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The 10 Best Split Personality Performances In Movies

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While psychologists are still trying to figure out the causes of multiple personality disorder, screenwriters have been using it as a plot device since the dawn of cinema. In this feature, we’ll put the ten greatest examples in movie history on the couch to see what makes them tick.

10. High Tension

This French slasher flick is relentless in its brutality, as a mysterious psychopath brutally murders a girl’s family. The culprit turns out to be her best friend, who has a split personality that’s insanely jealous and will do anything to get her alone.


9. The Three Faces Of Eve

Joanne Woodward won an Oscar for her exceptional take on split personalities in this 1957 drama based on a real case. Eve White is a suburban mother who suffers from painful headaches and blackouts. When she’s unconscious, the extroverted Eve Black comes out to play. Filling out the triad is Jane, a stable personality who manages to unite her multiple identities.


8. Shutter Island

Leonardo DiCaprio shines as Teddy Daniels, a U.S. Marshal sent to an isolated mental hospital to investigate a bizarre disappearance. As his quest continues, he starts to have strange dreams and it’s soon revealed that he’s actually a patient there himself, caught up in a bizarre delusion as a way to find closure after he murdered his wife.


7. Session 9

Brad Anderson’s cult horror flick has a terrifying premise: a work crew removing asbestos from a run-down hospital discovers a box of tape recordings from a patient with multiple personality disorder, and against all logic listens to them. As they do, they start being picked off one by one, as the evil personality “Simon” from the tapes makes the jump to a new mind.


6. The LEGO Movie

Sure, it’s a bit of a curveball, but the “Bad Cop” / “Good Cop” character in The LEGO Movie, voiced by Liam Neeson, could change personality with a simple 180 degree rotation of the head. Double-sided heads were first introduced in the 1990s to show different emotions, but different personalities are an equally valid reading.


5. Identity

When ten strangers check into a Nevada motel and start getting killed off one by one, Identity seems like a fairly standard murder mystery. Then weird coincidences sprout up – the bodies disappear, they all have the same birthday – and you realize you’re really watching a story about a multiple personality patient having his “selves” integrated to try and remove his homicidal impulses.


4. A Tale Of Two Sisters

South Korean filmmakers have a real knack for unsettling psychological horror, and this 2003 flick, inspired by a folktale, is no exception. When a young girl named Su-mi is released from a mental hospital, both her and her sister start acting very strangely, as does their psychotic stepmother. Of course, all three women are the same girl, but that doesn’t stop the body count from rising.


3. Sibyl

This 1976 TV movie helped define dissociative identity disorder for a generation of Americans, and Sally Field’s performance as the titular schoolteacher with a baker’s dozen personae living inside her was widely acclaimed, winning her an Emmy.


2. Fight Club

The twist in David Fincher’s cult classic – that the Edward Norton-played narrator and Brad Pitt’s feral Tyler Durden are the same person – comes pretty late in the game, but it throws the film’s conceit into stark contrast. Fincher littered the movie with clues that make themselves obvious on multiple viewings.


1. Me, Myself and Irene

The Farrelly Brothers’ 2000 farce stars Jim Carrey – a dude whose brain contains multitudes anyways – as Charlie, a good-humored state trooper who gets pushed over the line and develops an abusive personality named Hank who goes on to ruin his life. The thing is, his life was already ruined before the split personality (his wife cheated on him with a dwarf limousine driver), so Hank actually helps Charlie get his act together in a bizarre way.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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