04 May 2007

"You know who you look like...?"

Most people have a particular celebrity that they "resemble," and strangers or new aquaintences are always bringing it up. "You know who you look like?" The answer: "Yeah, ———. I get that all the time."

I used to be told I looked like David Hyde-Pierce, or "that guy who plays Niles in Fraiser" since people could rarely remember the actor's name. While out dancing and wearing my pinstriped suits, I would be told I looked like a young James Cagney. A girlfriend told me, after watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, that she thought I was dead ringer for him. Guess which resemblence I preferred: David Hyde-Pierce or Jimmy Cagney.

Then Spider-Man came out in 2002 and that all ended. Suddenly to everybody, I was a mirror image of Tobey Macguire. Even my mother thought so, and she's seen more of me than any human on the planet. I even got asked point-blank once if I was Tobey Macguire. To be fair, a girl I met at a dance club had told me back in 1998 that I looked like Tobey Macguire, but at that point almost nobody knew who he was. I certainly didn't know him by name. But post-2002, this is the usual conversation with people I've just met.

"You know who you look like?"
"Yeah, Tobey Macguire. I hear that all the time."
"No, you look like that Spider-Man guy."

Okay, a lot more people remember the actor's name, but Spider-Man inevitably is brought up. And to little kids, it's flat-out, "Hey, you look like Spider-Man!" If I wasn't taller than Tobey, I should have applied for a job as his stand-in.

Which one of these is the real Spider-Man?
(Wait a minute... we're talking about a fictional character.)