Who doesn’t love an unexpected celebrity encounter? Personally, I will forever cherish the brief few minutes I sat at a table next to Queen Latifah before she was whisked away back to her version of reality. Celebrities: they’re just like us! Except they live completely different lives which we’ll never truly be able to understand.
It makes you wonder if all that fame, fortune, and privilege changes a person. Or perhaps it’s just the power of influence that forever changes them. Once celebrities have other people to handle life’s daily tasks, what’s left to keep a person grounded?
Whether it’s a feeling of disconnect, ennui, or the power of wealth that influences celebrity behavior, we are nonetheless living in a world where Shia LaBeouf gave a TED Talk. So in the vein of that, please enjoy the following stories of Redditors and their completely bizarre celebrity encounters.
A buddy of mine was having a smoke outside a bar near Detroit when Bruce Campbell from The Evil Dead strolls by. It's a little after 1 am and he's wearing Ray Ban shades. One of his friends sheepishly asks, "Excuse me, are you Bruce Campbell?" Bruce stops, tips his sunglasses, and responds with "Well, someone's gotta be."
In Hollywood doing wanna-be rockstar stuff... my band found a lady parked on Sunset Blvd with a flat tire. Since we were all nice boys, we changed her tire. After shaking hands and saying thanks, we were on our way back to our van when she came back over with something in her hands.
At first I thought it was money and was mentally preparing for refusing her cash when she handed me a few 8-by-10, autographed headshots.
It was Meg Ryan. None of us recognized her.
I sat next to Natalie Portman at a college graduation. She was the most beautiful human I've ever seen. The ceremony was really long and outside. She brought a snack with her, some grapes in a cup.
She ate them with a spoon. Not even Natalie Portman can make awkwardly chasing grapes around a cup trying to get them to stay on her tiny plastic spoon and not fall off on the way to her mouth look cool.
I met Muhammad Ali at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. By the time my dad and I reached him in the giant crowd of people around him, he was out of "pre-signed autograph slips." So he saw me, a seven-year-old kid, standing in front of him and decided to pick me up above his head and he kissed me on the cheek.
I get down and as we're walking away my dad asks if I knew who that was. I said no and started crying while my dad started laughing in delight because his son just met The Greatest.
Not me, but my dad. A couple months ago, he and his girlfriend decided to take an impromptu weekend trip to Vegas. They're sitting at this bar and notice this guy in a crazy outfit walk in.
The paparazzi is trailing him and they get stuck behind a velvet rope near the entrance of the bar. As this guy is trying to sit down, these photographers keep snapping pictures.
My dad thought this was pretty rude. He pulled out his phone and started snapping pictures of the paparazzi. They start yelling at him and demanding to know what the hell he thinks he's doing and he just tells them that if they can take photos of someone who doesn't want it, then he can take photos of them.
After a couple minutes, a bodyguard from the guy's table approaches my dad and his girlfriend. My dad figures that they're too close and starts saying, "Sorry, we'll move down a bit," but the bodyguard interrupts him and says, "No sir, Mr. Rodman would like to know if you would join his table." They walk over and to their surprise, it's Dennis Rodman.
He thanked my dad for what he did and told him how it was one of the funnier reactions he'd ever seen to the photographers. He bought them a couple drinks and they sat and talked for a while; apparently he kept saying my dad was a funny guy (granted, my dad has a pretty decent, if dorky, sense of humor and jokes pretty much constantly).
Eventually my dad said they'd go back to the bar and leave him alone for a bit; he thanked them again. After another few minutes, the bartender brings over a bottle of champagne and opens it for them.
My dad, being a wine lover, recognizes it as a bottle that runs several hundred dollars and stops the bartender in a panic, assuming he'd misheard their order. The bartender said it was taken care of, at which point Dennis Rodman taps my dad on the shoulder, says, "Enjoy it," and walks out.
I grew up in Southern California and we went to the beach regularly. This was the same beach that my father liked to point out the house they used in Top Gun every single time we passed.
When I was 12 or 13 we were there and he sent me to go run a few blocks back from the beach where this little place that had amazing breakfast burritos was (god I hope it still is if I ever get back there).
So I head up, a bit miffed that I was sent, even though he gave me the money, because I'm a snotty little preteen. So there I am smoldering in my head at the "unfairness" of it all when I nearly bump into two bodybuilders sitting on the curb eating their breakfast burritos.
Now I'm torn between being angry they were in my way, because I've put myself in a foul mood, and just apologizing because I'm clearly not paying attention.
So I stand there hesitant for a second, caught between my irrational and rational self when all of a sudden I realize these guys are Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. So now I'm standing there dumbfounded for a second when I think I mumble something halfway between "Sorry" and whatever sound a strangled goat makes.
