Meeting Celebrities Is Weird
I have this tendency to get wildly excited at the prospect of meeting celebrities, and then getting extremely weirded out while it’s happening. I am a self professed celebrity hound- I am not denying it, I read all of the gossip magazines, and was an early Perez Hilton devotee. But the process of actually meeting them is strange for a number of reasons. In few other real life scenarios do you know everything about a person, what they wear, eat, drive, who they are dating and related to and you have never met them before. There is also no other instance where you project all of your ideas about what a person is like onto them, when in actuality they might not be even remotely like they are in your imagination. It’s weird.
I was faced with this interesting moment when I was standing outside of the Imperial Theater waiting for Mathew Broderick to come out the Stage Door after seeing his Broadway show, Nice Work If You Can Get It. Mathew Broderick is the first big-time celebrity I have met, aside from Christie Brinkley. Christie Brinkley is pretty big-time, but her heyday is past, while Broderick’s has (sort of) endured. Nice Work If You Can Get It was incredible, the costumes, the sets, the songs, everything about it was pure delight. I really enjoyed the show, and was excited to wait for a picture afterward with Broderick. It’s not uncommon for stars to leave the Stage Door and sign autographs or greet fans who wait, which is how I met Christie Brinkley. So despite the torrential downpour of rain, my boyfriend and I waited for him to come out.
I always pictured Mathew Broderick to be kind of peppy, sort of a happy-go-lucky congenial guy. This was all, of course, total conjecture, because what do I know about him and his personal life? I am completely guilty of being one of those people that thinks all celebrities are nice. I have seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off countless times, as well as Election. Plus he’s married to Carrie Bradshaw! What’s not to like?
After waiting for about 40 minutes in the rain (which hey- I am not complaining, if I am resigned to waiting out there, they can take their time) Broderick came out, and my boyfriend started cheering. The cheering went completely unacknowledged- again, whatever. But as he approached there was literally zero smile. Zero. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone look so apathetic. He just went down the line, signing autographs, barely saying a single word to anyone. He signed every single person’s playbill and took photos with everybody who wanted one, which was very nice. All the while though, he just looked so unhappy, not mad or bothered, but just…like awkward and unhappy. Considering we had just been dazzled by him onstage for two hours, it was just SO weird!
Not that I am over thinking it, but I just expound upon it because I find celebrity culture interesting. On the one hand, maybe he was having a bad day? On the other, we all just paid hundreds of dollars to see him perform, is it really so bad to take photos with 10 people? But then again, is it fair for him to have to participate in this celebrity-obsessed culture just because he loves to act? Maybe he is just a very intensely private person? Although, I can see him being very unhappy about me bothering him while he’s shopping or with his kids or something, but this stage door thing is very much within the expected territory of Broadway, I was not breaking any personal boundaries. There were so few people waiting and we were all so patient and chill they didn’t even put up a barricade.
My sweet boyfriend, always at the defense of others said, “Well it’s raining, it was cold, he just put on a show, maybe he was tired.” I mean maybe he was. I think I am just matching it to the overwhelming exuberance of Christie Brinkley, who was also signing autographs in the rain after a show, and I have seriously never met someone so cheery and wonderful in my life, celebrity or no. Both of them have been in the biz for a longggg time, but their dispositions were on opposite ends of the spectrum. Brinkley was the one making conversation with US, “Where are you from? How did you like it?” When a fan said they were from France she broke out into fluent French telling them all about her time living there back in the day. You’ve seriously never met someone so friendly and kind.
I wouldn’t say he was a jerk or anything, in truth he didn’t even have to come out at all. But I will say it just wasn’t what I thought it would be. If I hadn’t seen him smile in so many movies I wouldn’t have been able to imagine what it looked like! It was interesting…to say the least!