Once, when I worked in a video store, I met Julia Stiles. To this day, I am happy to report to everyone how awful she was–please ask me about it–and how I subsequently never allowed her friends to slide on late fees again. Everyone has a story like that: one in which a celebrity was just kinda bad. Many people, if they’re lucky, have a story about a celebrity who’s awesome. But you rarely hear about celebrity stories in which the star you’ve watched on TV and in the movies your entire life is just kind of…sad; a greyish blob (that’s actually how someone described Tom Green after a run-in with him after his breakup with Drew Barrymore) just trying to be left alone by its adoring public.
Green, it turns out, is just the tip of the iceberg. While Us Weekly declares that “celebrities…they’re just like us,” here are a few scenarios shared by Reddit users that make it clear that sometimes celebrities are more like us than we’d like to think.
Let’s start with a big one. Did you know there was a time in her life when Betty White wasn’t the grande dame of comedy? When she was, instead, just a sad middle-aged woman failing to sell some books?
Betty White. It was right after the Golden Girls (and Golden Palace) had ended. Her career was not in the best place at the time. I was at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles and saw a poster promoting Betty White signing her latest book about how much she loves animals. I liked the Golden Girls so I thought I would swing by the bookstore to take a gander at Betty White. It was so sad. I’ll always remember she was sitting alone at a big table with a stack of books in front of her. People were in the bookstore shopping but no one was buying her book or really acknowledging her. She just sat there, pen in hand, waiting. She would occasionally wipe off some imaginary dust to look busy. I’m getting the chills just remembering it. Of course, I was such a self-involved college kid that I just stared at her from far away. I should have just gone up and talked to her.
What about the time that people thought Anne Hathaway was stuck-up when she was battling depression?
Anne Hathaway and her boyfriend used to frequent a coffee shop I worked at. This was a year or so after Les Mis and around the time where, she admitted later, she was going through severe depression. She wouldn’t talk to us or anything. She would come in, sit down and have her partner order for her while she just sat there and looked upset. At the time we just thought she was being stuck up. It just goes to show that you never know what a person is going through and I shouldn’t be too quick to judge. Once I read her interview regarding her depression I felt like such a dick.
Rachel Weisz on the other hand, might actually be stuck up:
I sat next to Rachel Weisz on a flight to Malta. I was 14 or 15 years old and had absolutely fallen in love with her inThe Mummy movies. She was my first girl crush and I wanted to be just like her.
She was very warm and friendly at the beginning of the flight so I thought “Don’t screw this up by acting like another fawning fangirl.” I never let on that I knew who she was and just chatted happily with her as the conversation dwindled and she became more sullen and withdrawn. Finally she snapped at me about something (I can’t even remember what I said or what she said in response, but it was clearly in a irritated tone) and I immediately sat back and went silent.
Her little son and his nanny were sitting across the aisle from me and I guess the nanny had been eavesdropping. A couple minutes after Weisz snapped at me, she got up to use the restroom and her nanny leaned over and said simply and quietly “She gets upset if you don’t acknowledge who she is.”
I tried to continue talking to the nanny but she turned back to the little boy and acted like she had never said anything at all.
This user doesn’t name names, but oh. my. god:
I went to school with someone who wasn’t a celebrity at the time who had celebrity parents. She had your typical teenage celebrity crush on an actor. Her mom started dating him and she got upset and shaved her head.
After Katrina, my now-wife and her then-boyfriend were in Whole Foods in New Orleans, shopping. There was a guy there who looked like Laurence Fishburne, and the boyfriend turns my wife and says, loudly, “Damn! Laurence Fishburne got fat!”
The man turns around slowly and just stands there, looking at them, forlorn. It was Laurence Fishburne.
Gene Simmons? Sounds like he might be kind of a dick:
My brother met Gene Simmons back stage at a show he was playing in. Gene complimented my brother highly on his guitar playing but then said “too bad you’ll never make it” and just walked away.
But nothing will beat this story of a dad telling Clint Eastwood to eff the hell out of Canada:
Back in the early ’90’s, Clint was in southern Alberta doing some shooting for Unforgiven (I think, probably). It just so happens that so were we, but not because of a movie; we were doing some camping, and had been camping for like a good solid week before deciding, one day, to check out the Royal Tyrel Museum of Paleontology, because that’s the best thing ever, it wasn’t super expensive (we lived on an extreme budget, our family of 4 in the ’90s), and it’s an easy way to keep your tiny children (I was maybe 6?) occupied when you just need a day of not keeping them from killing themselves, you know?
So there we were, this extremely stinky, camping family, the very embodiment of the lower class, hanging out in a museum looking at dinosaur bones because awesome. It just so happens that Clint and crew had the day off and decided to check out dinosaur bones too, because that shit is awesome and I respect a movie guy who likes massive bones. Er, what? Anyways. We’re there, looking at dino bones, they’re there, looking at dino bones.
Now, to add some context to my father’s state of mind: I was a loud, obnoxious 6-maybe-year-old. My sister was worse because she sucks and is dumb, but this story isn’t about her anyway. Dad has spent a week trapped more or less in the confines of a tent with his idiot son and stupid toddler daughter, and is on edge. He probably wants a fight, I dunno. He’s spoilin’ for an argument.
Well, Dad overhears one of the crew guys griping about how lame Canada apparently is compared to America, and how he couldn’t wait to go back home, etc, and the crew guys were chuckling about it. So, stinky dad waltzes over — a true, red-blooded Canadian, proud of his country, a real patriot — and tells them that if they don’t like it, why don’t they all fuck off and go back to America*. Dad doesn’t realize that Clint Eastwood is among the people he’s swearing at, because Dad invented the Dumb Dad trope.
After they wander off, grumbling about rude stinky Canadians or something, Dad comes back to us, and Mom essentially asks him, happily, “Oh what were you talking to Clint about?” all bubbly and excited.
Because Dad is a red-blooded Canadian patriot who realized that he fucked up hard, I spent my youth watching a loooot of Clint Eastwood movies. Dad suffers pretty deeply from ‘Canadian guilt’, which is a lot like your standard ‘white guilt’, except it isn’t biased toward race. Essentially, he’s just sorry all the time. Made for good movie nights as a kid though. A++, would watch Dad put his foot in his mouth again.
Donald Trump. He was at my Great Aunts funeral, so I guess it was sad. I don’t really remember it much though. Also my Aunt was a bitch apparently.
But never forget: Sometimes it’s the fans who are dicks, even when they don’t mean to be:
I was drunk at a friend’s bachelor party in vegas in ’95. We are walking through the casino, and I see this glorious man with what can only be described as the aura of a movie star around him. I immediately recognize him as Sammy Davis Jr. I run up and say “Sammy can I get an autograph?!” and he just turns around like he didn’t hear me and starts walking. Thinking he couldn’t hear me I kind of yell “Sammy Davis Jr!”. He turns around, looks right at me, and says “You’re a real asshole”.
I was pretty oblivious and had no idea why Sammy Davis Jr. was treating me like I had slapped his little sister’s ass. For a few years after that every time his name came up I told people how big of a jerk Sammy David Jr. was. Fast forward to a few years later and I’m watching the movie Renaissance Man with Danny Devito and I’m like “wait I didn’t know Sammy David Jr was in this movie” ….which caused me to imdb it …and it all finally clicked.