Being able to meet the very man that played James Bond himself is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Celebrities are such rare existences because there can only be one Elton John and Jeff Goldblum. But at the end of the day, they’re also people who want to be able to enjoy a day out without being swamped by fans.
These are stories of celebrity encounters from people who decided to play it cool between them. And told the story under this Reddit thread when a user asked people their “I met a celebrity but didn’t let on that I knew who they were” experience.
“About 5 years ago my dad was in LA for business and got into the elevator of his hotel to head down to one of his meetings. When he got in, he instantly recognized a huge, legendary, hall-of-fame LA Laker standing next to him. Normally, my father would never say anything but for some reason felt compelled to introduce himself. He stuck out his hand and said, “Shaq, it’s nice to meet ya.” He immediately realized he messed up and the guy responded, “I’m Magic Johnson but it’s nice to meet you too.” The secondhand embarrassment is real.” – dutchman3532
“I served Daniel Radcliffe brunch one time. All the other servers were freaking the hell out that he was in our restaurant, so, given I don’t care much about actors and would remain professional, I was chosen to take care of him. He ordered the eggs Benedict, no sides, extra Benedict. I dubbed it “The Quad Benny”. He was incredibly polite and appreciative, tipped well, and his accent was downright intoxicating. After that experience, I became a big Radcliffe fan.” – JustAbove_Average
“This doesn’t count because it’s about my father-in-law, and he legitimately didn’t know who she was, but we were vacationing in Maine and spending a lot of time on the beach. My father-in-law would walk his dog early everyone morning. He met this lady and they would meet up and walk their dogs together then go their separate ways.
One morning I got up early to come with him, and to my surprise, we met up with Sigourney Weaver and went for a walk.” – Londonforce
“My dad met Robin Williams in an elevator. He got in and they rode a few floors in silence. They stopped on a floor and a bunch of fans ran in and started getting pics with Robin. My dad said he was gracious and took pics with everyone.
The doors closed and they rode a few more floors and my dad turned and said “does that ever get old?” and Robin smiled and said “Nope. Never.” Then my dad got off on his floor and they nodded to one another and my dad went on with his day.” – skitch885
“I helped Steven Spielberg move his daughter’s bags into her college dorm.
I was working a shift helping first-years move in and I see a guy in a hat and sunglasses who is unmistakably Spielberg. I strike up a conversation, ask if he needs help with the bags, etc. First names only — “We’re from CA. My wife, Kate, and I sent all our kids to East Coast schools though.” Stuff like that.
Later, when his daughter opened the door for the first time, he whipped out a camcorder and, wearing the biggest Dad grin, recorded the whole thing before turning the camera on my friend and me to ask us about the city.
So, I have a supporting (the luggage), speaking role in a limited release (home movie) film shot by Steven Spielberg.” – AdamHR
“I was in a book store in RI and was in the horror section. Picked up a book by Stephen King, and flipped it over, and saw his picture on the back (or inside the cover, I don’t really remember).
I look up, and in the next aisle over, right across the bookshelf from me, is a guy that looks exactly like Stephen King. So I hold up the book and say “is this you?”
And that was that.” – EatATaco
“Used to work at a posh hotel and we had a wedding there all the time. I was pretty young at the time, say 15. David Tennant was at one wedding, Doctor f**king Who, and I was pouring him coffee.
At first, I was sat there thinking is he/isn’t he so I was playing it cool. I went back to the kitchen to top up more coffee in my coffee jug and the staff was talking about it too before deciding it actually was David Tennant.
Spent the rest of the night playing it cool because I was in that yeah whatever stage of teenage life. Inside I was freaking out.” – Ge0rj
“I was 10 years old in 2002 when my mom took me to the Bronx Zoo for the first time. It was a rainy day so we practically had the whole place to ourselves except for 3 British kids running around, chaperoned by a woman. My mom quickly befriended the woman while I made like a kid and joined the hoard, looking at spiders and scorpions and sharing in the awe and excitement of the animals.
