Most of us think we wouldn’t get starstruck when coming face to face with a celebrity, but you don’t really know until you’re presented with the situation.
These 19 people were presented with that situation, and it wasn’t just in passing. They actually had a moment. Some of the stories are wild.
1. Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle. I was working Night Audit(overnight) at a Mid Luxury hotel in Napa. He and 6-7 friends rode up on motorcycles at like 2am and asked to get rooms for 2 nights. Apparently, they were in a road trip to nowhere and would just stop each night where they stopped. They had a few people following them in a truck and trailer.
He is a pretty legit insomniac and would sit in the front steps for 5-6 hours each night on his phone smoking. They decided to extend and ended up staying a total of 6 nights. On night 2, I went out and asked for a light and we ended up chatting a few hours. It repeated for 3 nights and I got to hang out with him about 10 hours total. Smart, thoughtful, articulate, and genuine person. The humor is just him. I was actually blown away with how precise his natural whit and timing was.
Saw him at a show in SF a last year and he recognized me. Shouted out from stage “Yo… I know you… You still working nights?”
Great human. – ScrantonicityToo
2. Jim Carrey and Robin Williams
Jim Carrey and Robin Williams. They visited the St Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis TN. They both were incredibly nice and hilarious. This small kid fell into the floor and was crying and kicking his legs so Jim Carrey (in a very expensive suit) dropped to the floor and did the same just to stop him from crying. Robin Williams wore the nose from Patch Adams and much more hairy than he looked in the movies. – Slingblade1170
3. Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver, just after Aliens was released on VHS. A buddy of mine and I were riding up the gondola at the mountain where we were on the ski team, she was in the singles line, and we didn’t know who she was until the end of the ride up (~10 mins), when she said something, and he and I (both being about 12, so we had both obviously seen Aliens, as good children of the 80’s) were both like… “Ripley?”
She was kind enough to repeat “get away from her, you bitch!” for us. – cork_dork
4. Jason Momoa
Jason Momoa. He was lost as fuck in Atlanta (Dragon Con, woop woop), and I happened to be walking by as he was turning in place trying to get his bearings. I was going to the same building, so I offered to walk him over. People assumed I was his handler, and just left us alone. We had small talk the whole way, and I was being super chill, not fangirling or anything. When we get where we’re going, he thanks me and says, “i’m Jason by the way.” I say it’s nice to meet him, and we shake hands before parting. That dude is cool as hell. – Vishanti
5. Patrick Swayze
Patrick Swayze! Dude was super nice!
I used to work at a small airport in Van Nuys, CA. Mr. Swayze and his wife owned an older King Air that they flew themselves. My very first day on the job, while I was standing on a ladder fueling his plane, Mr. Swayze was inspecting his plane before a flight. He found a small puddle of fluid (left behind by a previous aircraft) on the ground under one of his engines and dipped his middle finger in it, held it up to me and asked, “Hey what the fuck is this?” He clarified that he was just joking when he saw me internally freaking out. He usually tipped really really well whenever I helped with his bags and pulled his truck around (especially when his goldendoodle clawed me in the face once) and I remember his wife coming to an older, unused hangar once to pull a litter of kittens out from under a car to take them to the vet.
This was all before he got his cancer diagnosis, and I left the job before he died. I do remember being legitimately sad for his wife when I read he had passed. The guy didn’t really take too much time to know me, but he was always very friendly, very polite, and made it a point to treat us like people. I met a handful of famous (and not famous, but connected and wealthy) people while I worked there – but he was the one I’ll always remember. Dude was awesome. – I_Am_The_Mole
6. Robert Downey Jr.
When Ironman was filing, I was working for the dept of air force as law enforcement. I was in charge or verifying all the people working on the production. I was given a 23 page list of every name with a ironman poster as a cover page.
I had a Lincoln towncar pull up and handed a stack of drivers licenses. I checked them and noticed a “Downey” wasnt on the list. I looked in the vehicle and Robert Downey Jr. was staring at me like I was in shock. I said, I’m sorry sir, you’re not on this list. He pointed to the ironman poster and said, there I am.
I asked the driver to pop the trunk. Giving a firm command presence and investigating demeanor. He popped it and I asked RDjr if he had any hookers or blow in the trunk… he was super nervous and just started laughing. I told them to have a good time.
Fast forward to the filming of Ironman 2… towncar pulls up, stacks of IDs, RDjr looks at me and says, oh shit… dont pop the trunk! – IrishGingerKid
7. Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson. Even got to end the conversation on him calling me a motherfucker. I put that shit on my resume.
