If you have a keen eye for detail, you’ll notice Andrew Jackson who plays Grace’s romantic interest Vanaver Mainwairing in season five, appears as David Doyle (The Dynamite Kid) in the second season episode The Champ.

I think you would be surprised how often an actor appears as multiple characters within a television series.

champHere are some other examples:

  • Harry Morgan on M*A*S*H*: Morgan first plays a general in the third season episode The General Flipped at Dawn before landing the starring role of Colonel Sherman T. Potter in season four.
  • Sean Gunn on Gilmore Girls: Gunn plays a character named Mick in the second episode of the series and later reappears in the fifth episode as his reoccurring role of Kirk.
  • Charles Lane on Bewitched: Lane played 8 distinct characters in this series!
  • S. Epatha Merkerson on Law and Order: Before becoming Lt. Anita Van Buren, Merkerson played the mother of a victim.

These are just a few of the countless examples where actors are used in reoccurring roles within the same series. Also, in many series a lead actor is allowed to play an ‘evil twin’. Whether playing a relative of their primary character or a scientific clone, many series leads have had the chance to play alternate roles. For example, Sarah Polley gets a chance to play an evil version of herself, Jo Pitts, in When She Was Bad, She Was Horrid on Road to Avonlea.

While having an actor appear in multiple roles can be jarring to the viewer, it does occur when a particular actor performs favourably in a minor role. Creative contributors enjoy working with talents they know and trust.

Was it confusing to have Andrew Jackson play two roles on Wind at my Back?

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