Thursday, November 5, 2009

Famous People

So my sister, the baby of the family that is, texted me a short while ago to alert me to the fact that she had just brushed shoulder, more or less, with Jenna Fischer, a.k.a. Pam from The Office, at a bookstore at the LAX airport.

Or should I say, Pam from The Office just brushed shoulders with MY SISTER?! Maybe she's texting Jim about it right now. ("OMG, saw tall cute curly-haired Harvard grad browsing the recent bestsellers! LOL!")

Have you ever run into anyone famous? Several years ago, I had my own airport encounter when, while boarding a connecting flight to Austin in Chicago, I turned to glance at the back of the line and there was none other than Ms. Sandra Bullock. No kidding. She lives here, you know.

Probably she was hanging out at the caboose so as to avoid the goopy stares from other passengers walking past her seat in first class as they headed for the cattle cars. But sure enough, there was the gate agent, asking for her autograph. (I didn't have the boldness, in case you wondered.)

Well, guess what, my friends? Due to some weather-related issue, our plane sat on the runway in Chicago for about an hour and a half. And no doubt Ms. Bullock was plied with a couple of apologetic cocktails during her unacceptable wait, but she still had to sit there, enduring a delay just like the rest of us. Weather and control towers just aren't impressed by celebrity, it seems.

It just made me think. Sure, it's exciting to run into these faces we see only on the screen or the magazine covers at the grocery store checkout, mostly because I think we subconsciously doubt that they actually exist in the flesh. But it's also a good reminder that these people have to wait in lines just like us, have to put their jeans on one leg at a time, have their toast fall to the floor jam side down just as often as we do.

And speaking of such things, I just finished reading (a phrase which here means "gave my children minimal attention while taking abnormally long bathroom breaks and cooking with one hand so I could keep my nose buried in its pages") The Actor and the Housewife: A Novel
by Shannon Hale, one of my current favorite authors (I love both her adult and YA fiction (oh, and her website)). Anyone (besides Anne) read it? What do you think? Plausible premise, devoted housewife falling into a friendship with a Hollywood actor? Plausible for the relationship to remain platonic?

Sounds farfetched, and I'm not sure I totally buy it, but once I got past the style, which was breezier than her more poetic YA novels, I just fell in love with Becky Jack, the heroine. The way she dedicates herself to the happiness of her husband and children so wholeheartedly while keeping alive this creative spark (she writes screenplays) and a friendship completely outside the sphere in which she lives, the sphere most us completely relate to ... that part, I think, had me at hello. The way she crafts a life that manages to be ordinary, self-sacrificing, even at some points (no spoilers!) tragic, and yet retain this corner of mystery, this one thread running in stark contrast to the tapestry of domestic life -- it's intriguing.


Amy said...

Several years ago we were waiting to eat at Tomasita's restaurant in Santa Fe (the IT restaurant for New Mexican cuisine in Santa Fe, coincidentally owned by Paula Kazamias' aunt...who is Greek) and I noticed a very attractive woman sitting in the crowded waiting area. I thought to myself "that is a really pretty 40 year old woman." Then I realized that I was looking at Brooke Shields.

Anonymous said...

Well, the timing of your post couldn't have been more perfect. I just went on a Warner Bros. studio tour yesterday (it was *fantastic*) and we drove right past Kelsey Grammar - of 'Cheers' and 'Frasier' fame - unloading his trunk. OK, it was really just a brush, but whatever, that was Kelsey Grammar! THEN, we got to go ONTO one of the sets of CHUCK (great NBC spy-ish series) and I even saw Zachary Levi's car parked out back. He drove a Nissan Skyline with a license plate that read, "NRD HRD" Seriously! (Confirmed by the tour driver!! :)

-Rebecca M.

Anne said...

Let's see...once Helen Hunt did a made-for-TV movie that used our small town's courthouse for the courtroom scenes. Of course everyone in town showed up for the filming, and after a long wait, Helen Hunt "walked right past me!!!".

My sister who lived in NY (until just recently) has had several celebrity brushes. She lived in the same town as Hayden Panettiere, the restaurant she worked in served celebrities on a regular basis (we all received several texts one night about Rosie O'Donnell's visit), and after watching some of the filming of Jennifer Anniston and Gerard Butler's movie, she and friend proceeed to follow Jennifer's car until a bodyguard approached them and gave them a warning. I would have been mortified; she thought it was fantastic. :-)

As for The Actor and the Housewife...I'm still not buying it. ;-) I guess it just pushed me past my ability to suspend disbelief, for some reason, although I think one of those reasons is that I just couldn't see such an intense relationship remaining strictly platonic. Even if it could, wouldn't that kind of emotional connection be crossing a line in itself? I know Becky struggles some with that, so at least that was real. Oh well - I do love Shannon Hale's other books!

Era said...

"Plausible premise, devoted housewife falling into a friendship with a Hollywood actor? Plausible for the relationship to remain platonic?"

Sounds good but I'm too skeptical and cynical to buy it.

Once at Miami metro zoo I met Judge Milan of People's court. I said hello and she was very nice and confirmed who she was when I asked.(people's court is not a favorite program of mine but she is a TV personality)

There are a couple of peole who I suspect were actors that I am aquainted with but I never had the guts to ask if it was them - so I'll never know.

Stephanie said...

No famous people for me. But Titus has a good Charlie Sheen story.