*Edit for the story
Was in an IHOP at like 2 am. Went to check out and the cashier was all smiles and anxiously said, “There’s a celebrity behind you.” Rolled my eyes and figured it was gonna be someone like Jimmy Fallon or Joe Rogan. Turn around and there in all his glory is Samuel L. Jackson. In a pink plaid golf outfit. Hat and all. His friend was in the same but it was baby blue. I was legit star struck, mouth agape.
SLJ proceeds to channel some Jules Winfield on me and my friend, “DAAAAAAAAAAAAMN. You two acting like I held you up at gunpoint or some shit. Tell me, do I……… intimidate you? “
Without missing a beat, and the only time I’ll ever think of anything remotely this witty, I tell him, “We’re not intimidated by anyone that can get their ass kicked by Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall with a mop handle.”
SLJ is caught flat footed for a split second and starts laughing his ass off. We get to chill with him for a bit and chat him up. When he says he’s gotta bounce, I ask for a favor. “Now, I don’t do autographs,” he starts. “Ain’t no one gonna believe me with some napkin or something anyways. Could you call me a motherfucker? “
He laughs uproariously and stone faces us mid laugh, “Freon424, you’re a motherfucker.”
I’m a six foot three dude and I melted on the spot, shivers running up my spine. – Freon424
8. Spike Lee
I once shot a movie with Spike Lee. Very low budget, independent thing with a tiny crew and tinier cast. We were together everyday for a week but he never said a word to me beyond some notes. Anyway, on the last day of filming we were coming back from lunch and I was standing outside having a cigarette when he comes walking by. He says something like “Ahh, so this is where the smokers all hang, huh?” and I just kind of laugh and say Yeah. He looks at my beat up sneakers and goes “What kind of shoes are those?” I tell him I don’t actually know, and he looks at me like I just took a dump on the sidewalk and says “You don’t know?” and I tell him I’d run a 5k three years earlier and had needed some running shoes, so I bought the cheapest ones.
This dude reaches into the cargo pocket of his pants and pulls out a fat envelope. He opens the envelope and I see that it’s full of Nike gift cards. Like, a hundred Nike gift cards. He pulls out two, hands them to me, and says “There’s two gift cards, $75 a piece. Get yourself some new Jordans” and walks away. – duh_metrius
9. Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks. He was the host for the national christmas tree lighting, and I volunteer with the decorations every year. He was looking at some and talking to his wife about them. As I was facing away at first I just kept thinking that sounds like woody from Toy Story. I turn around and low and behold it was. The nicest couple you could imagine, just pleasent conversation for a few minutes and they were called off to do something. Both pleased and disappointed I didn’t ask for a selfie, but I was geeking out nonetheless. – BrewsterRockit
10. Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler came into my car dealership. One of the managers came up to me and said, “I need you to help a VERY special client.” I joking asked who and said, “it isn’t another footballer player, is it?” He didn’t think it was funny. Walk to where Steven was and my jaw dropped. Hard to maintain professionalism when you have music royalty in front of you. After he had left, one of my coworkers came up to me and said, “whoa! That was the dude from American idol!” I wanted to slap him. – laurellivid
11. Anthony Bourdain
I have an (unpaid) very part-time job where I write for a local music/art magazine. I started by writing CD reviews years ago. This spread to writing reviews of concerts and new local restaurants. Occasionally I would do a phone interview with a musician that was famous, but usually only to me — Ted Leo, Mike Watt, Billy Childish, to name a few.
Bourdain was doing a book tour for Medium Raw, his follow up to Kitchen Confidential. As I was a music and food reviewer, I was given the assignment. Several weeks before the date I called him at his home and chatted about food, punk rock, and what he thought of our own, quirky regional cuisine. He was an absolute joy to talk to. When he came to town he referenced our conversation from the stage. It was a surreal and completely unexpected moment, and will always be a special memory to me.
Years later, when news broke that he had taken his own life, the magazine asked me to rework the story and turn it into a tribute/obituary. It was an incredibly sobering and theraputic assignment, and it really helped me deal with the grief of losing one of my favorite celebrities. – Jameseatscheese
12. JJ Abrams
JJ Abrams. I used to hate the guy for no real reason. You hear he’s a hack and it somehow becomes the truth for some people. Then I met my wife who was a huge Lost/Alias/Fringe fan. She’s also a Trekkie and on one of our first dates, she convinced me to come see the 2009 Trek film with her. As a Trekkie I really, really didn’t want to.
