“Samuel L. Jackson was on my flight.”
Ever run into a celeb and decide to play it cool?
Nickelodeon / giphy.com
When Reddit user
u/Kimantha_Allerdings posed this question, people came out in droves to share the times they either accidentally or purposely humbled a fan-favorite star.
So, without further ado, here are a few of the tales.
Medianews Group / Getty Images
“I worked at a movie theater in Albuquerque at the time they were filming the first
Avengers film. Captain America was about to come out, I remember because we had the huge standee of him in the lobby. I was reading in the box office when three people came up. Guy asked for three tickets to Bridesmaids. It was dark out and he had a green baseball cap and sunglasses. He paid with a credit card. Christopher Evans. I stared at the card after I swiped it. Handed it back. ‘I need you to sign the receipt’ he did. And then he walked in.” — u/sarahm0ses
Kurt Krieger – Corbis / Getty Images
“My mom is a big sports fan. One time she was shopping and saw a really large, fit-looking man who she didn’t immediately recognize but seemed familiar. She thought it must of been a professional football player or something, so she went up to the only other person in the shop, who was this smaller weird-looking guy, and asked him if he knew who the athletic-looking man was. The short guy looked at my mom and said ‘That’s my bodyguard, I’m Elton John.'” —
Aurelien Meunier / Getty Images
“My dad and I bumped into Michael Jordan at a Walgreen’s near Chicago. This was back in 2006 or so. We were picking out birthday cards for my mom, and MJ and his son came in the same aisle browsing some cards. My dad kept his cool and continued to look through different cards, giving him his personal space. I, on the other hand, was 9 years old and in awe, sort of staring at him. After MJ picked out his card, he winked at me and gave me a walk-by fist bump. Didn’t really set in until I was older how cool that was.” —
Theo Wargo / Getty Images
“I was walking out of a gas station over on Crescent Heights and Sunset and heard a “hey!…hey!” coming from a cracked window on tinted out range rover that was parked at one of the pumps. I walk over to the car to see Jeff Goldblum, who had somehow seen my gold ring I was wearing on my right hand from 20 feet away. He proceeds to tell me how he loves my ring and has been looking for one just like it and asks me where I got it. I tell him it was my grandfather’s and he asks to see it up close. I hold my hand up to Jeff Goldblum, he takes my hand, gushes about the ring for a minute and thanks me. I said sure and walked back to my apartment. I like to think we’re friends now.” —
Mega / GC Images
“I was a student-athlete in college and was required to “volunteer” a certain number of hours per year. One of the options was to help freshmen move in, which I obviously chose so I could scope out the new talent.
I just finished helping move a kid’s stuff and head back to the loading area, and a black SUV pulls up. Out hops Larry David, his ex-wife, and their daughter who was starting school. I immediately recognized him but played it cool, he wasn’t getting a ton of recognition since I’m guessing not many college students are fans of Curb/Seinfeld.
I introduced myself to them all and he introduced himself and said ‘Hi, I’m Larry,’ and mentioned they were from LA. I replied and said ‘I used to live in LA, and you look really familiar. Did we meet?’ To which he replied ‘No, I’m just one of those faces,’ and gave me a huge wink.
He was cracking jokes the entire move and introducing himself to everyone just as Larry. Just as funny in person as he is on TV. After finishing the move he was nice enough to take a pic with me. Great guy, and the only major celebrity I’ve ever met.” —
Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images
“My wife took my son to the zoo, and he wanted to read every little plaque in the reptile area. My wife was distracted for a moment, so he asked the nearest stranger to read the plaque for him. My wife turned around to see Scarlett Johansson happily reading the info to him.” —
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“I used to be a server at a Mexican restaurant right outside LA in the late ’90s. One day Leonardo DiCaprio came in with who I assume was his mom to have lunch. This would’ve been post-
Titanic, so really at the peak of his breakthrough mega celeb status. He was wearing a ball cap, sunglasses, and unshaven but I recognized him anyway. I didn’t let anyone know and I wrote something like ‘your movies are awesome, I hope you liked our food’ on his receipt when I dropped it off at the table.
After he left, I swung by and picked up his payment and he had left me a note back that said, ‘thank you so much for not blowing my cover’ with a $100 tip. Shit was awesome I was only like 19, I went and got some Playstation games with it after my shift ended.” —
Kurt Krieger – Corbis / Getty Images
“My friend’s mom who is over 70 years old owns a small Asian grocery store. Post Malone came walking in with his girlfriend and his mom had no idea who he was. A few cute things happened:
– She was nervous because of his tattoos, but happy/not worried once he bought a lot of food. She had no idea he was a celebrity.
