring twins to be child actors is a clever way for producers to film all the scenes on set without breaking any child labor laws. Filming a television show is hard work — actors are expected to start early in the morning and work late into the night. With twins, when one actor reaches the maximum amount of hours, the crew can substitute the actor or actress and keep filming.
Sara and Tegan Quin
These identical twins formed a wildly popular indie-pop group called Tegan and Sara. Though they had released several albums before, they really blew up with their 2004 album, So Jealous, largely due to the success of the single “Walking with a Ghost,” which was later covered by The White Stripes.
The pair are both strong LGBTQ+ activists and advocates for cancer research, literacy, music education and marriage equality. Tegan and Sara have collaborated with a wide range of musicians — from punk bands like Against Me! to dance music producers like DJ Tiësto.
Tiki and Ronde Barber
There’s a reason for the term sibling rivalry — brothers are known to butt heads from time to time — but precious few can say they’ve competed against each other in front of millions. Both twins made it to the highest level in American football and even played a few games against each other.
Even better, each brother played on the opposite side of the field: Tiki was a running back and Ronde played cornerback. Though Ronde never tackled Tiki in the NFL, they played against each other in several games. Both had successful football careers, but have since moved on to other ventures, like writing children’s books.
Joseph and Jacob Fiennes
Joseph and Jacob are the younger brothers of another acclaimed actor, Ralph Fiennes. Ralph is known for his role as Count Almásy in The English Patient and as Lord Voldemort in the final five Harry Potter films. Clearly, Ralph left some of the acting genes for his younger brother, Joseph.
Joseph Fiennes has received considerable praise for his roles as deeply flawed authority figures in American Horror Story: Asylum and The Handmaid’s Tale. Joseph’s identical twin, Jacob, has stayed out of the entertainment business, deciding instead to become a conservationist.
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