Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Same Actor, Same Role, Different Language

Gérard Depardieu played what is essentially the same role in the 1991 French movie Mon père, ce héros and its 1994 remake, My Father the Hero. And Penelope Cruz played what is essentially the same role in the 1997 Spanish film Abre los ojos and its 2001 remake, Vanilla Sky. These are the only two incidents I can think of in which an actor appeared in the same role in both a movie and its remake, barring those appearing in short films that were ultimately allowed to grow to feature-length ones. Can anyone else think of actors who have done this? I’m sure I’ve heard of others and I’m sure there are many I’ve never heard of. Please inform me if you know of any.


  1. Anonymous8:34 PM

    Jean Reno in Les Visiteurs and the US remake Just Visiting.

    Josef von Sternberg filmed the German version of The Blue Angel at the same time he filmed the English version. The actors were all the same. I don't think that the English version was discovered until years ago, though. Does that count?

  2. I can't think of any other similar instances but your post made me think of another interesting casting oddity.

    Ocean's Twelve features Julia Roberts playing Tess who disguises herself as Julia Roberts.

    I would guess that this scenario (an actor/actress playing a character who pretends to be their real life persona) must also be a rarity.

  3. In response to Frank:
    One of my favorite bits like this is the Johnathan Brewster character in Arsenic and Old Lace. A running gag in the play is that JB looks just like Boris Karloff and he was, in fact, played by Boris Karloff in the stage play. But when the movie version was made, the producers of the play let everyone reprise their roles except for Boris Karloff (the character was played by Raymond Massey in the film).
    So, basically, the only role that was written specifically for the actor was re-cast.

  4. The main character in the French animated feature Persepolis featured the same voice actress in both the French and English versions. Also, I think the redubbing of the anime Macross (part one of the '80s cartoon Robotech)had Lynn Minmei voiced in English by her original Japanese voice actress. Neither are live action films, but there you go.

  5. Here's something for your little collection, Drewseph.


  6. Anonymous5:44 PM

    Sean Connery played James Bond in both "Thunderball" (1965) and its remake "Never Say Never Again" (1983).