Table of content    
  1. Dumbledore: Richard Harris and Michael Gambon
  2. Batman: Christian Bale and Robert Pattinson
  3. Princess Diana: Genevieve O’Reilly and Emma Corrin
  4. Tarzan: Christopher Lambert and Alexander Skarsgård
  5. Loki: Tom Hiddleston and Jonas Strand Gravli
  6. Anne Boleyn: Natalie Portman and Natalie Dormer
  7. Helen of Troy: Sienna Guillory and Diane Kruger
  8. Mr. Darcy: Colin Firth and Sam Riley
  9. Thor: Chris Hemsworth and David Stakston
  10. Dorian Gray: Ben Barnes and Reeve Carney
  11. Dracula: Luke Evans and Claes Bang
  12. Heathcliff: Timothy Dalton and Ralph Fiennes
  13. Bella: Kristen Stewart and Jenn Proske
  14. Evil Queen: Julia Roberts and Lana Parrilla
  15. Hercules: Kevin Sorbo and Dwayne Johnson
  16. Jade: Giovanna Antonelli and Sandra Echeverría
  17. Mulan: Jamie Chung and Liu Yifei
  18. Mina: Winona Ryder and Eva Green + Olivia Llewellyn

18 Movie Characters Played by Numerous Actors, but Only One Version Was Favored by Audiences

"Ever heard the saying, 'There can be only one'? Well, when it comes to portraying iconic movie characters, that sentiment holds true. In a world where countless actors take on the challenge of bringing beloved fictional personas to life, only one version manages to capture the hearts of audiences and etch itself into cinematic history.

Today, we will take a look at a fascinating realm of cinema, where 18 iconic movie characters have been brought to life by numerous talented actors. From superheroes and spies to villains and detectives, this article unveils the intriguing journey of how different actors put their unique spin on these roles. 


#1. Dumbledore: Richard Harris and Michael Gambon

There are two types of Harry Potter fans: those who prefer Richard Harris as Dumbledore and those who believe Michael Gambon did a better job.

In the first two Harry Potter films, Richard Harris played the headmaster of Hogwarts. Unfortunately, the actor died in 2002, and Michael Gambon took his place.

It's interesting that fans still argue over who played Dumbledore better. There was even an online poll whose results were almost evenly split. As a result, we can conclude that both actors performed admirably.


#2. Batman: Christian Bale and Robert Pattinson

In the 2005 movie Batman Begins, Christian Bale played the title role and won the hearts of both the audience and the critics.

In the 2022 film of the same name, Robert Pattinson played the new Batman. Pattison had to gain weight and muscle in order to play this famous character.


#3. Princess Diana: Genevieve O’Reilly and Emma Corrin

Diana: Last Days of a Princess was a television movie starring Genevieve O'Reilly. She was so convincing in this role that viewers didn't mind that she didn't look anything like Diana herself.

In the television series The Crown, Emma Corrin played a young Lady Di. And the resemblance between these two women was incredible! The actress tried her hardest to imitate Diana's movements and speech. She accomplished this with the assistance of documentaries, her mother, a speech therapist, and a dialect coach.


#4. Tarzan: Christopher Lambert and Alexander Skarsgård

Christopher Lambert is best known for his role as Connor MacLeod in Highlander, while Mortal Combat fans adore him as Raiden. However, the actor rose to prominence as Tarzan in the film Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. Hugh Hudson chose the French actor to play the English lord because he wanted a new face. The film was well received by both audiences and critics, with one writing, "If there's a better film this year than Greystoke, I shall be astonished."

Tarzan films almost always tell the story of a man who grew up in the jungle and then met Jane. The screenwriters of The Legend of Tarzan, released in 2016, chose a different path. Tarzan was portrayed by Alexander Skarsgård as an adult man who had matured into a true gentleman. But his enemies are still out there, so Lord Greystoke must reincarnate as Tarzan. The jungle is calling!


#5. Loki: Tom Hiddleston and Jonas Strand Gravli

Tom Hiddleston's Loki has a legion of fans, including some of Thor's. Loki will even have his own TV show in 2021. Laurits Seier is a character in the previously mentioned series Ragnarok. He is said to be Loki himself.

