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The most roles played by the same actor in a movie? is an interesting question, so I'm wondering about the opposite: Which movie-character was played by the most amount of distinct actors in a single movie?

An example would be the typical childhood vs adulthood portrayal by two actors, but I assume there are cases where more actors where involved.

edit Individual episodes of TV series are acceptable as well, but not multiple episodes, that might deserve its own question. Having a scene with all "incarnations" at once is not required, though it's of course a plus.

edit2 Footage not specifically created for the mentioned movie / episode is quite borderline in my opinion, so personally I'll ignore them (but not downvote)

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Mystique in the X-Men films may be considered. I don't have a count per film though. – George T Mar 3 at 11:27
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It would have to be all films, as I don't recall Mystique copying more than maybe 5 people in any given film. Maybe First Class since there's the child Mystique, JLaw, Adult Mystique, and anyone she copies. – cde Mar 3 at 21:45

There's a wiki article on this too - List of characters played by multiple actors in the same film

The highest film I can find that definitely meets the requirement is:

Palindromes - eight actors playing one role:

All of the below actors play Aviva

Emani Sledge, Valerie Shusterov, Hannah Freiman, Rachel Corr, Will Denton, Sharon Wilkins, Shayna Levine and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Aviva in Palindromes (2004)

However, if we accept a slightly more unusual film:

Audition - 50 actors playing one role, 50 actresses playing the other role

This may seem like a bit of a cheat, but as you asked for movie characters, the following all play Man:

Nicholas Baroudi, Bryant Boon, Grant Boyd, Tyler Burke, Sean Buttimer, Nicholas E. Calhoun, Andrew Casanova, Steve Cavanaugh, Donovan Christie Jr., Paul Corning Jr., Adrian Corrie, Dan Cozzens, Thompson B. Crozier, Dan de Jesus, Marc T. Engberg, Jonathan Iglesias, George Iliopoulos, Benjamin Jones, Adrian Kelly, Brandon Kieffer, Aidan Kinney, Jonathan Laffey, Christopher La Forgia, Fernando L. Lamberty, Dylan Landon, Mike Lubik, Shaka Malik, Christian Manzo, Robert Maxwell, Benedict Mazurek, Adam Miller, Seth Andrew Miller, Austin Mitchell, Zachary Mooren, David Andrew Morton, Kevin Needham, Eric James O'Keefe, Philip Oros, Gabriel Pardo, Christopher Patten, Ernest G. Perry, Jeff Ronan, Andrew Saunders, David Seamon, Gianmarco Soresi, Yaron Urbas, Nicholas Urda, Chris Viemeister, Bryan Williams, and Peter Zerneck as Man in Audition (2015)

And the following all play Woman:

Szalene Anthony, Milee Bang, Christina Barrell, Caroline Bloom, Jess Brown, Julia Burnside, Erica Camarano, Blaire Carson, Senta Cassell, Teegan Curitz, Mary Davila-Delgado, Leah Dowdy, Emily Fleischer, Lolita Foster, Chelsea Frei, Kate Gunther, Casey Ann Hayward, Sarah Himadeh, Corinne Hundt, Javelyn, Emilyn Kowaleski, Erica LaTorra, Jeanne Lau, Marion Le Coguic, Mary Linehan, Cara Loften, Maribel Martinez, Ariella Mastroianni, Maggie McGuire, Velta Moore, Hadas Nuriel, Angel Pai, Cassandra Paras, Andi Potamkin, Sam Quartin, Jacqueline Real, Katelyn Sarazen, Sarah Schoofs, Alex Megan Schell, Nadia Serantes, Robin Singer, Paige Spara, Katie Rose Summerfield, Khloe Sunga, Rebecca Sussman, Amanda Tudor, Juliette Verroye, Jenna Williams, Margaret Keane Williams, and Francesca C. Zucchetti as Woman in Audition (2015)

To quote from the IMDB article on Audition:

A romance is portrayed by one hundred actors who audition for the two lead roles and the chance to perform the final terrifying act.

What is love? New York filmmaker Matt Herron spent over 15 years peeling back layers of expectations and disappointments to explore the mysteries of this complex emotion through his powerful new film, AUDITION. Set in the midst of a real-life acting competition, this cautionary narrative within a documentary is a sensually-riveting journey every adult should see.

So technically all of these people are playing the same role - that of the "man" or that of the "woman". If you check the film's credits, they are all credited as so, and as the OP asked Which movie-character was played by the most amount of distinct actors in a single movie?, this does meet the requirements.

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I'd say Audition is so much of a cheat, it's not an answer. While 50 actors did play one character in the audition inside the movie, each real actor was playing a separate character in Audition the movie. – B T Mar 2 at 7:03
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@BT: they aren't credited as separate characters, they are credited as the same charater, which fits OP's ask. Besides, even if we don't consider it, Aviva is a good call with eight separate actors. – Andrew Martin Mar 2 at 7:52
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@BT: I get your view though. Audition is a real "weird" choice, even if it does technically fit the requirements. I've called out Aviva a little more in the answer. – Andrew Martin Mar 2 at 7:59
    
Final Cut: Ladies and Gentleman is a 2012 movie, a bit similar to Audition mentioned here, where a whole story between a man and a woman is displayed using various archive footages, meaning quite a few of actors playing the same role. I don't have exact numbers, but this would also be cheating though. – SztupY Mar 3 at 21:23
    
@SztupY: I haven't seen it (or heard of it). A quick IMDB glance suggests it credits people by their real names, as opposed to as the character of "man" or "woman", so I'm not sure it counts. But I haven't seen it, so don't really know. – Andrew Martin Mar 3 at 21:25

Depending on your definition of "Played" and "Movie", Doctor Who counts.

