My Brush with Greatness
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My Brush with Greatness

By Mrs. Julien | Comment Diversions | June 29, 2013 | Comments ()

greatness 1.jpg

Yes, we have done this before, we do it about once a year or so, but it's always popular and fun, so I think it's time for another pass: Please tell us about a time you met a famous person/someone who meant a lot to you.

NateMan's comment on Why We Are The Way We Are: The Most Influential Stand-Up Routines Of Our Youth, with Maguita NYC's encouragement, inspired this diversion, so here is his original comment in its entirety -

Well, I can tell it now that I'm home and my kid's in bed and I have a few minutes, since you and Sotto were kind enough to ask... :)

So, I've mentioned before I work at a major University here in MA. (Hint: It starts with a U and ends with a Mass and is often referred to as a Zoo.) About 4 years ago I worked with their Physical Plant, and outside of my regular job I was a driver for bigwigs on campus. When the Chancellor or Provost or VC needed to get to or from the airport, or had an event to go to, they'd often have someone drive them. Sometimes it made sense, other times it seemed a waste of funds. But hey, I was earning OT so I didn't mind. It was early spring, sugaring season to be precise, and the Provost - whose name I cannot for the life of me remember - was going to dinner at the Cosby residence and wanted a driver. So, being youngish and charming I got picked to do it.

Now, Mr. & Mrs. Cosby have had a house in Shelburne Falls for years. The town is very artsy and gets a good crowd of hippies, artists, and farmers, and is a pretty cool place. It's where RDJ is filming The Judge, actually. It also happens to be right across the river (on one of the prettiest bridges you ever did see: ) from the town where I grew up. So, cool. I'd drop her off, go visit my folks, and get paid good money to do it. And then pick her up and drive her home after.

A lot of people I know have worked for Mr. Cosby on one job or another. My uncle repainted the interior of his house a few years back. A contractor I know did a ton of work for him and even took him for a ride on his Harley back a couple decades ago. But I'd never met the man, though I'd driven by his place plenty of times. And let me tell you, it's something to see. He owns a buttload of land, and at least 5 acres surrounding his house could be a golf course, the grounds are so immaculate. It's also got a beautiful stone fence around it with a sign at the gate that reads: "If you aren't invited, don't come in." Not something I can blame him for, though the locals don't need to be told. We believe in privacy up here.

To make a long story slightly less long, I dropped off the Provost and went to visit my folks, and returned a couple hours later. I was waiting in the car, reading whatever the latest Jim Butcher book at the time was, when there was a knock on the window. It was Mr. Cosby's assistant. He said, "Mr. Cosby would like to invite you inside."

I was a little uncomfortable at the idea of meeting him - I'd always been a fan of his, but I didn't want to disturb the man at home. He was a person to me, not a celebrity, probably because I'd grown up not 15 minutes away from his house. But I didn't see a polite way to refuse, so I said thank you and went inside.

The house is stunning. A mix of Colonial and Victorian, basically, a large sprawling farmhouse with lots of stonework. The kitchen is insane, and one I'd sell my soul to own. Lots of copper and stone, thick butcher block counter tops if I remember correctly, the biggest stove/oven you've ever seen. Beautiful, but very simple too, which I appreciated.

I was standing in there when in walked Mr. Cosby with the Provost. He was dressed in traditional African garb, long flowing robes (and forgive me, because I can't remember the proper name for them either). The first thing that struck me was how old and tired he looked. It was about 10PM, and he had clearly had a long day.He was in his early 70s at that point, remember, and he hadn't been much on TV lately so I was still picturing him from the Cosby Show. One eye points off in entirely the wrong direction now, and he looked a bit, well, frail. But he walked right up to me, introduced himself, and shook my hand. His hand was dry and his grip firm, practiced but also very friendly. I fully admit to being a little starstruck, though I'm pleased to say I didn't stutter when I said hello and introduced myself. We talked for a few minutes as the Provost got ready to go and he was light and joking the whole time. It was very clear that every one of his faculties was still fully intact. He asked if I was hungry and wanted something to eat for the road, and I told him no thank you, that I had eaten with my parents.

Mr. Cosby is apparently unwilling to hear the word "No," and so the next thing I know he's pressing a piece of homemade corn bread into my hands, and then a plate with a piece of lemon meringue pie. And I looked at him, and at the plate, and then back at him, and I swear to every God you can think of I had to bite the inside of my cheeks to stop from exploding into howls of laughter. Because, while growing up, my mother had always made lemon meringue pie out of Jello pudding mix. So here was Bill Cosby straight out of Jello commercial, wearing what looked an awful lot like a night-dress and forcing me to take a piece of pie. It was like the night crystallized into this perfect moment of dry, absurdist humor, and I will never, ever forget it. It took something mundane on many levels and just made it... Well, memorable. And I think he could tell I was trying not to laugh, because he had a certain gleam in his eye that told me he knew what I was thinking.

I drove the Provost home soon after and then went home to my then-fiance and now wife. She asked me how the night went, and I looked at her, and dissolved into the laughter that I'd been holding back for the last several hours. I laughed until my sides hurt and between bouts of uncontrollable giggling I told her what had happened, and why I was holding a piece of pie, covered over with tin foil.

It was damn good pie, too. That man knows how to hire a cook.

So, that's my story, and I promise every word of it is true. It was absurd and spectacular, and a little sad to see him so old, but then just plain funny and warm as soon as he spoke. It really made me cognizant, in some ways, of how some celebrities, the good ones anyway, really are just plain ol' people too. Mr. Cosby has been involved in controversies in the past, and he has his flaws the same as the rest of us. But he was nice to a 28yr old redneck with a shaved head and bushy beard, a guy he didn't even have to say hello to, and went out of his way to make me feel welcome. That showed class and grace, two things I will always respect.He took himself from almost nothing to a King of Comedy, and hasn't forgotten himself along the way. I will always, always appreciate that opportunity. I might not have gotten his autograph but I got a damn fine piece of pie and one hell of a memory, and that's good enough for me.

OR, to keep things fresh, please tell us about your 15 minutes of fame.

I'll contribute this one as my story about that time I saw Booger from Revenge of the Nerds at MOMA and didn't actually speak to him is, as you have already surmised, a non-starter.

My friend and I went to see Aretha Franklin at Massey Hall in Toronto. We had balcony seats overlooking the stage. During one of the songs, Ms. Franklin waved back at us and then, this is where it gets better, they turned a spotlight on us while we were dancing to give expression to our joy. After the concert, this is the best part, some people stopped to ask us directions and the interrupted themselves to say, "Hey! We saw you dancing in the spotlight. You were good!"

Comment diversion suggestions, tesseracts, and travellers cheques can be sent here.

Power Ranking The Best, Most Badass Lady Cops In Film & Television | Liveblogging Lifetime's Anna Nicole

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Colleeeeeeeen

    It's not an exciting story but I got to hug Fran Kranz at the Boston pr-screening for Cabin in the Woods. He was super sweet and seemed genuinely touched by what I had to say to him.

  • Cuca

    Super late, but it's my one and only encounter with a celebrity, so: Back in the ice ages, when I was a cute 22 year-old girl working as flight attendant for my country's official airline, I was at the MIA airport, in full uniform, waiting out a 3-hour layover. I had bought myself a HUGE Coke float and was enjoying it like a 5 year-old kid, when I noticed a man looking at me (probably at my big-ass dessert). It was Andrew Dice Clay. I got a bit nervous, because being female and latina, I represented the punch line of most of his jokes, so I just smiled at him. He then said: "that will make you fat in no time", to which I replied something along the lines of it being worth every ounce. He just smiled and kept looking at me, so to break the awkwardness I said : "I know who you are". He shook his head and said : "no, you know who I play". That was such an eye opener for me! You know, to see the difference between the person and and the character and all that jazz... Anyway, we chatted for a little while, mainly about my country and how he would like to visit it... Very nice man, and complete opposite of his stand-up act.

