It’s no surprise that some celebrities look shockingly alike. Natalie Portman and Keira Knightly. Rupert Grint and Ed Sheeran. Daniel Radcliffe and Elijah Wood. However, it’s uncanny when we see almost perfectly identical younger versions of older actors appear on the screen.
It’s like they’re the same person, just, well, younger. In fact, some of the actors look so similar, some of us are guilty of not even thinking that the younger and older versions could be played by different people. For example, I personally thought that the kid and teenager versions of Sabrina from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina were played by the same actress. Turns out, I was wrong.
Hollywood expert and insider Mike Sington told Bored Panda that it's not at all difficult to find the 'perfect' young actor to play their older counterpart. "The reason? The pool of actors is just so large to cast from, even of child or teen actors. And the talent pool is worldwide now. Hollywood is more than willing to look beyond its own borders to find the perfect candidate," Mike explained. Scroll down for the rest of our interview with the expert who gave us a glance at how Hollywood casting works behind the scenes.
Sabrina In The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina (Played By Mckenna Grace As A Kid And Kiernan Shipka As A Teenager)
Stanley In "It" (Played By Wyatt Oleff As A Kid And Andy Bean As An Adult)
Shirley In Haunting Of Hill House (Played By Lulu Wilson As A Kid And Elizabeth Reaser As An Adult)
"I know of no instances where a production had any big problem finding a young act to play an older counterpart. It’s all about the 'look' first. Casting directors start there. The look has to be right for the audience to believe that this is the younger version of the character. Once you have that 'buy-in,' you’re mostly there. The young actor’s talent then becomes important for complete believability," Mike explained.
According to the Hollywood insider, Tinseltown almost exclusively focuses on finding people who have acting experience. Even in the case of young actors.
"It’s a rare situation to cast an inexperienced actor, and work with them during production. That would slow down the production, and of course 'time is money' which is especially true in Hollywood."
Mike added, "Most productions are working under tight budget and time constraints, and there is an unwillingness to work with new talent. An exception would be an actor that is so 'special,' the production would be willing to put in the extra time and effort to make it work. That would be a rare exception, however."
Snow In Once Upon A Time (Played By Bailee Madison As A Kid And Ginnifer Goodwin As An Adult)
Margot In Paper Towns (Played By Hannah Alligood As A Kid And Cara Delevingne As An Adult)
Loki In Thor (Played By Ted Allpress As A Kid And Tom Hiddleston As An Adult)
There are many possible reasons why younger and older actors look alike. Probably the most important thing is that they have similar facial features. Though that creates a huge challenge: you have to find not only someone who looks like the younger actor but also someone who’s a capable actor in their own right.
Other things that make actors look similar to one another are similar hairstyles and dressing them up in clothes of the same style.
What’s more, if young actors are taught to mimic the movements and speech patterns of their older counterparts, you might genuinely think that they’re one and the same (unless the age gap is really big, of course).
Cece In New Girl (Played By Jaidan Jiron As A Kid And Hannah Simone As An Adult)
Agent K From "Man In Black" (Josh Brolin As Young Agent K And Tommy Lee Jones As Older Self)
Lucy In 13 Going On 30 (Played By Alexandra Kyle As A Kid And Judy Greer As An Adult)
Hadley Freeman writes in The Guardian that there are some other reasons why celebrities tend to look very similar.
According to Freeman, older actresses were very similar because they either had the same plastic surgeon or had the same procedures done. What’s more, stars used to have the same high-profile stylists and makeup artists.
But those aren’t the only reasons. Celebrity publicists are very image-conscious when it comes to their stars. So they’ll ‘allow’ only certain looks that change over time with trends.
That’s not to say that this is necessarily a bad thing; however, that does mean that actors have less of a chance to stand out and be original.