33 TV Actor Side-By-Sides That Are Simply Brilliant And Prove Casting Directors Deserve More Credit

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Karen Gillan met her cousin for the very first time after she was cast as a young Amy Pond on Doctor Who.

1. First, Sophie Nélisse and Melanie Lynskey as Shauna from Yellowjackets


Speaking about working with Sophie, Melanie said she was constantly impressed and "inspired" by her work at their virtual table reads. She said, "I think the scripts do a really nice job of transitioning from one timeline to another, and so it was really helpful to hear Sophie’s performance and have that in mind for where to pitch mine emotionally so it would be kind of seamless."

2. Samantha Hanratty and Christina Ricci as Misty from Yellowjackets


Samantha originally went in to audition for Natalie, but was eventually asked to audition for Misty. Speaking about collaborating on Misty with Christina, Samantha said, "[Christina and I] both had a similar diagnosis of Misty before we even started collaborating. We both have that same love for characters like this."

3. Jasmin Savoy Brown and Tawny Cypress as Taissa from Yellowjackets


Talking about sharing the role of Taissa with Jasmin, Tawny said, "Jasmin and I both understand [Taissa] to her core. So a lot of what we brought to the character was just innate and matched up. We worked really hard to find a level ground in the things that make Taissa — Taissa."

4. Louis Hofmann and Andreas Pietschmann as Jonas Kahnwald/The Stranger from Dark


Unlike other series, Louis and Andreas purposefully decided "not to get together too much to talk about Jonas." Andreas explained that part of the "richness of the character" came from it being played by three different actors. Meanwhile, Louis gave a lot of credit to the casting department for picking actors who are "naturally plausible as the same person."

5. Matilda Lawler and Mackenzie Davis as Kirsten Raymonde from Station Eleven


The first time Matilda and Mackenzie met was when they did a camera test during the audition process. In fact, they didn't have any conversations about playing the same character before filming. Mackenzie explained, "Matilda kind of originated the character, which also feels right to me. I don’t think you’re one person in your entire life. There are through lines. I think the casting is incredible with Matilda and me, and there are really subtle strains between the two of us."

6. Darnell Besaw and Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez from Hawkeye

Marvel / Disney+

Darnell is actually Alaqua's cousin in real life. In order to portray the younger Maya Lopez, who is deaf, Darnell learned ASL for the role. Alaqua shared her love for Darnell on her Instagram after her Hawkeye episode aired with the caption, "We out here representing our Menominee tribe."

7. Mamadou Haidara and Omar Sy as Assane from Lupin


Omar turned to Mamadou quite a lot when preparing to play Assane in Lupin. He explained, "I thought it’d be interesting to see what Mamadou Haidara, the young actor who plays the younger version of my character, would do with it, and then use that in my acting. When you take this into account you have more leeway to explore things, because you have this backstory that informs your acting."

8. Izabela Vidovic and Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers from Supergirl

The CW

Talking about seeing Izabela and Olivia Nikkanen inhabit the younger versions of Kara and Alex Danvers, Chyler Leigh said, "[Olivia] and Bela over the years have really nailed, I mean, even to the tiniest nuances of Alex and Kara. To watch them do what they were doing was such a trip."

9. Olivia Nikkanen and Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers from Supergirl

The CW

Chyler actually directed Olivia and Izabela during the final season of Supergirl. She said she didn't even have to direct Olivia (or Izabela much) because she has Alex down so well. Chyler explained, "I didn’t have to direct her. Really only on a couple little things. What I was trying to do, both with she and Bela, was just to have fun by giving them just little things — either the way that they were standing, or like a little look, or something to the two of them that’s almost like a little wink or a nod to how we are in the future."

10. Barrett Carnahan and Martin Kove as John Kreese from Cobra Kai


To celebrate being cast as young Kreese, Barrett posted a sweet Instagram photo alongside Martin. The caption detailed how when he first met Martin on set of Cobra Kai, Martin exclaimed, "Damn, he DOES look like me." Also, Barrett's first scene in Cobra Kai was alongside Martin's real-life son, who was cast in the flashback too.