Even though it was never explicitly stated in the series, there are a few indications that he is Thor's brother, as well as playful and cunning. Just look at Jonas Strand Gravli's expressions and you'll agree. By the way, the series is frequently compared to Twilight and has an 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


#6. Anne Boleyn: Natalie Portman and Natalie Dormer

Natalie Portman portrayed King Henry VIII's famous wife in the film The Other Boleyn Girl. Both critics and audiences gave the film mixed reviews. On the one hand, the actress was praised for her portrayal of this bright and contradictory character. On the other hand, the film's historical accuracy left much to be desired. This explains why the drama's IMDb rating is so low — 6.7 out of 10.

Natalie Dormer, who played Anne Boleyn in the TV series The Tudors, was the other actress who portrayed her. Although the historical accuracy was not perfect, viewers were much more enthusiastic about the show than the movie mentioned above, resulting in an 8.1 out of 10 rating. However, few people noticed Dormer's performance because Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who played King Henry VIII, stole the show.


#7. Helen of Troy: Sienna Guillory and Diane Kruger

Troy, a historical blockbuster starring Brad Pitt, was released in 2004, with Diane Kruger playing the legendary beauty. The actress was able to convey the tragedy of a woman who became the cause of the death of the man she loved as well as the entire city.

Helen of Troy, starring Sienna Guillory, had been released a year before. It was a low-budget show aimed at the audience that was looking forward to Troy. The series depicts events in Helen's life that were not depicted in Troy, such as her kidnapping by Theseus.


#8. Mr. Darcy: Colin Firth and Sam Riley

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen has been adapted for the screen numerous times, but the 1995 TV series was a smash hit. The scene in which Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) emerges from the lake wearing a wet shirt has been named the most memorable dramatic moment on British television.

Sam Riley's character was more than just a gentleman with impeccable manners. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, based on the book of the same name that parodied the original novel, was released in 2016.

The well-known love story took place against the backdrop of the zombie apocalypse. However, the film's production did not go as planned. For various reasons, three different directors left the project. Natalie Portman was supposed to play Elizabeth Bennet, but she also dropped out of the project. Sam Riley, on the other hand, decided to stay because he loved the idea of Darcy taking part in combat scenes.


#9. Thor: Chris Hemsworth and David Stakston

Chris Hemsworth is often associated with Thor. This Marvel character had to undergo numerous transformations. He was just an arrogant Prince of Asgard in the first film. In Thor: Ragnarok, he demonstrated his wit and sense of humor. In Avengers: Endgame, he transformed into a new Big Lebowski.

David Stakston plays young Thor in the 2020 series Ragnarok. Ragnarok reimagines Norse mythology and is a good option for those who were dissatisfied with Marvel's treatment of the famous myths. The action takes place in Edda, a fictitious town plagued by industrial pollution caused by the Jutul family. Magne Seier, a shy teenager, decides to fight them and is surprised to learn that he is a reincarnation of Thor.


#10. Dorian Gray: Ben Barnes and Reeve Carney

Ben Barnes, best known for playing Prince Caspian, portrayed Dorian Gray in the 2009 film of the same name. This character is depicted in the film as an innocent young man who slowly falls into the abyss of his vices but eventually regrets and repents of all the evil he's done. The film was met with mixed reactions. It has a 44% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics calling this Dorian Gray boring and Barnes' performance lifeless.

Dorian Gray was also a character in the Penny Dreadful television series, which starred Timothy Dalton and Eva Green. Dorian, played by Reeve Carney, is drawn to anything dangerous, so he joins the teams of supernatural heroes. Reeve Carney rose to prominence as Spider-Man on Broadway, and he is also a musician and the frontman of the rock band Carney.


#11. Dracula: Luke Evans and Claes Bang

Dracula has appeared in a number of films and television series. This aristocrat is usually portrayed as a villain, but Luke Evans' character in the 2014 film tells the story of a noble and honest hero who must sacrifice his life and become a monster to save his country and family.

Simultaneously, the 2020 series Dracula is entirely based on Bram Stoker's novel of the same name. When the main character (Jonathan Harker) meets the monster and tries to flee from him, we can see how terrified he is. Dracula (Claes Bang) is not a noble character in this story. He's a sadist and an enemy of all humans.


