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Non-spoiler alert – you don’t need to have seen Starz’s acclaimed series COUNTERPART, which just premiered its second season recently on December 9th, to read this article. The show is a great example of writing roles that challenge your actors. 

JK Simmons plays two parts, Howard Silk and Howard Prime (Howard Silk’s doppelganger from a parallel dimension). Howard Silk is kind, self-effacing, responsible, and openly loving, especially towards his wife, whom he reads to every night in the hospital (where she’s in a coma). Howard Prime is arrogant, demanding, selfish, and has alienated his wife and daughter in the Prime dimension.

What’s the lesson here? Should we all write screenplays featuring identical twins? No. The most interesting part of the show is how both men also express similarities to each other, and how their different traits are benefits or drawbacks, depending on the situation. 

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