THN’s Top Actors Playing The Same Character At Different Ages

In case you hadn’t noticed, LOOPER is one of those sci-fi movies in which two actors – who don’t always actually look like each other – play the same character at different ages with varying degrees of success. Here it’s Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt…







Close, but lacking something. Hence the subtle prosthetics, and contact lenses, to make JGL look a little more like Brucey…








But how does it stand up against other Hollywood attempts? There’s only one way to find out, but getting everyone in here for a massive punch-up would be a logistical nightmare. So, instead, here we go with THN’s Top Actors-Playing-The-Same-Character-At-Different-Ages(-In-Sci-Fi-Movies).


While pretty much every superhero movie going has at least one scene with the to-be-hero as a wee nipper, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS goes one further by devoting an entire franchise to their formative years. And yes, while Beast and Mystique get the younger-actor treatment too, well… under that makeup it makes little odds.







Patrick Stewart                    James McAvoy

5’10                                          5’7*

Likeness Rating: Very good.

*He’s a little short. Not that it really matters in a wheelchair.







Sir Ian McKellen                Michael Fassbender

5’11                                          6’

Likeness Rating: Scary


While the series’ hero John Connor has been played by at least six different actors, on average they don’t really look like each other. Of course, his dear old dad gets the same treatment in the fourth in the series.







Michael Biehn                      Anton Yelchin

6’                                               5’9

Likeness rating:  Pretty good, actually.


Another Time-travel tale, wherein Dr Evil travels back in time to steal Mr Powers’ MoJo, enlisting the help of his 30-years-younger henchmen.

Robert Wagner                   Rob Lowe

5’11                                          5’11

Likeness rating: Uncanny


Another entry for Sir Patrick here; this time it’s an Evil Clone. Okay, it doesn’t really count, but it’s still the same man at two points in his life.







Patrick Stewart                  Tom Hardy

5’10                                        5’10

Likeness Rating: Uncanny. And an extra point to Tom Hardy for matching Stewart’s speech and mannerisms so spookily.


While Anakin may have gone through (a lot) more actors, the fact he had most of his skin burned off might have swayed things a bit. With that in mind, let’s look at Obi-Wan, the only other “human” character to appear in all six movies. (Palpatine doesn’t count and neither do the droids, okay. Nor Chewbacca or Yoda. Just shush, okay?)







Alec Guinness                     Ewan McGregor

[Episodes IV-VI]               [Episodes I-III]

5’10                                         5’10

Likeness Rating: Remarkable. Shame about the moles. Though I guess he could have gotten them removed during his time on Tatooine. Maybe…

AGENT K in MEN IN BLACK 3 (2012)

In which Will Smith jumps (literally) back in time to save his partner in the past…







Tommy Lee Jones            Josh Brolin

6’                                             5’10

Likeness Rating? Freakin Scary.

Though in fairness, good ol’ JGL should lose a few points for needing prosthetics, but hey, who else on the planet looks like Bruce Willis.

Whether the kid can pull off acting like Bruce Willis is subject for another article


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  1. Michael

    September 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    What about the young Spock and the old Spock? (ST 2009)

  2. Rob Burch

    September 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    That would have earned a “Freakin scary” rating.
    I was going to put Spock in, but then I felt I’d have to put the *whole cast* through the wringer and that would have taken up too much room/ time.
    Maybe I’ll do another one when STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is a little closer.
    Keep watching the Skies!

  3. Dan Bullock

    September 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Yeah, Quinto was spot on but definitely understood!

  4. Erica

    October 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Re: MIB, they’d already shown Jones’s character in the past with the, “Aww, you brought that tall man some flowers,” scene. FAIL

  5. eri

    October 14, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Where is brando and de niro? Both played vito corleone

  6. Inthegray

    October 26, 2012 at 5:13 am

    the young and old spock looks nothing alike and being a true Trekkie I can easily spot the differences(Watch the pilot of TOS with Pike and the ‘young spock’ and you will see there is no way in hell they got that right. they even screwed up Will’s Kirk younger self wrong as did they screw up all the others.

    I seen them all from TOS and I know what their true younger selves looked like and they missed the ball each and every time.

    but then I don’t expect wannabe Trekkies to understand, notice, or care.

  7. PhantomCart2nist

    October 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    How about old and young Bilbo

  8. Eustace

    November 5, 2012 at 3:25 am

    How can they even have this list without Brando and DeNiro as Vito Corleone! Both won Oscars playing the same character at different ages!

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