Recently, writer Lauren Modery posted a tweet prompt that set Twitter aflame:
Tell me the strangest interaction you've had with a celebrity.— Lauren Modery (@Hipstercrite) January 24, 2022
It’s easy to see why that would do the numbers that it has. Celebrities. Anecdotes. Quirkiness. It’s like the perfect storm.
For my part, I’ve had a few odd interactions with Famous People, but the one that popped into my head on this occasion was the time I was in a PC World about fifteen years ago. It was a Tuesday. Browsing the laptop section with a mate to kill some time between university lectures, we moved aside to let someone pass us in the aisle. Feeling them hovering awkwardly next to me despite not obviously looking at anything on display, I looked up, only to be confronted with the sight of David Gest, take-away coffee in hand and friendly smile on his face. ‘I need some, uh, copy paper?’, he ventured. Confused by the intonation and overall message, I responded with a nod and a smile before moving away and carrying on looking at laptops for a few minutes and then heading off with my friend back towards campus. Later that night, I went to a local pub with some people. We were lucky enough to grab a table and a bench, but before long the place filled up until there were no seats left anywhere. At one point, someone approached the end of our bench and asked if we could please move down a little so that they could sit. We all scooched along, squeezing up next to each other to make room for…David Gest and his cocktail.
Anyway here’s Twitter with their strange celebrity moments:
This is the opening line of a piece if I've ever seen one.— Matt Zoller Seitz (@mattzollerseitz) January 25, 2022
I was working at a cvs and I ended up helping G.G.AllIn get his flu shot.— david crossâœ (@davidcrosss) January 26, 2022
He also let me choreograph my own death scene.— Paul Bae (@MrPaulBae) January 25, 2022
I wasn’t supposed to have a death scene. I got that sweet danger pay!
I've told this story before, but I was once seated next to HS at Murray's Cheese, of all places. I was reading a Jane Magazine that had her on the cover and she noticed that I was reading it, so I gave it to her. (She hadn't realized it was out yet and was excited.)— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) January 25, 2022
Talking about Michael B. Jordan's run on the Wire with Winona Ryder on a set in Atlanta where Black Panther and Stranger Things were being filmed at the same time. She thought I was staff and was asking if he was on set that day.— Ahmad Childress (@AhmadChildress) January 25, 2022
My banner pic is with Sarah Palin. I was wearing a pro cocaine shirt that said “no snow, no show.” Before the pic, she asked what it meant. I said “it’s a game of thrones reference” and she said “oh, I knew that.”— Eric Schmidt (@TalkingSchmidt) January 25, 2022
Charles Barkley came over to our pool table at a bar in Raleigh, NC and wanted to play us in a game. We asked if he wanted to bet, and he said “Sure”. And we asked how much money he had and he said “I have 30 million dollars.”— Sean Dunlop (@seanmdunlop) January 25, 2022
I worked on a movie w/ him & he walked up to me w/ his hand outstretched & said, "Hi, I'm Alec Baldwin! Nice home you have here!" We were shooting in a fancy house in Calabasas. When I giggled & told him I was the producer's asst, he immediately retracted his hand & walked away.— Lauren Modery (@Hipstercrite) January 25, 2022
At a comedy festival after-party I asked Weird Al if I could pick him up and he said yes but he’s taller than me so I asked David Foley to help and he enlisted Bill Nye The Science Guy and Eugene Mirman to assist and by god we did it.— Paco Romane (@pacoromane) January 25, 2022
Frances McDormand once complimented my tie-dye shirt. After our brief interaction she stuck her head out the window and yelled "Tie-dye forever" as the car drove away.— Nathan Lazickas (@Lil_Napoleon09) January 25, 2022
Sean Penn accidentally flicked ash in my face. He threw away his cigarette and apologised.— ï¼¡ï¼³ï¼´ï¼²ï¼¯ (@ASTR0q) January 25, 2022
He then immediately took another from behind his ear.
He had one behind the other ear.
Man had 3 cigarettes on his face.