  • Captain_Tuttle

    Late (as ever) to the party. I used to live in NYC, where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone who's been on Law & Order. That being said, I have one favorite encounter:

    My then boyfriend, now husband, and I were looking for apartments in the Gramercy Park area (in retrospect, very optimistic on our parts, considering how fancy that place is), so we were walking around with a notepad, pen, and the rental ads. We were peeking in at the (fenced, locked) park when a guy came up with a cute little girl. I happened to be bending down at that moment, so I saw the kid first, and said hi to her (even then, I loved little kids). Then I stood up and started asking the guy if he lived in the neighborhood and if he liked it. As I made it to full standing height (still holding my notepad and pen), I realize it was Ethan Hawke (whilst still married to Uma). He looked at the paper & pen, and started stammering at me, while I started stammering at him. I felt honor-bound to show him I was taking notes on apartments, and wasn't an autograph hound. Once we established that, he was nice as pie and told us all about the neighborhood, said it was worth it to pay extra for a place with a key to the park, and that lots of people let their kids run around because it was so safe. Sadly, we couldn't afford that neighborhood, so we never ended up being besties with Uma & Ethan, but that's Ok. I always wonder who would have gotten us in the divorce.

  • I've only met people in a con-scenario - by which I mean only earlier this year, at Aus ComicCon.

    I met Jason Momoa, got a picture signed and later had a photo with him. He was using a broad Australian accent and chatting with the photographer, but he looked me in the eye and smiled. After the picture, he said, 'You're gawwww-gous!'

    Yes, he was probably just continuing in the ridiculous accent, but I'm taking it as a compliment. I almost fainted from joy.

    I also met William Shatner that day. He was so lovely. He said, 'Thank you so much for coming', in such a genuine way I didn't know what to say.

  • Maguita NYC



    What is wrong with you? You have to tell this properly: Start with the smell, what did he smell like? How tall was he? What did he smell like? Did he hug you to his chest? What did he smell like? Short hair or long hair?

    Don't you understand your responsibility towards some of us here in Pajiba Land when describing your meeting with Jason Momoa?

  • Mrs. Julien

    I love you so.

  • Maguita NYC

    No one can accuse me of not looking after our collective obsessio... well-being.

  • Hahaha! I basically reacted the same way you did. I ADORE JaMo and was so, so excited to go see him.

    I was ridiculously shy because he is basically perfection. He's super tall - I think a full foot taller than me (I'm around 5'5")

    His hand was on my waist. His hair was short but he was beardy and stunning and I look like an idiot in my picture, otherwise I'd post it. I went around for at least a week trying to casually bring it up: 'Oh, yeah, I met Khal Drogo, whatev'.

    Also, the accent was put on. For the laffs.

    I went to his panel and he was charming - turns out he lived in my city for a few years, back when he was around 19.

    I now have the picture in my bedroom facing my bed. I point it out to my boyfriend regularly, to keep him on his toes.

  • Maguita NYC


    Clean cotton, a bit of spicy aftershave, the endless Dothraki sea, scales of fire-breathing dragons? WHAT??

  • He smelt like dreams.

  • Maguita NYC

    Damn you. Just four words and I melted.

  • Mythra Sun

    I met Liam Hemsworth once (in full Dark Phoenix costume, no less) and I have it on good authority that he smells the great Australian outback mixed with drops of handsomeness and ruggedness.

  • Maguita NYC

    Could you please pressure Bellbird into properly explaining to us Khal Drogo's smell?

    Oh, and the size of his hand on her waist.

    Much obliged.

  • Koolickle

    I've met a collection of random TV actors (mostly cable), reality stars, and some sports stars etc through working in media. The only celeb I've come across who acted like an asshole was Ron Perlman. Everyone has off days so I'll chalk it up to a bad night but it was a huge disappointment to meet him.

  • Sara Habein

    I pretty much need no encouragement whatsoever to say that I met the following people:

    1. Noel Gallagher (

    2. Johnny (Fuckin) Marr (

    3. Ryan Gosling (I have no linky story for him, but I was in the bonfire scene in THE SLAUGHTER RULE, which he was in -- and Amy Adams -- and we chatted a bit and he was smiley. And it was freezing. And I made $50 whole dollars.)

  • Maguita NYC

    Too bad the pages you linked us to do not exist anymore... I would've like to read the stories.

  • Sara Habein

    Shit, DISQUS ate my reply... They exist, but the ) at the end screwed up the links. Here they are again.



  • Sara Habein

    Oh Shit! The parentheses screwed them up. Here they are again.

    Noel Gallagher:

    Johnny Marr:

  • omelettedufromage

    Living in LA I've seen quite of quite a few of my favorites by attending Q&A screenings and such, but my only actual "run-in" that comes with a story happened when I was in London and a friend and I walked past Andrew Garfield near Oxford Circus. He had mangy beard, shabby clothes, and was among an absolute sea of people, but somehow we both instantaneously recognized him (probably the hair), whipped around, and timidly tapped his shoulder to say hello. This was right after The Social Network came out and so we told him how we were excited to see how the new Spider-Man would turn out (hah). We figured he was headed somewhere and didn't want to keep him, but he just kept on talking, asking about our lives, what we were studying in school, etc. Couldn't have been nicer.

    My fifteen minutes came this past Halloween when my roommates and I, seeing as there were four of us, had the dorky idea to dress up as the four characters Joseph Gordon-Levitt played in all his movies last year: TDKR, Premium Rush, Looper, and Lincoln. A college party probably wasn't the best place to go with this, but we were a huge hit among the people that understood what we were doing when we were all standing together. Naturally I tweeted a photo to JGL himself, and he liked it so much that he cross-posed it to his own Twitter, Facebook and tumblr pages. Bam, quasi-internet famous.

  • apsutter

    I want to see that photo

  • omelettedufromage
  • llp

    Mmmmm, Cavill.

  • km

    For a few years I worked in a major music store in Toronto with a long history for having famous musicians and celebrity's passing through regularly. On a slower day I walk into the repair shop and I hear an instantly recognizable voice, It's Kiefer Sutherland. He's getting a guitar fixed up by a technician and he seems rather uninterested in conversation and looks much shorter and more weathered than I would have expected.

    All of a sudden my boss walks in and not a foot away from Keifer, blurts out "Make sure it's ready in 24 hours"... The normally noisy shop goes silent and Kiefer has a disgusted look on his face. My boss exits the room chuckling to himself. For the next 20 minutes Kiefer barely says a word before he escaped to the streets below carrying two guitars while people on the street stop and stare at him.

  • Sofia

    I was jogging in Central Park when I saw Steve Carrell running in my direction. He looked very focused. I desperately tried to come up with a way to talk to him, but since he was so serious, I just smiled when we ran past each other and said, "Hi, Steve!"

    It was awesome.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    I almost threw up on Shia LaBoeuf at Eaton Centre. Was it because the effects of what proved to be food poisoning had suddenly taken hold? I don't know, but I made it to the facilities in time. Homeboy had positively raided the LCBO (that's where Ontarians get their booze). His suit was shiny.

    Picture it: Massey Hall and in the green room. Me, a cheesecake and Ornette Coleman. He's an absolute peach--so warm and grandfatherly. I'm not going to pretend that I didn't demolish that sucker, but I have to tell you that celebrity dairy is powerful enough to send me to jazz college with Caligula. It is the portal.

    I broke into an opera house and met Measha Brueggergosman and Ben Hepner during intermission. I don't remember what show it was, as this happened when I was about fifteen years old.

    My sister and me went to a Metric concert and she had a 'Dancing In The Dark' moment with Emily Haines. Everyone was kind of gasping because out nowhere she just started to serenade her and all of it. When the song finished, all of these drunk kids started hugging and stroking her so they could pick up Emily's essence, or something. No 'Jo 'Mama's' were hugged that night.

  • Frankly

    I was also married to a punk band promoter in the early 90s, so I got to do things like take the Rollins Band to breakfast buffet at Shoney's. And Fugazi stayed at my house a few times and Ian MacKaye left my kitchen sparkling clean. And I took Jonathan Richman on a 3-hour road trip to his next gig, and he's an unusual guy.