– She gave him a free snack for buying so much food and told him to come back for lunchtime for cheap and tasty gyoza — and he did come back the next day!
– She was worried he would get mugged going to his car because of 3 big men outside so she followed him outside — they were his bodyguards.
– She really liked his “cool car” — it was a Lamborghini.
She told my friend about the encounter that evening and he pulled up a YouTube video based on the description — it was him. When Post Malone came back the next day for gyoza she got a selfie with him (it’s on my friends’ phone so I don’t have the picture available right now). The whole thing is adorable with how innocent his mom is”. —
Jason Merritt / Getty Images
“I used to play in local bands in Seattle back in the late 90’s. I was sitting in the Mecca (a bar in the Queen Ann neighborhood) and in walks this dude with another buddy and they sit down next to me. I didn’t look up as I was enjoying a pint and a book. We all mutually knew the bartender well.
They started talking about cars or something then it led to music. I made a quick quip about Soundgarden and how I hoped that they would make another album (this was just before
Down on the Upside). I heard the dude next to me say, ‘Wish granted, we are mixing it, now.’ It was Chris Cornell and one of his friends. We talked for a while about Seattle music and playing shows. He asked more questions of me than I could of him. He was genuinely a humble, cool, fellow musician. He treated me like an equal even tho I knew and certainly know now that I am not, in that regard. I bumped into him a couple of other times over the years. He was always the same dude to me. RIP Chris.” — u/in2theF0ld
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
“Was at a convenience store in LA when me and a very nicely-dressed Black gentleman walked up to the cashier at the same time to pay. It was night time and he had his dark shades on and was talking on his phone. I gave him the ‘after you’ gesture and he nodded and said ‘thanks buddy,’ paid and left. It wasn’t until he was out of the store that I realized he was Jamie Foxx.” —
Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images
“My cousin rode a ski lift with Jack Black in Vail. Just the two of them. Her husband and I were in the lift behind them, freaking out. When we got off the lift they’d gone their separate ways. We made our way to her she was like ‘wow, that guy on my lift was so nice.’ We were like T
HAT WAS JACK BLACK. She was like “ THE SCHOOL OF ROCK GUY?!?!”
She was so embarrassed. She said she rambled on about living in Iowa for most of their conversation. We laughed our asses off.” —
Orlando Sentinel / Getty Images
“I was 10 years old in 2002 when my mom took me to the Bronx Zoo for the first time. It was a rainy day so we practically had the whole place to ourselves except for three British kids running around, chaperoned by a woman. My mom quickly befriended the woman while I made like a kid and joined the hoard, looking at spiders and scorpions and sharing in the awe and excitement of the animals. After about an hour when we said our goodbyes, my mother told me that the kid, Daniel, who I had been hanging out with had played Harry Potter in the movie that came out last year. I had thought he looked familiar.” —
Kurt Krieger – Corbis / Getty Images
“This doesn’t count because it’s about my father-in-law, and he legitimately didn’t know who she was, but we were vacationing in Maine and spending a lot of time on the beach. My father-in-law would walk his dog early everyone morning. He met this lady and they would meet up and walk their dogs together then go their separate ways. One morning I got up early to come with him, and to my surprise, we met up with Sigourney Weaver and went for a walk.” —
Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images
“Me and my wife were on a trip for 9 days with Rainn Wilson (Dwight from the office) and his family. I know he doesn’t like being treated like he’s just a character from a TV show so I refrained from mentioning it or even letting on that I knew he was a famous actor.
One day he had a sandwich with some beetroot in it, turns to his wife, and says “These beets are really amazing.” It took every bit of me not to say something about Dwight then. He’s a fantastic guy, and his family is lovely.” —
Samuel L. Jackson
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
“Samuel L. Jackson was on my flight. I was second to last to board the flight and there was all this commotion with the flight attendants and gate crew. Once I approached the door of the plane I realized they were all looking at Samuel L. Jackson. He was standing by the cockpit making himself available to passengers/fans. I played it cool. Didn’t say a word. Turns out, I’m shy around celebrities. I’m just glad I didn’t make a
Snakes on the Plane joke.” — deleted user
Cbs Photo Archive / Getty Images
“I worked at a hotel and Russell Crowe came in the lobby. He went to the house phones and called front desk where I was working. I could see him pretty easily. I answered the phone and he asked to be connected to a room so I put him through. This wasn’t long after he threw a phone at a hotel clerk so I didn’t want to take a chance at pissing him off.” —
The King of Norway, King Olav V
Keystone-france / Getty Images
“Reminds me of when my father first moved to Oslo, Norway back in the late ’70s. He lived in this shitty cellar apartment that was in a very nice part of town, so he’d always go for evening walks just to get out of the dump. On his walks he would occasionally run into this old man walking his dog, and sometimes they would stop and talk about the dog or the weather or whatever.
