It Takes Two: Jess Harper ’16 and Marileni Benopoulou ’17

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Marileni Benopoulou (left, we think) and Jess Harper (right, we think) might just be the best dead ringers we’ve had this year. These foreign ladies, who are actually, and truly, often mistaken for each other, are known for… well… having everything be exactly the same. Interviewing them was trippier than Diplo on Spring Weekend.

Jess: For a while now, whenever I’ve been going out or in the Ratty, I’ve had people come up to me and go, like, “Hey Marileni!” Literally, the other day in the Ratty some guy nudged me, and he was like, “Hey!”
Marileni: (Laughs.) Yes, he told me. He was telling me that he was shouting at me—or you, that’s confusing—and then he pushed me—or you?—and you turned around and he was like, “Oh my god, I pushed the wrong girl.” I was at a party in the middle of last semester and I bumped into a guy and we said hi. And then I walked away and then he was like, “Just because we’re at a party you’re going to pretend you don’t know me?” And I was like, “We’ve never met before!” And he was like, “C’mon Jess!” and I was so confused.

J: Is My Big Fat Greek Wedding your favorite movie? Because it’s mine.
M: It’s my life. basically. My family is exactly like that.

M: Do people ever tell you that you look like a celebrity?
J: When I was younger, people said I looked like a young Kim Basinger.
M: Not really at home, but here I get Rachel McAdams a lot.
J: I also used to get Hilary Duff when I was younger, like when she was a younger Lizzie McGuire.

J: Have you been to London?
M: All my friends live there, so I’ve been there a lot. You’re a sophomore?
J: Yeah.
M: I’m trying to think of sophomores I know, but none are coming to mind.

M: What’s the best piece of advice you have for a freshman?
J: There is no easy class at Brown. Don’t be fooled. They don’t exist.
M: The best piece of advice was when my Meik wrote in a letter before school started, “PS- Bring rain boots.” And I had never used rain boots before—we don’t wear them in Greece—but I brought them anyway. And I wore them the first week of school, and I was glad I had them.

J: What is your favorite Thayer Street food place?
M: Andreas.
BlogDH: Are they pretty authentic? (Marileni is from Greece.)
M: They do the job. How about you?
J: East Side Pockets. Without a doubt. They’re my favorite.

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M: SciLi or Rock?
J: SciLi. I go there to procrastinate.
M: I fall asleep in the Rock.
J: Me too!
M: I just put my head down on my laptop and fall asleep.
J: Yeah exactly, it’s lovely.

M: Favorite muffin at the Blue Room?
J: Red velvet. Or banana nut.
M: Yes! Everyone undervalues banana nut muffins!
J: (Longingly.) A warm red velvet muffin.

BlogDH: As international students, what’s the biggest challenge you’ve had at Brown? Or, what was the biggest adjustment for you?
J: Getting used to everyone saying, “Oh my god, you sound like you’re from London!” Everyone thinks that’s the most unique line—from Forgetting Sarah Marshall—but everyone uses it.
M: My friend from London hates when people repeat everything she says. Like “banaaaaanaaaaa.” For me, the first thing was when I meet people we kiss-kiss, and I’d go in for a kiss and they’d go in for a hug they’d be like uhh…”
J: It’s really funny when people don’t know how to react to the two kisses.

M: What’s your most unique trait that people tell you about? Like people always tell me my eyes—I guess our eyes.
J: I don’t know, just like my face in general.
M: My friends have told me they’re waving at me in the Blue Room and I don’t acknowledge their presence. At parties it’s the worst though.
J: Because it’s just a bunch of drunk people who are like, “Wait, who are you?!” And it’s really annoying.
M: Literally yesterday a guy came up to me and was like, “I met your doppelgänger!” I told him I was meeting her tomorrow.

BlogDH: What is your favorite trait about yourself?
J: My smile. Is it weird if I say that?
M: Me too.

Don’t forget to submit doppelgängers you know to blog@browndailyherald.com. Check back for another round of It Takes Two soon!

Photos by Danielle Perelman ’17.

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