First is the "Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death" comedy special, (a spoof of DW prior to the revival, really), we have 5 doctors in as many minutes:

  • Rowan Atkinson (The 9th Doctor)
  • Richard E. Grant (The Quite Handsome 10th Doctor)
  • Jim Broadbent (The Shy 11th Doctor)
  • Hugh Grant (The Handsome 12th Doctor)
  • Joanna Lumley (The Female 13th Doctor)

No actual group shot exists though: enter image description here

The Classic Who special "The Five Doctors" had... Five actual Doctors: - Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor) - Patrick Troughton (the Second Doctor) - Jon Pertwee (the Third Doctor) - Ricard Hurndall standing in for the Late William Hartnell (The First Doctor) - Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor, mostly stock footage)

enter image description here

The New Who regular 7th season finale "The Name of the Doctor" had all 11 standard Doctors, plus John Hurt as the War Doctor, while the special "The Day of the Doctor" had those 12 plus the following 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi, for a total of 13 actors playing one character in a single movie (14 if you count Eccleston's stock footage and his stand in at the end as two different actors). Of course, most of the Doctors were stock footage, but at the end they had multiple stand in or cgi versions standing together.

enter image description here

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Different incarnations of The Doctor are in some ways different characters. The Doctor tries hard not to cross his own timeline (meet himself), but that doesn't seem to apply across incarnations. He's always happy to meet another incarnation of himself. – Peter Cordes Mar 2 at 12:42
    
In fact The Day of the Doctor also had the Curator who might be a very future incarnation of the Doctor, so you can even get 14/15 – Tobias Kienzler Mar 2 at 20:23
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@tobias it's still just baker playing the same role, so it doesn't count twice. – cde Mar 2 at 21:12
    
Indeed - but I'm actually considering not letting the old footage and CGI count at all, so that would reduce DotD to the three most recent Doctors plus the War Doctor (plus Baker), i.e. 4-5, and NotD to two (Smith + Hurt) – Tobias Kienzler Mar 3 at 7:32
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I think we should get the actors in the Comic Relief sketch together for a group photo. – AJFaraday Mar 4 at 9:54

CW turned answer originally posted as comment by Chanandler Bong

In I'm Not There Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw (6) all play characters based on Bob Dylan.

In The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law (4) all play Tony.

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I'm not sure why this is a Community Wiki. I think the original creator deserves reputation from this. – Thunderforge Mar 1 at 16:11
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@Thunderforge I am not the original creator. This content stems from a comment that is now deleted. I explained this in more detail in this meta question – unknown stuntman Mar 1 at 18:13
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@unknownstuntman Then it was the commenters fault to not have turned it into a proper answer. You posted a proper answer and should thus get reputation for it. There is zero reason for this post to be community wiki. – Napoleon Wilson Mar 1 at 18:25
    
@NapoleonWilson Good point - can you un-CW it or do we need super-dev-powers? – Tobias Kienzler Mar 2 at 7:16
    
@TobiasKienzler: It was un-CW, then re-CW'd by the poster. It'll probably stay that way, as he indicated why he wants it that way. – Andrew Martin Mar 2 at 7:54

"Lessons", the first episode of the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ends with a scene in which the First Evil serially impersonates seven characters, and thus is portrayed by seven actors.

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Along the same lines, I wonder how many people play the demon Azazel in "Fallen"? I'd have to re-watch it, since the credits list everyone as whoever they are before they're possessed. – Steve Jessop Mar 2 at 12:34
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Nice, I didn't think about shape shifting - now I should mention Terminator 2's T-1000 as well... – Tobias Kienzler Mar 3 at 7:46

Since Anton brought up impersonations that visually perfectly mimic the original character I also consider the T-1000 from Terminator 2 valid, and from this list the following impersonations can be extracted:

That's four to five actors depending on how you count the twins, so let's say 4.5

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Is that uncommented downvote towards this being a self-answer (that won't top the current answer anyway) or towards the T-1000 being borderline? – Tobias Kienzler Mar 3 at 8:15
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IDK, but +1 to make up for that. Correction though, the T-1000 never becomes the cop (LAPD Officer Something Austin), he just takes his clothes. See jamescamerononline.com/t26thbridge6.jpg – cde Mar 4 at 6:39
    
@cde Thanks - curious, I don't think I ever noticed that - then again it's been years since I watched it last time... Fortunately Robert Patrick still counts :) I wonder about the Cop Biker though (and wasn't there a helicopter pilot as well? Though I think that one merely jumped out without being copied...) – Tobias Kienzler Mar 4 at 7:09
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Can't find a clip of him taking the bike, but multiple with him on it and in a bike helmet. That's Robert, he didn't shape shift. – cde Mar 4 at 8:21
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The Terminator wikia says "The T-1000 was portrayed by Robert Patrick, with Jenette Goldstein, Don and Dan Stanton, and Leslie Hamilton Gearren portraying its various impersonations." Stanton twins were Lewis. I'm not sure if both played the T-1000 at any point, or just one of them (for the double scene). So only 3 mimics, meaning 4 to 5 actors. – cde Mar 4 at 8:27

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