Does Daily Astorian circulation advisor Steve Whitus look like Gene Hackman? Evidently "Ring 2" star Naomi Watts thinks so.

Whitus was speaking recently to one of the movie's crew during filming of a scene in Astoria that was holding up an Astorian paper carrier, when the actress came up and said, "I didn't know Gene Hackman was going to be in this movie."

Watts was joking, Whitus said, but it wasn't the first time that his resemblance to the Hollywood star has been noticed. He told the actress about an incident 10 years ago at a Los Angeles restaurant when a couple with a young boy asked him for his autograph. He obliged - signing "Steve Whitus" for them and thus revealing their mistake.

Whitus is a fan of Hackman's work, and probably would be even without the resemblance, he said. But he's flattered by the comparison - though only if it's to Hackman in one of his better movies, like "Mississippi Burning," his favorite.

"If they say I look like him in 'Superman' I'm offended," he laughed. "He looked like such a dork in that one."


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