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16 People Share Their Most Unexpected & Awkward Celebrity Encounters

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I once ran into Richard Lewis in an airport because I wasn’t looking where I was going. He was actually quite nice about it, and I probably should have felt embarrassed, but I was 12, so I didn’t really care. Also, I didn’t even know who Richard Lewis was. I only figured it out later after I heard my mom tell the story and thought, “Damn, I want to know who this Richard Lewis guy is.”

By the way, I was taller than Lewis when I was 12. So there’s that.

Photo Credit: HBO

Think that was awkward? Just wait until you read these 17 stories from people who did more than just bump into their fellow famous human beings.

Away we go!

16. His Scrub With Fame

I was staying with a friend, who herself happened to be staying at the apartment of some family friends by union square. It was one of those fancy buildings where each apartment is a floor and the elevator literally opens up into your living room, so you need a specific key to access each floor.

Anyway, my girlfriend (at the time) and I were arguing kind of intensely when we got into the elevator, intending to head down, and were so involved that we apparently forgot to press the button for the ground floor. The elevator starts to go up instead, and a few seconds later the door opens and we walk into a partially remodeled apartment on one of the upper floors.

Standing there is Zach Braff, giving a disapproving/confused look. We backed away into the elevator, explaining that we must have forgotten to press down, and he told us he had called the elevator up to let in some friends. It was known that he lived in the building, and the look on his face implied he didn’t believe our excuse, so we didn’t push it by asking for autographs or anything.

I kinda actually felt like he was being a little bit rude when he said ” yea…. So I’m just gonna close this and press down…”

And that was the only time I ever said anything to anyone famous.

15. Bow Wow Wow

About 2 years ago I was interning at a high-profile recording studio in Los Angeles. Another intern and I were once repairing a towel dispenser in a private bathroom for the main studio…when we emerged, we–quite literally–ran in to Snoop Dogg.

He gave us a “why are you two using my bathroom together?” kind of look.

Me: “Oh. Uhh…we were…fixing the paper towel…thing.”

Snoop: “I ain’t judgin’…just gotta be more discreet, my man.”

…he thought we were bangin’

14. Face To Face With Fillion

I was once at a convention when I came around a corner, and came up short as I almost ran over Nathan Fillion. The words out of my mouth were, I think ‘Whoa, Nathan Fillion!’

To which he replied ‘Whoa, you’re right!’ in a surprised tone. I told him I was a fan of all his work, he smiled and said ‘Thanks, want an autograph?’ I thanked him but said I’d already gotten him to sign my Firefly box set a few years earlier, to which he replied ‘So THATS how you knew who I was…’

Very funny delivery. Shook my hand, went on his way.

As he left I said ‘I loved you in 2 Guys & a Girl!’ and whoever he was with burst out laughing.

13. Falling For Tobey

My friend was running late for a class through Columbia University’s campus while they were filming Spider Man. Being a short girl, she was wearing high-heels, tripped on the cobble-stones and face-planted with her books and sent papers flying everywhere.

As she went to get up, she noticed two male feet in front of her. Tobey Maguire was standing there asking if she was okay. Mortified, she grabbed everything up and bolted.

Fast forward a month and he’s on a late night talk show where the host asks how the Columbia students treated him. He said that ‘in general the students were really nice except there was this one girl who fell at his feet and wouldn’t let him help her up.’

12. Just Busey Being Busey

I used to live in LA, so I had a number of celebrity encounters, but by far the weirdest was when I had a conversation with Gary Busey while we were both stuck in traffic on Wilshire Boulevard.

My window was down. I pulled up behind a stopped car and noticed the car to my left had cigar smoke wafting out of it. I hear someone say “Don’t you just want to grab a shotgun and clear all these people out?” I turn and there, teeth gleaming, sitting in the passenger seat of a giant black sedan, is Gary Busey.

I’d been up since 4am that day so I was already really tired — on the verge of asleep — so to have Gary Busey start a conversation with me about LA traffic was surreal. I was not sure it was actually happening.

We chatted for a couple of minutes. I told him I’d just gotten my pilots license 3 hours earlier and he got really excited for me. “Congrats, man! That’s’ great!” It turned out his son had trained at the same flight school I had. When the light turned green his car pulled away and he stuck his arm out the window, pumping his fist with a giant thumbs up — “Don’t fly your car, man! WHOOOOOooooo!”

That was one weird day.