We see them on screens big and small but never expect to bump into them at the hardware store. The fact is, it’s not all black tie events and talk shows – sometimes a celebrity just needs a cup of coffee. People on AskReddit share with us the times they bumped into a celebrity in the most random of places.
Comments have been edited for clarity. The source can be found the end of the article.
My friend’s grandparents are from the same town in Ohio where Dave Chappelle’s mom lives. My friend was visiting them over a college break and had a huge fight with her boyfriend over the phone and was sitting on the curb outside sobbing because they had just broken up. A car pulls up and rolls the window down, and it’s Dave Chappelle, asking my friend if she’s okay or if she needs help. She said something like, “No, my boyfriend and I just broke up. I’ll be okay.” And he said, “Okay girl you take care!” And drove off. Nice guy.
Served jury duty with Steve Carrell. He was great. Talked to him for a little bit while waiting outside a courtroom. The thing that stunk was when we went to lunch I saw paparazzi chasing him as he tried to get something to eat. Just wanted to be a normal guy doing his civic duty.
James Franco had just left the cafe I worked at right when I walked in to get my paycheck. I left my dog tied up outside at a bench by a fence and came back out to see him petting her! He was a nice guy, I was really surprised.
Met Keanu Reeves at a bodega in the West village (this was around the time that sad Keanu meme of him eating a sandwich on that bench was circulating). He was tossing the Gatorade he was going to buy and dropped it and picked it up. Didn’t pay much attention until then which is when he got in line behind us (me and the people I was with at the time). I turned to my friend and said “This guy looks just like Keanu Reeves” and he’s like “Yea, cuz that’s Keanu Reeves.” Keanu says “Hey, how’s it going.”
Fun times. Also did not know Keanu was that tall until then.
Was at an arcade-themed bar in Atlanta a little buzzed already when I looked to my left and saw Owen Wilson frustrated at a pinball machine. Didn’t register automatically with me who he was until a (doofus) friend of mine attempted to get a selfie with him without asking first. Owen Wilson was, understandably, annoyed at this. Sorry Owen Wilson.
Kobe Bryant outside a pizza place when I was 8. Looking back I asked for an autograph probably at the worst possible time. He was walking into a Mexican-style restaurant that neighbored the pizza restaurant. He stood their holding the door open for his wife who was carrying their young child at the time. He looked at me staring in disbelief and just started laughing shut the door and just asked if I had a pen. Even with the terrible timing on my part, he was the most genuine celebrity I’ve ever met and made my night very memorable.
My grandma met Adam Sandler in an elevator in Mexico. She didnt speak English but Adam was kind enough to try and speak Spanish with her. She was delighted, she loves his movies.
When I was 4 or 5, my family and I were coming back from a vacation, and my dad and I had the aisle and middle seats, respectively, in one of those areas with three seats. We stayed on the plane during a layover, and dad took a nap. He woke up to hear me talking, at first didn’t think anything of it because I had a lot of “imaginary friends” at the time. He looked over and I was sitting on the lap of our seat-mate who had the window seat now, who had gotten on during the layover, talking to him and pointing out the window. Dad had to do a double take to make sure he wasn’t still asleep and dreaming, because it was Jerry Garcia, his favorite musician then (and still is). All I really remember is he looked like Santa and was super nice.
I showed Robin Williams a spotting scope when I worked at REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) in high school.
I knew where his house was because a friend had shown me, it was looking out over the San Francisco Bay, so I told him that he would need something more powerful to see across the portion of the bay he was on, and that we didn’t carry that in the store.
Didn’t realize how creepy I probably sounded till he was waking away.
Tom Felton came into my theater a few times when I was working there. The girl ripping tickets had a Harry Potter movie on her name tag as her favorite film, and Tom told her good choice!
Chuck Norris. Lowe’s hardware store. I didn’t bother him, but he was in check-out line. Some dude started filming him on his phone & like whispering commentary into his phone. Chuck Norris was clearly irritated, but didn’t say anything to the guy directly.
I bumped into Regis Philban at a CVS in the disposable razor aisle as he was eating an ice cream cone.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie came through my drive thru at Sonic about 7 years ago. Transaction was completely normal except they were REALLY smiley. I finally actually looked at them and said, Anyone ever tell you…. Wait. You ARE them arent you?! They nodded, told me to have a nice day, and pulled away. I think they were relieved that it wasnt a big scene.
I met Helena Bonham Carter at the American Girl Doll store in New York City in 2011. She was there with her daughter and mom. I asked for a picture but she said no because it confuses her daughter. She was nice about it, though. Same with her mom.
My dad is just chilling in an airport, waiting for his flight back home from work in Houston. He sits down in his seat, and this big dude sits down next to him. Turns to look at the guy, (my dad was looking out the window as the guy sat down), and the guy was actually Dwayne Johnson. He had just finished up work in Houston and he was on his way to New York I believe. My dad was friends in college with this guy named Mike who went on to be a referee in a lot of WWE matches. Dwayne knew him and they actually got to know each other. I have his autograph on my wall right now.
Went to dinner at Buca di Beppo and at the table next to us was Alice Cooper with family and friends. We made a point of not staring or interrupting, but when they left right after we did, we decided to ask for a photo in the parking lot. I said, “I hope it’s not a huge intrusion,” to which he replied, “Fans are never an intrusion. People like you have made it possible for me to live my dream, and I’m glad to give back any way I can.” Dang if that didn’t make a lasting impression on me!
