Star Power?

I've only been starstruck once. It was the year after Run Lola Run came out and I ran into Franka Potente in a Tabac in Paris. We both were buying the same Gauloise cigarettes and even without that fire red hair, I was smitten. I followed her out of the Tabac and through the third arrondissement like some kind of spy, scarf around head, big sunglasses, Canadian flag on my American backpack. (Sneaky, no?)

I spent my entire day stalking her, but then again I was in Paris and she was German and it all seemed so exotic, so romantic, and at the time Run Lola Run was like the holy grail.

Since then I have ran into many a celeb. They're everywhere. Friends of friends and neighbors and bar-goers and club-hoppers and runyan canyon hikers. Shit, they literally speed up our street in their Maseratis every morning en route to Paramount.

But starstruck I am not. Star-fascinated I very much am. It's kind of like living with aliens except they're human (kinda) and they drive around Hybrid Lexus' instead of spaceships (except for Tomkat who cruise Sunset in their Ferrari SpaceJet ZX.)

My issue is that sometimes when I see an actor in my natural habitat I get very confused, like for instance a few years back when shopping at the Beverly Center, I had a panic attack when I saw Keifer Sutherland step out of Hugo Boss, nervously talking on his cell-phone and wearing his token Ball-gina (think camel-toe for men) jeans and leather jacket.

I was in the middle of Season Two of 24 on DVD and thought for several moments that Kiefer was actually Jack Bauer and that any minute Centox Gas would be leaked into the mall and I would die. I ran for the door until I realized that I had temporarily gone insane. Jack Bauer became Kiefer Sutherland again and I casually turned back toward Betsey Johnson and smacked myself in the head. (Duh!)

And that wasn't the only time...

This dude works out at my gym. We have the same schedule apparently because we're always on the bike, side by side during the afternoon and every time he sits down next to me I get a little bit scared. Not because dude is scary but because I just recently saw Capote, where said man played the pathetic killer who was eventually hanged. I feel like I'm riding bikes with a ghost. Weird. Kind of like how I was sitting next to this dead LOST character at The Wiltern the day after she died on the show. (In my perfect afterlife, I'd be rocking to Belle & Sebastian, too.)

A few years ago, at a gallery opening, I spent 20 minutes trying to explain to my friend's friend, Justine that indeed we had met before. I couldn't for the life of me remember where but I was POSITIVE.

"You're just so familiar!" I explained.

"No! Trust me, we have not met before," she finally said before storming off.

I realized later that she was the chick from Family Ties and felt like a complete asshole for thinking we were friends. It's just that, Mallory was like an older sister to me, you know?

But yesterday, at the park, the opposite happened. As I passed Debi Mazar pushing her stroller by I thought, "Cool! Debi's taking her baby for a walk."

I didn't notice the camera and small crew and the fact she was actually pushing a plastic doll and not a real baby.

It wasn't until she started fake-waving at me and the other moms in the sandbox that I realized they were shooting some B-ROLL for Enterouge. I guess I just thought she had a lot of nannies. And a hairguy. And another hairguy for her baby. It wouldn't be the first time.

One of the Moms, who like me, had not noticed the crew at first, reached over the carriage to peek at the baby.

"How old is your baby?" She asked.

"Six months. But this isn't my baby. My baby's at home. This is just a doll."

The woman turned white and then red and finally blue (shock is patriotic!) before Debi M explained that they were shooting.

I'm pretty sure there are very few cities in the world where grown women in full-makeup are pushing around dolls in neighborhood parks while they're real baby is home with the nanny.

Can you really blame me for being a little bit on the confused side sometimes?



Anonymous | 12:52 PM

It is surreal living in L.A. sometimes, huh? I was at the mall one day. I was letting Caleb work out some of his hatred at me for taking him shopping by letting him climb around in the germ-infested play area. I start talking to the only other parent in a sea of nannies and realize, holy shit, I am having a conversation with Jay Mohr! Well if the 10 words we said to each other count as conversation.

Creative-Type Dad | 1:07 PM

That's funny!

When my wife first moved out here she got pretty star-strucked especially when we would go to friend's parties in "the hills".

After awhile she caught on that most were just a bunch of @ssholes. Especially the "D" level ones.

