What makes a character legendary? Is it the perfect script, the right actor, or a combination of both? Well, sometimes it takes not one, but two or more actors to bring a character to life and make them truly unforgettable.
From superheroes to villains, and everything in between, these 18 characters have been portrayed by more than one actor, and each performance has brought something unique to the table. Whether it's a new take on an iconic character, a fresh perspective, or a different interpretation altogether, each actor has left their mark on the role.
So, get ready to take a trip down memory lane as we revisit some of the most legendary characters in film and TV history, and the actors who made them shine. From James Bond to Batman, and even the iconic Princess Diana, these characters have captured our hearts and imaginations, thanks in part to the talented actors who have brought them to life.
#1 Thor: Chris Hemsworth vs David Stakston
Source: © Thor / Marvel Studios, © Ragnarok / Netflix
Chris Hemsworth is often associated with Thor, a Marvel superhero who has go through huge character development. In Thor: Ragnarok, he demonstrated his wit and sense of humor, and in Avengers: Endgame, he transformed into a new Big Lebowski. David Stakston plays young Thor in the 2020 series Ragnarok, which reimagines Norse mythology and is a viable choice for people dissatisfied with Marvel's treatment of the iconic stories.
#2 Loki: Tom Hiddleston vs Jonas Strand Gravli
Source: © Thor: Ragnarok / Marvel Studios, © Ragnarok / Netflix
Tom Hiddleston's Loki has a legion of admirers, including some of Thor's, and will get his own TV program in 2021. Laurits Seier is a character in Ragnarok who is said to be Loki's brother and is humorous and clever. The series is frequently compared to Twilight and has an 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
#3 Princess Diana: Genevieve O’Reilly vs Emma Corrin
Source: © Diana: Last Days of a Princess / Dangerous Films, © The Crown / Sony Pictures Television
Genevieve O'Reilly portrayed Diana in Diana: Final Days of a Princess, a television movie. She was so convincing in her performance that viewers didn't mind that she didn't look like Diana herself. Emma Corrin played Lady Di in The Crown, and the likeness between the two women was astounding. O'Reilly tried to emulate Diana's movements and speech with the assistance of documentaries, her mother, a speech therapist, and a dialect coach.
#4 Anne Boleyn: Natalie Portman vs Natalie Dormer
Source: © The Other Boleyn Girl / Columbia Pictures and co-producers, © The Tudors / Showtime Networks and co-producers
Natalie Portman portrayed Anne Boleyn in the film The Other Boleyn Girl, which received mixed reviews from critics and spectators. The film's historical accuracy left a lot to be desired, resulting in an IMDb rating of 6.7 out of 10. Natalie Dormer was another actress who played her in the BBC series The Tudors, which received an 8.1 out of 10 ratings. Despite the higher rating, very few people really liked Dormer's performance while Natalie Portman's character stole millions of hearts.
#5 Mr. Darcy: Colin Firth vs Sam Riley
Source: © Pride and Prejudice / BBC, © Pride and Prejudice and Zombies / Lionsgate
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen has been adapted for the screen several times, but the 1995 TV series was a smash sensation. The sequence in which Mr. Darcy emerges from the water with a wet shirt has been rated the most memorable dramatic moment on British television. Sam Riley's portrayal of the character was more than simply a gentleman with impeccable manners. In 2016, the film was produced based on the book of the same name, which parodied the original literature.
#6 Bella: Kristen Stewart vs Jenn Proske
Source: © The Twilight Saga: Eclipse / Imprint Entertainment, © Vampires Suck / Regency Enterprises
Twilight was a hit with young women, but its Rotten Tomatoes score was only 49%. Vampires Suck was less successful, but reviewers praised Jenn Proske's portrayal of Bella Swan.
#7 Dorian Gray: Ben Barnes vs Reeve Carney
Source: © Dorian Gray / Ealing Studios, © Penny Dreadful / Neal Street Productions
Ben Barnes, best known for his role as Prince Caspian, played Dorian Gray in the 2009 film of the same name. Critics called Barnes' performance dull and Barnes' performance lifeless. Dorian Gray was also a character in the Penny Dreadful television series, played by Reeve Carney, who is drawn to everything dangerous and joins the teams of supernatural heroes.
#8 Batman: Christian Bale vs Robert Pattinson
Source: © Batman Begins / Warner Bros., © The Batman / Warner Bros.
In the 2005 film Batman Begins, Christian Bale portrayed the title character and won the hearts of both the public and the critics. In the 2022 film of the same name, Robert Pattinson played the new Batman. Pattison had to acquire weight and bulk up in order to play this legendary role but still received just as much acclaim as his predecessor.