  • Frankly

    Terry Jones (of Monty Python) was the commencement speaker at my college graduation in 2008 (38 yo mom of two gettin' it done!) and afterward I was outside standing on a big, 4 foot-tall planter trying to spot my family when I saw him making his way through the sea of kelly green robes. No one was even paying attention to him! When he got close I leapt off the planter like a panther and landed square in front of him. "Thank you so much for coming here and for speaking!" I said and stuck out my hand. And he shook my hand! And grabbed my elbow! And said , "Congratulations to you!" And I nearly died! And then I think he asked me which way to the something and I pointed, and he was on his way. But I didn't scream "WE ARE THE KNIGHTS WHO SAY NI!" right in his face, so I consider it a personal triumph. And honestly, that handshake made two years of finishing my degree 20 years too late all worth it. (And while the news was all abuzz with the unlikelihood of his becoming a father at his age little more than a year later, I wasn't surprised. He had the liveliest eyes - like an excited little kid - and a really great energy about him. EEEEEEEEEE!)

  • Salieri2

    Many years ago I worked a Red Hot Chili Peppers load-in at our local arena. As is sometimes the custom, the road production crew had had a wide stripe of red gaffer's tape laid down on the floor between the star dressing rooms and the arena's stage entrance--a guide so the band wouldn't get lost looking for the stage a la Spinal Tap. (It happens.)

    At lunch, I was standing in the catering line joking with the guy in front of me about how nice it must be to have your path all laid out for you so you didn't have to think about where you were going or what you were doing that day at work. Realized I'd forgotten to grab a napkin or something, turned behind me: Anthony Kiedis. Waiting politely, like a human, in the damn crew catering line, empty coffee cup in hand. He's quite tiny. Like a Bratz doll, or Pat Benatar. I now make it a habit to keep an eye out for the talent.

  • InternetMagpie

    "Like a Bratz doll". That is my favorite thing.

  • Salieri2

    I have also been cheeky to Trace Adkins, but I don't regret it, since I hear he was dickish to his monitor engineer.

  • annie

    I worked on the events programming board at my college, so I met some of the talent who went through. Bob Saget was one of the nicest people ever, taking time to talk to us on the board and then signing autographs for people waiting outside, neither of which he had to take so much time to do. Michael Ian Black was kind of a shit who made no effort to be even a little pleasant.

    Another time, Claire Danes gave me a weird look as I sped past her to get just a glimpse of her then-boyfriend, now-husband Hugh Dancy, who was sweet and patient and gave me the biggest hug ever, despite my inevitable awkwardness. I have since forgiven Claire for her silent judgement since Homeland came out, and we are no longer enemies. In my mind.

    After a Q&A, Olivia Wilde was extremely forgiving at and tried to help joke away my aforementioned awkwardness. She was also warm and attentive and hilarious and easy-going, and as I was leaving (because she already gave me a lot of her time during which I was mostly being weird at her), she paused the conversation she was having with someone else because she wanted to say good bye, thank me, shake my hand and remembered my name.

    And once my dad played golf with Charlie's Angels's Cheryl Ladd; He still has yet to give me a straight answer how this happened. He also never said so, but I suspect he did some serious flirting, too.

    Moral of the story: I did not get any of my father's social graces.

  • Michelle Bolivar

    I had to relocate from New Orleans in a hurry. My only carry ons were my cat & some tshirts stuffed into a backpack. This was pre-Katrina, post-Ivan, and it wasn't a hurricane creating the urgency. I was being stalked by a total stranger, and the seriousness had escalated to the point that I had to collect anything that personally id'd me and abandon everything else i owned. Looking back, it would have all probably been lost anyway when Katrina hit, and losing material things was a small price to pay compared to what La.residents went through after "the big one."

    My dad, no questions asked, purchased my plane ticket so I could leave asap, for which I am eternally grateful. (I love you, Dad) I was surprised to find out the tix were also 1st class, a fact that, combined with the stress of forced flight, made me a silent weeping wreck for the entire trip.

    Here's where it gets good: I had my pair of seats to myself, and right across the aisle from me was John Goodman. Now, he's a fixture around New Orleans, had owned (still?) a boxing gym, but I'd never seen him in person before. Ladies and Gentlemen, he was glorious - really handsome, tall, and what.a.voice. Yeah, he was a big guy, but wore it in a strapping, manly way. The stewardress offered us hot nuts, which I weepingly declined, while Mr Goodman signaled her to "keep bringin' em on". Thus began a pantomime where I would go on to decline dinner, sundae, and successive other snacks, Mr Goodman would look askance at me, & I would signal my consent for him to receive it. I must have been unconsciously staring, because I seem to remember his every motion during the flight, including chewing and swallowing, which I imagine was unpleasant for him.

    When we disembarked, I was moving fast - I wanted to get to the safety of family in a hurry. The airline had forgotten to open the door at the end of the ramp and, due to the adrenalin/shock/ptsd I had been marinating in for a solid month, I weirdly panicked at possibly being "Trapped!" and became ineffectual - instead of opening the door, I just quailed before it. Ugh. I'll never forget how stupid I felt when Goodman said, "Courage!" and swept past me, opening the door with ease. A breezy comment, a waft of cologne, and thus my last impression of Mr Goodman. I must have stared hard at his retreating backside, because for some reason his ass in those pants is my strongest memory of that trip.

    It's weird, but I always wanted to explain to Mr Goodman what I was going through, that I really wasn't a desperate, cowardly jelly - the sarcasm loaded into that "courage!" still stings, when I think about it. I realize it's totally insane, but I don't wantt Mr Goodman to have that impression of me -?!? ! Like the guy knows me or something - I realize how crazy it sounds.

    Anyway. John Goodman, HOT in "real life". Nice guy, but no patience for fools. :(

  • anne

    For YEARS i've been saying that Mr. Goodman was hot, but nobody ever believes me: thank you!
    And i hope you managed to get over the horror of having to leave everything behind. It's one thing to lose everything due to a natural catastrophe, quite another when it's related to human mindf*ckery.

  • Michelle Bolivar

    Thanks for your consideration - sometimes I feel selfish for missing stuff when, after all, I got to keep my cat and my life.

    Ah, Goodman - ! You have excellent taste.

    The camera really doesn't do him justice - isn't it usually the case that people look better in films? But he really, really was smell-good, dapper handsome - a husky lug who probably gives wonderful hugs.

  • ferryman

    In accordance with my generally unremarkable life, I once
    met Steve Landesberg. I doubt I'll ever meet Steven Wright or James McMurtry to complete the trifecta.

  • Kati

    Sharon Stone almost knocked my husband over because he was standing between her and the appetizer table.

    I worked at a domestic violence center in Southwest Florida back when our major patron was the artist Robert Rauschenberg. He flexed his star power to get a Hollywood personality to host our art auction. This particular year, he got Stone.

    Since I would be working the auction as a runner, my husband and I were invited to the home of a prominent community member for a pre-auction dinner, where we would hook up with Stone and Rauschenberg, then pile into our transport to go to the auction.

    We all got to the dinner and waited for our guest at of honor. And waited. And waited some more. Dinner became a serve-yourself buffet. Finally, it became too late to stick around for a glimpse of Stone before the auction, so I headed out to get my car (my position at the agency didn't rate a trip in the limo) while my husband hit the buffet table one last time. I was almost to the door when Ms. Stone swept in and turned her gaze to me.

    All I could think before she spoke was "Her skin is flawless up close.." I couldn't even formulate a greeting before she said, "Where's the food; I'm starving." I mutely pointed towards the buffet table, and she made a beeline towards the spread and my husband. He barely got his 5'10", 215-pound frame out of her way before she started popping appetizers directly into her mouth.

    Not overly dramatic, but the image of my large husband literally jumping out of this willowy woman's way was just priceless.

    Apparently she was over an hour late to the event because she decided Mr. Rauschenberg needed a haircut, so she had to find the tools to do so, then give him said haircut in the limo on the way over.

  • Icey

    My sister and her ex-husband were friends with Hugh Jackman. Hugh and his wife are a couple of the nicest, happiest people I’ve met. When Hugh was filming X-Men: The Last Stand, we went to visit him on the set at Hatley Castle in Victoria, BC. Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, everyone was there. Hugh was in full Wolverine mode, eating huge egg-white omelettes, his hair all puffed up. I tucked a flower in his hair to soften him up a little between scenes and we all had a good laugh. They were filming outdoors in a sprawling, gorgeous garden next to the castle, and we sat in little ‘director’ chairs and had a great view of the set.