10 mins into the movie and I was crying like a fucking idiot. I was 100% convinced I would never hear from my wife again but she loved it. I checked out Lost after that and a few other films and shows he produced, wrote or directed (or all the above).
Cut to a few years later, we accidentally met him and exchanged a few words. Seriously nice dude. I work in VFX so a few months after that, he randomly popped up in our office for some reason. My boss at the time decided we should all stop working for the day and come down to the main area to have drinks. JJ stuck around for a bit.
My leg was still healing from breaking it while skiing at the time so my wife came to pick me up. I didn’t want to bother JJ at all but my wife decided to say hello. We ended up chatting for ten minutes or so. I mentioned how I had these low expectations for 2009 Trek but then found myself in a puddle of my own tears because my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer just two days before I saw that film. I took my dad to see the movie that same week and he loved it. My dad was the one who introduced me to Trek back in the 80s and he was a huge fan. JJ mentioned his mother died of cancer just a few years ago and we had a mini cancer sucks rant. He gave me some career advice which I appreciate to this day. I didn’t want to be a bother so we excused ourselves and left. Apparently JJ can hold his liquor because he stayed longer. – IFuckingLoveJJAbrams
13. Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino. It was my birthday and I saw him hanging out at a popular bar in Santa Barbara. I acted a fool and went up to him asking for a picture. He nicely said he doesn’t do pictures but asked me to give him a hug. I excitedly did and he whispered happy birthday in my ear and kissed my cheek. I told him how much I loved his work. He was so kind and smiley, will always be my favorite birthday! – lilsassyrn
14. Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler shot a movie in my hometown! One of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. While filming, he’d also play basketball with some of his costars in my elementary schools gym, and every morning he’d stand in the hallway making jokes & giving kids high fives. He tried so hard to make each kid feel special—such a genuinely kind man. – boobiesunite45
15. Fred Armisen
Fred Armisen came into my job to eat. I was the only front of house person working at the time and wasnt familiar with him yet. He did look familiar though.
Genuinely a really nice guy. I think he must have enjoyed the fact that I didn’t know him. Ended up leaving me a massive tip. I then decided to Google the name from his receipt and was shocked. – Stepehnk
16. Henry Winkler
Henry Winkler. Rode an elevator with him at a hotel when I was on vacation several years ago. He actually initiated, as he smiled and warmly said hi to me, but I really didn’t recognize him at all at first. He had a children’s book under his arm. The conversation then went something like this:
“Trying to get the kids to bed early tonight to sneak in a little blackjack?” I said jokingly, as this hotel was near a big casino.
“I’m actually going to a book signing,” he replied.
“Oh nice! Whose book is that?”
“It’s mine,” he said.
I took a second and looked up at his face and suddenly made the connection. I got super flustered and told him how cool it was to meet him and that I had no clue he wrote children’s books.
Didn’t seem at all bothered I didn’t recognize him. He gave me a good chuckle and shook my hand. This was before camera phones were a thing, unfortunately 🙁 – abxuwnnm111
17. Simon Pegg
I met Simon Pegg when I was working as a cashier at Borders.
It was like a Tuesday in the afternoon and the place was empty. He came up to my with some stationery and I started ringing him up. The entire time I was thinking he looked so much like him, but I didn’t think it was him since I wasn’t in the UK and as far as I knew he wasn’t filming a movie in Chicago, so it was a pretty quiet transaction.
After it was done and I was handing him his bag with his stuff I jokingly said, “Has anyone told you that you look like the guy from Shaun of the Dead?” He replied, “I am the guy from Shaun of the Dead.” – -eDgAR-
18. Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds, went to a panel at an Apple Store in NYC shortly before Deadpool released. Got to see him answer questions and what not, after the panel I asked to take a picture with him to which he agreed. He left and my girlfriend at the time and I left as well.
About 20 minutes later we decide to go for a nice dinner and pick a spot in SoHo that was super nice. We walk in, get seated, and what do ya know right next to us are Ryan and Blake Lively. I actually wasn’t going to say anything, but he recognized me and started a conversation. Asked if I lived in the city, when I told him I was there for school he asked about that. Cracked jokes and was all around super nice and friendly. One of the coolest experiences of my life. – drewing12
19. Keanu Revees
Ran into Keanu Revees once. Literally, I had lost my balance and broke into that not quite a run you do to not fall over and smacked right into the back of him. I was apologizing and he was checking his pockets when I noticed that I just ran into John fucking wick.
I just kinda stared for a second and then said. “I hope you don’t have any pencils.”
We laughed it off and chatted for a sec before the signal went and we headed off our separate ways. Actually a pretty friendly guy. – LordIlthari