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Dual Roles in Film and Television

A dual role, also known as double role, refers to two or more roles played by one person in a play or a film. The most common uses of dual roles are for the portrayal of twins or clones and for comic effect. A good example of a dual role that depicts clones are the characters of Tatiana Maslany, a Canadian actress who plays the roles of a total of at least 10 clones, in the famous sci-fi thriller called “Orphan Black.”

Sometimes, a dual role is also needed when characters are reincarnations from another lifetime. Good examples are the Korean dramas “Rooftop Prince” and “Legend of the Blue Sea” in which the main characters who come from the Joseon Dynasty have modern-day versions of themselves.

Actors employ a broad range of skills whenever they portray a character in films or TV series. They need to have a well-developed imagination, emotional facility, physical expressivity, vocal projection, clarity of speech, and the ability to interpret drama. Skilled actors also train hard to be able to employ dialects, accents, improvisation, mime, and stage combat. Additionally, every time actors take on a new role, they study the character’s personality, mentality, and mannerisms at great length. A good example of this is Heath Ledger’s internalization of his role as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” Actors who take on dual roles do the same thing, but it is twice or thrice as difficult.

For the reasons mentioned above, portraying a dual role is double the preparation and effort for actors because they need to show audiences the individualities of each role they portray in order for the viewers to be able to separate one character from another. When portraying dual roles, differentiating the looks of each character is the easiest part to do through costume and makeup. The difficult part lies largely on the actor’s acting skills to make each character convincing and distinct because there is limited time and exposure to show each character’s development in a story.

Most of the time, actors only get a chance to show their versatility through the different roles that they portray in different films that are sometimes years apart. However, with dual roles, actors get to showcase their versatility in one film if, just like Tatiana Maslany, they do justice to the distinct roles that they are tasked to portray.

질문&어휘 문법TIPs 해석
questions

1. What is a dual role?

2. What are the different skills needed by actors to effectively and convincingly portray different roles?

3. How can playing a dual role affect the career of an actor?

vocabularies

reincarnation 환생/ 

facility 재능/ 

expressivity 표현성/

dialect 방언/ 

improvisation 즉석에서 하는 것/

mannerism 버릇/

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