10 Times Two Actors Perfectly Executed The Same Character

When iconic roles have been exquisitely performed... in uniquely different ways.

Joker Jack Nicholson Heath Ledger
Warner Bros.

At the heart of every good movie sits an engaging character that audiences will either love or hate. And the development of that person and their relationship with other characters will always be a key factor in telling a good story. We live in an age where popular films from the past are often revisited, and we are seeing more and more examples of different actors playing the same roles.

Stepping into the enormous shoes of an established and iconic character can often be seen as a daunting task, where inevitably the actor is either going to do the role justice in their own way, or potentially fall flat on their face. In addition to remaking classic movies from yesteryear, we are also seeing modern films - specifically from the superhero/comic book genre - being rebooted, often within the space of just a few years.

Since the beginning of the millennium, we’ve already seen three different versions of Spider-Man, with Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland all stepping into the role, and all doing a decent enough job. However, there are also a number of other shared performances that absolutely stand out from the crowd.

10. Freddy Krueger - Robert Englund & Jackie Earle Haley

Joker Jack Nicholson Heath Ledger
New Line Cinema/Warner Bros.

Writer and director Wes Craven changed the face of the horror genre when he created A Nightmare On Elm Street in 1984 and unleashed the terrifying antagonist Freddy Krueger onto an unsuspecting audience. The movie broke new ground with the character, a razor-fingered demon who stalks his teenage victims in a place they have no escape from… their dreams. The concept devised by Craven allowed for endless creative possibilities for what the killer was capable of doing. And in Robert Englund, he found the perfect actor to take on the despicable role.

Englund would play Freddy in seven sequel movies and truly made the role his own, although it is fair to say that over time the quality of the films drastically diminished. The character of Freddy would eventually become a parody of himself, leaning heavily on humour over horror. Then, the unimaginable happened when the series was rebooted by director Samuel Bayer, with a new version of A Nightmare On Elm Street in 2010 and with Jackie Earle Haley stepping up to play Krueger.

The movie was almost completely discounted by the franchise's fickle fanbase. However, despite this Haley would actually go on to create an entirely acceptable version of Freddy; moving the character back into darker waters, foregoing the humour and providing a version that was about as good as you could hope for, without Robert Englund himself donning the dirty striped jumper and knife-fingered glove.

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Connoisseur of Alternative Music & Cult Movies. Freelance writer covering the Rock & Metal music scenes, and the Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film & Tv genres.