Saw David Hyde Pierce smoking in front of his building and did a double take which he saw and assumed I'm about to ask him for a cigarette, so he just goes "yeah sure" and hands me one and lit it and I say thanks and keep going. I don't smoke but I felt like I had to that time.— Pete Stegemeyer (@itspeterj) January 25, 2022
Around 2001, I met Roger Ebert at the Toronto International Film Festival. I was walking around a corner just as he approached in the opposite direction. I exclaimed "Hey, Roger!", extending my hand. He gave me his patented thumbs-up, and in one deft motion…I shook his thumb.— Johnny O ðŸ‡¨ðŸ‡¦ (@JohnnyO_71) January 25, 2022
Had a few in 40+ years. But this I’ll never forget. Rutger Hauer was our star on the movie “Blind Side”. I’m sitting eating lunch when I feel a large hand on my right shoulder & I smell warm, vodka-tainted breath on my left. Rutger gently whispers to me, “We should start a band.”— Tom Harjo (@Trexharjo) January 24, 2022
I watched my wife explain the plot of the Twilight trilogy to playwright Edward Albee who was confused by the Team Edward (Albee) t-shirt I made. His incredulous cry of “They’re vampires who don’t fuck?” sticks with me.— Hattori Hanzo Moleman (@HanzoMoleman) January 25, 2022
Bringing back this one.https://t.co/VaFs7T2IxX— i don't know about you, but i'm feeling '22 (@mdeeringer) January 26, 2022
1st thing that comes to mind: One time I interrupted @johncusack & @ElvisCostello mid-conversation, so I could hand EC my bands CD. They both just kinda glared at me, clearly annoyed. This was backstage at a private event I snuck into in LA, around ‘03. My bad, I was only 20! ðŸ¤£— Ace Von Johnson (@acevonjohnson) January 26, 2022
I guess when I made Prince give me cookies and comfort me after I hit my head on a table at his house. I was a toddler.— Restoration Hardware Restaurant Brandi ðŸ˜¾ (@ItsTheBrandi) January 24, 2022
Ralph Nader stayed at a hotel I worked at and asked me if we were gonna use the empty land out front to grow wheat.— erek smith (@Erek_Smith) January 25, 2022
Was at a Comic-Con party randomly standing near Stan Lee, but I didn’t know him. Jonah Hill, who I also didn’t know, came up and mistakenly thought I knew Stan, and asked if I’d introduce him. So I shrugged and introduced them to each other, then wandered off while they chatted.— Craig Engler (@craigengler) January 26, 2022
Hmm. Miles Davis told 16-year-old me to “go away” when I saw him in a parking lot and asked him to sign the copy of his record I had with me.— Jessica Webster (@A2Jess) January 26, 2022
There were paparazzi waiting for him (it was Europe) so hurt-feelings-teen me told them where to find him. They ended up chasing his limo.
I met Jared Leto one time when I was homeless. He was outside a bookstore sitting in the curb looking sad. He asked if me and boyfriend wanted to come to a poetry reading and we said "no"— Amanda PallMallmer (@fudgeslacker) January 25, 2022
Crispin Glover sorta kidnapped me during an interview, forced me to watch his indie drama about a cerebral palsy-afflicted former mental hospital shut-in (in his bedroom no less). Then showed me his prized possession: an antique diorama of diseased eyeballs— Chris Lee (@__ChrisLee) January 26, 2022
I once filled a large bath with sparkling water for Whitney Houston.— Stephen Kinsella (@stephenkinsella) January 26, 2022
Gene Simmons would not stop trying to convince me that his brand of condoms were the best for women. I had never spoken to him before and had only asked if he wanted a coffee while he waited for his meeting to start.— maura quint (@behindyourback) January 25, 2022
Maybe an hour before this we had silently shared a crowded elevator, and upon exiting the elevator, gave the remaining people a finger gun gesture, said the words “Harrison Ford,” and walked away like a cowboy. I wish I lived in whatever reality his brain occupies.— Sam Haft (@SamHaft) January 25, 2022
I was cooking a massive omelette at a Vermont community breakfast. Older lady came in the back, introduced herself as Kathy, was donating groceries. We talked for a bit about what I forget, thanked each other, she left. Other volunteer: “you know she’s a writer too!” pic.twitter.com/2w5kNRoWru— S. Patrick Burke (@JawsVTheReturn) January 25, 2022
I ran into Clint Eastwood backstage at the Monterey jazz festival. Unexpectedly face to face with a legend. I attempted to strike up a convo about a musician we both like. He walked away as if I’d never existed.— Jessica Webster (@A2Jess) January 26, 2022
Geddy Lee of Rush was walking into a hotel I was staying at with his family in vacation and asked if they had good coffee here. I said - no, not really and directed him to a good place just down the road. I didn’t fanboy or say hey your Geddy Lee just told what he needed to know— The Discarded (band) (@Discardedband) January 26, 2022
