Meet Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz's Body Doubles!
Forget plastic surgery and airbrushing, when A-list actresses take to the big screen, things are often not what they seem. At first glance these ladies might not look familiar, but on closer inspection they are actually among Hollywood’s best-known body parts.
Whether it’s stripping off in a room full of strangers, learning to drive a rickety van or standing out in the cold for hours on-end, these celebrity body doubles hold the secrets to the star’s perfect bodies.Doubles are hired to save production millions of dollars by standing in for the A-list.
They take the hassle out of the mundane day-to-day filming work as well as sparing prudish Oscar winners from their blushes.
On nearly every movie set, the doubles are plucked, shaved and made-over to perfection before stepping into the actor’s costumes and shoes for shots the big stars are just too fabulous to do.
But while their jobs may sound glamorous, being a double is a serious business and takes a lot of commitment – sometimes for very little money or glory.
Actress: Jennifer Aniston
Double: Laura Keri
Base: Seattle, Washington
Movie: Love Happens
Size: US 2-4
Rate of pay: Dhs570 per day
“I was so nervous and just bursting with excitement when I got the part,” said Laura. “After several directors and producers looked me up and down for a few hours, they told me to be on set the very next morning at 7:30am. People in the acting field are such hard workers; I started very early in the morning and ended up staying on-call until nine or so in the evening. My dressing room was a nice heated trailer with a TV, bathroom, and sleeping and sitting areas. I was called on to go to wardrobe and I tried on several outfits that Jennifer wore in the movie, then I went to make-up and hair and I had extensions and fake tan put on. My part was to learn how to drive a rickety van, and I did a shoot with Aaron Eckhart for about an hour. Unfortunately Jennifer was never in Seattle, so our paths never crossed. It was weird having to fit into her clothes. She was a US size two jacket and pants and I was pretty lean at around 117 pounds. When I finally saw the movie at the premiere, I couldn’t really spot myself but I guess that means I did a good job of being a body double.”
Actress: Cameron Diaz
Double: Katie Jane Cooper
Base: Cornwall, England
Profession: Professional explorer
Movie: The Holiday
Size: US 6
Rate of Pay: Dhs1,600 per day
“I was tall, slim and athletic and hadn’t ever planned to do this as a career, but when I finished university I got lucky,” said Katie. I was working as a model and I hadn’t done any other movies and it was by sheer luck that I ended up with the role as Cameron’s double in The Holiday. My agency said they needed someone of my height and size to fill in on the set when she wasn’t there, and I was truly flattered. I spent a week doing all of the long shots but it wasn’t as glamorous as you think. Because the film was shot in winter we spent a lot of time outside, standing around. It was freezing."
"We shot loads of scenes of country walks and driving around in a Range Rover with Jude Law’s body double, who looks exactly the same as him. You would think it would be exciting, but actually most of it is quite dull. A whole day shooting went from sunrise to sunset, and that would have made up around four seconds of footage, which was quite staggering. The most exciting part was that I got to wear all of Cameron’s clothes, and the make-up was pretty cool too. Even though I have blonde hair like hers, I had to wear a wig, so it was quite surreal. In the end I spent a few minutes on screen but I have never actually watched the film!”
Actress: Gwyneth Paltrow
Double: Katreen Hardt
Profession: Theatre actress and writer
Movie: A Perfect Murder, Great Expectations
Size: US 4
Rate of Pay: Dhs3,800 per day
“As body doubles, we are constantly being judged on how we look,” said Katreen. My scene involved Gwyneth’s character, Estella, who stripped for Ethan Hawke’s character, Finnegan Bell, before sitting for him while he draws her picture. For my transformation from Katreen to Gwyneth, my shoulder-length blonde hair was given what they called a blowout. I was then handed a razor and told to shave my legs and the make-up artist waxed my eyebrows and applied my make-up."
"I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little intimidated exposing myself to complete strangers. The film’s director, Alfonso Cuarón, gave me my directions, then I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening in my dressing room. The entire cast and crew was sent home before I was told we wouldn’t be shooting the scene at all. When Great Expectations was released, a cinematographer friend told me he’d heard Gwyneth had decided to do her own body doubling! But I doubled for her again in A Perfect Murder shortly after.”
Actress: Angelina Jolie
Double: Kate Clarke
Base: Los Angeles, California
Profession: Emmy-nominated actress
Movie: Mr & Mrs Smith
Size: US 4
Rate of Pay: Dhs1,500 per day
“When I was younger I wanted to be in the entertainment industry but my mother wouldn’t let me!,” said Kate. "But when I became old enough I moved out of my home in Minnesota and went to LA. After a while there was a casting director out here who said he thought I could be Angelina’s double. I handed over my measurements and I got an interview."
“People from various different departments had to decide whether I was the best fit. I was up against 25 girls, so it was stiff competition. I finally got the part and doubled for her in the film Taking Lives and then because of that I got the role on Mr & Mrs Smith."
“That film was just amazing to work on because it was a huge movie. I worked on several scenes, so it’s hard to know which ones I’m in. With this movie there are so many fast cuts and I never honestly took the time to figure it out after the final movie was released. I remember having to fit into Angelina’s clothes, even her bra, which made my male friends laugh."
“It was definitely a great experience, particularly when I met Angelina on the set. I am sure she thought it was really weird seeing me walking around dressed up to look like her but she was really sweet. I had no idea that this movie would be the one where Angie and Brad begin their life together. I did not see it happening! They were truly professional while on set. Since then it has definitely opened up doors, and I’m now also doubling for Kate Beckinsale."
“I love doubling but more than that, I love acting in my own right. I was the star of Sophie Chase, which was nominated for an Emmy, but most people are more interested in my doubling work for Angie. I’ve also acted in films where I have my own double. But you don’t really have a say in who your double is until you’ve reached Jolie/Beckinsale status!”