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10 times twins shared a movie or TV role

Insider
Insider
 2022-01-14

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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen played Michelle Tanner, the youngest daughter of widower Danny Tanner in "Full House."
Using twins to play one role is a common Hollywood practice.
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A lot of young roles are played by twins.

Often real-life twins will share a younger role in a movie or TV show. There are strict labor laws governing how long minors in the entertainment industry can work and be on set, so hiring twins essentially allows the crew to film for longer.

Child labor laws differ by state, but according to the US Department of Labor , children in California must not work for more than five consecutive days, and work permits are required.

According to the California Department of Industrial Relations , from 6 months to 2 years old, children can only work for two hours a day, and children between the ages of 2 and 5 can only work for three hours a day.

Richard and Ronald Lee Simmons played "Little Ricky" on "I Love Lucy" for six episodes.
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Lucy holding Little Ricky Jr. played by twins, Richard and Ronald Lee Simmons.

"I Love Lucy" premiered on CBS in 1951 and is arguably one of the most famous television series in history.

Ronald and Richard Lee Simmons shared the role of Ricky Ricardo Jr., Lucy and Ricky Ricardo's son, for six episodes in 1953. It's their only acting credit.

The role was portrayed by a number of actors including another set of twins, Joseph and Michael Mayer, who took over the role for seasons three through five.

"Little House on the Prairie's" Carrie Ingalls was played by Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush.
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Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush as Carrie Ingalls.

The twins shared the role of Carrie Ingalls, the third child of Charles and Caroline Ingalls, from 1974 to 1982, and they were credited as one actor: Lindsay Sidney Greenbush.

They have since retired from acting but participate in "Little House on the Prairie" reunions.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen both played Michelle Tanner on ABC's "Full House" for eight seasons.
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A few episodes did feature both twins at the same time.

The Row founders started acting before they could walk.

They shared the role of Michelle Tanner, the youngest daughter on ABC's hit sitcom " Full House ," which aired from 1987 to 1995, until the twins were 9.

Despite producers initially not wanting people to know Michelle was played by twins — they were credited as "Mary-Kate Ashley Olsen" — they went on to appear on screen at the same time for four episodes.

Dylan and Cole Sprouse played Julian "Frankenstein" McGrath in the 1999 comedy "Big Daddy."
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Cole and Dylan Sprouse at the 1999 "Big Daddy" Los Angeles premiere.

Before they were Disney stars , Dylan and Cole Sprouse shared the role of Julian McGrath, a 5-year-old looking for a guardian, opposite Adam Sandler.

Cole Sprouse also played Ben, Ross Geller's son, for seasons six through eight of " Friends ." The twins did not share the role because Ben did not appear enough to require both brothers, Cole said in a 2018 interview with GQ .

"They only really needed to hire one twin because both of us were incredibly expensive," the "Riverdale" star said.

Cali and Noelle Sheldon played Emma Gellar-Green on "Friends."
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The twins played Emma Geller-Green for over 20 episodes.

From 2003 to 2004, the twin sisters shared the role of Rachel and Ross' daughter, Emma, for 11 episodes.

In a 2019 interview with Insider's Hayley Peppin, they spoke fondly of their time on the show.

"All of the cast were super nice to us — they treated us all like little princesses and when we had holidays and stuff, they'd give us little Christmas gifts," Cali said.

The sisters also played Becca and Lindsey in Jordan Peele's 2019 horror film " Us ."

Malika and Khadijah Haqq shared the role of Penny Lent in Disney's "Sky High."
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Malika and Khadijah during the "Sky High" premiere in Los Angeles.

The character they played in the 2005 film could turn into multiples, a fitting role for twins.

While the two have acted in other movies, such as the 2006 film "ATL," " Sky High " is their only shared role.

Malika Haqq is also BFFs with Khloé Kardashian and the twins starred in a "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" spinoff, "Dash Dolls."

Ella and Jaden Hiller originated the role of Lily on "Modern Family."
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"Modern Family" ran for 11 seasons.

The twin sisters played Lily Tucker-Pritchett, the daughter of Mitchell and Cameron, for the first two seasons before retiring, aged 4.

Despite being offered a reported $34,000 per episode, their parents decided that it was in their daughters' best interest to give up the role of Lily.

In a 2012 interview with Woman's Day , parents Doug and Michelle Hiller said their daughters were not enjoying it.

Actress Aubrey Anderson-Emmons took over the role for the rest of the series.

M. Lamar, Laverne Cox's twin brother, played her "Orange Is the New Black" character, Sophia Burset, in two episodes.
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Laverne Cox, left, and her twin brother, M. Lamar, right.

In season one, episode three, M. Lamar plays the pre-transition version of his twin sister's character, Sophia Burset. The 2013 episode, "Lesbian Request Denied," focuses on Burset's background as she struggles to pay for her sex-reassignment surgery. He also appeared in the first episode of season 3, "Mother's Day."

M. Lamar is a musician, composer, and performance artist — the show is his only acting credit .

Abel Teller from "Sons of Anarchy" was played by Ryder and Evan Londo for seven seasons.
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Evan and Ryan Londo at the Young Artist Awards at The Sportsmens Lodge on March 15, 2015, in Studio City, California.

Abel Teller, the son of Jax Teller, was played by twin brothers Ryder and Evan Londo from 2011 until the 2014 series finale.

Trauma and chaos surrounded the character, which made their performances all the more impressive, and their parents were strict about which parts of the show the twins were allowed to watch.

"We let them see their scenes, and that's it," said their dad, Tom Londo, in a 2014 interview with People magazine.

The twins also shared the role of Gene Draper in the American period drama " Mad Men ."

Tommy Fuller Jr. from ABC's "Fuller House" was also played by twins.
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Fox and Dashiell Messitt shared the role of Tommy Fuller Jr. on "Fuller House."

Following the footsteps of its predecessor, the " Full House " reboot, "Fuller House," cast twins Fox and Dashiell Messitt for the role of Tommy Fuller Jr., DJ's youngest son.

Similar to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the twins started the show before they even knew how to walk.

"When they started at 7 months old, they didn't even know how to crawl. And in the process of doing the show they started crawling and started walking," said their mom, Kacy Andrews, in a 2016 People magazine interview .

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