Just realised that Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, is a few months older than Zuckerberg in real life. Can anyone think of other instances of actors playing real-life characters who were younger than them? I have a niggling feeling that there have been a few such cases (and possibly a couple that are very obvious), but I can't put my finger on many.
The ones I have so far:
- Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford were both several years older than their real-life characters, reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, in the film about the Watergate expose, All the President's Men.
- Gary Cooper as baseball star Lou Gehrig in The Pride of the Yankees.
- In The Great Dictator, Charles Chaplin played Adenoid Hynkel, a barely disguised version of Adolf Hitler (who was a mere four days younger than Chaplin in real life).
- In The Boys From Brazil (an adaptation of Ira Levin's excellent novel), Laurence Olivier played a Nazi-hunter modelled on Simon Wiesenthal - who was a year younger than Olivier - but the character had a different name.
As you'd expect, there are a few close contenders from biographical movies about sportspeople and musicians who achieved a lot at a young age: in Fear Strikes Out, Anthony Perkins played Jimmy Piersall, who was just two years older than him. Then there's James Stewart in The Glenn Miller Story (four years) and Paul Newman as the boxer Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me (six years).
Any additions to this list? Movie buffs?
Update: just to clarify what I mean, I'm talking about actors who were born before the real-life people they portrayed.