Brothers

Actors Who Should Play Brothers

From Michael Shannon and Peter Dinklage to Keanu Reeves and Adam Driver, these guys are seemingly brothers from the exact same mother

There’s a little game I like to play whenever I watch a movie: Who should play brothers? This game isn’t based on acting styles or level of talent. Instead, it’s purely about physical resemblances and people who have the same energy. Like, for instance, Michael Shannon and Peter Dinklage. 

She ain’t wrong. Seriously, look at the two of them.

You know who could play their dad? Dr. House himself, Hugh Laurie. 

And perhaps Josh Brolin is the wayward prodigal son.

Here’s another physical similarity between big-time actors that’s been discussed lately: Keanu Reeves and Adam Driver. Can you tell which one is real and which one is face-swapped? I can’t. Though maybe due to age, Keanu should play Driver’s dad, or perhaps his cool uncle who just can’t stop killing people who are unkind to animals.

Speaking of fathers and sons, the pairing of John Boyega and Denzel has Oscar gold written all over it. Like the British homie looks more like Denzel than Denzel’s son looks like his daddy. 

There’s another obvious father-son pairing that needs to happen as well — Delroy Lindo should play LeBron James’s dad. In Space Jam 3, or whatever. But it needs to happen.

Anyway, back to brothers. When you’re putting together those pairings, it’s not only key that they look like each other, but also that they have a similar energy. For instance, when it comes to being reckless and arrogant in equal measure, here are two men (Gerard Butler and Shia LaBeouf) who seem destined to play brothers — or at least cousins.

Oh, and consider this one — Jemaine Clement and Richard Ayoade — a freebie, Hollywood.

I don’t know if NFL Hall of Famer Troy Aikman will deserve a biopic or not. But you know who could play him if they do decide to make a movie about the former Dallas Cowboy quarterback? Jay-Z.

There’s another brotherly pairing that seems ripe and ready to pluck, too — Brad Pitt and Benicio del Toro. Imagine them in a high-stakes thriller where they play brothers from across the border. Maybe one of them is the Texas-born son of privilege, and the other is the Mexican-born son of privilege. But here’s the twist: They have the same rich dad, who was secretly a border-hopping criminal with two families. After he’s gunned-down, his two sons, once they meet, decide to go into the family business of dirtbaggery together. 

This next one may bend your brain with how far it’s pushing reality. But that’s what you do in Flavortown — you do things with gusto and lots of hot sauce and deep-frying before you put bacon and cheese on it. But seriously, just imagine Colin Farrell and Guy Fieri in the movie, I Am My Brother’s Chef.

If we hop across the pond for one of those opulent, luxuriant, candlelit period pieces, and we need two actors who could convincingly play brothers in a timeless way — perhaps they’re both princes battling over their father’s crown and throne — we couldn’t do any better than Daniel Day-Lewis and Jeremy Irons. 

Admittedly, we’ve already discussed both of these next actors. Also admittedly, it wouldn’t seem like they could play brothers. One’s tall; the other’s very much not. One’s gangly; the other’s usually thick and bearded. But both men are equally intense. Plus, when you throw in a common genetic link, like a curmudgeonly grandpa, suddenly their pairing makes sense. 

Can’t you see it? De Niro as their cantankerous grandpa, Shia as the fuck-up elder son, Driver as the younger, trying-to-do-it-all-right but failing brother. And if they need one more fuck-up in the family, they could also have a cousin who they stop to see along the way — Post LaBeouf.

Finally, Hollywood needs to explain how this one isn’t already in the works. I mean, c’mon. Just imagine these two brothers have the same Spanish daddy. Or maybe, it’s a Miami-based drama about generations. Either way, I’m talking about Javier Bardem and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

For real, this somehow isn’t the same actor.