Movies and TV shows give us so many options and allow us to escape our own lives for the day in search of something more exciting and people that are much more interesting. Yes, the actors and actresses who star in these productions may be miles away in the bright lights and palm trees of Hollywood, but we often feel as though they are major parts of our lives.
Throughout their careers and their stints on our favorite TV shows and movies, we get to know every aspect of who they are. We know what their eyes look like in certain lights, we could tell you which way they part their hair, we know which of their co-stars they like and which one they don’t, and we even know what their house looks like – because we totally didn’t stalk their Instagram. Oops.
Yet, once we know everything about these people we start to check out more and more about the show or movie. We check out the other characters, we take in the detailed sets, and we even take more notice of the storyline. Because of this, we often miss major changes that occur within the movie or TV show. You know, like when the directors decide to completely rejig their cast and replace our favorite character! These are the actor replacements you probably didn’t notice…
Lena Headey in Game of Thrones
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in Wildling territory for your whole life, you’ll know that Game of Thrones is kind of a big deal. Yes, there are very few who haven’t either read the books or tried to binge-watch this epic drama series. Because of this, you’ll know that Cersei Lannister isn’t exactly the most popular character in Game of Thrones. She has a weird relationship with her brother, her son turned out to be an absolute nightmare, and she is just a little bit mean. However, we had to feel a little sorry for her when she was paraded through King’s Landing without any clothes on to name and shame her. But did you know this wasn’t actually Lena Headey? The walk was actually undertaken by her body double.
Anita Barone in Friends
Could this BE any more confusing? One of our favorite characters within the Friends universe just has to be Ross. Sure, he has a bit of a weird obsession with dinosaurs and fossils, but he has a good heart deep, deep down. During season one of this legendary sitcom, we learned that Ross’s wife wasn’t exactly happy in her marriage. However, this wasn’t just any ol’ marriage breakdown, because Carol not only left him for a woman, but she also went on to have his baby! Now that’s a family and a half. The eagle-eyed fans amongst you may have noticed that season one Carol is pretty darn different to season two Carol. This is because Anita Barone was replaced by Jane Sibbett after the first season came to an end.
Crispin Glover in Back to the Future Part II
Back to the Future is one of those movies that will forever go down in history for being absolutely awesome and featuring an even more awesome cast. In particular, we loved Crispin Glover’s role as George McFly – but did you notice something a little odd about Crispin in the sequel? Well, that’s because Crispin actually turned down the chance to appear in the second movie! Instead, the producers had to bring in another actor and use makeup, prosthetics, and special effects to transform him into a Crispin-lookalike. Now that is soooo weird.
Penelope Cruz in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
We all know who Penelope Cruz is, but did you know she actually has a sister? What’s even weirder is that Penelope and Mónica could be twins! This likeness came in handy when Penelope discovered that she was expecting a baby while on the set of the action adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Instead of finding a new leading lady, the producers decided to bring in her sister to replace her as if nothing happened. Can you even tell that this is Mónica? Because we can’t!
Luke Grimes in True Blood
Let’s be honest; we love vampires. No, we don’t want to sharpen our teeth into fangs or hunt down our prey, but we do love to watch vampire shows – and True Blood is no exception. The character of James Kent came into our lives during season six and was played by Luke Grimes. Yet, as his character developed and the screenwriters wanted him to enter into a love affair with another male character, Luke decided that enough was enough. He quit the show and was ultimately replaced by Nathan Parsons.
Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Harrison Ford is one of the most legendary actors in the business, so nobody would dare replace him, right? Well, no matter how hard directors try to control their movie set, there are some things that just can’t be controlled. When Harrison Ford hurt his back while filming Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, director Steven Spielberg needed a contingency plan. Luckily, Harrison Ford’s stunt double, Vic Armstrong, was always by Harrison’s side and ready for action. Spielberg often got the pair confused because they were so alike. Armstrong was ultimately used for various action scenes in this movie.
Josh Pence in The Social Network
If you’ve ever watched The Social Network, you’ll know that this movie is all about a twin brother duo taking on Zuckerberg. However, the casting agents eventually decided on two actors who definitely weren’t twins. So, how the heck did that work? Well, Josh Pence and Armie Hammer were chosen to take on the role of the twins and spent months working on their acting skills as a pair. They went to a “twin boot camp” and did everything they could to become inseparable. When filming came to an end, Armie’s face was ultimately superimposed over Josh’s face. Ouch…
Josh Dallas in Thor: The Dark World
Although the character of Fandral the Dashing was not a major character in the action movie, Thor: The Dark World, Marvel Studios definitely struggled to find an actor that would stick. After going through numerous options, they eventually settled on Josh Dallas. However, just a few weeks into filming, Josh had to jump ship as he was offered the leading role in the fantasy show, Once Upon A Time. He was eventually replaced by Zachary Levi, who looks rather different to the blonde-locked Prince Charming.
Ed Skrein in Game of Thrones
With so many characters in Game of Thrones, it’s fair to say that it’s pretty hard to keep up. Their names are all pretty darn confusing, they all have long and luscious locks, and they’re all related in one way or another. It’s the most intricate family tree ever! Because of this, one particular replacement went unnoticed. This character was introduced in season three and was originally played by Ed Skrein. Yet, when season four came around, Michiel Huisman was in the driver’s seat – with a brand new haircut.