After about an hour when we said our goodbyes, my mother told me that the kid, Daniel, who I had been hanging out with had played Harry Potter in the movie that came out last year.
I had thought he looked familiar.” – Syntactic_Acrobatics
“A couple of years ago me and my sister were at Comic-Con. You tend to see some a lot of famous people there, but it’s usually with them in booths with guards and stuff (with the exception of Seth Green).
Anyway, me and my sister were at one of the booths waiting for their giveaways when a man suddenly came up beside me all excited and in a bit of wonder. He told us how great everything was there and how much of an experience it was for him there, all in a while I was probably looking at him strangely because of how familiar his accent and his voice and his face and his blond hair was. He asked where we got our poster tubes, and that’s probably when I remembered who he was but decided to just not mention it because I was kind of still in disbelief and pointed him to one of the far-off booths where they sell poster tubes.
The man was Owen Wilson. I hadn’t been sure it was him, because I always thought he’d be a lot taller. It was kind of warming to see how excited he was to be there in the crowds.” – pinecone316
“I had the fortune of being on the same plane as Stan Lee. We were being shuttled to another part of the airport. I whispered to what I assumed to be his bodyguard that I didn’t want to lead others on who he was so please just let him know that I appreciate his work. He nodded then whispered into Stan Lee’s ear. He then smiled and put his head down in acknowledgment.
Rest In Peace big guy. You were a big part of my childhood.” – Siidewinder
“My friend’s mom (over 70yrs old) owns a small Asian grocery store. Post Malone came walking in with his girlfriend and his mom had no idea who he was. A few cute things happened:
1. She was nervous because of his tattoos, but happy/not worried once he bought a lot of food. She had no idea he was a celebrity.
2. She gave him a free snack for buying so much food and told him to come back for lunchtime for cheap and tasty gyoza (he did come back the next day!)
3. She was worried he would get mugged going to his car because of 3 big men outside so she followed him outside (they were his bodyguards)
4. She really liked his “cool car” (it was a Lamborghini)
She told my friend about the encounter that evening and he pulled up a youtube video based on the description – it was him. When Post Malone came back the next day for Gyoza she got a selfie with him (it’s on my friend’s phone so I don’t have the picture available right now). Whole thing is adorable with how innocent his mom is.” – Resviole
“I used to be a server at a Mexican restaurant right outside LA in the late 90s. One day Leonardo DiCaprio came in with who I assume was his mom to have lunch. This would’ve been post-Titanic so really at the peak of his breakthrough mega celeb status. He was wearing a ball cap, sunglasses, and unshaven but I recognized him anyway. I didn’t let anyone know and I wrote something like “your movies are awesome, I hope you liked our food” on his receipt when I dropped it off at the table.
After he left, I swung by and picked up his payment and he had left me a note back that said: “thank you so much for not blowing my cover” with a $100 tip. S**t was awesome I was only like 19, I went and got some Playstation games with it after my shift ended.” – Z0MBGiEF
“Sigourney Weaver. I think I was in the middle of selling her a jacket and some art from the Whitney museum gift shop before I truly recognized her. She was amazingly tall and I got to bask in the glory that was Ripley. Totally makes sense why they casted her as the Xeno queen fighter she was. Just her presence alone was both intimidating and alluring. SO cool.” – OGstickerparty
“My mom yelled at Pierce Brosnan. She and my dad were at a ski resort getting lunch. My mother gets quite hangry (an unfortunate trait I inherited) and was waiting in line to order. Right as she’s about to order a guy tried to cut in front of her and interrupts her. She snapped and told him to go to the back of the line like everyone else. She got her food and went back to my dad sitting their mouth wide open in shock.
“Do you know who that was?”
“That was Pierce Brosnan. You just yelled at James Bond.”
