Sometimes I feel bad for celebrities.
We've all heard how difficult it can be to live in the spotlight, to have your privacy invaded regularly. I would find it hard to be under a microscope every day, with everything I said and did made public. We've all seen the train wrecks of young movie stars going off the rails. The media delights in exposing their mistakes and public meltdowns.
I understand that movie stars put themselves into the position by seeking fame, or perhaps for some it just comes about as a side effect of being driven to choose acting as a career.
I've never been one to chase celebrities. I have a friend who isn't a celebrity chaser, either, but does love to attend TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival, every year in hopes of seeing a few of the actors she admires. In this situation, they are putting themselves out there willingly to promote their movies.
She lined up for the showing of The Imitation Game hoping to catch a glimpse of Benedict Cumberbatch. We both think he is an amazing actor. She got a spot in the front of the crowd, but pretty far down the line from the central action—where he would exit the limo and then head into the theatre. I can't wait to see the movie. It sounds excellent. In the interviews conducted during TIFF, the cast and directors were blatantly sincere in how important they thought it was for everyone to know Alan Turing's story.
Anyway, Benedict arrived and the crowd went wild. He was gracious and obliging, signing autographs and talking to people. Then he started to walk down the line toward my friend, and came closer, and closer. The young women around her were screaming his name. She stood smiling quietly and holding a magazine article about him in an envelope.
He smiled and waved to everyone as he walked the line. He passed by my friend and she was so happy that he had come so close to her. Then…he halted, backed up a few steps, stopped a few inches in front of her and said, "Hello." To her.
More on the ball and less tongue-tied than I would have been, she told him how much she truly admires his acting and asked whether he would give her an autograph. He thanked her for the compliment and took the envelope from her, signing slowly and carefully so his signature is legible. When she said, "I'm going to see the Imitation Game the second it comes out in the theatres," he looked her in the eye and said, "Please do," quite earnestly. He smiled, handed her the autograph and moved on.
She was ecstatic and phoned the second she got home to gush about him.
Up close, he is very beautiful, with gorgeous eyes and lovely skin. Or so I've been told. I'll never be in a situation that will bring me that close to Benedict Cumberbatch :-)
Have you had any celebrity experiences? Or is there one famous person with whom you would love to sit down and have a long chat?
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