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All White Guys Look Alike

weather: raining
outside: 6°C
mood: meh...
I have a lot of trouble telling actors apart.

I was reading an interview with Christopher Lee and I thought he was in another movie, so I looked it up on IMDB. But it turns out that I have him mixed up with Frank Langella.

This reminded me of all the other actors that I can't tell apart.

Patrick Swayze, Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Bill Pullman, Jeff Bridges and Michael Douglas all look exactly the same to me. I get them wrong every single time.

Then there's Kevin Costner and Bruce Willis which might be understandable, but now, I've found that Alan Rickman, from this angle and lighting, doesn't look that far off. Sometimes, I can get Malcom McDowell mistaken for one of KC or BW and there's just no hope in hell for me in telling Malcom McDowell apart from Gordon Matthew Sumner.

There's also Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan. They even sound incredibly similar. I don't have as much trouble with these two because they usually play very different roles, but when I see promo shots or very quick trailer cuts (especially when PS has a hair piece in his costume), I have to look very carefully to see the difference or look up the movie and see who it actually is. I didn't know if watching X-Men would make my head explode or what.

Dwayne Johnson and Rob Schneider. One's bigger and one's smaller; Rob Schneider is hilarious and Dwayne Johnson... just tries to be... I know. But just looking at faces, I couldn't tell.

I can't always tell Adrien Brody from David Schwimmer or Dylan McDermott. I can't watch "The Practice" without expecting Bobby Donnell to do something stupid á là Ross Geller.

If I saw them more often, I'm certain I'd mistake Max von Sydow for Richard Harris all the bloomin' time. And there was a picture of Richard Harris that I thought was actually Peter O'Toole at first. I can't find it now though...

I also have to look carefully to tell the difference between Dustin Hoffman and John Hurt. And sometimes, I get either of those two mixed up with Robert De Niro. And now, we can add Sean Penn in here as well.

I absolutely cannot tell the difference between Andy Garcia and Al Pacino. Al Pacino and Robert De Niro used to be clones, but I think RDN has changed quite a bit and looks different from AP now.

Richard Gere, Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Dustin Hoffman, David Duchovny, Alec Baldwin. ... ... ... I give up.      I.     JUST.     GIVE.     UP.

I talked about this with friends a long time ago. I realized that people in different cultures don't differentiate faces the same way as other cultures might.

Caucasians are used to telling people apart by their colouring in the eyes, hair and skin. But being Chinese, everyone has the same colour eyes, hair and skin, so I'm obviously not looking at that for my visual clues. I'm looking at facial features, shapes, sizes and distances from one reference mark to the next.

... I just like saying, "all White Guys look alike". =)

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Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
aliasa
Dec. 11th, 2002 04:01 pm (UTC)
LOL! I get Robert Deniro and Al Pacino mixed up.
bride
Dec. 11th, 2002 04:12 pm (UTC)
Re:
Yeah! That's the other Doppleganger pair! =P
trigeekgirl
Dec. 11th, 2002 04:05 pm (UTC)
Don't worry. All asians look alike too. :)

Says she who has actually learned, by some miracle, to distinguish Vietnamese and Korean. Chinese and Japanese I still can't tell though, and those pesky filipinos who are half one thing half another confuse me entirely. :)



bride
Dec. 11th, 2002 04:17 pm (UTC)
Re:
Heh =) A lot of South East Asian ethnicities, you just have to ask. They can be different nationalities, but the same ethnicity and vice versa.

There are a lot of Chinese in Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. In Indonesia, because it's illegal to have the same surname as someone else and not related by blood or marriage, the Chinese have had to take on Indonesian surnames so you can't tell that way either. =P
pne
Dec. 11th, 2002 09:59 pm (UTC)
If you think you can tell them apart...
That reminds me of a quiz for people who think they found the knack of telling apart Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people: http://www.alllooksame.com/ . (I think I scored pretty badly on it when I took the test, but then I don't claim to be able to tell the difference.)
Re: If you think you can tell them apart... - bride - Dec. 11th, 2002 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ugly_boy - Dec. 13th, 2002 09:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: - bride - Dec. 13th, 2002 09:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: - ugly_boy - Dec. 13th, 2002 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
soirdeparis
Dec. 11th, 2002 05:07 pm (UTC)
thats a really good point about how different races differentiate faces in different ways. I never thought about it that way- but it sure explains why caucasions think all Asians look alike!
bride
Dec. 11th, 2002 06:13 pm (UTC)
Exactly =) They don't have the colour cues with Asians =)
katie_ah
Dec. 11th, 2002 06:57 pm (UTC)
That reminds of what my big sister (Chinese) Kiki said one time.

