Sunday, January 25, 2009

Seeing double (again)

For some bizarre reason I find playing with Hollywood twins kinda fun, so I'm at it again. I would like to note that no actors were hurt in the making of this article.

A little while ago my son showed me how to save & paste images together using a very basic programme & I love it - it's really fun seeing who twins up with who & even more wickedly fun when I try them out on my son & he can't tell one from the other (he's a very good sport about it all).

So where to start?

How about with the man who would be prince (Hamlet) & then King (Henry V, Lear & Richard III).

Comments by Michael from Hidden Agendas & Aferrismoon on Twinsel Town reminded me of an article by Gavin from Atlantean Times suggesting that Sir Laurence Olivier sired the knight apparent, Heath Ledger.
(excellent article that is well worth a read).

So I thought I'd have wee looksee at the man of that moment.

I was not familiar with Laurence Olivier, wouldn't have known him from bar of soap, but his name had been branded into my brain from an early age, along with a kind of drip-fed understanding that he was (& wiki concurred) "generally regarded to be the greatest actor of the 20th century."

Wiki also went a little further down a route that both these gentlemen traversed, one on film & one in real life (apparently), that of having male lovers. Once again I find myself surprised at the difference in the images portrayed by actors in both reel & real life. Wiki suggests Olivier had an affair with actor Danny Kaye (well I was surprised) & even an embrace with Marlon Brando. At the very least this was an interesting character twinning between two actors linked together by a formidable writer. Indeed I have been wondering if twinning doesn't run a little (or a lot) deeper than I first thought.

While speculating on images of Laurence Olivier, my mind did it's own little rabbit out of a hat trick & very (very) strangely produced a twinning of one who not only would, but did 'be king' cross purposes in the above pic we have 'Larry' & Prince Rainer - a reel prince twinned with a real prince who married a reel actress & created a reel real princess.

As my mind & I were having quite a bit of fun coming up with alter egos for Larry, we turned our attention seaward, made like Captain Nemo & headed on a Voyage to The Bottom of the Sea...

whereupon Baron Olivier twinned up very nicely with actor David Hedison.

On our return to the surface, Larry had one last trick up his sleeve. With dyed hair & (extra died friend), he transformed himself from a Danish Prince into an agent for his U.N.C.L E & became Illya Kuryakin.

With such an astounding twin-ensemble, perhaps wiki's praise was justified. Interestingly, the man who would be (& often was) king had his ashes interred in Westminster Abbey "alongside some of the people he has portrayed in theatre and film, for example King Henry V."

Anyway we're just having some fun here, so lets see what other Twinsel Town family members popped out of the same hats.

Under interrogation, a friend claimed to have never noticed any look-alike actors. A short time later the conversation ended thus, "Although I always used to get Lee Marvin & James Coburn mixed up" - well, say no more!

& she was not the only one;

"I always have to think twice on Lee Marvin and James Coburn though I'm not really sure why. They don't look that much alike."

My friend Ben from HPANWO had a little link running on a forum & I nabbed the following comment.

"Johnny Depp has always reminded me of Christopher Walken, although I could never really explain why. I've always wondered if Depp could be Walken's son.I remember being amazed when I watched the film Sleepy Hollow (Depp plays the main character) and Christopher Walken turns up towards the end in an uncredited cameo."

I do so enjoy the honesty that runs through many twinning comments. I don't know why, but phrases like "I don't know why but..." warm the cockles of my heart. I honour that phrase because I recognise that the speaker is risking the ever-present threat of ridicule by speaking of something they feel or sense but can't prove.

I must admit I was quite impressed with our speakers awareness. Both characters also seem to twin in their preferred role placement in the twilight zones of Twinsel Town.

A comment on that article also led me to a twinning pic of Leonard Cohen & Dustin Hoffman which I now can't find - although below is the image of Leonard Cohen that was used

Now I have to admit I went a bit wild on this one because I kept seeing other faces in his face.

