Anais couldn’t move. Her heart beat a million times a minute as she started the movie trailer. She saw herself in the frame but knew it wasn’t her. It was someone who was the spitting image of her.
Her mind was buzzing with questions. Was this real? She had to find answers no matter how freaked out she was. But she had no way of knowing that was she was about to discover would turn her entire world upside down.
Anais Bordier lived an ordinary life, in an ordinary town just on the outskirts of Paris, France. A creative person at heart, she loved nothing more than spending her days getting immersed in her art and covered in paint.
But this budding artist had no idea her world was about to be turned upside down.
One cold dark Saturday evening, Anais was nestled in her bed, nibbling on popcorn and scrolling through YouTube. While her friends were all out at bars and clubs, Anais preferred to stay in and binge watch YouTube videos.
But when she clicked onto a video of a movie trailer her close friend had sent her, she had no idea her life was about to change forever.
Anais didn’t exactly have an easy childhood. She was born in South Korea on November 19th, 1987, and straight away was put for adoption. Thankfully, she was adopted by a couple and Anais moved to Paris in France.
33 years later and Anais still lives in France and is more than content with the way her life has turned out. But she had no idea what was coming when she sat down to watch a YouTube video that night.
Anais had just finished watching a beauty video tutorial on YouTube when she saw the video of a movie trailer her friend, Kelsang Dongsar, had randomly sent her. The movie was called ‘High School Virgin.’
She clicked it and the video started playing. Then suddenly she saw something that left her feeling sick to her stomach.
Anais blinks four times thinking she was seeing things, but she wasn’t. You see, in the movie trailer, there was an actress who looked exactly like her!
The only difference was that the actress had an American accent whereas Anais had a french accent. It was like watching a mirror of herself. Anais was utterly lost for words. Who was this woman? Why did she look just like Anais? Nothing made sense.
An hour had passed and Anais had spent the last 60 minutes rewatching the movie trailer and pressing pause on every shot of her ‘doppelgänger.’
The resemblance was too uncanny! The more she watched the actress, the more she wanted to find out the truth. And when Anais finally did, her entire world was torn apart.
Anais knew she couldn’t just stay quiet about this. She needed to get some answers, but how would she do this?
She told her closest friends and together they all tried to track the actress down, to shed some light on this nerve-wracking situation. But Anais had no idea what was coming to her.
Anais eventually managed to track the actress down. It had taken a couple of weeks but finally, Anais had a name she could put to her doppelgänger’s face.
The actress was called Samantha Futerman and she was based in LA. Finally, she was about to get some answers. But the more she uncovered about the actress’s past, the more Anais was left feeling sick to her stomach.
After Anais and Kelsang researched Samantha and her background, they were lost for words. There were just too many similarities in physical appearance between Anais and the actress.
When they heard the actress speak, the only difference between her and Anais was her accent. This couldn’t be a coincidence, right? Nothing made sense anymore.
“Sometimes you meet people and say, ‘Okay, we have the same eyes or the same nose, but everything else is different,’” Anais told People in an interview. “Here, everything was similar.”
And the more Anais studied the foreign actress’ features, the more she wanted to find out about her. She needed to know everything.
Anais found out that Samantha was born in South Korea, and not long after her birth, she was adopted by an American family and taken to New Jersey.
When Anais discovered this, she was left feeling sick to her stomach. Samantha’s background and upbringing were exactly like hers. You see, Samantha’s birthday was November 19th, 1987 – just like Anais.
The more Kelsang and Anais found out about Samantha, the more she was left reeling. “It was almost like we were in a movie and being set up,” Kelsang revealed. “It was so bizarre.”
While things were strange for Anais, things were even stranger for Samantha when she started receiving a series of odd messages from complete strangers in France.
Anais knew she had to get in touch with Samantha, so she dropped her message on Facebook. As soon as she clicked send, Anais was wracked with nerves.
Meanwhile, halfway across the globe in Sunny LA, aspiring Hollywood actress Samantha received the fateful message that would change her life forever. But she didn’t want to reply just yet.
Samantha was cautious about the strange message she’d received from a girl in France who looked just like her. Thinking it was some kind of scam, she decided not to reply.
