Tuesday, March 06, 2007

My Encounters with Hollywood

In my short life, outside of watching movies, I have had exactly two encounters with actual Hollywood figures. I'll elaborate on one here.

The first was the actual, real-life, honest-to-goodness, no-kiddin', sure-'nuff in-the-flesh Orlando Bloom. The actual Lord of the Rings/Pirates of the Caribbean/Troy star was in town. (*Deafened by fangirl screams*)

Orlando was in the vicinity of Versailles, Kentucky filming some scenes for his film Elizabethtown, also named after a town in Kentucky. My brother, then a student and reporter for the local campus newspaper, drove to the area to ask some questions and check it out. It turns out he'd missed the big show mere days earlier, when they actually filmed exterior shots on the street, and lots of townpeople got to watch, and meet Orlando. He (my brother) found out that they were planning to film at a nearby funeral home. He couldn't get close, so he ventured to a next-door Bed & Breakfast to inquire about the filming. The owner showed him the autograph she'd gotten, but little did he realize, he'd made film producers nervous. I'll explain why in a minute.

The next morning, my brother, my sister and myself ventured up to the shooting location. Everyone was really quiet, and there were fangirls putting their fandom on display.

Body double/stand-in John Glass was mingling with the crowd, giving what few details he had about his conversations with the high-profile actors from the film, such as Orlando Bloom or Kirstin Dunst.

We later determined that in addition to being able to interact with fans, Mr. Glass was acting as a decoy. He was dressed like, and had an appearance exactly as Orlando Bloom was for the day's shoot.

When a figure in a grey t-shirt walked across the front lawn of the funeral home (shouting an accented "Happy BETH-day" to a fangirl whose hand-written sign said "Orlando, it's my birthday!"), no one took much notice; from the distance we were all at, it appeared to be John Glass. Then as he hid himself behind a strategically-placed van, everyone realized it was Orlando Bloom himself. (Hot dog!) They were actually setting up for an autograph session.

However, some Hollywood nimrod with his head up his -- keygrip -- believed my brother was from the paparazzi, that infernal group of lowlifes that make their living taking embarassing photos of celebrities. One shot of Orlando picking in his nose could feed one of these parasites for a month.

Teeth-grittingly, just as we were getting in line to meet the actual, real-life, honest-to-goodness, no-kiddin', sure-'nuff in-the-flesh Orlando Bloom, some lower-class Hollywood lemmings informed us that we would have to leave the property. To make sure there was no doubts, a local uniformed police officer escorted us. We watched as dozens of tickled, giggling, gloating, bubbly little fan girls emerged from behind the van with autographs, and at a distance, we could see the line end, and Orlando walk off to the catering lines. We later learned that Orlando Bloom had been staying at that very Bed & Breakfast. No doubt Hollywood producers were scared that my celebrity-grubbing journalist brother would procure snapshots of Orlando's undies.

Can't see him? Let me help you.

The actual, real-life, honest-to-goodness, no-kiddin', sure-'nuff in-the-flesh Orlando Bloom, as seen from behind the veil of Hollywood elitism.


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