Neil Patrick Harris frequently visited the movie theater i worked at in Metro-Detroit. I was unaware his significant other, David Burtka, was a graduate of my high school. It really normalized celebrity status in my eyes to know he was in Plymouth/Canton, MI visiting his in-laws over holidays and popping out to catch a film for a night out with them. No limos or entourage or anything, just a movie night at the local theater like anyone else. Seems obvious that a celeb would do this, they are just people after all, but it was kinda cool that we’d see him every so often like our other regulars.
I was in a crappy convenience store in a student-infested neighbourhood next to my university buying mix for a party I was heading to, and I recognized the guy in front of me in line buying milk.
It was Chris Hadfield, the astronaut.
I didn’t say anything at first and ran out after making my purchase to tell my boyfriend, and as I was, Cmdr. Hadfield started walking down the street towards us! My boyfriend asked him for a photo and he was so nice and took one with both of us. I’ve actually read his book, so I was really pumped!
I saw Aubrey Plaza and her friend in the gift store of the Hagley Museum in Delaware (original DuPont homestead and gunpowder mills). We made eye contact as she left.
I smiled and waved. She smiled and gave me the middle finger.
When I was a kid I saw Robin Williams in an elevator in San Francisco. I knew who he was from Mrs Doubtfire and Aladdin and stuff.
Loudly I said to my mom, “Thats Robin Williams
My mom was mortified and said, He lives here dont stare.
And I said “In the elevator? I was dead serious and confused.
Robin Williams laughed then I laughed he stuck his tongue out at me and smiled. He got out of the elevator. Ill never forget that.
Tom Hanks at Best Buy. He was in line in front of me with a cart full, all by himself. I was only buying a bottle of water because they didnt have what I was looking for. I just blurted out “Forrest Gump is my favorite movie” like a creep, and he turned around, and said that was my favorite movie to make! Im glad you love it. He then chatted with me while about movies as we stood in line. When it was his turn to check out while they were ringing up his stuff he said oh let me get that water for you and paid for my water. He kept talking to me and then we walked out and he said nice talking to you! Youre a very nice young lady and always remember… life is like a box of chocolates.. you never know what your gonna get in his Forrest Gump voice. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER.
25 years ago I drove a cab while in college. Picked up Paul McCartney. It was near my mother’s birthday and I called her and he sung her happy birthday.
Edit: He got in the cab and asked to be taken to the stadium. (he was doing a show there that night) I’m looking at him going I know this guy (I was 23 at the time, never expected a celeb in my cab in Cincinnati). When I realized who he was, I asked to be sure, and he laughed. I mentioned my mom was a huge fan and asked him if he would do it. He asked which birthday song I wanted him to sing his or the other one. I chose the other one.
I had a Bag phone in the car, I think it might have cost me a small fortune for that call but totally worth it. If only I had had a modern phone for the camera.
Random convenience store in Hawaii, Robert Downey Jr. walks up next to me while Im looking at drinks in a cooler and asks me something like, “how do you know how much everything is? because there were no prices on the racks. It was about 10 seconds after I said I guess you just take it up to the register that everything about that whole scenario finished processing, then I had absolutely no clue what to do.
I used to live in New York City so you see random people trying to keep a low profile on the street all the time, but my favorite story belongs to one of my friends who tends to be pretty clueless about pop culture. She went to a neighboring friend’s party and someone at the party ended up crashing on the couch, and all three of them went to brunch the next day. While they were at lunch people kept coming up to the window and taking pictures, so finally she went off on how she knows the restaurant was renovated recently but it’s not THAT nice, why do so many people want to take pictures of it? Turns out the dude who crashed on the couch was Jake Gyllenhaal.
My friend ran into William Shatner in a public bathroom once. He said it went something like this:
Shatner walks to sinks, friend is there
Friend: “You’re… William Shatner.”
Shatner: “Uh… yep.”
After we just moved to CA, my brother and I saw David Hasselhoff at the Grove (outside shopping mall in LA) with what looked like his wife. My brother said under his breath as we walked by Is that the Hoff? Then David perked up and started looking around crazily. His wife asked him what was wrong. He said I hear my fans calling! She said Please stop.
We kept walking. Somehow it seemed like it was the best thing to do.
Julianne Moore was in town filming a movie and stopped by my job, Chuck E Cheese. I was he cashier and in charge of the salad bar. She ordered a plain cheese pizza, salad, and soda, and paid cash. Scored well on Skeeball, per my distant stalking observations.
Ran into Jason Bateman in a Starbucks in NYC. He had a hood on, and was waiting for his coffee off to the side, but I recognized him from his voice. I had to eventually wait next to him for my coffee ( I think I was 16 then) and just said, hey Jason, casually. 16 year old me wanted to play it cool whatever that means. He smiled and said, hello, and asked if I wanted to take a photo, probably because I looked young. I dont remember where this came from, but I feel like I quoted a movie or something cause I said something like, I like to live in the moment but thanks for offering to take one.
He smiled at me and said, I like that, thanks. His coffee came out and he nodded at me before he left. Hes a really nice guy. Took me a minute to realize why he said thanks, but hes probably tired of people asking for photos all the time, maybe it was a nice break to just talk to someone, instead of just taking a picture.
A few friends of mine doubted the story because I didnt take a picture, and this only gives me more reason not to take one. Dont need to prove this to anyone, just had a nice random encounter with him in a Starbucks, and was good enough for me.
I watched Pat Sajak throw a fit in a Chili’s in Northern Virginia several years back. He even asked the waitress if she knew who he was. The whole thing was very strange.
My family sat behind Jimmy Fallon at a Yankees game. My family had a big history of being Yankees fans and being in their stadium was a big deal, so when there was a rain delay we waited it out. He ended up waiting it out with who he arrived with as well, talked to him for a little bit, super nice guy.