Anonymous | 2:13 PM

I've never understood the star-reality-confusion, it always seemed improbable to me. But here you are, GGC, an intelligent and urbane woman, who's experienced it. Now I get it. I can imagine experiencing it.

Of course, I've seen big, fat fools like Tim Allen getting drunk and screaming at waitresses. No confusion there. But if I were to see Mariska Hargitay, for example, I'd be looking for her tattooed partner.

Writers are my rock stars. Sometimes I fantasize about certain hot, young male writers like Rick Moody and Jonathan Franzen. I can barely bring myself to imagine what it might be like to actually meet one of these guys.

MrsFortune | 6:11 PM

A couple months ago Chelsea Clinton was sitting next to me and hubz at a restaurant in NYC, and I came *this* close to asking her where I knew her from, because she looked so damn familiar but I couldn't place her face ... thankfully I kept my mouth shut and asked hubby when we left and he was like, duh, that was Chelsea Clinton and I was all, I'm so glad I didn't say anything to her. So I can so relate to your Justine Bateman story!

petite gourmand | 6:27 PM

I'm laughing so hard tears are running down my face.
tooo funny.
double funny that I saw a drunken Keifer at a booze can called the matador years ago.
wish I had noticed if he was wearing his hugo boss
ball- gina jeans..

JUST ME | 7:03 PM

i saw Keifer at the W hotel in Union Square last week.

All i wanted to do was scream "WHY AREN'T YOU SAVING SOMEONE?!"

...but i held it together.

and ps: isn't keifer another word for goat's milk?

kittenpie | 7:07 PM

Oooh, I looove Debi Mazar!

I haven't experienced this confustion thing, although I imagine the setting has much to do with it. And I did feel slightly embarrassed the time I nearly walked right into Dr. Ruth with my mother...

Unknown | 7:23 PM

One time we were eating pie in Keo, Arkansas and we saw Mary Steamburger and Ted Danson with their family. I contemplated not telling my mom because I knew she would flip out. I did, and she did.

shaynapunam | 8:22 PM

BALL-GINA! Too funny! Was Kiefer speaking very softly or yelling emphatically-he only has two volumes. I have TWICE run up to celebrities and almost convinced them that we know each was a news reporter: he looked uncomfortable and like he wanted to run away, and finally said, "You don't know me--I am on TV, okay???" That was a proud moment for me.
I just saw that dude from Mad TV--you know, he does John Madden impressions...he is a shrimp--but nice. When I saw him, I said hi to him like I knew him...once again, an impressive moment. Ooops.

I would like to see Tom Cruise, just so I could tower over him. That would be satisfying. (I am six feet tall). Love your blog.

Off topic--let me state the obvious--going from one child to two increases the work 100%.

Ms. Smoochy | 9:17 PM

I just toggled between the Justine (was it Bateman?) pictures over and over in some weird internet double-take. Wow. It must be so surreal to see so many of these folks in your every day world.

Anonymous | 7:40 AM

Sounds like quite a world out there.

I feel so behind. I've never seen a celebrity. Unless you count that Mark guy from MTV's Road Rulz Real World Challenge.

Anonymous | 1:56 PM

OMG! That incident you had with Justine? I had the very SAME incident with the red-headed actress who used to be "On Living Color." You know, the one who doesn't get work anymore?

Yeah. She was NOT happy when I kept insisting we'd met before.

Chicky | 2:18 PM

I totally understand. You see these people in everyday circumstances (on your TV, at the movies), and when you see someone in person, it's just natural to say Hi, like you would when you see one of your friends. I had an encounter like that at Canter's with Mira Sorvino. She walked by where I was standing, and it just popped out. She was very nice, though-just smiled, said hi back. THEN it hit me who she was...

Namito | 6:15 PM

This is too fun.

The funniest celebrity experience I had was when I pissed of Micki Dolenz. I was working the cashier at Borders and he butted into a transaction, interrupting the lady I was helping. I asked him to please take his question to the information desk. Not a happy Monkey.

Oh well.

Kara | 12:58 PM

Very funny!
My star encounters are, let's just say, MUCH less frequent... But I once almost ran over Bebe Neuwerth, who jaywalked in front of my car and Meryl Streep once helped me pick out shoes for a wedding (long story).

Very funny about Malory!