Michael Pitt in Hannibal
If you’ve ever watched the thriller series, Hannibal, you’ll know that it’s a little gruesome in parts. Okay, it’s a lot gruesome. Nevertheless, we all tuned in to watch Michael Pitt do his thing. At least, that’s what we did until season three. Because Michael Pitt decided to leave the show permanently for unknown reasons, the producers had to find a replacement. They managed to find this replacement in the form of Joe Anderson. However, we can’t help but notice that they don’t actually look like each other at all…
Jennifer Aniston in Friends
Friends just wouldn’t be the same without Jennifer Aniston in the mix, but can you believe that she was actually replaced? This little tidbit was actually spotted by eagle-eyed fans a few years ago when they realized that Jennifer had been replaced by a body double who looked nothing like her. As the shot panned out, Rachel Green came back into the shot, but it was the close-up shot that had everyone confused. Although it was supposed to be Jennifer’s character, it clearly wasn’t her, even though she was on set that day…
Gene Hackman in Superman II
Can you really have a Superman movie without Lex Luthor? No, we think not. It seems you also can’t have a Superman sequel without Gene Hackman because the producers of Superman II found themselves in the gutter when the actor refused to come back on set. It’s been reported that Gene squabbled with the producers over the treatment of his co-stars, and decided that the role wasn’t for him. Because of this, they had to use impersonators and body doubles just so their movie wouldn’t be Lex-Luthor-free.
John Randolph in Frasier
Frasier is one of the most famous sitcoms to ever come into our lives, and it seems as though all of the characters had a real impact on our belly laughs. Of course, there’s a high chance that you don’t remember the pilot episode, so you probably don’t remember that Frank Costanza looked seriously different during this episode. That’s because this character was played by John Randolph before he was replaced by the man we all know and love, Jerry Stiller. It’s weird to imagine Frank being played by another actor that isn’t Stiller…
Janet Hubert in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
If you were just as obsessed with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as we were, there’s a high chance you spent most of your time ogling Will Smith and his eclectic wardrobe. If this was the case, you might not have noticed that Aunt Vivian looked a little different in season four of the show. Wanna know why? Janet Hubert was actually fired from the show after season three, and it was rumored that Will Smith was the man who put that plan into action. She was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid for the rest of the series, but it just wasn’t the same.
Brandon Lee in The Crow
If you haven’t seen the thriller movie, The Crow, you may not know this little fact. This movie was set to give Brandon Lee his breakout Hollywood movie role – with his father, Bruce Lee, keen to see his son succeed. Devastatingly, Brandon passed away while on set, and the director found himself in a sticky situation. There were still scenes left to film, and they didn’t know what to do. In the end, his stunt double took his place, and they used special effects and CGI to make his face look more like Brandon’s.
Nicholas Brendon in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
If you didn’t already know, Nicholas Brendon is actually a twin. As twins go, they’re pretty darn identical, and it would be a tough job to tell them apart. This came in handy when Nicholas was busy on the set of the vampire drama, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Although Brendon took on the role of Xander for most of his appearances, there was one particular episode where his twin had to step in because he just couldn’t make it to filming. There’s a high chance you didn’t notice, because you can’t even tell!
Luke Tarsitano in Frasier
If any budding directors out there plan to create a movie or TV show that includes a child as one of their characters, you need to realize that you might encounter a small problem they call growing up. Yes, although children often add a little something extra to a TV show, sometimes they grow up a little too quickly. This was the case for Luke Tarsitano in Frasier. Although he was the perfect age when he first appeared as Frederick Crane, his changing looks soon caused a problem, so he was later replaced by Trevor Einhorn.
Natalie Portman in Thor: The Dark World
It’s no secret that Natalie Portman is a legend. She’s an incredible actress, she has worked on some of the most impressive movie sets of all time, and she has worked alongside some epic characters. But did you know her character in Thor: The Dark World wasn’t quite as it seemed? She played the character of Jane Foster throughout the whole movie – until it came to THAT passionate kiss. Instead of kissing Chris Hemsworth herself, his real-life wife, Elsa Pataky, donned a wig and took over. That’s cute.
Paul Walker in Furious 7
We all know the sad story of Paul Walker and his devastating passing, and his Fast and Furious co-stars and crew were absolutely heartbroken by this news. Because Paul had passed away while he was still filming the action movie, Furious 7, the producers had no idea what to do. They didn’t want to carry on without him, but they also wanted to honor his memory by bringing his last movie to life. So, what did they do? They brought in his two brothers to take his place, and then used the power of technology to turn Caleb and Cody Walker into their brother.
Lisa Robin Kelly in That ‘70s Show
Eric Forman is arguably one of the most popular members of the Forman family in That ‘70s Show, but we did have a little soft spot for Laurie. She was the ultimate mean girl, but she was still pretty darn hilarious. You might not have noticed, but Laurie seemed to go through a major change during season 6 – and we can confirm that she didn’t just have a haircut. Instead, Lisa Robin Kelly decided to leave the show on her own terms and had to be replaced by Christina Moore.