It should come as no surprise when a respected actor whips out a great impression of a fellow celebrity. After all, great acting thrives on keen observation and mimicry. Still, there’s something about celebrity-on-celebrity impression action that dependably delights. How else to explain how, every time Tom Hiddleston does an impression, a new YouTube compilation is born? (Okay, maybe part of that stems from the Internet’s prolonged crush on the British actor.) Still, in honor of the Oscar season, we’ve put together a list of a rarer species of celebrity impression: The Oscar winner who does an impression of another Oscar winner. It’s a rarer occurrence than you might think.
8. Tom Hanks — Michael Caine
In a 2011, Elton John-hosted Saturday Night Live, Tom Hanks portrays Caine (who, spoiler, will appear several more times in this list). The video can be watched here. (Hanks’ take on Caine comes at the 4:04 mark.)
7. Tom Hanks — Walt Disney (in Saving Mr. Banks)
Not every impression is the result of talk show interviews or casual Q&As—sometimes, it’s an actor doing his or her job. Hanks’ turn as Walt Disney in the recent Saving Mr. Banks represented by far the most Oscars held between any tandem on this list, thanks to Disney, the most awarded man in Oscar history (26 statuettes for Uncle Walt).
6. Cate Blanchett — Katharine Hepburn (in The Aviator)
Blanchett’s statuette-snagging turn as Katherine Hepburn is a spot-on extended impression of the Hollywood legend.
5. Michael Caine — John Wayne
As enjoyable as it is to hear Caine’s impression of Wayne (at the 2:28 mark), his anecdote on why the Duke advised him to never wear suede shoes (2:55) is equally enlightening.
4. Michael Caine — Michael Caine
I gotta admit. He does a decent impression of Michael Caine.
3. Robin Williams — Jack Nicholson
It’s not unusual for comedians to have a selection of impressions at their beck and call, but it is rare for any of those comedians to have also won an Academy Award. Thank you, Good Will Hunting.
2. Bradley Cooper — Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro, Christian Bale
Having starred in three films with Robert De Niro in as many years, it only makes sense Cooper would do a pretty good Bobby D. And as for Christopher Walken, well, if Walken were a song, he’d be “Royals”—damn, but that man is catnip for the would-be impressionist.
1. Kevin Spacey — Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, Clint Eastwood, Sir John Gielgud, Marlon Brando, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino and Jack Lemmon
Frankly, the number 1 position on this list was settled years ago. In fact, Spacey is so accomplished—and has given spot-on imitations of so many different Oscar winners—it was tempting to put him on here twice. All hail the king!