The Case of Mistaken Identity


Mistaking one actor for another is a very common occurrence.  I’m sure at some point everyone has done it.  Recently I was in the midst of a conversation with my roomie when this very thing happened.  Sometimes the case of mistaken identity is too funny to not share with the masses.

We were having a discussion about Christopher Plummer.  You see, I loooooove me some Christopher Plummer and would probably freak out if I ever found myself in his presence.  Our conversation took a slight detour when the following exchange happened.

Me: I would love to interview Christopher Plummer.  Actually I think I’d ask him if he would just read to me.

Roomie: If you ever do, ask him what it felt like to get his arm taken off by a snow blower.

Me: Dude, that was Crispin Glover not Christopher Plummer.

It was at that point that we both went into fits of hysterical laughter.  It became a running joke for the night and at one point, Danny Glover’s name was thrown into the mix for good measure.

I hate to be that person that points out mistakes like that but with my group of friends we tend to attack when something like that happens.  Just like a piranha, we smell the blood of a mistake in the water and we attack.  It’s almost too hard to resist.  Like when someone sings “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” instead of the proper lyrics, you just have to say something.  You can’t let that slide.  Am I right?

Watching Bewitched as a kid was challenging.  It’s Dick York, no…it’s Dick Sargent.  No it’s Sargent York!  Not that it really mattered because they were basically the same person.  Observe the picture. They the look pretty similar.

Then there are the actors who have the same names but in different order.  David Keith and Keith David for example.  David Keith killed it (ok, I’m exaggerating a tad) as Elvis in Heartbreak Hotel and killed himself in An Officer and Gentleman.  Keith David on the other hand never played Elvis.  He has however, been in loads of stuff from Pitch Black, to Armageddon and was the voice of Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog.  But because their names are pretty much the same, it’s easy to get them confused, otherwise they look nothing alike.

And then there are the Bills.  How these two are often confused for one another, I’ll never now.  Personally, Chet and Hudson are so ingrained into my brain that there is no way I could mistake Bill Paxton for anyone else.  Bill Pullman gave one of the greatest (albeit with a heavy side of cheese) presidential speeches ever.  Damn right we’re going to celebrate our Independence Day!  The to Bills are worlds apart in my book, but I guess the names could be confusing for some.  Think you can keep them straight?  Take this quiz and find out.

Finally we have Michael Madsen and Tom Sizemore.  This has nothing to do with names, but for some reason they’re easily confused.  Michael Madsen = Thelma & Louise, Reservoir Dogs, 24 and let’s not forget Free Willy.  Tom Sizemore = Red, Saving Private Ryan, and Strange Days.  Very different actors, yet the same.  They both lead with their foreheads and their eyes and get that same look on their face.  I always need to take a beat before I can get them straight.

I know there are loads of other, but these are the ones that just came off the top of my head.  It’s fine to get them mixed up while in the comfort of your own home, but if you’re around friends, or around my group of friends, it’s best to have your actors straight.  Who do you get confused?  Leave it in the comments.

0 thoughts on “The Case of Mistaken Identity

  1. I have the same problem with Bill Paxton (Aliens) and Will Patton (Armagedden). By the way, Will Patton reading the James Lee Burke’s “Dave Robicheaux” stories are a match made in heaven. When I listen to them I can feel the humidity and smell the breeze coming off Bayou Teche.

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