Couldn't have been more pleasant either. Asked if anyone was sitting with us before taking a seat and then introduced himself, "Hi, I'm Quentin." When I told him how we ended up there (radio contest), he said, "That's so f***ing cool. You guys having fun?" Good time.— Justin (@justinsigrist) January 25, 2022
The day I moved to Los Angeles I saw Shelley Winters in a RadioShack buying a basketful of D-Cell batteries. She said I was crazy not to get in on the incredible 3 for one sale.— john hoberg (@HeidiHidyHoberg) January 25, 2022
I told Danny Aiello that his last name was like mine without the M and he was… not fascinated.— Michael Maiello (@MichaelMaiello) January 26, 2022
Physically bumped into David Lee Roth (we were both focused on a cute Japanese family taking pix) & we both looked up and smiled to see we were dressed identically (black t shirt & camp cargo shorts).— Brian Mulligan (@lovedog7) January 25, 2022
Willem Dafoe sang "get down on it" at me while bouncing up & down, while Marina Abramovic photobombed the pic. Also the photographer forgot to remove the lens cap (initially). pic.twitter.com/8UZMUpxyRn— Stephen Belcourt (he/him) #Pfizer (@StephenBelcourt) January 25, 2022
Also, it was windy at the softball field and he tried to block the wind for me. He seemed quiet and thoughtful. It was amusing, an afternoon of sports with six or so lesbians and Bill Murray. He had a cool little car. Not sure what it was, maybe an MG convertible.— Knancy ðŸ›¸ (@FlippyO) January 26, 2022
Wiped out on ski trail at Sundance, Utah. Lying in the snow, cleared my goggles, saw a hand come down to help me up. "You okay?" Robert Redford asked. Fine I said. He grabbed my lost ski pole, handed it to me. "Great customer service," I said. "Thanks."— Millard Fillmore White House Library (@FillmoreWhite) January 26, 2022
He laughed, skied off. 1/
I was in a bar in Athens, GA talking to a few Australians. I asked why they were in Athens and they said they drove out from Atlanta because they wanted to meet Michael Stipe. A few minutes later we turned around and Stipe and Peter Buck sat down at the table next to us.— Michael Crespin (@MikeCrespin) January 25, 2022
Pulling up to a red light in downtown Milwaukee. Turning to see Eliot Gould standing on the corner. Staring at him. Eliot Gould locking eyes with me and nodding vigorously as if to say "Yes, it's me Eliot Gould!"— Tom Shipley (@therealtomship) January 24, 2022
I was working on a food truck that catered a dinner on the set of Revenge one time. After the the truck left a producer let me hang around and watch shooting. I spent most of the night sitting in video village with Emily VanCamp while she showed me funny cat videos on her phone.— Briggon Snow (@BriggonSnow) January 25, 2022
I blurted out to Hanif Kureishi that he was taking the piss, when he asked a friend of mine at Port Eliot festival if he could taste her food, and then took TWO of her seven prawns on his spoon. He sheepishly handed back one prawn. https://t.co/Dx5BGXLLYX— Caspar Salmon (@CasparSalmon) January 26, 2022
Spielberg asked my advice on concept art for Indy 4 & I said I didn't like a frame so he said, "yeah that's how I was feeling too, little much, good eye."— Stephen Ford (@StephenSeanFord) January 25, 2022
Strange bit it was 2 minutes after meeting him. At his house. My friend brought me. Weird day.
Charles Barkley pretended my head was a basketball. I was 6 years old and the memory is still hilarious.— Sabra Boyd (@SabraMBoyd) January 25, 2022
Ang Lee and The Coen Brothers sang happy birthday to me while at work. We were having cake, so they took a break from working on their respective films to have some. They all happened to win Oscars the night before, so it became their celebration cake too. I was over the moon!— Lila Yomtoob (@lilabird) January 25, 2022
Oh, and look who it is here again, Mr Dickhead:
Eric Clapton needed a ride in Cleveland in 93 or 4. Stood in front of car until we agreed to take him to strip club. Told him I was in town working w Pink Floyd . he said “F*ck those no talent fools”.. drove him to strip clip across river he never even thanked for ride .— Who Cares (@IHATETIMJONES) January 25, 2022
And to balance that out, here we have what must surely be the absolute winner from a late king:
1990s, I'm working at Target in AZ. I’m stocking shelves, tap on my shoulder. IT'S DENNIS FARINA!! "Were do ya keep the plungers?". I guide him, say “Big fan!”His response, "Great kid, thanks. Just don't go runnin' to the National Enquirer and tell them my shitter's clogged!" pic.twitter.com/OGBUTZ21T3— H G Ward (@HGDUB2002) January 26, 2022
Except, maybe, this, which I think we should all choose to unconditionally believe:
I lost my pinky when using a paper slicer. Maggie Smith, without me seeing, picked it up off the floor. Without saying anything, and keeping eye contact the whole time, she slowly ate my pinky. She smiled and left.— Witney Seibold (@WitneySeibold) January 25, 2022