    At the time, his daughter was still an infant, and his son Oscar was 5. While Hugh’s wife took care of the baby and Hugh was on set, their assistant babysat Oscar. We didn’t see Oscar for half an hour or so. We assumed the assistant was keeping him occupied and out of trouble. While the cameras were rolling, while Hugh was doing a scene in the garden and the set was very quiet and still, we suddenly hear this voice echoing everywhere – “Daddy Daddy look at me look at me!!”. Everyone looked up and there was Oscar at the very top of the castle, waving down at us excitedly, happy as a clam, with the assistant standing next to him looking sheepish and trying to coax Oscar back away from the rooftop edge. Brett Ratner just about lost his shit. It was awesome.

    I also met Sir Ian McKellen once – he was a surprise visitor to our film society meeting while he was filming Emile - and I commented on his crazy red rubber clogs, and he took one off to show it to me. He was wearing a straw hat, a black silk dress shirt, black dress pants, and these bright fire-engine-red clogs. Funniest person I’ve ever met. I did persuade him to stand up with a bottle of wine as if it was Gandalf’s staff and bellow “Thou shalt not pass!”, and I am not necessarily proud of that.

    My sister is a bit of a celebrity but not in North America. When I visit her, I’ve had paparazzi take pictures of me walking down the street. I’ve had paparazzi tell me where they are going to be ‘hiding’. I’ve had them tell me I had something in my teeth. They are definitely not all that polite, as I’ve seen them body-slamming a car she’s in to get her to look up with a shocked look on her face. It is simply the most bizarre and uncomfortable and unsettling thing to have people with cameras following you and trying to take pictures of you. I don't know how someone can get used to that.

  • Bodhi

    I met Bill Clinton during his first presidential campaign. The Democratic Party's head quarters was right by the library & my friend & I made it into the local paper. We were, like, 9.

    And Vanessa Minnillo-Lachey was a year a head of me in high school.

    Oh & Howie Day hit on me outside a show.

    Edit: And my mom dated Tommy Moe's dad back in the 60s

  • Mrcreosote

    The year I graduated from college, I was doing some restoration work in the Garden District in New Orleans. This paid close to nothing, i.e. I was dirt poor, but I still went out because I was also stupid. I was hanging out in a bar pretty far Uptown when the crew of the Pelican Brief came in with Julia Roberts. They were pretty low key, and she was amazingly down to earth, friendly and patient. She was dating Lyle Lovett then, whom I was hoping to meet. He wasn't there. Nothing earth shattering. She and the crew danced to the band (Rumboogie in case anyone remembers them) drank, and just hung out. I talked to other people who met her during the filming and everyone agreed she was very nice.
    Also I hit Keanu Reeves in the back of the head as an extra, but that's a different story.

  • Natalie

    I forgot, I did meet a famous person in the states.

    Curt Shilling.

    The bragging rights to this have waxed and waned over the years (especially if I try bragging to someone who pays taxes in Rhode Island).

    Several years ago, probably 1993 when he was a pitcher for the Phillies, Curt Shilling came over to our house for dinner and to play strategy war games with my dad, who had previously met him at a war gaming convention. We live near Philadelphia and I guess my dad really hit it off with him. They even talked on the phone occasionally. At this point, Curt was well-known as being a decent pitcher for the Phillies, but he wasn't a national figure or anything.

    In eighth grade, I had to do an oral report on a famous person and personally interview them as part of the process. Other kids in the class did restaurant owners, the mayor of our town, minor league players, etc, I was the only one reporting on a major league sports player. It was kind of cool. Curt answered my questions and told a bit about his childhood in Alaska, and how he decided to become a professional baseball player. Nice guy. And our family continues to be on his list of Christmas card recipients.

    Fast forward to 2004, Curt Shilling is now pitching for the Red Sox, and they beat the NY Yankees after so many years of always losing. In the process of pitching, he injured his ankle, blood soaked his sock dying it red making him a literal RED SOCK. He was a hero. I'm sure some native Mass residents can tell the story better than me, I only came to Mass in 2005. My uncle lives in Mass and kept telling everyone that Curt was a close, personal friend of the family and took the Christmas cards that were sent to prove it. I told everyone that I had interviewed him when I was 13 and they all thought that was a really neat story.

    Fast forward to 2012 and Rhode Island loses 75 million dollars after Curt's gaming company files for bankruptcy. Irony is noted by people who are familiar with Curt's GOP leanings.

    I lost my bragging rights with this one.

  • denesteak

    Last year, during the Asean summit, I yelled, "Mr. President, will you sing Al Green for us!" Obama, who was walking in an entourage of people to go to the next meeting, looked in my general direction and smiled.

  • I met him when he was running for Senator. The auto plant near me had just announced layoffs. He detoured from his scheduled stop in Peoria to give a last-minute talk at the pavilion behind the UAW. I took off work to listen. His handlers tried to rush him along afterwards, but he wanted to shake hands and talk to people. He was quite charming and surprisingly humble in his approach. I see that served him well.

  • John W

    I sat next to Bill Walton and Maurice Lucas during the 1984 NBA all Star game.

    They're both very tall.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Oh, and duh, don't know why I didn't think of this earlier considering the header pic - I met Christopher Reeve while an intern at NJSF acting as a dresser for his wife during Arms & the Man, and shook his enormous hand. I've mentioned this in some previous post - Peter Dinklage was there that summer in the non-Eq company.

    (damn, trying to find a picture I see Dylan Baker directed that Taming of the Shrew! Did not realize. I've run into him & his wife in an elevator in his apartment building)

    Laila Robins was one of the other actresses for Arms, and I just ran into her a few months ago when I ended up seated next to her at a show. That felt strange, but I did reintroduce myself...oof, 20 years since that theater apprenticeship. A lovely summer though.

  • ViciousTrollop

    I met David Hasselhoff while in utero when my heavily pregnant mother took my two brothers to meet him at the local Toys R Us in his Knight Rider days.

  • pissant

    I didn't exactly meet Ed Begley Jr., but he was giving a talk at the local library on sustainable stuffs and whatnot.

    A little history: my aunt was at a golf tournament and some really famous golfer was walking by (let's just say Arnold Palmer, but I don't remember). Everybody was trying to hand him something to autograph. My aunt didn't have anything, so she just stuck her hand out and he shook it. She thought that was so cool and used to tell us that story.

    So...Ed Begley Jr. finished speaking and walked off the stage and starting going down the aisle where I was sitting on the end. In the span of about 2 seconds that story my aunt told about Arnold Palmer flashed through my head. As he got close I just stuck my hand out. I believe he had a look of slight confusion, but when someone sticks their hand out you're just conditioned to shake it. So he shook my hand and just kept walking. I was pleased with myself and my girlfriend at the time was looking at me like I was crazy.

  • misslucyjane

    Most of my encounters with the famous have been of the convention type (seriously, though, a highlight of my life is that one of the cast of Torchwood said "Hello, lovely," to me, [not John Barrowman, alas] which I know is a Welsh thing but anyway cool story bro), so I'm going to tell a story of a slightly different stripe.

    Back when The X-Files was big, I was on a Scully-fan mailing list that did a charity fundraiser every year. Among other things, they sold t-shirts as part of the fundraiser. Now, I had a friend who was also an XF fan but was not on the mailing list, who also lived in southern CA; the fellow den-mother of her daughter's Girl Scout troop knew someone who worked on the Fox lot, and since a few of the girls wanted to be actresses, it was arranged to do a Girl Scout activity visiting the lot. My friend told me about this around the time of the fundraiser, so that year I bought three T-shirts: one for me, one for my friend, and one for her to give to Gillian Anderson. I sent the two to my friend and figured that was that.

    Cut to a few months later, I get a manila envelope in the mail. It's a glossy of Gillian Anderson. Not just with a signature, either: it said, "Dear [MissLucyJane], thanks for the shirt and best wishes, Gillian Anderson."

