In Quantico, there are a pair of recruited agents. Raina and Nimah Amin, both played majestically by actress Yasmine Al Massri. The two characters are shown side by side in almost every episode. They interact often.

But unlike most shows or movies where twins or evil doppelganger or mirror versions of a character are in the same room, the tell tale signs of doubling are not present. There is no mismatch of color tone or shade, no avoidance of character interactions, no avoidance of background action, nothing. Typical twin scenes have the twins looking like they were filmed under different lighting, on neutral backgrounds (no extras moving around) and the twins never touch or hand each other things. Frankly, I'm two seasons in before I figured out it was a single actress!

So what techniques is Quantico using to produce these twin scenes, that make them visual better than other shows?

  • 2
    I'm stunned. You mean they are not identical twins? I'll have to look it up. Thank you for asking the question. Commented May 15, 2016 at 14:06
  • 1
    Maybe similar to the Winklevii in The Social Network? I didn't know of Armie Hammer then and thought it was twins. Not posted as an answer because I don't watch the show or know if they used these techniques. Commented May 15, 2016 at 16:00
  • The two characters are in far fewer scenes together than you might think, and the crew is very meticulous about scene continuity, esp with respect to these two characters.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented May 15, 2016 at 16:09
  • @MarkHubbard just one actress!
    – cde
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 5:39
  • If you think this is good, you should check out Orphan Black. The main actress plays around 7 characters, many of them in the same scenes. Commented May 16, 2016 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


After watching the show, I can say that most of the time we can't see both their faces in one shot. So it can be achieves by the Doppelganger method, as I explained in my other answer on the generic question about how double role scenes are shot:

The first thing you need to do is find someone who is about the same height as your main actor. Similar hair is also necessary, so whether the Doppelganger needs to dye his or her hair or wear a wig, that’s a judgment call.

Place the Doppelganger with his or her back to the camera and frame the shot to shoot over that person’s shoulder to focus on the main actor. Film it that way until you get what you want.

For the reverse of that shot, switch the hair and the outfit of the main actor and the Doppelganger and do the same thing on the other side. This way you can edit it so that you basically have the same person having a conversation with himself. - (Source: timidmonster.com)

And one more thing to note here is that one of them always had her hair covered by cloth; that can be a good method to achieve the hair-matching thing.

I do remember many scenes with both of them facing the camera, but this is also not practically impossible these days.

From my own answer on how it's done in Dhoom 3 (Bollywood film):

Aamir: With newer technology it becomes difficult for the actor, as the kind of shots you can design for a double role are limitless. Earlier due to constraints of technology, you could not touch each other in a double role. Physical contact could not be captured, as you would end up touching yourself on screen. The camera used to be pretty-much static and in wide. Here were are hugging each other, exchanging hats, one is giving an Apple to the other…Because with motion control cameras, you can duplicate the same moment a number of times. The angle and position are all locked in a computer, so a situation can be recreated identically, multiple times, for an actor to perform different shots for his respective character in a double role.

I did try to dig for the specific case of Quantico with no success.

Anyway a quite impressive answer on Quora says the following regarding how such scenes can be shot:

Several methods of doing it:

  1. Split-screen: This is an old method and consist in physically cutting two negatives down the middle and putting them back together. It left a vertical line which needed to be masked somehow. Nowadays, with the digital editing software, you simply layer the two shots and put a mask over one of them. Since many post-production software packages let you animate masks, some simple interaction may be possible as long as the characters never obstruct one another. You can use also compositing software for more complicated shots.

  1. Using a green-screen: You can shoot the scene with the actor playing the first role in the real set then shoot the same scene again with the same actor playing the second role against green screen then key him in the scene. If this involves camera movement then a motion-control rig would be necessary to exactly repeat the movement done in the first pass.

  2. Face/head replacing: You have two actors who are very close physically (same body structure). They will act independently, but in post-production you take the face or head of one and put it on another one. That's how they did it in The Social Network with Arnie Hammer: http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/10/0... The same technique was applied in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button when they had a kids, a dwarf and a disabled actor all playing Brad Pitt's role, but they replaced their faces with Brad's.

  • I would add rotoscoping, often used in combination with the split screen method when one character has to obscure the other briefly. Basically, this involves tracing the actor frame by frame so that that part of the image can be "cut out" and placed in front of another image. If the crossing is brief enough, this can be easier than having to set up a green screen shot for the second twin days or weeks after shooting the first twin on set. Let's say the twins are eating dinner together, and one reaches across for the salt. That type of shot would probably be easier using this method. Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 15:18
  • Also, Benjamin Button used a CGI head, not Brad Pitt's real head. Captain America: The First Avenger used a lot of head replacement to depict Steve Rogers before he becomes Captain America. Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 15:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .