After 25 years apart, a YouTube movie trailer reunited these long-lost twins
They had the same hairstyles growing up. They loved the same nail polish color and they both hated boiled carrots. They share the same twisted sense of humor and a love of cheese, despite both being lactose intolerant. It sounds like typical twin behavior until you realize that these sisters spent their first 25 years apart.
Anais Bordier and Samantha Futerman were adopted by different families in different countries—and neither knew they were born a twin. Samantha grew up in New Jersey and eventually moved to Los Angeles to become an actress. Meanwhile, Anais, who was raised in France, had moved to London to study fashion, when she received a Facebook message from friend about an actress in a movie trailer on YouTube who looked exactly like her.
Anais watched the trailer for the 2013 film 21 and Over and was astonished to see her face in the clip. There was just one thing: “I’ve never made a YouTube video in my life,” Anais recently recalled in the The Guardian. “When I watched it, I realized it wasn’t me at all, it was an American girl who looked exactly like me.”
One month later, Anais discovered another clue about Samantha via IMDB: They were both born on November 19th, 1987, in Seoul, South Korea. Emboldened by this information, she decided to reach out to Samantha on Facebook.
“I spent a long time composing a message to Samantha, telling her to check out my Facebook photos,” Anais wrote in The Guardian. “When she wrote back, she sent a picture of her adoption records. We had been born in the same clinic.”
The records were undeniable. “Dude, we’re totally twins!” Samantha excitedly wrote to Anais. Soon, their first Skype session revealed more evidence of their deep-rooted connection. They shared the same mannerisms, the same laugh. “Even our hairstyle was similar,” wrote Anais.
Despite having never met in person, their emotional connection ran deep. “Whether it is the arguably beautiful level of protection given by electronic communication, the slightly eerie—and slightly French—mirror image that comforts & calms my nerves, or the feeling of glee that I have somehow managed to recreate The Parent Trap, I have an innate unconditional love towards this stranger,” Samantha wrote on Kickstarter, where she and Anais fundraised to film a documentary about their discovery and their first in-person meeting. They exceeded their $30,000 goal with the help of over 1,200 backers and Samantha flew to London to meet her sister.
“When I first saw Sam, I was trying not to stare, but she just started laughing,” recalled Anais in her Guardian essay. “I went over and awkwardly poked her in the head – I just wanted to make physical contact. I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t aware how small I was. Her feet looked tiny and I realized mine must be, too, and suddenly I knew how I looked from behind.” They spent the day covering lost ground, intermittently looking at their reflections in store windows, amazed by their likeness.
Later that night, they received the results of a DNA test they had taken. It confirmed what they already knew: they were identical twins.
Now, two years after Anais first friended her long-lost sister on Facebook, they’ve published a memoir about their experience, Separated @ Birth: A True Love Story About Sisters Reunited. They also completed their documentary, Twinsters, which premieres in New York on July 17, and rolls out in other cities throughout the summer. The fact that they were able to, not only find each other, but document their experience to share with the world, is a testament to how well they work together.
And their work continues. Along with Glee’s Jenna Ushkowitz, a Korean-American adoptee, Samantha has launched Kindred, a foundation that provides adoptees with support in reconnecting with their biological families.
“It’s such a joy to find your family,” Anais told CNN. “I guess when you’re adopted, you’re always looking for somebody that looks like you, that will understand you.” And that’s just what she found.
“We’re both awkward and have the same strange sense of humor,” she shared with The Guardian. “She doesn’t have to explain herself to me and she understands me perfectly, too.”
For more on the sisters’ amazing journey, check out the trailer for Twinsters, below.