Like Laurence Olivier, I wouldn't have known Leonard Cohen if I fell over him, but I was familiar with the name. Below is a little number I've dubbed Loads of Leonards - these are the faces that came to my mind when I contemplated Len's face

You may well wonder what Martin Landau is doing in there, I don't know why but... somehow in my research he just seemed to follow on from Jeff Goldblum. I had previously been having a look at Landau because his twin popped up in an episode of Alias Smith & Jones

Very strangely indeed, Landau & twin have the same initials (ML). The latter also twins in name with my Loads of Leonards ensemble, being none other than Mark Lenard. Lenard played sire to the 'Leonard' who prospered in the tv series, Star Trek

Father & son -
Leonard Nimoy & Mark Lenard. Keeping things in the Hollywood family tradition, I found that Mark Lenard "also guest starred in several episodes of the original Mission Impossible, including one with Leonard Nimoy." While of course Mission Impossible was Martin Landau's most famous earthbound day job. Hollywood has certainly kept a very tight (& small) ship.

In re-watching the 70's tv series Alias Smith & Jones, I came across a number of other twinnings. One in particular is so blatant (to me) that I can't believe no one (including me) spotted it earlier.

It's funny but in digging a little deeper into twinning, I see there's a lot more to it than simply a similarity of facial features - perhaps this is what leads to the phrase. "I don't know why, but..." It seems that story lines keep overlapping, both in the reel & real worlds.

From wiki "The series [AS&J] was inspired by the success of the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. There were a number of connecting themes: one of the heroes was named Kid Curry which was also the nickname of Harvey Logan, an associate of the real Butch Cassidy (unlike the TV version however, the real Kid Curry was a cold-blooded killer).
The series also featured a group of outlaws called the
Devil's Hole Gang which was based on the Hole in the Wall Gang from where Cassidy recruited most of his outlaws."

So I think we could say that we have a fairly good twinning under way between the movie & the tv show. If you have read some of my more recent articles then you are familiar with
Pete Duel & his questionable death in 1971. Pete Duel's partner in the series was Kid Curry, played by actor Ben Murphy.

Now this is where the twinning lights started flashing reel bright, because if the following two don't share the same DNA, then I'll eat my hat.

"and a Universal studio exec added, "Here's a sort of Paul Newman look-a-like we've got under contract you can use"

"However, Ben really reached TV superstardom when he was signed up to play the
Paul Newman role in the TV series "Alias Smith and Jones", which was inspired by the hit movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." (I'm fairly sure that the writer of that sentence got it arse about face - Murphy plays the Sundance Kid character - however I think the author's subconscious noted the twinning)

If you haven't watched AS&J then a couple of pics may not do it for you - for me there is something soooo very f-a-m-i-l-i-a-r. Father & son? ...or some other Hollywood DNA connection? I know not, but I sure as heck sense something. In keeping with the twinning theme, Ben Murphy went on to star in a tv show called Gemini Man (1976).

Incidentally, Murphy's "record-breaking journey started with a forgettable one-line role in Dustin Hoffman's 1967 film "The Graduate" - if you were paying attention earlier you will have seen that Hoffman is one of the gang of Leonards & of course The Graduate was that particular Leonard's passport to fame.

There was yet another sensing that came to mind with Alias Smith & Jones. In the series there is a character called Harry Briscoe, a Bannerman detective who turns up every so often on the tail & trail of our good 'bad guys.' Briscoe makes me think of Maxwell Smart (from the tv series, Get Smart) & here's where I get really weird, for these two boys make me think of someone else.

I don't know why, but...

Interestingly, Mark Lenard died exactly 33 years to the day that Lee Harvey Smart 'apparently' assassinated JFK. Twinning up with this Masonic equation we have the tv series Get Smart, where the bad guys are known as (ordo ab?) KAOS

Meanwhile we find that "Creators Buck Henry and Mel Brooks wrote Get Smart as the comedic answer to the successful 1960s spy television dramas such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E" - isn't Hollywood marvellous - it's has programmes to counter it's programmes - is that 'Lest We Awake.'

Here are another set of twins I thought I'd mention - both portrayed as great leaders - Jean Luc Picard & Gandhi

...Oh LOL this is too good -
I just typed these two names in google search & came up with this

"USS Gandhi (NCC-26632)
In the Next Generation episode Second Chances, the Enterprise-D crew find a duplicate of Will Riker that was created a number of years previously. The duplicate [twin?], Tom Riker, leaves at the end of the episode for an assignment on the USS Ghandi."

