I’ve been mistaken for (or have been told that I look just like) Steve Martin three times this week in London – fancy that! We say “fancy that” here in England and “bloody hell” – as if hell isn’t bad enough we have to make it bloody, too. We also say “cheers” and call each other “mate”. But I digress – back to Steve Martin or me looking like him anyway.
Truth be told, this has happened before; just not 3 times in 2 days and not in London (to be fair – I’m rarely here). It happens in New York and has also happened in L.A. and once or twice in Mexico City – Steve and I get around.
I get two kinds of Steve Martin reactions: the first is usually something like,”Excuse me sir, but you’re not by any chance…?” The second is more like “Has anyone ever told you that you look just like…?” I’ve had people in New York shout at me on the street, “Hey, Steve Martin!” – I usually just wave and smile. On occasion I get “Hey, you look like ‘what’s his name’; that actor; oh wait, it’ll come to me…” I sometimes respond to this with “Oh Brad Pitt, I get that all the time!” I’ve been known to substitute “Denzel Washington” or “Paul Newman” but Paul’s dead now so that seems wrong.
The occasional mistaken identity is kind of fun (and usually funny) but Steve Martin is about 10 years older than me, so I assume people think I look like a “young Steve Martin”. And the truly amusing thing is that folks are not afraid to approach me (him) and ask. Also it never seems to occur to them that Steve Martin probably isn’t just bumming around on the street (or the London Underground) or shopping at Wal-Mart® or pumping his own gas at Fast-Lane® or eating at Waffle House®. Steve Martin likely has an entourage – I would but that’s just me.
I’ll be honest; I like the recognition, even for a moment AND even if it’s not for me. I wonder how many times Steve has had to explain that “he’s really not Denis Wilhelm”? Sorry Steve, you can look like me but you can’t have my life – it’s all mine. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.