Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Reel Story: How I Met Gary Oldman

Meeting a famous person is a rare thing. Even if one might know exactly where they are going to be and when, like at a convention or concert, the odds are still pretty steep. Meeting a famous person by chance is even rarer, especially when that person is one of your favorite performers of all time.

This is what happens…

I, this Blogger, was aware of the movie PARANOIA being filmed in downtown Philadelphia. On the early morning of Tuesday, August 21st 2012, I exited my apartment building to come face-to-face with a line of production trailers; parked overnight to apparently prepare for a day full of filming in the downtown. The trailers were marked with the character’s names. The trailer six feet from my front door was labeled, “Wyatt”.  Thanks to my trusty Droid, I quickly discovered who was playing the character Wyatt.

Fast-forward nine hours later, and there I was strolling (trudging) down Chestnut St. with a bag-full of Chinese (food), while inspecting the production trailers and equipment. As I bore to the right towards my front door, I glanced to my left, and there he was.

Six months before he was sitting at the Academy Awards; nominated for his 2011 role as George Smiley, and now he was standing in front of me, casually leaning against his trailer smoking a cigarette. He was a mustache away from Commissioner Gordon, and a magic-wand away from Sirius Black, and he was three feet away.

Just as he always disappears into his characters, he was hiding in plain sight; people hurried by not noticing him (uneducated wankers). Resisting the urge to become a schoolgirl screaming at the Beatles, I casually approached (stumbled) towards him. He turned his head at me and I gave him a small wave. He nodded.

I introduced myself (full name), called him Mister, and extended my hand. He shook it and gave back a very gracious and very British “thank you”. I welcomed him to Philadelphia (despite the wankers), and tried to explain that I had been a fan of his for many years (although I could have been speaking Jawa at this point).

He was elegant and graceful, appreciative of the admiration. I asked if I could get a picture (I wasn’t going to have him autograph my General Tso Chicken container), and he said yes with a royal-ish nod.

At that moment, one of my neighbors came out of the building, approached, and told him “I loved you in Harry Potter!”

Bloody muggle. If only she knew she was also speaking to Dracula, Sid Vicious, and Lee Harvey Oswald.

He again gave a very British “thank you”, and I immediately had the realization of how little I have ever heard him speak in his native accent. You see, he has never appeared in a film in which he used the same accent twice (excluding recurring characters), which is why it was so striking to hear his natural voice. If that’s not a sign of a great actor, I dare you to tell me what is.

I finally extracted my trusty Droid, and happily accepted an offer from Hermonie Granger to take the picture. The man who once played Beethoven put his arm on my shoulder, and we posed. Since Hermonie didn’t have her wand it took her a few tries to get the one-button-push thing right, which was really to my benefit; it meant more time standing next to the Russian who once hijacked Air Force One.

I approved the picture, thanked him, and wished him luck. He again said thank you, and then accepted a request for a photo from Hermonie and a few others who had now gathered. Like a true gentleman.

I went upstairs and puked.

Meeting a famous person is a rare thing, especially by chance. If someone had asked me 24 hours before which person in the world I would be the most excited to meet, I would have said Gary Oldman.

It was a pleasure to meet him.


  1. I smiled the whole time I read this!!! Awesome for you!!!!!

  2. That was awesome!!!


A few rules:
1. Personal attacks not tolerated.
2. Haters welcome, if you can justify it.
3. Swearing is goddamn OK.