There’s just something about watching onscreen twins (that we know are being played by the same person) struggling against each other. Perhaps it speaks to the inner conflict within ourselves, where we have warring impulses (should I eat carrot cake or stick to my diet?) which rage for control over our body.

It’s different when we know that the twins are literally played by different people (like the Olsen twins, for example). When we see good and evil twins fight each other, we want the good twins to win because it mimics that same sort of struggle in our own minds. Sometimes these twins end up being different aspects of the exact the same person.

So here are seven sets of onscreen twins who’ve duked it out on the big screen.


1. Phoebe vs Ursula (Friends)

Everyone knows Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) from Friends. With a surname like Buffay, it’s hard not to. But did you know about her evil twin sister Ursula? With a name like Ursula, it’s hard not to be evil too. Although she was just as ditzy as Phoebe, she was selfish and manipulative, and somehow managed to continuously con multiple people throughout the series.

If you’re a true Friends fan then you’ll remember Ursula’s repeated appearances on the show. She seduced Joey, masqueraded as Phoebe to star in pornographic videos, and refused to attend their grandmother’s funeral. She also appeared on Mad About You as a waitress, which means that both Friends and Mad About You take place in the same universe. How cool is that?


2. Philippe vs King Louis (The Man in the Iron Mask)

Spoiler alert: if you haven’t watched The Man in the Iron Mask, skip on to the next point!

Okay? All good? Ready for some possible spoilers?

So Leonardo DiCaprio plays King Louis of France and the titular prisoner in the iron mask, Philippe, who is the identical twin brother of the king. If this isn’t dramatic enough, it’s revealed that their father isn’t actually the previous king – their father is actually D’Artagnan, one of the Three Musketeers (there are four of them actually though) and their mother is the queen!

In any case, King Louis was a pretty awful king, and when they inevitably replace Louis with Philippe, he ends up becoming one of the greatest kings of France. It’s a pretty good ending, all things considered.


3. Reggie vs Ron (Legend)

In Legend, which is a dramatisation of the Kray twins in Britain’s underworld in the 50’s and 60’s, Tom Hardy plays both twins. It’s not so much a battle for supremacy as it is a case of level-headed Ron keeping the schizophrenic and ultra-violent Reggie in check. The tension in each scene is always about whether Ron can prevent Reggie from acting out and murderising everyone present, and it’s a skilful if over-the-top depiction of the very close, but creepy relationship between the two men.

But when Reggie is unleashed, he goes totally berserk. Which is pretty fun to watch, actually.


4. Austin Powers vs Dr Evil vs Fat Bastard (Austin Powers series)

The Austin Powers series saw the shagadelic spy Austin Powers square off against Dr Evil, who was not only played by Mike Myers as well, but revealed to have been his brother! Mike Myers also played Fat Bastard, who was thankfully not revealed to have been their brother as well – it would have been too much to handle.

But we were all rooting for Mini-Me to win and get his own movie, weren’t we?


5. Sherman vs Buddy (The Nutty Professor)

Did you know that Eddie Murphy’s The Nutty Professor was actually a remake of an earlier 1963 film called The Nutty Professor? In both films, a brilliant but socially awkward scientist creates a formula that makes him uber cool. In the case of Murphy’s The Nutty Professor, the formula helps Professor Sherman Klump to lose weight (since the professor is pretty fat to begin with), with the unexpected side effect of creating an evil but suave alter ego, Buddy Love.

The unforgettable finale sees Murphy playing both Sherman and Buddy as they fight to control the professor’s body. They’re not so much twins as they are different aspects of the professor’s personality, but it’s an amazing display of acting prowess to see Murphy morphing between both bodies as he argues with himself.


6. Clark Kent vs Superman (Superman III)

Superman III may not have been the best Superman film, but it gave us an amazing fight sequence between Superman and himself, both played by Christopher Reeve. The villain creates a pirated version of Kryptonite in an attempt to defeat Superman, but the cheap imitation doesn’t quite work as intended. Instead, it turns Superman evil (and makes his costume very dirty).

It eventually leads to a literal showdown between the evil Superman and his good self, Clark Kent, when the two warring sides of his personality separate and battle each other. It’s an interesting philosophical examination of Superman because it shows that Clark Kent is the good, and therefore valid side of his personality, while Superman is just the mask.

Also, we’re glad that Superman finally got to wash his costume again after that.


7. Gru vs Dru (Despicable Me 3)

And in Despicable Me 3, we see Gru (dressed in black) having to contend with his charming, cheerful, and more stylish twin brother Dru (who is dressed in white), both voiced by Steve Carrell. It also features the return of the super cute Minions, who can’t wait to help Gru go back to doing evil things.

Despicable Me 3. (Golden Village Cinemas)

Despicable Me 3. (Golden Village Cinemas)

Wait, did we say Despicable Me 3? That’s right! Despicable Me is back with another awfully adorable instalment!

Gru finds himself having to team up with Dru, his twin brother whom he really, really hates. But when spoilt child star Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) threatens the world, Gru might have no choice but to ally with his better looking bro to stop the villain from executing his evil plans.

Can this former world domination expert stop someone else from dominating the world, or will the poor Minions be the collateral damage in the clash between villains?

Catch Despicable Me 3 to find out!


Credits: Golden Village Cinemas