Actor Prosopagnosia: A Proso-poll-nosia

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My wife has a very hard time telling actors apart. Inevitably we will be watching a show or movie and she will say, "oh, that was the guy from ['Insert name of other show'] and I will have no idea who she is talking about until I realize she has mistaken the actor for another actor who doesn't really look anything like the actor she is thinking of. In the early-00s, she always mixed up Claire Danes, Julia Styles, and Anna Paquin.

Last night we were watching Mindhunter and Brent Sexton showed up and she insisted he was the guy from Justified. Fair enough, he was on Justified. But after further discussion it became apparent she was actually thinking of the guy who was on Justified who also was the prospector on Deadwood (Jim Beaver) who married the widow. When I said, "no", she then claimed he was then the bartender on Deadwood (W. Earl Brown).

I don't think these guys look that much alike, other than generally being doughy white dudes with facial hair. Can you help settle this for me:

Poll Results

OptionVotes
All of these guys look alike. 11
None of these guys look alike. 5
Jim Beaver looks like Brent Sexton. 4
Jim Beaver looks like W. Earl Brown. 1
Brent Sexton looks like W. Earl Brown. 1


Mom jokes are his way of showing affection (to your mom) (PBKR), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 12:21 (two months ago) link

I forgot to add: she continued to insist she was right after I started to GIS.

Mom jokes are his way of showing affection (to your mom) (PBKR), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 12:22 (two months ago) link

All of these guys look alike imo.

Monte Scampino (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 12:26 (two months ago) link

White people on television look alike *a lot*.

Monte Scampino (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 12:26 (two months ago) link

White people on television look alike *a lot*.

― Monte Scampino (Le Bateau Ivre)

Yeah I swear the same mid 30s beardy hunk is the lead in every single Netflix show.

chap, Tuesday, 11 August 2020 12:28 (two months ago) link

I mean, they're not super-identical and Brent Sexton has a bit of a different look, but W. Earl Brown and Jim Beaver don't even appear to look the same as themselves in that their first 10 Google image results from different roles all look different to me, so sure, why not, they could all be the same person.

L. Prague de Scamp (a passing spacecadet), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 17:56 (two months ago) link

I have definitely watched films where I couldn't tell the women actors apart. I had particular trouble with one where Dashing Protagonist was having a lot of flashbacks to his dead wife while navigating his relationship with a new woman and being seduced/chased by a treacherous spy.

All 3 were of course white, blonde, 20 years younger than him, and Hollywood attractive. To this day I have no idea if all 3 of these were different people or if it was an actual plot point that his wife wasn't actually dead and was trying to murder him, or that he hadn't noticed that his new fiancé was actually his dead wife and/or a foreign assassin.

"Isn't she dead? She was trying to murder him last scene but now he's proposing? What's going on?!"

L. Prague de Scamp (a passing spacecadet), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 17:58 (two months ago) link

i never recognize any actors in movies. people will show me a picture of an actor and be like "do you know who that is?" and i'll be like "no idea".

my, like, not watching movies or tv shows might play into it somehow, but even when i did watch movies or tv shows i could never tell the actors apart.

Kate (rushomancy), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 18:31 (two months ago) link

These are the wrong answers people.

Jim Beaver is also almost 20 years older than Brent Sexton.

My wife is going to laugh at me when I show this to her.

Mom jokes are his way of showing affection (to your mom) (PBKR), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 18:43 (two months ago) link

We don’t have these problems in our house; my wife has an almost eidetic memory for who’s been in what, sometimes we have to help each other out to put names to faces though.

All that said, these guys all look alike.

sound of scampo talk to me (El Tomboto), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 18:52 (two months ago) link

Eidetic Facein'

Basil Ker-ching (Noel Emits), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 19:00 (two months ago) link

These guys all look alike. (They're also great examples of Hey, It's That Guy!-ism.)

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 19:01 (two months ago) link

Goddammit!

Mom jokes are his way of showing affection (to your mom) (PBKR), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 22:09 (two months ago) link

pretty sure they cast them to the same template

The Scampos of Young Werther (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 11 August 2020 23:04 (two months ago) link

Which one is this?

https://t.co/P8ZvRpIJYA

kvetches of spain (Noel Emits), Wednesday, 12 August 2020 19:17 (two months ago) link

Jim Beaver doesn't look like the other two -- but Sexton and Brown do look somewhat alike -- Sexton I remember best as Stan Larsen from The Killing, Beaver I remember best from Supernatural, didn't make the Deadwood connection.

sarahell, Wednesday, 12 August 2020 19:23 (two months ago) link

When I watched the Hunger Games films I had serious difficulty telling all the hunky lads apart

The Scampos of Young Werther (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 12 August 2020 19:26 (two months ago) link

I'm really bad at getting actors mixed up.

All these women look the same to me

Alba, Thursday, 13 August 2020 02:42 (two months ago) link

I guess I'm good at getting mixed actors up, actually.

Alba, Thursday, 13 August 2020 02:45 (two months ago) link

Now I'm mixing up my words. Time to go to bed.

Alba, Thursday, 13 August 2020 02:45 (two months ago) link

You can add Rachel Ray and that girl who plays Summer on the OC.
― Eppy (Eppy), Monday, 28 August 2006 17:10 (thirteen years ago) link

Lol, no.

Mom jokes are his way of showing affection (to your mom) (PBKR), Thursday, 13 August 2020 03:59 (two months ago) link

The running joke in our house is the three blonde white ladies who I can never keep straight - Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and I think Kate Winslet.

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 13 August 2020 04:11 (two months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 17 August 2020 00:01 (two months ago) link

I don't think these guys look that much alike, other than generally being doughy white dudes with facial hair.

Here you have inadvertently captured the very essence of their mutual resemblance, and since your description undoubtedly applies to all three, this clinches the fact of their 'alikeness'.

the unappreciated charisma of cows (Aimless), Monday, 17 August 2020 00:41 (two months ago) link

I am the WORST with this, its become a running joke and I am honestly starting to think I have mild actual prosopagnosia because all it takes is for Shia Lebeouf to grow a moustache and I'm going "oh theres that guy from that other Marvel show" or whatever.

The running answer is "its Gary oldman". I hate it. Superman's clark kent disguise would totally work on me.

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Monday, 17 August 2020 01:40 (two months ago) link

It probably doesnt help that we have recently watched a LOT of law and order, so I keep seeing the same people over and over and confusing them all.

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Monday, 17 August 2020 01:42 (two months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 18 August 2020 00:01 (two months ago) link

My wife was quite pleased with the results. Thanks everybody.

Mom jokes are his way of showing affection (to your mom) (PBKR), Tuesday, 18 August 2020 01:20 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

So we were watching Coming to America and my wife thought Patrice was played by Erica Tazel. WTF? Do the math!

Quiet Storm Thorgerson (PBKR), Friday, 25 September 2020 02:04 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

So we are watching Hanna (2011) and she mistakes Michelle Dockery for Marie from Breaking Bad. NB we have watched both Downton Abbey and BB.

Quiet Storm Thorgerson (PBKR), Friday, 16 October 2020 23:50 (two weeks ago) link


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