“Well, he shouldn’t have tried to cut me.” – XANA12345
“My husband was vacationing in Arizona, killing time in a bar over a burger and a beer. A guy sits next to him and my husband has a nice chat with him. The guy leaves and my husband goes to close his tab and the bartender tells him it’s been covered by the guy he was talking to.
The bartender asks if he knows who he was talking to. My husband has no idea. Chuck Norris, it was his bar.
Edit: How embarrassing. It wasn’t Arizona, it is Woody’s Wharf in Newport, California, and still exists today. The story is still true. I just flaked on the location. Thanks for all the fun comments!” – diskebbin
“My mom is a big sports fan. One time she was shopping and saw a really large, fit-looking man who she didn’t immediately recognize but seemed familiar. She thought it must have been a professional football player or something, so she went up to the only other person in the shop, who was this smaller weird-looking guy, and asked him if he knew who the athletic-looking man was. The short guy looked at my mom and said ‘That’s my bodyguard, I’m Elton John.'” – tastefulsidebutthole
“The Rock was at the Gold Coast, Australia to film San Andreas. He came into the place where I worked in Surfers Paradise with a woman and a young child. He was kind of in disguise, had his head covered, and had something partially obscuring his chin.
I served them and didn’t recognize him at first. The woman handled the talking, and he just kind of hung back quietly. I looked at him once, and probably wouldn’t have given him a second thought, but his eyes widened for that split second (possibly he was wondering if I’d recognized him and was about to cause a scene, it was a packed center) and it just clicked in my head to connect the eyes with the news of the Rock being in town.
Once I made the connection, it was totally obvious who he was, and since I was still looking at him, I could tell by now he knew he’d been spotted.
Then I just wished the group enjoy their day and half-smiled at him, and he gave me a nod, and they went about their business.
I didn’t tell anyone at work, because I didn’t want the dude to get swamped when he was trying to spend time with his family. I didn’t tell anyone I knew, because it’s really not that much of a story. In fact, this is the first I’ve ever shared this story with anyone.” – aardvarkyardwork
“Met Elon Musk in a Tesla store in LA. Really wanted to meet him but didn’t want to be that guy. Decided I had a plan, so walked up to him and said, “Excuse me, do you work here?”
He replied, “I mean yeah kind of”.
I say, “Ah what can you tell me about the entertainment console of the Model S?”
He says, “let me see if I can find someone to help you.”
To which I say, “nah I’m just f**king with you”
He laughed and shook my hand and walked off.” – Reddit
“I met Justin Timberlake and had no idea it was him until someone told me afterward. Went to a basketball game with my dad and we stopped by the bar area in the arena first. The game had just started so it was pretty empty except for the bar itself. My dad goes to the restroom and I walk up to the bar to order a beer. There’s only one seat at the bar next to a guy in a baseball cap and sunglasses. I politely ask if the seat is taken and he just says “nope, it’s all you, man.” We shoot the s**t for a couple of minutes. He’s sitting on my right and eventually, he says he and his wife are going to go to their seats. He extends his hand and asks my name. I tell him and ask his name. He says, “Justin. Nice to meet you dude, have a good night.”
He and his wife leave and the bartender comes up to me and says, “You know that was Justin Timberlake, right?”
I immediately did a double-take and couldn’t believe I didn’t recognize him even with the hat and sunglasses. I told my girlfriend at the time who was a huge Justin Timberlake fan and she couldn’t believe I met him without knowing it was him. She wouldn’t let it go for like a month.” – Ken_the_Andal
“This happened yesterday! My wife took my son to the zoo, and he wanted to read every little plaque in the reptile area. My wife was distracted for a moment, so he asked the nearest stranger to read the plaque for him. My wife turned around to see Scarlett Johansson happily reading the info to him.” – mojomann128
“I was at a test screening of the movie Valkyrie. Me and my friends were near the front of the theater talking before the movie started, and I went on this big, loud rant about how “normally I like Tom Cruise movies but ‘War of the Worlds’ was such a piece of s**t, one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, the plot didn’t make sense, they strung a bunch of cool scenes together and put a s**t happy ending on it and called it a day.” After I wrap up my 5-minute rant outlining everything wrong with ‘War of the Worlds’ the person sitting behind us tapped me on the shoulder and point 4 seats down in my row to Tom Cruise glaring at me, I gave him the nod and sat there for what might have been the longest 10 minutes before a movie started ever.
