Update from Hollywood

Unfortunately, despite several appeals, I have not taken any photos around the hotel.  One reader asked if I have seen anyone famous.  The answer is, I don't know.  Let me explain.

Some years ago (maybe 8-10) my wife and I were driving through Malibu on vacation, when we stopped at a little coffee shop for breakfast.  After we were done eating, my wife went to the bathroom while I sat outside on a bench to wait for her.  Sitting there was another husband who was clearly also waiting for his wife to come out.  We chatted for about 5 minutes, with this British gent telling me he had just gotten back from London on business.

Well, my wife came out and I met her at the car.  The first thing she said to me was "Oh my god, you were talking to Pierce Brosnan."  I said "??"  Sure enough, on reflection, it did seem to be he, particularly since my wife also recognized his wife from People magazine.  In my defense, one does not expect to encounter James Bond in a psuedo-Denny's wearing sweats and a week-old beard.  But since then, I have not really trusted by celebrity-identification skills.

  • I've meet enough public figures in everyday situations to know that they tend to look very different when they're not on the clock. And it's not just big celebrities, but even small ones. I met a newspaper columnist once that I only knew from her picture, and if I hadn't known it was her office I was headed to, I might not have recognized her. They say the camera doesn't lie, but it sure fudges a lot. And when they're on their own time, they tend not to have big fake smiles and a lot of makeup. Plus, I find that when I meet anyone in a very different context than the one I know them from, say a co-worker I have only a nodding acquaintance with that I see at the grocery store, I often have a hard time placing the face.

    It's the voice that I tend to recognize actors and the like from instantly, the face can take a few moments to click.

    All in all, Hollywood might be a nice place to take in the scenery once in a while, but I think I'd despise living there.

  • I once saw James Carville coming out of an elevator in New Orleans, but it was back in the day before I carried weapons as a matter of course...

    MC

  • The other factors is that almost all TV/movie celebrities look much shorter in person.

    Case in point: Bodybuilder/Movie Star/Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is actually about 5'10". Sylvester Stallone is about 5'8". Lord only knows how tall Tom Cruise actually is...I'm guessing 5'5" in heels.

  • MC:

    To finish off Carville, I'm guessing you'll need a wooden stake, silver bullets, and a 55 gallon drum of holy water.

  • Ditto on the Schwarzenegger observation. He goes to my church when he's in L.A. and he is a surprisingly small person. And I think he's shrinking.

  • I used to live in Natick, MA. I met a guy named "Doug" on my own front yard (he knew the neighbors), and a few days after that I saw him playing basketball at a local gym (he dominated the game and also helpfully asked the other players to stop cussing as my children were passing through). About a month later I discovered he was Doug Flutie, something my wife figured out before me, her family connection to BC apparently providing stronger memories than my limited 1980s NFL football watching.

  • I'm willing to bet money that Mr. Brosnan probably remembers you. I'm guessing that it isn't often that he can sit down and have a chat with someone he doesn't know without them going all gaga because they know who he is.

  • Chris is right about looking shorter. On my way to lunch once, I was joined on the elevator by a dark haired mustachioed guy who was a little less than my 5' 11". As he exited, I saw the back of the faded t-shirt over his cutoff shorts advertised the Jupiter Dinner Theater. By the time I connected that with the fact that the Florida Film Commission had an office one floor below ours, Burt Reynolds had left the building.

  • Chris is right about looking shorter. On my way to lunch once, I was joined on the elevator by a dark haired mustachioed guy who was a little less than my 5' 11". As he exited, I saw the back of the faded t-shirt over his cutoff shorts advertised the Jupiter Dinner Theater. By the time I connected that with the fact that the Florida Film Commission had an office one floor below ours, Burt Reynolds had left the building.