The first time I noticed Elizabeth Banks was in a bit part in Catch Me If You Can, in 2002. When I saw Spider-Man 2 in 2004, I recognized the actress for who she was, not realizing her identity when I saw her as Miss Brant in Spider-Man 1.
The first time I saw Rachel McAdams in a movie was in 2005’s Wedding Crashers. After that I caught her in Mean Girls, either on HBO or a rental. But I didn’t realize I was watching Rachel McAdams, because I thought this blonde was that other blonde, Elizabeth Banks.
For a long time, not years but probably months, I thought the actresses were one and the same. Insulting to them, yes, but understandable, really. They both rose to fame around the same time. They are both blonde and almost exactly the same body build. Plus, their faces are terribly similar.
See also: Dermot Mulroney vs. Dylan McDermott
Now, of course, I can recognize them for who they really are. Not only can I see their physical differences, but also they have chosen different paths in their careers. Rachel McAdams has become the dramatic romantic comedy darling, like in About Time, which opened this weekend. Elizabeth Banks is starring in comedies and big studio movies, like playing the highly costumed Effie in the Hunger Games movies.
But when I’m thinking about a movie that was released years ago, sometimes I still get them mixed up. So, dear readers, I am challenging YOU to a test. See if you can remember which honey-haired beauty appeared in these movies. (To make the quiz more fun, don’t scroll past the picture to the answer until you’ve guessed. If you just scroll through, you are spoiling the fun and I will take my marbles and go home.)
Take the Rachel McAdams vs. Elizabeth Banks Challenge
1. Which actress played the sympathetic, wise-cracking secretary in Spider-Man 1, 2 and 3? Was it Rachel McAdams or Elizabeth Banks?
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2. Which actress played Beth, the bookstore clerk, in The 40 Year-Old Virgin? Was it Rachel McAdams or Elizabeth Banks?
3. Who played Clare in The Time Traveler’s Wife? Was it Rachel McAdams or Elizabeth Banks?
4. Who played Irene Adler in Sherlock Holmes? Was it Rachel McAdams or Elizabeth Banks?
5. (Last one.) Who played Miri in Zack and Miri Make a Porno? Was it Rachel McAdams or Elizabeth Banks?
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