On Being Teri Hatcher: New Jersey Teen Shines as Celebrity Lookalike for the Desperate Housewife

My youngest daughter has been a constant source of joy, surprise, determination and motivation to all of us in our family. Somehow, that nine pound, six ounce newborn apparently sucked from some pretty impressive gene pools; at fifteen, she stands a healthy six feet tall, with flawless skin, teeth carefully straightened and toned by two years of braces, long, thick dark hair, and an amazingly positive outlook on the world.

As a youngster, she was the consummate ‘jock’; during her short life, she has played soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, basketball, tennis, and has done competitive diving and running hurdles in track. We used to joke that the last time she appeared (willingly) in a dress was for her First Communion – but that was back in the day.

When she turned twelve, we started to get telephone calls from local modeling agencies asking us to bring her in for an interview. They liked her look, they liked her height, they really, really liked her height! I honestly don’t remember much about those first interviews back then; they remain a blur of my daughter sitting on the edge of her seat, bluntly telling the agency representative that she WASN’T INTERESTED in working for them. WASN’T INTERESTED! Oh my gosh, I thought, is this the beginning of a difficult or different kind of adolescence?

But wait! When she turned fourteen, Astrid had an (unknown to us!) change of heart. She wanted to pursue a career in modeling! We signed with several agencies, but I found that Astrid’s most interesting job was one that I obtained for her myself. Acting as her mother/agent (she is an independent modeling contractor; we have politely declined to have her sign an exclusive contract with any one agency to date), I perused that Godsend of web sites, Craig’s List. And there was an ad on Craig’s List under the New York listings to which I just had to respond…

The posting was for a celebrity lookalike for several of Hollywood’s finest ladies; the company was producing a segment on the dresses worn by these celebrities at the 2005 Emmy Awards. Responding back to my email (which had attached several of Astrid’s photos), we headed up to New York City on a chilly Friday afternoon to see if my child was indeed the “Teri Hatcher” look.

And she was! Astrid was hired on the spot, and we were told to return the following Monday for gown fittings and for the taping of the show. How on earth, I wondered, would they be able to transform my fifteen year old daughter into the early 40ish Ms. Hatcher?

No wonder that makeup artists (MUA) and stylists are the backbone of the fashion industry. Within just a few hours, working simultaneously on her hair and makeup, with stops in between to have her blue gown fitted, my daughter was indeed the Teri Hatcher of the 2005 Emmys.

She looked amazing! And what was even more exciting, she was absolutely thrilled to be playing Teri Hatcher, if only for a few days. Tapings were done of my daughter and three other models (“Halle Berry”, “Mischa Barton” and “Mariska Hargitay”) for the shows; the actual taping took place during the late morning in one of Manhatten’s chicest clubs, which had been rented for the event and had the requisite red carpet.

My daughter was the first model out, swinging her shoulders, turning from side to side, smiling brilliantly at the cameras under those incredibly hot, bright lights. The following morning, we had placed a 4:30 AM wakeup call; Astrid and I were to be at the studios of the WB11 by 6 AM. I thought that it was incredibly exciting just to watch the incredible transformation of my kid into a willowy, poised version of Ms. Hatcher the day before.

On this day, I sat in the ‘green room’, together with the mom of another model, as our daughters, buoyed by several cups of black coffee, were again transformed into their ‘celebrities’. Astrid again came out first on the live morning show; we watched her live on the television set in the green room (we weren’t allowed on the set itself) as she smiled and twirled her way through the segment. What a thrill it was to hear the show’s hostess say “Oh, my, you look absolutely beautiful!” to her when she first set foot on their runway…

That was then, and this is now. I was curious to see what Teri Hatcher looked like when she first started in show business; I was amazed, as was my husband, to see that Astrid is the spitting image of the teenaged Teri Hatcher, after all! To this day, I am awestruck by the mechanisms that turned my teenaged daughter into Teri Hatcher in so short a period of time.

We have our memories, we have our still photos from the shoot (which aired nationally on two syndicated entertainment shows), but I still wonder…did Teri Hatcher ever even know that her celebrity lookalike was a teenager young enough to be her daughter?!

And better yet, she pulled it off beautifully! I like to think that Ms. Hatcher would have been just as pleased as punch that a teen can emulate her look today…way to go, Teri!

Postcript: The Golden Globes are here! Astrid has been asked again to be a celebrity lookalike! Will she be…Rachel Weisz? Jennifer Garnier? Angelina Jolie? Or, hoping against hope, Teri Hatcher once again?!

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