Turned out that the old man was actually the King of Norway, something my father only found out after later, being completely new to the country. Innocent times…” —
Mwe / GC Images
“My mom yelled at Pierce Brosnan. She and my dad were at a ski resort getting lunch. My mother gets quite hangry (an unfortunate trait I inherited) and was waiting in line to order. Right as she’s about to order a guy tried to cut in front of her and interrupt her. She snapped and told him to go to the back of the line like everyone else. She got her food and went back to my dad sitting there, mouth wide open in shock.
‘Do you know who that was?’
‘That was Pierce Brosnan. You just yelled at James Bond.’
‘Well he shouldn’t have tried to cut me.'” —
Nbc / Getty Images
“One of my best friends doppelganger is Ethan Hawke. Like it’s scary how much he resembles him, to the point that during those stupid Facebook challenges he just changed his profile picture to him and nobody realized it. Also, his favorite story was one time at San Diego Comic-Con he actually confused Rosario Dawson at a hotel bar.
Anyway one night I’m walking home from work in NYC, and I see who I thought was my friend, John just walking on a kind of secluded part of 9th ave around Hells Kitchen, and I yell “JOHN!”
He doesn’t turn around.
So I decide to yell it again, and instead of responding his pace quickens. I decide the best thing to do is to run at him which seemed to terrify him as keep in mind it’s late and there are very few people around. Anyway, I catch up to him and say ‘Oh, you’re not John’ and then walk away from what was a very frightened Ethan Hawke.” —
Bob Riha Jr / Getty Images
“My dad met Robin Williams in an elevator. He got in and they rode a few floors in silence. They stopped on a floor and s bunch of fans ran in and started getting pics with Robin. My dad said he was gracious and took pics with everyone. The doors closed and they rode a few more floors and my dad turned and said ‘does that ever get old?’ and Robin smiled and said ‘Nope. Never.’ Then my dad got off on his floor and they nodded to one another and my dad went on with his day.” —
“Robin Williams used to walk around my lone childhood country town near SF. I saw him once (after hearing many rumors about his sightings, not entirely unlike Bigfoot or Nessy sightings). My brain didn’t fully comprehend what it was seeing. But I could tell he was trying his very best to remain incognito and not draw any unwanted attention. We locked eyes. He smiled, I smiled and nodded back, and we both went our separate ways.” —
Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images
“About 40 years ago my father was sitting next to Telly Savalas at some Vegas blackjack table. For about an hour they talked and bet some large amounts of money and my father never let on that he knew the guy was famous. Telly finally says, ‘It’s pretty cool that you haven’t asked for my autograph.’ My father responds, ‘Well, you didn’t ask for mine.’ Telly laughs and writes on a cocktail napkin, ‘Hey Jeff, can I have your autograph?’ He carried that damn napkin with him for years.” —
Desiree Navarro / WireImage
“I worked at a Barnes & Noble in New York as a clerk, but once or twice I’d be called over to the in-store Starbucks cafe to help out whenever they were understaffed. One time, Alan Rickman came up and ordered something, I can’t recall what. I wrote ‘Hans Gruber’ on his cup though. He smiled at me when he noticed it.” —
Roy Rochlin / Getty Images
“About five years ago my dad was in Los Angeles for business and got into the elevator of his hotel to head down to one of his meetings. When he got in, he instantly recognized a huge, legendary, hall-of-fame LA Laker standing next to him. Normally, my father would never say anything but for some reason felt compelled to introduce himself. He stuck out his hand and said, ‘Shaq, it’s nice to meet ya.’ He immediately realized he messed up and the guy responded, ‘I’m Magic Johnson but it’s nice to meet you too.’ The secondhand embarrassment is real.” —
Note: Some answers have been lightly edited for length and/or clarity.
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