Not quite what you were asking for but close enough for an excuse to tell that story.
TLDR: Didn’t notice Tom Cruise was listening while I talked s**t about one of his movies.” – reble02
“I worked at a Barnes & Noble in NY as a clerk, but once or twice I’d be called over to the in-store Starbucks cafe to help out whenever they were understaffed. One time, Alan Rickman came up and ordered something, I can’t recall what. I wrote “Hans Gruber” on his cup though. He smiled at me when he noticed it.” – zeromig
“Was walking out of a gas station over on Crescent Heights and Sunset and heard a “hey!…hey!” coming from a cracked window on tinted out range rover that was parked at one of the pumps. I walk over to the car to see Jeff Goldblum, who had somehow seen my gold ring I was wearing on my right hand from 20 feet away. He proceeds to tell me how he loves my ring and has been looking for one just like it and asks me where I got it. I tell him it was my grandfather’s and he asks to see it up close. I hold my hand up to Jeff Goldblum, he takes my hand, gushes about the ring for a minute, and thanks me. I said sure and walked back to my apartment.
I like to think we’re friends now.” – Poisonmonkey
“One of my best friends’ doppelganger is Ethan Hawke. Like it’s scary how much he resembles him, to the point that during those stupid Facebook challenges he just changed his profile picture to him and nobody realized it. Also, his favorite story was one time at San Diego Comic-Con he actually confused Rosario Dawson at a hotel bar.
Anyway one night I’m walking home from work in NYC, and I see who I thought was my friend, John just walking on a kind of secluded part of 9th ave around Hell’s Kitchen, and I yell “JOHN!”
He doesn’t turn around.
So I decide to yell it again, and instead of responding his pace quickens. I decide the best thing to do is to run at him which seemed to terrify him as to keep in mind it’s late and there are very few people around. Anyway, I catch up to him and say “Oh, you’re not John” and then walk away from what was a very frightened Ethan Hawke.” – whereegosdare
“When I was younger with fewer responsibilities I used to just drive around for the hell of it. To me, driving is a hobby. Late at night was my favorite time. The streets are empty. My uncle is like this too. I asked him if he wanted to meet at American Coney Island. We sat down in a booth. A couple of guys walked in after us and sat down behind us.
Eminem, Dr. Dre, and a guy I later found out was Jimmy Iovine. We paid them no attention, but we knew who they were. They finished before us and as they were walking out, Eminem nodded at us and said, “thanks for not making a big deal about this. We got you.” He and the other guys disappeared around the corner.” – BigODetroit
“My cousin rode a ski lift with Jack Black in Vail. Just the two of them. Her husband and I were in the lift behind them, freaking out. When we got off the lift they’d gone their separate ways. We made our way to her she was like “wow, that guy on my lift was so nice.” We were like NO S**T THAT WAS JACK BLACK. She was like “THE SCHOOL OF ROCK GUY?!?!”
She was so embarrassed. She said she rambled on about living in Iowa for most of their conversation. We laughed our **ses off.” – palexander_6
“My dad and I bumped into Michael Jordan at a Walgreen’s near Chicago. This was back in 2006 or so.
We were picking out birthday cards for my mom, and MJ and his son came in the same aisle browsing some cards. My dad kept his cool and continued to look through different cards, giving him his personal space. I, on the other hand, was 9 years old and in awe, sort of staring at him. After MJ picked out his card, he winked at me and gave me a walk-by fist bump.
Didn’t really set in until I was older how cool that was.” – Jim__And__Tonic