They just smile and say no problem and continue eating their breakfast and chatting about whatever it was they were going on about before the tiny kid interrupted. I went across the street and ordered for my dad and myself then turned back around and raised the bag of burritos to them in a cheers like gesture that they returned with their half eaten burritos and I went back to tell my dad what he missed.
I never complained about going to get food ever again, never went alone to get those burritos again either for that matter.
I worked at a Dunkin' Donuts and one day this guy who looked oddly familiar came into my store. I didn't think much of it and took his order, jelly doughnut, and a jelly stick. He paid, I gave him his doughnuts and wished him a happy day and he left. Guy seemed to be in a bit of a rush but that's pretty common.
Immediately my coworker, who was working as the coffee assembler, comes running up and goes "WAS THAT STEVE CARELL!!" And it turned out that it was indeed Steve Carell, I didn't realize because I didn't watch The Office so I only knew his face from ads and memes.
Born and raised in Vegas, sitting in stopped traffic on the Vegas Strip, boyfriend and I are smoking a J and look over, we see a convertible with Cali plates and posted up in the back is Robert Downey Jr. Boyfriend gets little girl excited and screams Bobby Soft at him (our silly nickname for him) and he just pulls down his sunglasses and says “go see Iron Man.”
I served Geoffrey Rush, he was really nice and down to earth. In my store we can't acknowledge that they're famous, so I whispered that he was the greatest undead Pirate I knew. He gave me a high five.
There was a show on CBC called North of 60. I ran into one of the actors who starred on the show and I called him by his character's name. He was so blown away that I knew who he was. We went our separate ways.
The next night I saw him at a bar and he zeroed in on me. He then offered me a drink at his hotel. I was 19 years old and he was well in his 50s. I was like, uhhhhhhh no thanks.
I bumped into Taeyang of Big Bang at a department store in Tokyo, Japan. I was looking at a leather jacket and touching it while another person was trying to touch the same jacket. I looked up and it was him, wearing his surgical mask. We did the "sup" nod to each other and walked away. He was pretty short.
Two of Trump's kids (when Donald held a rally in that city).
My friend made me drive him 100+ miles so he could hookup with this girl he met online and in the meantime (while he was hooking up) I went to a fairly upscale restaurant in town and out of the blue I happened to notice a guy who looked like Eric Trump.
So I got a table next to him and asked if he was who I thought he was, to which he replied yes, and the girl sitting with him introduced herself as Tiffany.
Through our conversation they kept praising their dad and how he "was going to change how everything worked." A pretty surreal experience in an even more surreal roadtrip.
I was with my wife and two sisters at Disneyland when we see Christian Bale and his family by the entrance to the Matterhorn.
We're a few feet away from him when my sister decides to have a little fun and says in a low voice but still audible to those in close proximity, "I'm not wearing hockey pads!" In her best Batman voice she could muster.
Christian Bale and family proceed to turn around and stare at us. He was not amused.
One time I stopped at a Starbucks in Washington D.C and on my way in I saw John McCain walking behind me. My dad was with me at the time and he was ecstatic, while I just stood there open mouthed.
My dad talked to him in line inside and when we left he shook both of our hands. This was about a week after he lost the election.
I was a teenager, we were visiting my grandparents. We decided to visit the Chicago Wax Museum one day. As we walked to the door, Colonel Sanders, the real Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, got out of a limo.
Grandma asked for his autograph and he handed us preprinted cards. He was in his late 70s or early 80s then and the cards were easier for him.
Unbeknownst to us, the wax museum was featuring a life sized display of Colonel Sanders, which was why the real Colonel was there. Somewhere in my family's photos is a glossy of Colonel Sanders looking at Colonel Sanders.
I once nearly broke Hayley Westenra's nose.
I was in an acting class which was being run out of my city's biggest theater. One lesson, I arrived ten minutes early, and stupidly went wandering around the theater.
I went through a door into a hallway which was lined with private dressing rooms, and thinking I definitely shouldn't be there, I turned to leave, but the door had locked behind me. I panicked and broke into a run, knowing I could go downstairs through to the stage, then into the seating and out the front door.
I turned a corner and wham, I ran straight into a girl, who turned her face at the last moment and I headbutted her in the cheekbone, and she went down.
I apologized profusely and helped her up, she muttered a grumpy "It's fine" and pushed past me. I fled.
As I strolled through the lobby, I saw a poster for her show that evening, recognized her, went straight to my car and went home.
If she hadn't turned her head, my forehead would have hit her nose and probably broken it, and there'd be no shows for the week.
I was having a drink at this bar in Nashville. This red head dude comes in and sits next to me and starts cracking jokes at the TV (football). So we start talking, taking shots on touchdowns and what not.
