It is not unusual for an actor to play more than one comic book character role. Sometimes this means they first star in a DC movie before switching sides to the Marvel movies (and vice versa) or appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe years after playing an entirely different character from Marvel Comics in a film that predates the shared universe’s creation.
However, what if I told you that there are also many cases of actors who have double-dipped in the MCU? While the Marvel movies’ timeline is usually pretty tight, there are a surprising amount of times when the same actor played more than one character in the same interconnected franchise and the following are just 12 examples of such Marvel movie characters — starting with one you might have already known about.
Sean Gunn – Rocket Raccoon, Kraglin (Guardians Of The Galaxy Movies, Avengers: Endgame, Thor: Love And Thunder)
The Guardians of the Galaxy’s furry weapons expert, Rocket Raccoon, is a role shared between Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper providing his Boston-accented voice and director James Gunn’s brother, Sean Gunn, performing the mo-cap on set. Gunn has also appeared “alongside himself” in three occasions as former Ravager, Kraglin.
Laura Haddock – Autograph Seeker (Captain America: The First Avenger), Meredith Quill (Guardians Of The Galaxy Movies)
Speaking of Guardians of the Galaxy stars, most fans are likely to recognize British actor Laura Haddock as Peter Quill’s mother, Meredith, in the cold open flashbacks from the first movie and its sequel. However, the Downton Abbey: A New Era cast member’s MCU tenure actually dates back to 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, in which she plays a 1940s-era woman affectionately approaching Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) for an autograph.
Kenneth Choi – Jim Morita (Captain America: The First Avenger), Principal Morita (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Speaking of Captain America: The First Avenger stars, Private Jim Morita — Steve Rogers’ Japanese-American teammate on the Howliing Commandos — was played by Kenneth Choi. The actor (also part of the DC Extended Universe as a Yakuza Boss in Suicide Squad) would later appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Morita’s grandson, who also happens to be Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) high school principal.
Benedict Cumberbatch – Doctor Strange, Dormammu (Doctor Strange)
Here is another interesting example of a Marvel actor appearing as two different characters in the same movie. Benedict Cumberbatch debuted as one-time Sorcerer Supreme Stephen Strange in 2016’s Doctor Strange, in which he also provided the voice of the ruler of the Dark Dimension, Dormammu. Talk about being your own worst enemy.
Clancy Brown – Ray Schoonover (Daredevil, The Punisher), Surtur (Thor: Ragnarok)
Another actor who gave a memorable Marvel movie performance as a giant CGI villain is Clancy Brown, who was the voice of the Fire Demon, Surtur, in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok. That same year, the SpongeBob SquarePants star (also famous for voicing Superman nemesis, Lex Luthor in many animated DC titles) would reprise his Daredevil role as Major Schoovover on the short-lived spin-off, The Punisher.
Patton Oswalt – The Koenig Brothers (Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Pip The Troll (Eternals)
Comedian Patton Oswalt has leant his distinct voice to many, many comic book characters, including a troll named Pip in the mid-credits scene from Eternals in 2021. Before then, he would appear on several episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as four different characters: identical quintuplets Sam, Eric, Billy, and Thurston Koenig, making him the current holder for the record of most MCU-canon characters portrayed by one person.
Enver Gjokaj - Young Cop (The Avengers), Daniel Sousa (Agent Carter, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
One example of an actor who debuted in the MCU with something small before re-emerging with something much bigger is Enver Gjokaj. He played an unnamed police officer in 2012’s The Avengers before starring on Agent Carter and the final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as World War II soldier-turned-strategic operative, Daniel Sousa.
Gemma Chan – Minn-Erva (Captain Marvel), Sersi (Eternals)
Outside of those who played two characters in the same movie, English actor Gemma Chan has one of the smallest windows of time between her first MCU character and her second. In 2019, she donned blue makeup to play Kree Imperial warrior Minn-Erva in Captain Marvel and, in literally the same year, was announced as part of the Eternals cast in the role of Sersi.
Alfre Woodard – Miriam Sharpe (Captain America: Civil War), Black Mariah (Luke Cage)
Someone who can top Gemma Chan’s record in time between her characters’ official appearances is Academy Award nominee Alfre Woodard, who appeared in one memorable scene from 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, opposite Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, as Miriam Sharpe — a woman grieving the unseen death of her son during the final act of Avengers: Age of Ultron. That same year, just months later, she debuted on Luke Cage as Mariah “Black Mariah” Dillard, whose cousin is Harlem crime boss Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes.
Mahershala Ali – Cottonmouth (Luke Cage), Blade (Eternals)
Speaking of Cottonmouth, the crime boss on Luke Cage would turn out to be only the beginning of Mahershala Ali’s legacy in the MCU. While the two-time Academy Award winner’s new take on vampire-hunter Blade has yet to be seen, he debuted the character in a vocal cameo from Eternals’ post-credit scene.
Chris Hemsworth – Thor, One Of Hajo’s Three Heads (Thor: Ragnarok)
It is hard to imagine a Marvel character better suited for Chris Hemsworth to play than the God of Thunder, but, believe it or not, the title hero of Thor: Ragnarok is not his only role from the funny 2017 blockbuster. Only eagle-eyed fans noticed that the Australian actor also played one of the three heads of Hajo — a gladiator from Sakaar who tried to help save Asgard from Hela (Cate Blanchett).
Taika Waititi – Korg, One Of Hajo’s Three Heads (Thor: Ragnarok)
Actually, Chris Hemsworth is not the only well-known star of Thor: Ragnarok to share the role of Hajo. The film’s own director, Taika Waititi, also appeared as one of gladiator’s three heads, in addition to providing the voice of fan-favorite, rock-skinned alien, Korg, and in the same frame, too!
I am not sure if there is or could ever be a weirder example of the MCU’s double-dipping phenomenon than those last two. However, I would love to see a challenger step up to the plate someday. Of course, considering the franchise is now in a stage known as “The Multiverse Saga,” it seems like it is a distinct possibility.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News