#9 Evil Queen: Julia Roberts vs Lana Parrilla
Source: © Mirror Mirror / Relativity Media, © Once Upon a Time / ABC Studios
Julia Roberts played the Evil Queen in Mirror Mirror, a fantasy comedy directed by Tarsem Singh. The costumes designed by Eiko Ishioka garnered the film an Oscar Award for Best Costume Design. The Evil Queen Regina (Lana Parrilla) from Once Upon a Time is more than just an unpleasant stepmother who lusts for her stepdaughter's beauty. She has a legitimate cause to exact vengeance on Snow White, and Roberts received an award for her performance.
#10 Mulan: Jamie Chung vs Liu Yifei
Source: © Once Upon a Time / ABC Studios, © Mulan / Disney
Jamie Chung portrayed Mulan in the Once Once a Time television series, and Disney
struggled to find the right actress for the remake. Finally, Chinese-American actress Yifei Liu was chosen from thousands of applicants. On Rotten Tomatoes, reviewers gave the film 72%, while the public was less enthusiastic, giving it only 52%.
#11 Tarzan: Christopher Lambert vs Alexander Skarsgård
Source: © Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes / Warner Bros., © The Legend of Tarzan / Village Roadshow Pictures
Christopher Lambert is best known for his roles in Highlander and Mortal Combat, but he rose to prominence as Tarzan in Greystoke: The Tale of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. Hugh Hudson picked the Frenchman to play the English nobleman because he needed a fresh face. The film was well-received by both audiences and reviewers. The Legend of Tarzan chose a different approach, with Alexander Skarsgard as an adult man who had matured into a true gentleman.
#12 Dracula: Luke Evans and Claes Bang
Source: © Dracula Untold / Universal Pictures, © Dracula / BBC One
Dracula has appeared in a number of films and television programs, often portrayed as a villain. Luke Evans' role in the 2014 film portrays a pure and honest hero who must give his life and transform into a monster in order to preserve his nation and family. The 2020 series Dracula is based on Bram Stoker's novel, and the main character is afraid of the monster. Dracula (Claes Bang) is a sadist and an enemy of all humans.
#13 Dumbledore: Richard Harris vs Michael Gambon
Source: © Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / Warner Bros. and co-producers, © Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros. and co-producers
Richard Harris played Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films, but he died in 2002 and Michael Gambon took his place. Fans still fight over who played Dumbledore better, with an online survey showing that both actors performed admirably.
#14 Heathcliff: Timothy Dalton vs Ralph Fiennes
Source: © Wuthering Heights / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, © Wuthering Heights / Paramount Pictures
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bront's novel, has been adapted for the cinema several times. Timothy Dalton starred in the 1970 film, and Ralph Fiennes starred in the 1992 adaptation. Heathcliff was Fiennes' cinematic debut and was a great start to his acting career.
#15 Mina: Winona Ryder vs Eva Green & Olivia Llewellyn
Source: © Bram Stoker's Dracula / Columbia Pictures, © Penny dreadful / Showtime
Winona Ryder played Mina, Dracula's love interest in the 1992 film. However, according to Stoker's novel, Mina had a companion, Lucy, on whom Dracula originally preyed. In the Penny Dreadful series, Olivia Llewellyn plays Mina, who becomes Dracula's first victim because he wants to reach Vanessa via her. The twist is that Mina in the series is actually Lucy in the novel, while Vanessa, the primary character, is the real Mina.
#16 Hercules: Kevin Sorbo vs Dwayne Johnson
Source: © Hercules: The Legendary Journeys / NBCUniversal, © Hercules / Paramount Pictures
Kevin Sorbo's Hercules: The Legendary Journeys was a beloved show. It was about a reckless hero who roamed the world with his comrade Iolaus, protecting common mortals. Brett Ratner's Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson, was released in 2014 and follows Hercules as he becomes a mercenary and travels the world with other men like him.
#17 Helen of Troy: Sienna Guillory vs Diane Kruger
Source: © Helen of Troy / Universal Pictures, © Troy / Warner Bros.
Troy, starring Brad Pitt, was released in 2004 and starred Diane Kruger as the famed beauty. Helen of Troy, starring Sienna Guillory, was released a year later and depicted incidents in Helen's life that were not depicted in Troy, such as her kidnapping by Theseus.
#18 Jade: Giovanna Antonelli vs Sandra Echeverría
Source: © O Clone / TV Globo, © El Clon / Telemundo
O Clone became popular in Brazil and across the world, particularly with Giovanna Antonelli as Jade. In 2012, Sandra Echeverría, a Mexican actress, played Jade, who reinvented Giovanna's characteristics and danced in a distinct way. However, her efforts were not appreciated by the public, who awarded the program a score of 6.7 out of 10.