    I could not be more fond of that woman for many reasons, but that is a big one.

    Er...I didn't mean to upvote myself. Is there a way to undo that?

  • Mrs. Julien

    Also, once I met Mswas in person.

  • emmalita

    You are blessed indeed.

  • Lisa Bee

    The only time I have ever really seen or spoken with any celebrities have been at conventions (like comiccon and stuff), so in far less natural situations than a lot of these other stories so far, but I still absolutely love it and am often at a loss for words whenever I even see anyone remotely famous.

    This year at the Calgary expo, I met Norman Reedus for a quick second, and he thought I was a child. No actually, he bent down to be closer to my 4'11'' self and said, "Hiiiiiiii!" like I was a little kid, and my sister thought it was the most hilarious thing that had ever happened.

    My sister and I also chatted with Milo Ventimiglia once about Manitoba which he had apparently recently visited (we are from a province that isn't really near Manitoba at all, but apparently Canada is Canada).

    But my most embarrassing meet would be when I managed to get a photo with Misha Collins from Supernatural. Usually I go to con things like this with my sister and we are reasonably cool about it, but she sent me alone this time. The second he saw me, said hello and asked me how I was, I could do nothing but sputter at him, in one huge exhalation, like, "helloImreallygreatSirhowareyou?" But thankfully he laughed about it so I didn't feel like such a huge goon, though I definitely look it in the photo. Oh my, I do lose all sense of social normalcy in these situations.

  • Tecuya

    This happened to a co-worker, not me, but it is a better star encounter than I've had. My friend was at LAX back in 1982, writing a check at the ticket counter. She looks up and see the ticket agent silently mouthing these words to her "There's Pat Boone." Only she thought he was saying, "There's a baboon." Which is not unusual for LAX. She looked around and didn't see any kind of primate.
    She looked at the agent and (for some unknown reason), silently mouthed back at him, "Where?" He tilted his head to her right. She looked, and still didn't see a baboon. So, she asked the gentleman in line next to her, who happened to be Pat Boone, "Do you see a baboon?"
    Mr. Boone jerked his head back in surprise, quickly figured out what was going on and to his credit, smiled and said, "Nope, sure don't." Then he walked away.
    As he walked away and the ticket agents exploded with laughter, she realized what had happened.

  • ViciousTrollop

    That story is priceless. Thanks for the laugh.

  • googergieger

    The man who met Andy Griffith.

  • anne

    None of you will know who i'm talking about, but it's greatness, i swear!

    So, the first time i ever saw the Olympic Games on TV was in 1992 (Barcelona). I was 19 and very impressionable. Thierry Rey, a former Olympic champion, (i'm French) was doing the running commentary for all the judo events - and oh my goodness was he ever awesome. He's not a particularly good-looking fella, but his enthusiasm, his passion... Again, I was impressionable! And so I inevitably developed a massive star-crush on the guy, as on the Games. Needless to say, when, a year later, the 2000 Games were awarded to Sydney, I was crushed (no pun intended). How on earth would I ever go there, however much i wanted to?!

    Fast-forward a few years, and i'm in Paris, studying to be a translator. Now, because of Pierre de Coubertin, French is (one of) the official language(s) of the Olympic Movement, so the IOC has an agreement with the two major translator schools in France to send two students every two months, for an internship at the Organising Committee, which is an amazing opportunity in and of itself, but it's so much more when you *really* want to work there. I got in, and even got a proper (if short-lived) job out of it. So, in September 2000, when the Games finally begin, i feel like, that's it, dream accomplished, and contrary to what D:Ream would have us believe, things can never get better.

    And yet. One evening, at a pretty insignificant judo event, i'm standing with a couple of friends, in my oh so sexy (not) uniform, and we're cheering on a female judoka who just lost her bout. Suddenly, i feel two hands grabbing my shoulders and hear someone going the French equivalent of "oh man. oh bugger. oh man. oh bugger." (something along those lines, anyway). I turn around, because you don't get to use my shoulders with impunity, and who do i see? Yeah.

    No intelligent or even intelligible word passed my lips at that moment, or for a few hours after that; and since then, i've regretted not being able to thank him because it was, after all, because/thanks to him that i was there.

    Alors, Thierry, si tu nous écoutes...

  • Sara_Tonin00

    (dashiki, btw)

    I have met a few famous people here & there - it's NY, I used to hang out backstage of shows, but aside from nice generic encouragement and pleasantries, I can't remember any with fireworks. Geoffrey Rush was interesting though - that was an arranged meeting, because a friend new the producer, and I felt rude for taking up his time/energy when he just looked like he wanted to chill after an exhausting (f*ing BRILLIANT) performance in Exit the King.

    In 1998 I was outside the Ben & Jerry's on 43rd & 8th and Neil Patrick Harris walked by. I barely noticed, and a friend said, that was Neil Patrick Harris! And I said "no, it wasn't." (remember, this was 1998, so who cared?) And he said, yes it was. So I yelled, "Hey, Doogie!" and he turned back to look, and looked annoyed, and I said to my friend, "oh, guess you were right." (and then I found five dollars)

  • Mrs. Julien

    You just reminded me that I'm supposed to start ending all stories with " and then I found $5".

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Oh, ha! And I met Alan Tudyk at an after party for "Prelude to a Kiss." He was really sweet, and his intriguingly shaped chin is even more distinctive in person.

  • Kobie

    Working in sports media for a long time gave me the opportunity to meet a great many athletes and coaches that I also liked in my life as a fan, including Ozzie Smith, Jim Boeheim, Dave Winfield, and many others. And I met numerous other more high-profile athletes at baseball card shows when I was a kid, including Ken Griffey Jr., Stan Musial and Bobby Hull (sorry if some of the references are a tad esoteric for some here).

    As far as random encounters go -- I was at a spring training baseball game in Tampa a few years back and espied Keith Olbermann eating lunch in the media tent. He was still on MSNBC but was doing some spring-training work for ESPN, with whom he had apparently patched things up. As he entered the stadium, my friends and I intercepted him, and he was very gracious. He posed for a couple of pictures, then opened his wallet and pulled out a baseball card of himself in an old-timey New York Giants uniform (apparently he had some some promotional work for Topps), signed it and handed it to me.

  • kirbyjay

    Also saw Buddy Rich (famous drummer) and Walter Becker (Steely Dan) walking down the street in Boston ( not together)

    Telly Savalas on a street corner in NYC

    Ed Begley Jr. at the statue of liberty, do celebs go to tourist attractions? I thought they were tourist attractions.

    and Veronica Hamel in Sardi's.

    But did not interact with any of them.
    Also tried to kiss Derek Sanderson at the Stanley Cup parade, 1970. I was 16, hot and sweaty ( it was about 90 degrees) and he cringed and pulled away. I got a great picture of him first though. This was when they were all in convertibles and they didn't cordon off the streets.

  • My sister got to meet and talk with Anthony Edwards at the Eiffel yeah, I guess?

  • superasente

    The the NY Comicon the past October I met Jim Lee. He was short, and I'm tall, so the picture he graciously took with me looks like he's scared of being eaten.

    Same trip, I met Grant Morrison (do any of your guys know who these people are); he was likewise very gracious and kind. I didn't trouble him with a picture, but got to speak with him for a substantially longer period of time. It was only three or four minutes, but he was very engaged.

    Finally, I got to SEE Stan the Man, Stan Lee. Didn't get to shake his hand, or pose for pictures, or even come directly into his field of vision. But I did get to wade through a swarm of cos-players to catch a glimpse of him. He was taking pictures with kids only, which I can totally appreciate (kids whose parents apparently paid a small fortune to get the shot, but still). Seeing him literally -not figuratively - literally brought tears to my eyes.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    A dear friend of mine got Peter Beagle's autograph for me at that same convention. He's someone I wish I'd met, though what I'd say to him other than "thank you" I don't know.

  • kirbyjay

    Recently met Damien Echols at a book signing and chatted for a few minutes. I had gifted him with a tiger's eye skull ( he likes skulls and Buddha's) and his smile was so sweet and genuine that I was mesmerized. I have great respect for what he has endured and was so happy that he was so nice and had a really good sense of humor. Also, his wife Lori was very friendly and even prettier in person.