The follicle free brothers are of course Patrick Stewart & Ben Kingsley.

Another recent personal twin-spotting came via James McAvoy - throughout the movie I kept thinking Peter Parker-Tobey Maguire, indeed there were some older snippets on the net chatting about the possibility of McAvoy becoming the new Spiderman.

Back yonder in Twinsel Town I nabbed a number of other people's comments about the twinning of Tobey Maguire with Jake Gyllenhaal, as I was not familiar with the latter. However once the twinning floodgates of awareness open it's as if one actor leads on to another & then another, making the star spangled Twinsel family seem very small indeed.

Here is another intriguing Maguire twin found on the net

"Actor, Tobey Maguire from the Spider-Man movie looks identical to Canadian country singer k.d. lang. Sure, one's a guy and one's a girl (yes, she's a girl) but ya gotta admit it looks like there's been a little X-Files cloning goin' on"

"And if you've missed k.d. like I have, you'll not want to miss her performing some of her new material live. Her voice is like buttah, and I just look at her and imagine it's Tobey Maguire singing to me, so it's a win/win all around."

and have a peek here

"This is too funny. This nerdy actor from the forties, fifties and sixties looks like Tobey "

A little more swinging through the branches of the internet jungle also led to the tale of one Gerald Fraller who decided to sell his soul on line - no comment (& no bid)

"Apparently Tobey Maguire has latched onto him too, and wants to make a movie out of his life. Fraller is selling his soul to Hollywood, just like everyone else. Variety says Maguire’s production company has bought the rights and they’re planning to produce him as a feature film... The weird thing is that
Maguire actually looks a little like Fraller. Whether or not Tobey plays him probably depends on the script, but as long as it’s with his production company there’s a chance."

Man, following these trails is is like jumping through one of the portals in Crash Bandicoot,
you just never know what's round the corner - well I didn't, mind you I was pretty crap at it.

..."God almighty,"
as Father Ted would have said, I've just found another Maguire twin! - click on the link, go on - there's loads of the bastards! All right, all right I mean there's lots of eye candy (for both sexes), go on off you go & look out for Tobey's other, other brother.

So what's it all about? Is it because movie producers like a certain look -well why & why so many? And can it really be that easy to find so many look-alikes who can act? I have to say I seriously get the wtf feeling.

I do not think we have any idea of how deep our programming has been.

Last night my son & I blobbed out in front of a dvd, but every so often I would pull my consciousness out of the tv & look around the lounge, bringing myself back to this world. It's amazing how you get drawn into the tele, it's just like falling asleep, one moment you are there & the next moment you are gone & you can't tell when it happened. How did we come to live in a world where other peoples fantasies & lies became so very entangled with our own?

My viewing of the goggle box has diminshed ever more in the last few months, but it has left a gap - it was what I used to do for a couple of hours in the evening for all of my life. I get a bit lost with those hours now, it was as if I'd prebooked them in for the rest of my life & I have had trouble replacing them, in fact I'm on the computer here instead. I would like to be creating in other ways, especially with my hands but I seem to have gone numb in that direction.

I can't help but think of tv as a viciously efficient tranquilliser. I was talking to my father yesterday & we discussed how many years ago & for many years, he was doped up on tranquillisers. When he finally realised how deeply he was into them he decided to break free but had one hell of a struggle to do it - this is kind of like the feeling I get with tv.

I wonder if twinning is part of the hypnotic effect that makes tv such an effective tranquilliser. What a mind fuck to be seeing the same people turning up all over the place.

Again I ask why does this twinning happen? Is it just to keep a few bloodlines in the limelight - why? Does the Seance that is Hollywood require a particular bloodtype of priest or priestess to enact the programming rituals? Is it that the double-vision effect knocks our wakening senses out of kilter? I really don't know?

The world of dreams & fantasy is so strong now that it is the stars who give us our daily bread (of programming) & we in return forgive them all their trespasses as long as they keep us in the stupour, movies & magazines that we have become accustomed to. For theirs is the kindom, the power & the glory...

..or perhaps we could just switch off the tv for a bit.