There’s nothing worse than when an otherwise solid film forgets to hire convincing stand-ins. The job of stunt doubles, camera doubles, and body doubles alike is to essentially be unseen, with their work masked by production tricks to create a seamless edit.
Sure, it’s hard to find the perfect pairing for a lot of actors, when their distinctive appearance can often be the very thing that netted them attention in the first place. Most infamously, it took a few decades for a believable replacement for Arnold Schwarzenegger to be found, given the actor’s unique physique.
That said, sometimes it can be hard to sympathize with filmmakers when their shortcuts are visible onscreen. The effective immersion created by a convincing story and involving characters can be shattered in a second by the wrong wig or too broad a pair of shoulder replacing the instantly recognizable stars we know and love.
This list compiles a handful of cases, many of them taken from otherwise classic (or at least halfway decent) flicks, where the stand-ins weren’t able to pass for the real deal, and the film’s verisimilitude paid a price.
10. Paige - Fighting With My Family
Alright, so we do feel a little bad pointing this one out, but between being both Ari Aster and Great Gerwig’s new muse and netting herself an Oscar nod, Florence Pugh is very much the woman of the moment right now. So, it’s only fair for us to note that, in one of her first major roles, the actress declined to appear for one pivotal scene and - well, it’s pretty hard to miss that fact in the finished flick.
The Little Women actress did accrue some serious bruises during the shoot where she played wrestling superstar Paige in the critically adored biopic Fighting With My Family. However, Pugh opted out of doing the more dramatic scenes herself, wisely leaving it to the professionals.
Whilst Paige herself was set to act as her stunt double, the star was out of action with an injury during filming, leading the creators to call in Tessa Blanchard. Only trouble is, like Paige herself, Blanchard is significantly taller than the diminutive Pugh, meaning the climactic fight bounces blatantly between the Midsommar actress and a broad-shouldered, square-jawed stand-in.
There’s also the fact that Blanchard is instantly recognizable to many wrestling fans, a lot of whom make up the intended audience of the film…