We finally leave at like 3 am go to waffle house. And as we're talking in the restaurant, very drunk, I notice he looks really familiar. I mention this and he just spits out, "Oh, I'm Shaun White."
While in Monterey, Calif. I bumped into Clint Eastwood as we were walking out of a Rite Aid (buying booze) and he was walking into a health food store (I wanna say Whole Foods?).
Me and a couple of buddies were in uniform still, and he stopped and talked to us for a minute. Just pleasantries. He was a super cool guy and very respectful. Surprised me he was going into the Whole Foods though.
Was getting my hair cut at a fancy place on 5th Ave (before my wedding). Who walks in and says hi to the stylist but Katie Couric.
My hair was still sopping wet, I was draped in a giant black bib, and all I could do was say "HI! How are you??" She beamed her famous smile at me and said, "Fine, how are YOU?" I chuckled and said, "Fine, thanks!"
It was pure instinct to greet her as if I knew her, and she was perfectly gracious about it.
I met Jason Bateman at my work a few weeks ago. (I work at a grocery store in Missouri.) He was getting Starbucks there even though there’s a real Starbucks across the street. Nice guy! Had an ugly hat on though.
A little late. But I shared an elevator with Tony Hawk in Aruba. When he got on I just laughed and said screw off. My go to surprised social tick, I guess. He said he will when the doors open back up.
Meet many famous people where I work, but very briefly because my job requires to get them in and out, or in and going very quickly. Gary Busey poked my side pretty hard and said "let me get in there!!" guess I was in his way.
Back in like '00-'01 we used to go down to this dive bar after work because they had $2 pitchers of PBR. Without fail, Dave Matthews would be there, drunk as heck, talking trash about being the greatest pool player in the world. He would challenge anybody for a pitcher, and lose every single time.
I was at the Angelika movie theater and I was with some friends and said, hey wait for me, going to the men's room. I'm a big guy, over six feet, running half speed and almost knock into a petite lady and she goes "ahh!" It was Susan Sarandon. I apologized profusely.
My mom met Frank Zappa, and he ate a salad with his hands.
I was one of the audience members on those red carpet movie events for MTV and as I was trying to get a picture of Emma Watson, I felt this sharp but arousing pain in my right nipple. Nick Swardson gave me a nipple twister as he walked past me.
I was cool with it, but my friend insisted he assaulted me. I am a bigger guy, I'm used to having my moobs center stage. When I looked over to him, he smiled and walked away. I tweeted him a year later and he favorited my tweet.
I was sitting in my work truck eating lunch outside of a condo building, then Rachel Hunter walks up to me and asks if I had a spare cigarette…
Me and my two buddies were walking down Sunset in Hollywood and we saw Michael Rapaport standing outside a bar having a smoke. We kinda were staring at him wondering if it was really him...then outta no where he yells at us... "Yeah..its me...whatta you want????"
I've had a couple:
Dave Bautista used to frequent my pizza place. Wasn't really crazy. He was a super nice guy and tipped really well. Just funny because he's huge. I felt like a munchkin and I'm 6-foot.
Another, I was in line at LaGuardia to get some coffee. A man comes up to me and asks me,
"Is this the line for coffee?"
"Yes," I say
Then he yells "Ah! Curse words!" Which I thought was funny.
His rough voice sounded really familiar and he looked pretty familiar. I had a hunch on who it was but my phone wasn't getting any data where I was in the airport. I get back to where my SO is and look it up. It was Albert Brooks who played Marlin on Finding Nemo and from (what I definitely knew his voice from) Hank Scorpio from The Simpsons.
Ted McGinley once hugged me from behind because he thought I was somebody else.
I saw Aphex Twin on a train to London. I walked up the aisle and said "hey, you're Richard James (his name) right?" He replied "Yeah, you want a sweet?" and proceeded to give me a steak and cheese flavoured hard candy...It actually tasted like steak and cheese...WTF.
My brother and I were at the airport, and we saw a man walking out of Starbucks who was crouched over with long curly hair (turns out he was trying not to be seen as it was a busy terminal).
We thought he was just some random guy who had Weird Al's hair, and we were bored and immature and decided to ask him if we could take a photo with him because we thought he looked like Weird Al. Lo and behold, when we said "excuse me?" he stood up and it was freaking Weird Al.
We were in shock for a moment, and I told him, "we thought you were just someone who looked like Weird Al!" to which he replied, "Oh! Well I'm glad I look like myself." I got a photo of him with my brother and he's doing the classic Weird Al face in it. He was very friendly despite obviously trying not to stand out.