#12. Heathcliff: Timothy Dalton and Ralph Fiennes

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bront's novel, has been adapted for the screen numerous times. The 1970 film starred Timothy Dalton as a character who was very similar to the one described in the book.

Ralph Fiennes starred in the 1992 adaptation of Wuthering Heights. His film debut as Heathcliff served as a good start to his successful acting career.


#13. Bella: Kristen Stewart and Jenn Proske

The movie received mixed reviews. However, many people mentioned that it became a pleasant surprise to them.

Twilight, starring Kristen Stewart, became the most purchased DVD in 2009. And no one seemed to mind that the Rotten Tomatoes score was only 49%. Vampires Suck, the parody film, was even less successful.

It has a rating of only 4%. Nonetheless, critics praised Jenn Proske's performance, in which she nearly perfected Bella Swan's moody demeanor.


#14. Evil Queen: Julia Roberts and Lana Parrilla

In the fantasy comedy Mirror Mirror, Julia Roberts played the Evil Queen. Tarsem Singh, the film's director, chose her as the first member of the cast. He saw the queen as a self-conscious woman rather than an evil figure. It's also worth noting that the incredible costumes designed by Eiko Ishioka earned the film an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design.

The Evil Queen from the television show Once Upon a Time is a completely different story. Regina (Lana Parrilla) is more than just an evil stepmother who lusts after her stepdaughter's beauty. She has a legitimate reason to exact vengeance on Snow White. Many fans admire this character because of the dramatic background of the story, and the actress won the TV Guide Award for Favorite Villain, among other prestigious awards.


#15. Hercules: Kevin Sorbo and Dwayne Johnson

Many of us grew up watching Kevin Sorbo's Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. So it's no surprise that we tend to compare all other actors who play this character to him. That Hercules was quite careless: he traveled the world with his friend Iolaus, protecting common people.

Brett Ratner's Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson, was released in 2014. We see a broken Hercules here, who has lost his family and can now find peace only in battles. He becomes a mercenary and travels the world with other men like himself. Hercules loses his heart after being duped by an evil king, but his friends remind him of who he is and help him regain his confidence.


#16. Jade: Giovanna Antonelli and Sandra Echeverría

O Clone became extremely popular in its native Brazil and around the world. The audience adored the entire cast, particularly Giovanna Antonelli as Jade. Many girls attempted to imitate her style and learn to belly dance like her.

The series' remake was released in 2012. Sandra Echeverria, a Mexican actress, played Jade, who reworked Giovanna's mannerisms and even danced in a different style. Unfortunately, Sandra's efforts were not appreciated by the audience, who gave the show a score of 6.7 out of 10, while the first O Clone rating was 8.1.


#17. Mulan: Jamie Chung and Liu Yifei

Before Disney's Mulan debuted in 2020, Jamie Chung played Mulan. The young warrior appeared in the Once Upon a Time television series. She was also Merida's battle tutor in that universe. When Disney started production on the famous remake, it was difficult to find the right actress for the title role.

The issue was that they had a lot of requirements for potential candidates, such as credible martial arts skills, clear English, and star quality. Eventually, Chinese-American actress Yifei Liu was chosen from among thousands of applicants.

On Rotten Tomatoes, critics gave the film a 72% rating, writing, "It could have told its classic story with greater depth, but the live-action Mulan is a visual marvel that serves as a stirring update to its animated predecessor." The audience, however, was not as enthusiastic as the critics, giving the film only a 52% rating.


#18. Mina: Winona Ryder and Eva Green + Olivia Llewellyn

Winona Ryder played the charming girl who was also Dracula's love interest in the 1992 film. Dracula believes Mina is the reincarnation of his late wife, Elisabetha, in the film. Mina harbors romantic feelings for Dracula and eventually asks him to turn her.

However, according to Stoker's novel, Mina had a friend, Lucy, on whom Dracula first preyed. Mina is the best friend of the main character, Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), in the Penny Dreadful series. Olivia Llewellyn plays Mina, who becomes Dracula's first victim because he wants to reach Vanessa through her. So, here's the plot twist: Mina in the series is actually Lucy in the book, while Vanessa, the main character, is the real Mina.

What is your favorite character and actor? Let us know in the comments below!

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