'Living With Yourself' on Netflix: How They Filmed Two Paul Rudds

Living with Yourself, the new Netflix series, is built on the premise that the only thing better than one Paul Rudd is two Paul Rudds, with the Clueless actor appearing in a dual role as Miles and his clone. Rudd recently revealed in a number of interviews how the crew show found a unique solution to the problem of shooting scenes where he had to appear twice

Dual-screen roles are nearly as old as film itself. The first is believed to be in 1922 film Lady of the Night, which features Norma Shearer playing two dancers. In this film, the effect was achieved by layering two film strips on top of each other, with the actor filming the scene twice and a stand-in used for scenes when you can only see the back of one of the characters (fun trivia: Shearer's stand-in in Lady of the Night was a then-unknown Joan Crawford).

Since those days, everyone from Jeremy Irons to Nicholas Cage has played dual roles on screen, with actors like Eddie Murphy and Peter Sellers virtually making a career of the trick.

living with yourself netflix
"Living with Yourself" features Paul Rudd acting with himself in a dual role. Netflix

Each actor and director has found their own way to do a dual role, with some preferring to work with stand-ins, while others (like Ang Lee in the recent film Gemini Man) preferred to just create a second CG version of the actor so as to avoid getting bogged down in camera trickery.

When Paul Rudd came to make Living with Yourself, he asked the advice of actor Sam Rockwell, who had also played a man and his clone for the 2009 film Moon. Rudd told Cosmopolitan: "I thought he did such a great job, so I asked him how he did it.

"The thing I've come away with is, there is no one way to do it. I didn't wind up doing it the same way Sam did it—he had a stand-in and would flip it around. So I would record both parts then someone off-camera would play my line on an iPad and I'd flip around."

Speaking to Radio Times, he went into more detail as to how his method worked. "We kind of figured out the best way to make this work for us and for me to do the scenes was to not do the scenes with another actor, as a stand-in, but instead just record the scenes as both characters, and listen in to an earpiece," he told them.

living with yourself paul rudd dual role
Paul Rudd achieved his "Living with Yourself" dual role by having one of his characters' lines fed to him through an earpiece. Netflix

"Whichever character was driving the scene, we would film that one first, and I would act to just where I knew I would be—there was nobody there. But when I'd say my line, somebody off-screen would be hitting an iPad cue and I would get it in my ear.

"We would figure it out, finally get the take we wanted and watch it back.

"I'd change over and remember what I did and look at where I said what, and moved on what word and what line—and then I'd go in, we'd reset the eye-lines, and it would be the same thing in reverse."

Speaking to The Press Association about this, Rudd's co-star in Living with Yourself Aisling Bea said: "He's so transformative doing two characters," she said. "I felt like there were two different people in the scene. And it was actually very easy to do. It was a lot harder for Paul, he had to act around a memory of where he was before."

Living with Yourself is streaming now on Netflix.