Meanwhile, Anais was frustrated that she never received a response from her doppelganger. So she tracked Samantha down on Twitter and she and her friends messaged her there.
When Samantha read the message from Anais, she was just as lost for words. She knew she had to react fast so she sent across her birth documents to Anais.
When Anais received and read the documents she felt a shiver creep up her spine. Was it possible that Samantha could be Anais’ long lost twin?
“[Sam] sent her documents with her birthday and birthplace to Anais straight up. It was insane,” Kelsang explained. Once they had the documents, there was no calling this a coincidence anymore.
“I mean, it was quite possible that this could be Anais’ long lost twin,” Kelsang said at the time. And there was only one way to find out.
Although the two identical women were separated by thousands of miles, what were the chances they were actually twins?
Of the millions of children born in the world every day, what were the odds that Samantha and Anais had been separated at birth, only to find each other once again? The odds seemed stacked against them, but the possibility was still too great to ignore. They had to meet.
Both Anais and Samantha knew they had to meet, so they arranged a Skype call to finally say hello. When both women joined the Skype chat, their resemblance was more prominent than ever! They had the same smile, freckles, and even their eyebrows were exact replicas!
But still, despite what they thought, the potential-long-lost-twins needed more concrete evidence. They needed DNA evidence.
Kelsang found the waiting to find out if Samantha and Anais were related to be the hardest part – after all, he was the one who had found Samantha and set this whole situation in motion.
“You build up hope and there is the possibility of disappointment,” he revealed in an interview. But the DNA tests would tell all in time.
After giving their DNA samples, the two women waited for the results. But with Anais in Paris and Samantha in the US, it felt like a never-ending waiting game.
The two decided to meet up in real life. No screens or video calls, an actual conversation face-to-face. And when they met up in London in 2017, it was a moment that would change their lives forever.
As soon as Anias laid her eyes on Samantha in London, she felt a shiver creep up her spine. It was like she was looking at a mirror.
The two awkwardly exchanged a hug, not really knowing what to say or do in the situation. Both women had so many questions, but they weren’t prepared for the truth.
After meeting for the first time, it was awkward at first for Anais and Samantha. However the tension and silence soon vanished, and the two got on like a house on fire! They were laughing and gossiping within a matter of minutes of meeting each other.
And finally, the women received their DNA results. It was a moment that would change their lives forever.
The results were in. Both Anais and Samantha couldn’t wait any longer. They ripped open the letter and their eyes scanned the document. It seemed like all roads were leading to this moment.
Within a few seconds, these two women would know if they were more than just two women who merely looked like each other. Were they long-lost-twins?
The results showed that Anais and Samantha were in fact long lost twins! The two twins were over the moon with the result. The two hugged each other vowing to never let each other go.
It may have taken three years, but finally, the truth was out and both women had gained not only a twin sister but a best friend too. For the first time in their lives, Anais and Samantha finally felt complete.
Since Anais had grown up as an only child, finding Samantha was like filling a void in her soul that she hadn’t even known was there.
“I cannot imagine what my life would be like without Sam,” she said, and Sam had similar feelings. “I can’t imagine my life without Anais,” she said.
Anais and Samantha’s story is so unusual that they decided to share their amazing story in a film called ‘Twinsters’ and a book called ‘Separated @ Birth: A True Love Story of Twin Sisters Reunited.’
Even though the twins still live on different continents, they have never shared a connection this deep with anyone in their lives.
Kelsang, Anais’ best friend, confidante, and the person who set her on the path to finding her long-lost sister, has also made new connections during the whole experience. Now, he has two close friends.
“It’s just like being with Anais, only [Sam] speaks [with an American accent],” he said. “It’s just such a happy story with a happy ending.”
Samantha and Anais were so inspired by their own incredible story that they decided to co-found The Kindred Foundation For Adoption with ‘Glee’ star Jenna Ushkowitz, who is also a Korean adoptee.
Samantha and Anais drew inspiration from The Trevor Project, and they hope to create a supportive go-to online community for all things pertaining to adoption.
“At any point if (someone’s) thinking, ‘I want to start my birth search,’ or ‘I’m an adoptee and I’ve never told anybody – we are here for that,” Jenna Ushkowitz said.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.