Anna Holmes
August 23, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Those media darlings du jour, Matthew McConaughey and Gwyneth Paltrow, have been so hastily anointed as superstars by the press, it’s easy to forget that when it comes to actual grassroots recognition, there’s very little there there. So we decided to perform our own little reality check: We showed photos of A Time to Kill‘s McConaughey and Emma‘s Paltrow to a number of passersby in New York City’s Times Square and asked people to identify the pair. Among the responses:

”I don’t know who he is. She’s Brad Pitt’s girlfriend.”
— Agathe, 22, movie theater employee, New York City

”He looks like that guy who was a DJ and also an actor, Jay Thomas. She’s Brad Pitt’s girlfriend.”
— Tom, 43, production manager, Pasadena, Calif.

”He looks like a businessman. She looks like the woman in Pretty Woman with brown hair, Julia Roberts.”
— Patrick, 31, engineer, New York City

”He’s a model on calendars and stuff. She looks like Cindy Crawford.”
— Tasheen, 14, student, New York City

”He looks like Luke Perry. She looks like a model.”
— Mark, 18, drugstore cashier, Long Island

”He looks like the guy in that movie we just saw, A Time to Kill. She’s a model, and she does some acting stuff.”
— Jabari, 23, musician, New York City

”I don’t know who they are except that he looks like her.”
— Linda, 23, student, New York City

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