Lou Diamond Phillips tried to buy weed from me at a pool hall. One of the few times I regretted not being a drug dealer.
Years ago, I'm with some friends at this dive bar in New Orleans. A friend of a friend is playing an acoustic show, and we're the only ones in the bar.
Suddenly this giant crowd comes into the bar, and out of nowhere, Nic Cage emerges. Where we're sitting, between us and the stage, is a dance floor. He falls to his knees, and starts doing this weird dance thing.
It looked like the pic of Hendrix when he lit the guitar on fire. He does this for a very short amount of time, then he hops up, goes " Woooohooo" and saunters out of the bar, quickly followed by all of his followers. It was completely surreal.
One time I was in a Subway (sandwich place) in Orem, UT and Gerard Butler walks up behind me. I look at him, he smiles at me, and then we both pretend that he isn't himself.
I say, "You look like Gerard Butler, he's one of my favorite actors."
He said, "I get that a lot," and winks.
Then he asks, "Well, are you a true fan of his?"
And I say, "Of course!"
He asks if I knew what he used to do.
I reply with, "He used to be a lawyer, before giving that up to pursue acting," and then we spent the next twenty minutes discussing law, politics, and why someone would give up a successful career in law. Then, we shook hands and parted ways.
As a child, I remember that Bill Cosby and Diana Ross both came to host some corporate event at a large tourist hotel in my beautiful small town.
Diana Ross evidently got pretty drunk and didn't make the event, and it was cancelled. It was big news the afternoon it went down, and some of my friends and I were hanging out at the skate park down the street from the hotel.
A Rolls pulls up, the back window rolls down, and Bill Cosby sticks his head out.
"HEY! Have you kids seen Diana Ross?"
"How are you kids doing, then?"
"Ok. Have a good day, watch out for Diana Ross."
"...I have to go home and post this on MSN Messenger."
I realize that I'm late to the party, but here we go...
I saw Hulk Hogan at an Apple Store in Tampa. It was after his divorce and he was with his new girlfriend. I was working up the courage to go and ask him for a photo with him; Hogan is an intimidating dude.
When I finally resolved to approach him, he started to cry. At least I think he was crying; he was hunched over with his head in his hands and his shoulders were moving up and down as if he were sobbing, all while his girlfriend rubbed his back.
I decided it probably wasn't a great time for a photo.
I went to the afterparty for the Black Eyed Peas, was not great so we didn't stay long. On the way out we ran into Fergie and her security and said hello. She came over to chat, and held my hand while we chatted.
When she was leaving, she gave me a kiss on the lips. About two mins later her security guy came over and said she wanted us to come up to her room and smoke a blunt. My friend shouted at him that we were not into drugs and pulled me away before I could say anything. And that's how I missed out on a lesbian encounter with Fergie.
I was visiting family in Michigan when I met Eminem. I was given a list of food to buy at the grocery store the night before Thanksgiving, so I'm standing there eyeing eggs when I see a guy in a hoodie walk up to the milk. I glance at him, then go on about my egg-buying business.
He starts messing around with the milk jugs, so I look at him again and recognize him. I kind of fidgeted for a minute before I asked, "are you who I think you are?" His epic reply? "If I wasn't, then why would I say I am?" We exchanged Happy Thanksgiving wishes and parted ways.
Also met James Marsters at DragonCon and got to spend about 20 mins with him one-on-one, but I felt a little bit like I was buying a prostitute. Tickets to this exclusive event were like $200 each.
Amy Winehouse knocked my pint out my hand in The Good Mixer pub in London, then sung an apology. That was... Unique!
I met Alan Rickman as he was going into the stage door of the theater for the broadway show Seminar. He was walking past me and I quickly blurted out, "I think you're awesome!" He stopped, turned slowly towards me, extended a hand to shake mine, raised one eyebrow, and said,
It was awesome.
I used to live in the East Village about a block from Willem Dafoe. I would see him around the neighborhood a lot, enough times that we would nod to one another in greeting as we passed on the sidewalk. One day I walked into our corner convenience store and I completely spaced about why I came in there.
I stood just inside the door trying to remember what I came for when I hear the bell on the door jingle and I turn around and see Willem Dafoe standing behind me. It was a small store and he thought I was standing in line at the counter so I politely told him to go ahead of me because I have no idea what I needed.
He steps in front of me, stops, and says, “Now I can’t remember either.” After a few seconds he snaps his fingers, reaches up on the shelf and pulls down about five packs of condoms and giddily throws them on the clerk’s counter.
I told him I just remembered that I only came in for some dishwashing liquid, got it from another shelf and stood behind him to pay. After he pays, on his way out the door he turns around to me and says “It’s gonna be a big night!”
My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.
Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.
Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.
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