    I was at Fenway Park several years ago in about the 5th row behind home plate and had my camera. I saw that several guys had left their seats in the front row so I snuck down there for a few seconds to get closer for pictures. There was a guy beside me and he commented that " those pictures will be nice" or something like that and I chit chatted with him for a few, never really looking at him because I was engrossed in my photographic pursuits. When I was finished I thanked him for letting me steal his buddies seats for a few minutes and then went back to mine. When I got to my seat I looked back and realized it was Cam Neely ( Boston Bruins). I screwed up my courage and then between innings I went back and said " May I take your picture too, Mr. Neely?" He said sure and gave me a huge smile.

    Also saw Troy Brown and Ben Watson ( NE Patriots) at Fenway and asked them nicely if I could take their picture. They were both very nice and said yes. Afterwards as I sat in my seat watching the game and people started to approach them I yelled ( kiddingly) "HEY Let them watch the game!" Troy Brown turned to look at me and started laughing.

    Held the door for Nancy Kerrigan in a Stoneham Dunkin Donuts and commented that her son was very cute. She smiled and said thanks.

    Saw Keanu Reeves in a hotel parking lot as I was getting out of my car with a friend. I smiled and waved to him and he waved back. I think he was surprised that I didn't accost him and demand an autograph.

  • Allijo99

    I have many an encounter from my days working in the Artist Relations/Professional division of a music instrument store here in Music City USA. Most of the time I didn't care enough to be phased by their presence (re: My Morning Jacket, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban) but a few got to me.

    #1. I am a Jack White fan girl, and we did a lot of work with The Raconteurs when they were recording "Consolers of the Lonely" down the street. Brendan Benson and Patrick Keeler came in a lot themselves, but Jack's business was done through his assistant and engineers. Once the album was done and out, they were playing The Ryman and Patrick gave us tickets and backstage passes. I wore a black and white striped hoodie and these big red disc earrings with a silver filigree in my oh-so-subtle homage to The White Stripes, figuring I would meet Jack at some point. As I watched the show, all I could think was "I just want Jack White to tell me he likes my earrings." So after the show we go backstage, and apparently Jack performed with a slipped disk in his neck/upper back, so he was nowhere to be seen. Patrick and Brendan told us where the actual afterparty was and we decided to go. I was bummed because Jack wouldn't be there and Jack's assistant (another cool female in a sausage-fest of an industry) wasn't planning on going either. Well, she showed up after all, and her husband and one of the techs started hashing out an apparently very serious ping-pong rivalry. Since there was another ping-pong table, she and I decided to play. We went up to the bar to get drinks and paddles, and in walks Jack and his then wife, Karen Elson. Jack sees his assistant immediately and comes over to us exclaiming to her "I thought you weren't coming!" They start talking, I get introduced, it's decided that Jack and Karen are going to watch the ping-pong matches. JACK WHITE IS GOING TO WATCH ME PLAY PING-PONG. He and Karen head into the game room and pull up a couple chairs, but when I walk in I realize they are sitting too close to my end of the table for me to play properly and I'm standing there having a very serious self-discussion over how to ask Jack White to move his damn chair. I naturally wimp out and throw his assistant a "Girl, please handle this for me" look and she tells them to get out of my way. As Jack is apologizing to me and moving his chair, he looks up at me and says, "I really like your earrings." I honestly don't remember a damn thing that happened after that moment.

    #2. So my team of salesdudes starts freaking out when one of them makes contact with some producer guy named Bob Ezrin who's moving to town from L.A. and setting up shop. When I ask who this guy is, they throw me some serious "bitch please" looks and tell me he produced Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and several Alice Cooper and KISS albums. Fair enough. He's kinda a big deal. So one of the guys and I have to drop something off at Bob's studio one day, and he plays us this track he's working on that I know I know, but can't place it because I'm totally enthralled with a bracelet he's wearing (I'm a girl. I like shiny things). It a chain link bracelet with a super cool belt buckle clasp, all in sterling silver. Or platinum. Ezrin's talking about this track he and "Peter" are doing, and I ask him about his bracelet. He lets me try it on, I give it back, and finally pay attention to what they're talking about. The voice that's singing on the track is familiar, and the song is familiar, but they aren't familiar together and it's driving me nuts. Somehow, thankfully before opening my mouth and asking a stupid question, I realize it's Peter Gabriel singing. He's working on a Peter Gabriel track. And the track is a cover of David Bowie's "Heroes." It's the first track on Gabriel's album Scratch My Back.

    #3. I inadvertently fueled a long burning fire after attending the New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys concert a few summers ago. I bought a ticket off Craigslist within a few days of the concert, and the seat was RIGHT IN FRONT of where one of the boys was going to come off stage and get up in the crowd. My seat was the first row off the floor and they had positioned a big rack case right underneath it. It ended up being Donnie Wahlberg that came to my rack case, and I was basically eating his bedazzled belt buckle. I had to lean back so my lips did not touch his bare abs. That close. The damage was done, I was Wahlberg obsessed. I discovered the social media world of The Blockheads, and got clued in to the NKOTB inner workings. Long story short, I got myself tickets on to a Donnie Wahlberg hosted party bus for his birthday. A ten-hour trip later, I was on the bus with about 30 other girls, all NKOTB/Donnie fans. When Donnie got on, he went around to each girl to say hello. When he got to me, he leaned down towards me and I wasn't sure what was coming and we half hugged and I kissed him on the cheek though he might have been going for a peck on the mouth I don't know I WAS ON A PARTY BUS WITH DONNIE WAHLBERG OK?!?! He stood back up and said "That was nice!" to which I replied "I didn't want to get lipstick on you." (I was wearing red lipstick) To which he replied "Who Cares!" and he leaned in and planted one right on my mouth. It was my nine-year-old dream come true. A few days later I had quite the cold. Totally worth it.

  • NateMan

    Well, there's nothing I can add to my Cosby story, but thanks very much for including it.

    The only other famous person I have met is Sir Terry Pratchett. This was 8 or 9 years ago now. He was giving a lecture in Boston, and my then-friend and now-wife and I went down to see him. She'd only read a couple of his things, but you have to understand; Pratchett is one of my GODS. No, not just one, but the top of the pantheon.

    He gave a great lecture, and then did a book signing. I got a couple things ready to be signed, including Reaper Man. And when I got up to him, I said "I just wanted to say thank you. Your Death got me into writing." It makes sense when written out. Verbally, it just sounded like I was fantasizing about his early demise. Nothing like meeting your absolute idol and looking like an absolute fool.

  • Maybe if you said it in all caps....

  • I already told my best stories in previous diversions (Pete Townsend, Jamie Bamber, etc.). Does doing outdoor theater with Tom Everett Scott count? He wasn't famous then, obviously, but he was (and still is) funny, charming, and generous.

    Or maybe discussing The Sandbox with Edward Albee after my class got to watch a dress rehearsal? He's famously reclusive, so I treasure his willingness to talk to a bunch of high school actors and writers. I also admire his patience with us as we tried to say something worthwhile.

    Oh, and I apparently partied with Rick James when I was in my 20s, only I didn't realize who he was. I just knew he was seriously high and more than a little creepy. I called a cab about 20 minutes into that impromptu party. Sometimes, instinct is a beautiful thing.

  • llp

    I would like to hear this Jamie Bamber story...

  • A friend asked me to attend Dragon Con, and as I had not seen her in many years, I agreed. Unfortunately, one night she had a terrible bout of snoring. At 5 a.m., I gave up trying to sleep and went to the hotel gym so that my time awake could at least be productive. Near the end of my workout, Jamie Bamber came in. The other lady in the gym and I studiously ignored him, because no one wants to be bothered during their workout. He seemed much relieved.

    Later that morning, my friend wanted a picture with someone (Lexa Doig, I think), so we wandered into what I called "actor purgatory," where the poor bastards were on display and signing autographs (for obscene amounts of money, so I guess "poor" is the wrong word).

