I’ve mentioned before that I have a really hard time telling people apart. Hollywood really does not make things easy for me.
Usually I can only keep track of the kind of huge, obvious many details that you’d find on a super exaggerated cartoon made by somebody who can’t actually draw– hair color, skin tone, maybe an iconic article of clothing, or a very large and prominent scar. When it’s exaggerated enough, I can use body language. I have a lot easier time with actors who would be considered Hollywood’s version of ugly (overweight, broken nose, strange-looking face, etc) –usually because they have distinct enough features that I can latch on to.
I don’t completely lack the ability to remember faces– I don’t usually have a problem after I’ve developed an emotional attachment to a person/character– which is why I can actually tell Castiel from Columbo, and Lucifer from Nathan from Hook. It can be really hard to get to that point, though, if I can’t tell if I’m looking at one character or six.
It’s not just Hollywood casting, either. When I first started my most recent job, I got super awkward around two of my coworkers because they were both petite blonde college-age girls with long hair, and I had no idea which one I was talking to even when the other one was standing right next to me. Now that I know them both fairly well, they look absolutely nothing alike.
A lot of my ability to identify people is context based, too. For a while, I was able to identify a friend in the lunchroom because she was the only blonde who sat at our table, but I couldn’t recognize her in the halls until we became better friends. I wouldn’t have any problem identifying Lucifer in his own show, but I’ve had several moments where I see an untagged gifset where I have to look super close to be able to distinguish who I’m looking at. It doesn’t always work, though. Notably, I once saw a picture and got really confused about why Daniel Radcliff was hanging out with the Supernatural actors. It took maybe two full minutes of confused staring to realize I was looking at Osric Chau.