I occasionally get “Hey, you look like (insert name of famous person)”. I’m assuming most people get this at one time or other. The ones I get most often, in descending order of frequency, are: Michael J Fox, Colin Firth and Elijah Wood. Recently, a friend pointed out I looked a bit like Jason Bateman, so add that to the list. My first reaction – and probably yours too – is that these actors don’t look anything like each other. At least I’d never mistake one of them for another. So what is it that people see in them that they think looks like me?
Well, I found this demo app on the Face Research website that will take several faces and average them. I grabbed these four images and uploaded them. Probably not the best choices but it’s really hard to find head-on photos of celebrities.
Interesting effect. The averaged face seems to filter out a lot of the idiosyncrasies of the individuals, leaving you with a fairly bland face that highlights only the common features. What I’m seeing is: pointy nose, large forehead with a hairline that comes down a bit in the middle, wide jaw and a slightly bewildered look.
I also took three images of myself in various poses and ran them through the face averager to see how it compared. Even on three images of the same person, the averaging tends to wash out the idiosyncrasies and leave you with the gross configuration of features.
So, yeah, kinda sorta looks like me but with nicer hair and better lighting.
Odd thing about that Fox / Firth / Wood / Bateman blend: I can sorta see Colin Firth and Michael J Fox but I don’t really see much of Elijah Wood or Jason Bateman in the image. Not sure why that would be. Might have to do a separate post on that one…