We were looking at some newspaper, and she's like, oh! Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise got a divorce! And I'm like, what the hell? Since when was Julia and Tom married? so, I asked her "Oh, I think you mean Nicole Kidman." She said to me "Oh...you're right. I hope you're not angry when I say this, but...you white people all look a like!"

And, dammit, that was funny, because I got so many questions about "How can you tell Chinese people apart, hardeeharhar they look the same!" and then I heard that. Heh. Made my day.
bride
Dec. 11th, 2002 10:29 pm (UTC)
Hehehe, that's so cute =) I have a better time telling female celebrities apart from each other...

I sometimes can't tell Britney Spears from Christina Aguilera depending on how blond CA's hair is or how obfuscated her face is in the photograph I see.

And Avril Lavigne looks a bit like Jennifer Aniston with certain makeup.

And Britney Murphy looks like Calista Flockhart.

Hmmm... maybe I have just as much trouble with female celebrities too...
katie_ah
Dec. 12th, 2002 07:40 am (UTC)
Re:
Is Avril Lavigne the skater boy song girl? And who the hell is Britney Murphey? See, I don't even *know* these people. Heh.
Re: - bride - Dec. 12th, 2002 09:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: - katie_ah - Dec. 12th, 2002 09:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bride - Dec. 12th, 2002 02:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: - katie_ah - Dec. 12th, 2002 08:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: - bride - Dec. 12th, 2002 10:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ugly_boy - Dec. 13th, 2002 09:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: - katie_ah - Dec. 13th, 2002 09:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: - ugly_boy - Dec. 13th, 2002 07:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: - katie_ah - Dec. 13th, 2002 09:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: - ugly_boy - Dec. 14th, 2002 11:33 am (UTC) - Expand
ugly_boy
Dec. 13th, 2002 09:33 am (UTC)
Not to mention the fact that they made Faith Hill look exactly like Britney on the cover of her new CD.

For awhile, when Britney was tanning a lot and all the ethnic stars were trying to look white, Beyoncé, Shakira, and Britney looked EXACTLY the same.
wait
Dec. 12th, 2002 06:25 am (UTC)
I grew up in rural NY where nearly everyone, except me was of Irish or German decent.

(I'm Jewish, with Eastern European roots -- olive skin, dark hair.)

I have the worst time recognizing white men over the age of 40-ish. They all look exactly the same to me, unless they have a distingishing feature, like a beard or mustache. People of nearly any other nationality I can recognize from behind in a crowd...
bride
Dec. 13th, 2002 09:14 am (UTC)
"Hi Mr. Schmidt... I mean, Mr. O'Leery... oh, you're Seamus' Uncle Egan, sorry..." =P

=D
diannadinoble
Dec. 13th, 2002 08:54 am (UTC)
"weather : raining
outside : 6°C
mood : meh...

I have a lot of trouble telling actors apart. I was reading an interview with Christopher Lee and I thought he was in another movie, so I looked it up on IMDB. But it turns out that I have him mixed up with Frank Langella.

This reminded me of all the other actors that I can't tell apart.

Patrick Swayze, Kurt Russell, Bill Pullman, Jeff Bridges, Michael Douglas all look exactly the same to me.

"


I couldn't agree more!

Also, I love your story about the Bride of the First House. I'm from a small town in Ontario , now I live in Toronto . I crave learning about other cultures, especially family traditions.
I hope you don't mind if I add you to my friends list ")
bride
Dec. 13th, 2002 08:59 am (UTC)
Re:
I hope you don't mind if I add you to my friends list

Not at all =)

I crave learning about other cultures, especially family traditions.

You should move to Vancouver then! =D We are THE Multi-Cultural Exhibition in the grand zoo of things =)
(no subject) - diannadinoble - Dec. 13th, 2002 11:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ratkrycek - Oct. 9th, 2004 05:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bride - Oct. 9th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )

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