11. Nikki Roumel and Brianne Howey as Georgia Miller from Ginny & Georgia


Speaking about working with Nikki on creating Georgia, Brianne said, "We started more with just the physicality [of Georgia]. They highlighted her hair to match what mine already was. But the rest was just kind of hanging out. A lot of it was just her instincts. She did a lot of [the character development] on her own, and I was completely blown away by her performance." Also, for Halloween in 2019, Nikki dressed up as Brianne's character from The Passage.

12. Daelo Jin Walton and Javon "Wanna" Walton as Ashtray from Euphoria


Daelo is actually Javon's younger brother in real life, so his casting as little Ashtray in the Euphoria Season 2 premiere is simply perfect. This was Daelo's first TV credit and his first time acting on screen.

13. Kyra Adler and Sydney Sweeney as Cassie Howard from Euphoria


Kyra's work as the 11-year-old version of Cassie on Euphoria Season 1 is actually her one and only acting credit so far.

14. Kaylan Teague and Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov from Shadow and Bone


Kaylan Teague's role as young Alina in Shadow and Bone was one of her first major roles. Before this, she appeared in two other TV shows. After the first season dropped on Netflix, Kaylan shared several adorable photos alongside Jessie and Cody Molko, who played young Mal.

15. Jaidan Jiron and Hannah Simone as Cece Parekh from New Girl


Jaidan guest starred in five episodes of New Girl as young Cece with her last appearance happening in Season 5. Since New Girl, she's gone on to appear in several other TV shows like Supergirl, Legion, and Speechless.

16. Colin Ford and Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester from Supernatural

The CW

Colin starred as young Sam in six episodes of Supernatural over the course of nine years. During the show's final season, Colin adorably thanked Jared and the entire cast and crew, saying, "Playing young Sam was a big part of my life. I grew up acting on the show, watching the show, so it holds very true to my heart. I wish all of the cast and crew continued success on their journeys, and thank you, Jared Padalecki, for letting me play the younger you."

17. Brock Kelly and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester from Supernatural

The CW

When Brock appeared in "After School Special" as young Dean, Jensen actually gave him some advice on playing the beloved character. "Always play him tougher than he thinks he is," Jensen recalled. "He’ll get there one day, but right now, he’s gotta fake it until he makes it. Be tougher than you think you need to be because then the vulnerable moments actually come out better."

18. Caitlin Blackwood and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond from Doctor Who

BBC America

Caitlin is actually Karen's cousin, but they met for the first time when Caitlin was cast as 9-year-old Amy Pond in the Doctor Who Season 5 premiere. Caitlin grew up in Northern Ireland and Karen grew up in Scotland, which was the reason they'd never crossed paths. Talking about the emotional meeting, Caitlin's mom said, "They actually only met for the first time at the read-through on set. It was an emotional moment. People kept commenting that they were so alike."

19. Lucas Booth-Clibborn and Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset from Bridgerton


Lucas's work as the 11-year-old version of Simon in Bridgerton Season 1 marked his first major TV role. He previously only appeared in a TV documentary. 

20. Mckenna Grace and Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina


When Kiernan found out the show was going to do an episode featuring a younger version of Sabrina, she suggested Mckenna. Creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said, "When Kiernan heard we were doing lil' Sabrina, she texted me a picture of her with Mckenna and said, ‘You have to get Mckenna. She’s like me as a little girl and we’re dead ringers.'"

21. Mckenna Grace and Kate Siegel as Theo Crain from Haunting of Hill House


While filming The Haunting of Hill House, Mckenna was also filming The Bad Seed while also preparing to play young Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. She said, "I’d go from The Haunting to The Bad Seed, and then on the weekend, I would go fly to L.A. to train and learn how to do stuff for Captain Marvel." Mckenna has played the young version of several other notable characters too, like young Emma Swan on Once Upon a Time and young Caroline Forbes on The Vampire Diaries.

22. Lulu Wilson and Elizabeth Reaser as Shirley Crain from Haunting of Hill House


Speaking about working on Hill House, Lulu said, "Carla [Gugino] is just the sweetest human being. She just treated us kids like we were adults which I appreciated very much. Me and Violet [McGraw] are like sisters. We have that same bond. She even taught me things on set which is great because on set she was 6-years-old and she’s just the most mature little 6-year-old you’d ever meet."

23. Rachel Hilson and Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth Pearson from This Is Us


When she was cast as young Beth on This Is Us, Rachel spent a lot of time studying Susan's performance from the previous seasons. She said, "I love playing Beth because I love having something to work from, like Susan's performance. It's a challenge in a really fun way."

24. Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Hannah Zeile, and Chrissy Metz as Kate Pearson from This Is Us


Before meeting again on This Is Us, Chrissy was actually Hannah's commercial agent before they both landed their starring roles as Kate Pearson. Hannah said, "I saw [Chrissy] in the makeup trailer here and she was like, 'This is so weird. I totally remember looking through your head shots.' And I was like, 'Oh my god, I'm playing you. This is so crazy.'"

25. Dasany Kristal Gonzalez and Dascha Polanco as Daya Diaz from Orange Is the New Black


Dasany is actually Dascha's oldest daughter, so when it came time to cast a a teenage Daya on Orange Is the New Black, the casting directors knew exactly who to call. In the past, Dascha has opened up about becoming a mom at 17-years-old and how raising Dasany is one of the greatest things. 

26. Ashley Jordyn and Henny Russell as Carol Denning from Orange Is the New Black


Ashley and Henny approached playing Carol a little differently, since they were playing her in two completely different stages in her life. Speaking about young Carol, Ashley said, "This is just my take, Henny Russell would probably have different answers, but for young Carol, I think the best theme would be a 'cycle of violence.' There are a bunch of examples from the storyline where she is both a victim of, and a perpetrator of, violence."

27. Elisha Henig and Ramy Youssef as Ramy from Ramy


Before appearing as a young Ramy on Ramy, Elisha also played the younger version of Simon on Transparent. He's also starred in several other award-nominated series like The Sinner, Mr. Robot, and more.

28. AnnaSophia Robb and Reese Witherspoon as Elena Richardson from Little Fires Everywhere


Reese was actually the person who suggested that AnnaSophia play the younger version of her character because she knew how much they looked alike. In order to learn Reese's voice, AnnaSophia listened to her audiobook before filming began. She explained, "I’m such a huge fan of Reese Witherspoon. She’s been one of my heroes pretty much my entire life, so I listened to Reese’s book on tape because I wanted to get as close to her voice as possible."

29. Tiffany Boone and Kerry Washington as Mia Warren from Little Fires Everywhere


To prepare for the role of young Mia, Tiffany went to set when she wasn't filming in order to watch Kerry. Tiffany explained, "I would pick certain scenes I felt I really needed to see her work on. I wrote notes and paid close attention to the way her body moved — the way her head tilted, the way she listened, all of that. Kerry's such a specific actress, which was really a gift to me. I wanted to make sure I was getting the essence of her and her body, not mimicking or doing an impression of her."

30. Ethan Hwang and Justin H. Min as Ben Hargreeves from Umbrella Academy


Once Justin found out Ethan was cast as young Ben, he made sure to reach out to him so they could get to know each other. Justin said, "I knew early on Ethan was going to play my younger self. I called him up and visited him as soon as I landed in Toronto. We certainly got along. He’s like a second family to me. We had a lot of discussions about the character. We wanted a similar essence. It made sense I would playing an older version of him."

31. Bailee Madison and Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White from Once Upon a Time


Bailee appeared as young Snow White in five episodes of Once Upon a Time over the course of four years. After the show wrapped, Bailee, Ginnifer, and Josh Dallas remained good friends and even did a livestream together in 2020 where they reminisced about their time together on the show and how similar Bailee and Ginnifer are in real life too.

32. Cailey Fleming and Sophia Di Martino as Sylvie from Loki

Marvel / Disney+

Due to all of the Marvel secrecy, Cailey actually had no idea she was playing young Sylvie until she watched the episode. She said, "Whenever I was filming, I only got my scenes. I didn't get the script for the episode or anything. I had no idea what was going on." Cailey also played young Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

33. And finally, Ben Savage and Mandy Patinkin as Jason Gideon from Criminal Minds and Saul Berenson from Homeland

CBS / Showtime

After appearing as young Gideon on Criminal Minds, the Homeland team enlisted Ben's help in playing a younger Mandy once again. Originally, Homeland was going to de-age Mandy for the flashbacks during the final season, but instead casting director Judy Henderson remembered Ben on Criminal Minds and had him come in and read for the role of young Saul. 

We can't fit everyone into one post, so what other younger vs. older TV castings are phenomenal? Tell us in the comments below!

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