Meeting one’s hero is often a dream come true for many individuals. But in reality, meeting someone you admire can be wildly disappointing. From cranky celebrities to ignorant idols, these people reveal why they regret meeting their heroes. All content has been edited for clarity purposes.
The Debbie (Harry) Downer
“Years ago, I went to a Blondie concert. I was with my friend who worked in a talent marketing agency, so we were allowed to go backstage.
When we were standing backstage, Debbie Harry was there talking to some people from the band. We didn’t want to disturb her, so my friend asked one of the guys in the band to take a picture with him instead. I had a pretty nice camera with me, despite this happening a few decades ago. I figured if there were any photo opportunities, I might as well capture them with a quality camera. The guy in the band was fine with taking a picture, so I captured a photo of my friend and the band member with Debbie in the background.
As soon as I took the picture, Debbie freaking exploded on me!
I explained the situation, but she just freaked out and said, ‘If you don’t give me the camera right now, you’re going to jail!’
‘Why would the cops take me to jail?’ I asked.
She deflected my question and screeched, ‘Give it to me! Give me the film roll!’ over and over.
At this point, I thought, yes, this used to be Debbie Harry. But right now, she’s just some crazy person. I knew I had the option of just not interacting with crazy people, so I just took a couple of steps to walk away. Right away, she screamed like she’s just been stabbed or something. Just this loud, high-pitched, continuous scream.
These two enormous guys appeared and she told them, ‘Take his camera! Take it NOW!’
The two guys turned to me and said, ‘Give us the camera or there’s gonna be trouble.’
So, I pull out my phone and said, ‘Right, I’m calling the cops.’
As soon as I said this, Debbie’s manager came rushing up to me. They explained, ‘Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to buy the film roll from you. How much do you want for it?’
‘I don’t know. Like $100?’ I replied.
Without flinching, Debbie’s manager pulled out his wallet and pulled out five $100 bills. I didn’t know if he misheard me or wasn’t good with numbers, but $500 was WAY more than I asked for. But hey, I wasn’t going to refuse. I opened up my camera and handed over the film.
Afterward, every time I listened to one of Blondie’s songs, I always wondered why she freaked out, or why her manager gave me so much money for the film roll.”
“I Was 9 Years Old”
“Back in like 2010, I had messaged Ariana Grande on Facebook when she was on the show ‘Victorious’. I told her I was a big fan and she called me a stupid b*tch. Mind you, I was 9 years old. It really hurt me and I stopped following her page after that.”
“He Sucks In Real Life”
“I’ve never met an idol I had a bad experience with. However, my best friend met his idol, and it went TERRIBLE. So bad, he ended what was nearly 20 years of fandom right then and there.
My friend worked for a shoe store and had won a contest to go to the All-Star festivities for the NBA. He met a lot of current coaches and players and had a blast. All until he met Michael Jordan.
Being a sneakerhead, my friend owned originals or re-releases of every shoe Jordan ever put out until this point. It was about 30 pairs of shoes if you counted the different colorways. My friend had Michael Jordan posters, jerseys, trading cards, and memorabilia of all types adorning a room in his apartment.
At the event, my friend saw Jordan and decided to hang out until he was done talking. He just wanted a quick meet and greet, no photo or autograph. When Jordan was done with his conversation, my friend walked up to him.
Jordan glanced at him and said, ‘Who the hell are you, and what do you want?’
My friend replied, ‘I’m a HUGE fan of yours. It’s so great to finally meet you!’
‘Yeah, whatever,’ Jordan replied as he walked away.
When my friend got home from the event, he started selling off his collection of shoes and all things Jordan. He had heard stories about him, but he assumed they were overblown or didn’t happen. Nope. Michael Jordan just sucks in real life.”
“I Couldn’t Believe How Callous He Was”
“When I was in middle school, I attended the USA Science & Engineering Festival, where I had a chance to meet one of my idols, Bill Nye the Science Guy. As a young scientist, I looked up to him and thought he was a source of inspiration. Little did I know, my encounter with Bill Nye would forever ruin my perception of him.
When I spotted Bill Nye at the event, I couldn’t contain my excitement. My heart was pounding in my chest. After a few minutes, I mustered the courage to approach him. However, as I got closer, I noticed how he treated his assistants with arrogance and condescension, and a sense of unease began to grow inside me.
Taking a deep breath, I introduced myself and said, ‘You mean SO much to me. Your show has played such a big role in my life. I consider you my inspiration, and you are why I am so passionate about science. I just applied to a science magnet high school because of you! Do you think you could sign my notebook?’
To my dismay, Bill Nye rolled his eyes dismissively and gave a snarky response, belittling my excitement and my dream of getting his autograph.
He sighed, ‘Another fan asking for an autograph, huh? I can’t believe people still do that,’ he said, sounding irritated.
His words struck me like a thunderbolt. I couldn’t believe how callous he was, especially to a young fan who had looked up to him for so long.
Hiding my disappointment and trying not to let it show, I tried to continue the conversation. Still, he remained indifferent, showing no appreciation for the impact he had on kids like me.
I felt a lump forming in my throat as I thanked him for his time and began to walk away. His callousness had left me feeling hurt. I had expected to meet a role model who would encourage and inspire me, but instead, I was met with coldness and disdain. He was genuinely terrible.
As I turned away, tears welled up in my eyes. I tried to maintain my composure, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of seeing how deeply his behavior had affected me. It was disheartening to realize that someone I admired so much could turn out to be so different from the persona I had seen on television. So, yeah. I regretted meeting my hero.”
“She Was Always Rude And Stuck-Up”
“Growing up, I idolized Cameron Diaz. I even had a poster of her hanging on my bedroom wall. She seemed like the epitome of cool and charm. However, my perception of her took a turn when I met her face to face.
At an event, I ran into Cameron Diaz on an elevator. I greeted her with a smile when she walked into the elevator, but she barely acknowledged my presence. She even rudely demanded I get out of the elevator so she could ride it alone. I didn’t even say one word to her, so I was confused as to why I needed to leave.
Feeling taken aback by her attitude, I stepped out as she wanted, even though we were both headed to the same place. Later, when our paths crossed again, we were introduced by a mutual friend. She acted as though the elevator incident had never happened. It was evident her behavior wasn’t a one-time occurrence. She was ALWAYS rude and stuck-up.
My admiration for her looks faded away, replaced by disappointment and a realization that appearances could be deceiving. Cameron Diaz may be beautiful, but her unpleasant personality made her undesirable in my eyes. I wouldn’t want to associate with someone who treated others with such disrespect, regardless of their celebrity status.”