Cole Sprouse Says Hiring Identical Twin Child Actors is an ‘Economic Loophole’

Cole Sprouse is an actor who is well known for his work on Riverdale playing Jughead Jones. He has been working as an actor since he was a baby, and with his twin brother Dylan, they have played a variety of famous child roles in ’90s sitcoms and beyond.

Twins are sought after in Hollywood, especially for roles where babies and young children are needed. Because of the way acting is regulated for those who are under the age of eighteen, twins are often the economic loophole productions are looking for to get the most work without disrupting the schedule.

Cole Sprouse in front of a gray background
Cole Sprouse | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Sprouse understands Hollywood uses twins as an ‘economic loophole’

Many fans know that Sprouse rose to fame with his portrayal of Jughead Jones on Riverdale, but some may not know that he has been acting for most of his life, and also has an identical twin brother, Dylan. They have both shared single roles and played opposite each other as children.

Because of his early start in Hollywood, he and his brother often shared their earliest roles. This is because there are strict child labor laws that only allow child actors to work a certain number of hours each day. In an interview with WIRED, Sprouse talks about what he calls an “economic loophole”:

“Identical twins work quite well in acting, especially as young children or babies, because child labor laws dictate kids can only work a certain amount of hours. But when there’s two of them that look exactly the same, you double your production time. A little economic loophole right here.”

Sprouse has been in the industry for most of his life

Sprouse and his brother got their start in Hollywood at just eight months old, when they were first featured in diaper commercials. The first major role that the brothers landed was that of Patrick Kelly, the youngest child on Grace Under Fire. After that, the brothers were cast in their first movie, sharing the role of Julian in Big Daddy.

Sprouse also took on roles without his brother Dylan, including playing Ben Gellar on Friends. The pair, however, reunited when they were cast to play twins living in a hotel in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, which made the twins household names. After this show and its spinoff, The Suite Life on Deck, the twins have worked on separate projects. While Dylan has taken a step back from acting, Cole Sprouse has found his footing in television on Riverdale.

There have been quite a few famous sets of identical twins in Hollywood

Aside from the Sprouse brothers, there have been many famous identical twins that work in the industry. One of the most famous sets of twins is Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen who played Michelle Tanner for eight seasons on Full House. Although they shared a single role, they later took on movie projects that let them play sisters with separate personalities.

Identical twins can also have separate roles in television and movies. Oliver and James Phelps played older twin brothers of Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series. Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tamera Mowry-Housley played twin sisters separated at birth and reunited as young teens on the sitcom Sister, Sister. And Brittany and Cynthia Daniel took on the role of playing the classic teen novel characters Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield on a television adaptation of Sweet Valley High.

Whether it is to cover one role without disrupting production or hiring twins because of the curiosity factor, Hollywood will always continue finding a place for identical twins.

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