    As we passed Jamie Bamber's table, he called out, "Hey! I know you. You're the girl from this morning." I smiled at him and said hi. Then he said, very loudly. "I almost didn't recognize you with your clothes on." And everyone stopped and stared at me. I told him I wished I had a tape recorder, so my husband could hear him say that, and he gamely volunteered to repeat it. I passed, and left my friend to stand in line while I got coffee.

    When I returned, I set a cup of coffee and some creamer on his table and started to walk away. He asked me why, and I said "Because I know how early it was when you woke up." He laughed, toasted me with his cup, and said "Yeah, but you ran out before I could ask your name." Which made everyone within earshot wonder how the hell a round, middle-aged chick hooked up with Jamie Bamber.

  • llp

    That is a truly excellent story, thank you.

  • prince_of_montagu

    I was sitting in a hotel lobby chilling with some friends and we hear some screaming and commotion. I turned around to look and lo and behold, it was just some kid walking--

    No. "walking" is a terrible word to describe it. More like strutting as if you're a robot in dire need of oil. As if the invisible stick up your ass is a mile long. As if you stride hard enough, you might actually be able to take flight.

    It was Justin Bieber. This was about three or so years ago prior to the Justin these days that we all know and love. He was surrounded by several security guards and i had a nice view of his particular method of moving his feet and hands. My friends were laughing and i decided to ramp my voice up a few octaves and say "BIEBEEEEERRRRRR!!!" like a 14 year old girl. He did a brief look in our direction, saw a few guys and kept on "walking".


    One more. I was at the airport, heading to Dunkin Donuts for a coffee (because i'm not a morning person and will probably stab you with my suitcase without some coffee in my system) and saw this guy that i'm sure was someone famous.

    Me: You look familiar!
    Famous Guy: Oh, i am familiar.

    He then proceeds to walk off with two thick men who looked more like family rather than security. It was Bruno Mars. On a good day, i'm about 5'6. He was even shorter than me and i'm sure his hair (you know what? Let's say "bouffant") was at least 2 feet of his height.

  • LB

    Kenya, 1984. One of the tented camps we stayed at while on a photo safari. John Rhys Davies, Maud Adams and Charleton Heston were filming (what turned out to be, a really awful) made for TV movie.

    Sitting around a fire at midnight, drinking brandy with the three above mentioned and others, while Mr. Davies was holding forth on something (I no longer remember what) with that big deep voice of his, under the equatorial stars.

    When I could no longer keep my eyes open, Mr. Heston walked me back to my tent and wished me a good night. I was 18.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Wtf. This sounds like the best thing ever.

    I'd like to see the TV movie of THIS.

  • emmalita

    I'd love to listen to John Rhys Davies hold forth around a fire while drinking brandy.

  • Joshua David

    I used to work at a Starbucks in Burbank. As such we had a lot of "celebrity" traffic. And even as die hard movie fan I never broke my professional veneer until the day Harry Shearer walked in. Totally flustered, I started this exchange-
    Me: Oh my god, this is so unprofessional, but you are a genius and I would love your autograph.
    Mr. Shearer: Oh it's no problem; do you have a pen?
    I quickly got a pen, waited a brief moment and got the autograph that now occupies a frame in my living room-
    " Excellent! Mr.Burns Harry Shearer"
    He could not have been nicer or lived up to my expectations more solidly. Great meet.

  • Natalie

    Okay, last one.

    The scene is Israel, the American Embassy. (I don't meet anyone famous in the states :(

    Now granted, in Israel it's cheating because if you meet a famous Israeli in Israel, it's no big deal. Israel has 7 million people. It's a tiny country. Chances are, you've met a famous Israeli. Chances are, there may be a famous Israeli who comes to visit his/her mom up the street from you for Saturday lunch.

    Anyway, I have dual-citizenship. I had to go to the American Embassy in Tel-Aviv to start the green card process for my husband before we came to the states. In order to get to the green card line or the US citizen line (which consists of probably three people), you have to cut through the Israeli-trying-to-get-a-visa-to-travel-to-the-states-line. Which has about 300 people.

    Now at the risk of generalizing, Israelis are not known for being polite. Welcoming? Yes. Open and candid? Yes. But polite? No. They get angry quickly, they're rude and blunt, it's quite different from the fake smiles I was used to in the US, where people are not generally openly angry with you.

    Now, imagine 300 Israelis cooped up in a room on a hot day (yes, the embassy has air conditioning but let me tell you it makes no difference) and it just smells! No one knows how long they'll be there waiting in line, and they don't even know if they'll get a visa. They've probably had to take off of work/school to come here and the longer they wait, the hotter it gets, the more irritable everyone is.

    Now, contrast that with the cordoned off line for the US citizens/green card applicants. There's about 20 chairs, evenly spaced, for three people. And a kiosk right behind it.

    So I go cutting through the Israelis, telling them that I'm going to the American line, and I'm getting plenty of dirty looks, and that "Tssssssssss!" sound that people make when they're pissed. And a few "Nu!"'s from more irritated people. And then I get told off by none other than Kobi Oz.

    Who is Kobi Oz? He's a member of Tipex, a great band that has a lot of social commentary in their lyrics. I really admire the group. I like the things they have to say. I love their music. Kobi Oz is of Moroccan descent (everything that I've said about irritable Israelis goes triple for Israelis of Moroccan descent) and he started giving me a piece of his mind for cutting in line. I tried to explain to him (as I had to explain to all the other Israelis that I was pushing through) that I was going to the green card line. Unfortunately, I started off by saying, "I'm American" which made things worse, because it sounded like I was saying that I deserved to cut in line because I was American, which made him continue his rant. I can't remember exactly what he said because I was so busy trying to show him the line for the green cards/americans that I was trying to get to. At some point, he understood as he let me go by because his rant turned into a disgusted look, but there was no apology. (You show me an Israeli apologizing, I'll show you a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you)

    I forgive him. He's Kobi Oz!

  • DataAngel

    Once my parents were out with some college friends. I was with them. At one point in the evening, John Glover turned to me and said "Darling, you have pretzel in your eyebrows."

    OK. I was three. Maybe four. It probably doesn't count because he wasn't famous yet.

  • emmalita

    But still an awesome story.

  • DataAngel

    Thanks! :) I've met him other times, and every time I've been kind of mute around him. I'm partially awestruck because JOHN GLOVER and because I remember he once remarked on my bepretzeled eyebrows. And because at some point one of my friends took his shirt off to show Glover his tattoo (he'd just gotten it. He was doing this to everyone). In hindsight, that's probably a better story than the pretzel one.

  • emmalita

    No, the pretzel one is better. Any story that involves John Glover calling you darling is the best story.

  • Melissa

    Went to BlizzCon and met Felicia Day and Jeff Lewis, so that was cool...

    Felicia endured my awkward small talk about enjoying her in Buffy before she complemented my crappy Target digital camera, saying she had the same one. We then took a picture, which is actually the one I cropped for my profile pic to the left :)

    Jeff Lewis had amazingly funny stories, which he was sharing with a group of guys and I, and then I made him laugh by saying something not all that witty, but I was excited that I actually made someone funny laugh. It was a good time:)

  • kushiro -

    I sat beside Emily Deschanel on a flight from Auckland to Los Angeles in 2007. We talked for a couple of hours, and the conversational topics included: Queensland (she went there for a wedding; I figured out later it was for Melanie Lynskey), travel, books, Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho, horror movies, acting (this is part where it's established that I know who she is), Bones, David Boreanaz, the New York/Ontario border region, her childhood, her sister (briefly, as I had a major crush on Zooey, and I figured she heard enough about her), her voice, her boyfriend, veganism, and almond milk. Then I figured I'd give her some space so I pointed out the list of movies and we talked briefly about which ones looked good. Later I helped her fill out her Customs declaration.

    Also, I knew a girl in University who used to fuck Roberto Alomar at the Skydome. And another one who once dated a guy who lost his virginity to Kristy Swanson.

  • Natalie

    Paris. Montmarte cathedral to be precise.

