For years, people have been telling me that I look like a movie star. Generally, they have a particular one in mind. In my teens, the comparison was Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet, so much so that when I first arrived at my college freshman orientation an upperclassman dubbed me "Liz," a name that stuck with me through my tumultuous time on campus.
The "Did anyone ever tell you that you look like" question then shifted to the high-contrast brunette of the moment (Sherilyn Fenn, anyone?), though occasionally a specific feature or two has been sufficient. Sean Young and I, for instance, have identical noses (though very different kinds of crazy). Geena Davis flashes a very similar wide smile to mine, and we've both often sported a curly, chin-length bob.
Over the past decade or so, the name I've heard most is Jennifer Connelly's, particularly when my hair was longer than it is now. Fair skin? Check. Thick, dark brows? Yes. Light, greenish eyes? Indeed. Fifties-fashion-friendly figure? Yup. Alto voice? Sure. Longtime New Yorker? But of course. Oscar on the mantel? Oops, not me.
The resemblance is apparently strong enough that it transcends national boundaries. About five years ago, my sister and I were having a late lunch at the legendary Benoit in Paris. A middle-aged couple a few tables away kept glancing at us, so I smiled at them. When our tarte Tatin arrived, so did a crème brulée we hadn't ordered, which the waiter indicated had come from the couple in question. Of course, we thanked them, and that's when they asked me for my autograph. I was sorry to have to tell them that, while I may have a beautiful mind, I had not been in the film of the same name. But the crème brulée, which they insisted we keep, was delicious.
Connelly, who has a deal with Revlon, spoke at the New York Run/Walk for Women on Saturday and then walked the event. I ran it, so I was able to catch up with her in Central Park, jog nearby briefly and unobtrusively, and consider my doppelgänger. And she actually does look more like me than the sister I was having lunch with that day does.
Which doesn't mean I'd rather go to Paris with her. Though between us we could probably do pretty well on dessert.