    I was walking around, admiring the interior, when I saw a glimmering, sparkling woman. Not like Twilight sparkling, but shining, shimmering, candlelight reflecting. The interior or Montmarte has plenty to gawk at, but she just drew my attention. I guess that's what you call star power? She had bleached-blond and highlighted hair, a silver knee-length coat (both hair and coat were doing the reflecting), and white high heeled boots. She had an entourage. Yes, an entourage. And she was accompanied by some guy (who's probably also famous and I just don't know who he was) who was wearing a huge amount of black eyeliner, a white fur coat and black leather pants. His hair had an incredible amount of mousse in it and was styled similar to Prince's hair.

    So I went up to her, why not, and said, "You look like Pamela Anderson."

    She replied, "That's because I am."


    And I went to sit down in a chair because I couldn't really think of anything to say. I thought it would be neat to take my picture with her. (it's not like I was a Baywatch fan, but it was 2000 when this happened. she was still at the height of her fame. Bragging rights, you know) So I waited until she was done walking around the cathedral (you can't take pictures inside) and followed her outside hoping that she'd be nice enough to have her picture taken with me. She seemed nice enough.

    Except that the stairs of Montmarte were crowded with people and everyone was trying to get her picture from the moment she left until the moment she stepped into her limo.

    No proof! But I met her!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    meeting Pamela Lee at Sacre Coeur...I'm surprised the universe didn't explode.

  • Natalie

    It was definitely weird. Nice to know she appreciates history enough to visit the sites!

  • kirbyjay

    Must have been Tommy Lee ( eyeliner, black leather pants, messy hair)

  • Natalie

    Were they still together then? I guess it would be him then.

  • lowercase_ryan

    When I was 18 or 19 I was driving around with a couple of friends on a Saturday night. We stopped at a 7-11 for munchies because we were always stoned back then. It had just stopped raining when a Lexus pulled into the parking lot and David Spade got out (he has family ties to Phoenix I think). We were surprised to say the least. Then one of my friends yelled out "EH YO DAVE, WHAT'S UP?" Spade immediately froze and looked terrified, like he was about to get messed with. Then he said "Little rain. Little driving" as he cautiously headed into the store.

    Only thing significant about it was the realization that such interactions could very well be regular AND scary for famous people. Previously the thought had never crossed my mind.

  • emmalita

    I totally forgot my best story, which also involves a 7/11. And involves no actual famous person. My father looks a lot like Jerry Garcia and hippie Santa Clause. Jerry was still alive and the Dead were somewhere near Central Texas. My dad walks into 7/11 and grabs a soda. He walks up to the counter and the youngun at the register is staring in amazement. He says to my father, "you take that, Sir. I'd be honored." My dad says thanks and leaves. Later he said, he would have refused the offer if the kid had made it clear he thought my dad was Jerry Garcia, but for all he knew, the kid just really liked my dad.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    (I'm waiting for someone to post about that time he gave Jerry Garcia a free soda...)

  • emmalita

    (Or Santa)

  • Megnadoodle

    Two stories:

    When I was in fifth grade my elementary school entered a state-wide anti-smoking poster contest. Somehow, my poster was chosen to represent the entire school (I was not an artist AT ALL, but I think maybe mine was the weirdest? I had a "before" picture of someone smoking and an "after" picture of a gravestone. Niiiice). Anyway, the prize for representing the school was getting to attend a reception with Keshia Knight Pulliam. There were a lot of kids/parents/"important" adults at this reception, so all I got was a brief handshake. But then my teacher encouraged me to go sit in front of her to try to get a picture with her in the background. I was too young to be embarrassed, so I did it. She saw us taking the picture and graciously leaned over and smiled so that it looked like she was posing with me the whole time. Very nice of her.

    Second was the year after I graduated from college. I worked in DC for the National Council of La Raza as a policy analyst for a year. NCLR does an awards banquet every year for all of the politicians and public leaders who have championed their issues. The MC for this particular year was Sonia Manzano (Maria from Sesame Street). My job was to recognize and seat people, so I spent most of my night running around. However, there was a champaign reception afterwards and Sonia, in all her kindness, walked over to me an introduced herself. I really wanted to say "I've enjoyed your work for years," but held back. She was incredibly nice and kind.

  • Maguita NYC

    I was 13 and my parents had let me attend my first concert ever with my best friend. We had previously waited in line for over 8 hours to get those tickets, and could not believe our luck at the good seats we got. When that day finally came, even my wildest pubescent fantasies could never dream of what really happened that night.

    There he was in all his tight and ripped blue jeans glory, his facial hair, his pierced ear, and that voice, that glorious voice telling me he wants my sex. When all of a sudden, I was pushed forward by the crowds just at the exact moment he was bending forward towards us.

    I looked up, our eyes met, and out of nowhere his hand reached behind my head while his face got closer and closer to mine. The only thing I was aware of was my heart pounding crazy to the rhythm of that sexy beat.

    And then he kissed me. For what seemed a very long while. I still remember it was wet with a bit of soft tongue and at the end, he actually bit my upper lip. He winked at me and got back to jumping around the stage while I just stood there.

    I was 13 years old, and that winter I got kissed by George Michael.

  • frank247

    ....and turned him gay?

  • Maguita NYC

    I heard he was born that way... But my former 13-year-old geeky self with a mouth full of metal tracks (braces) can take full responsibility as well. I'm quite sure you have much to thank us for. So does the public WC police.

  • Natalie

    Right. So I'm walking the streets of London with my husband and my second cousin (who lives there), we leave Harrid's, turn the block and she stops dead in her tracks and looks at me.

    "Was that Richard Dreyfuss?"

    We all turn around. There's an older man, balding, white hair, slim with a black trench coat (like all the rest of England) talking on a cell phone. And yes, yes it is Richard Dreyfuss. He looked a lot better than I expected him to. I always thought of him as someone with a lot of talent that wasted his potential on drugs, and the last movie that I saw him in showed him as having a sizeable gut and being portly. Which happens to a lot of people as they get older. But he looked pretty good! Go him!

    I thought of maybe trying to find some common ground to strike up a conversation. "Hey! You're a Jew in London! I'm a Jew in London!"

    Yeah, we doubled back and kept walking just to get a better look, but I didn't say anything.

  • Natalie

    Also, Richard Dreyfuss is pretty damn short.

  • Rocabarra

    Best I can do is that I once stood in line for the roast beef at a buffet in front of Chrissie Hynde (and the Pretenders, but it wasn't really them I cared about).

    I didn't say anything but I thought it was pretty cool that they all came to eat at the buffet with the regular folk (in the casino where they performed) instead of going to one of the fancy restaurants or ordering room service. They were all laughing and having a good time, and I'm pretty sure they would've chatted with me if I'd said anything.

  • emmalita

    My college friend and I drove 4 1/2 hours to see Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson perform a Shakespeare play. I don't remember which one, and we were so exhausted we slept though about half the play. That was the last time I made an effort to see a famous person. Living in DC, I've seen famous politicians and political news people around, but no one super exciting.

  • Bananapanda

    Alright I'll late 90's on a Friday night I was walking in Adams Morgan, pissed that a friend bailed on plans and left me high and dry, I ran into some friends who were going to Cities (a large multi-level bar that changed city-themed decor every year). So I tagged along with my friends to the party, not realizing they had flashed an invite/password to go upstairs.

    We get drinks and I'm standing there still a little annoyed when my friend cocks his head at me and says "So are you going to say hi to Kevin?"

    I reply "Who the f**k is Kevin and why would I say hi to him?!" (Did I say annoyed? Pissed really). He cocks his head at me again adding an eye roll to indicate someone behind me. I look over my left shoulder and right next to me is (a buttery soft leather jacket wearing) Kevin-Soze-Spacey.

    Now this is smack-dab in the middle of his American Beauty/Usual Suspects fame. He was also a big-time Clintonite and this was a politico party. He stayed and drank most of the night and eventually went downstairs into the crowd where most of us ended up b/c the bathrooms were downstairs and we got boxed out of the party. I don't think I ever spoke to him but I definitely petted his jacket a few times. In the end, it was good to see Kevin Spacey but bad b/c my jacket/keys got stuck upstairs until Kevin Spacey had to pee....

    And that's my DC story.

    P.S. We couldn't tell if he went home with a boy or girl that night. But *we know*.

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