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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My meetings with celebs

I really don't know how it happens, but more than once I've come into contact with celebrities - local and international.

Perhaps I can begin my story by telling you that my parents took my sister and I to the coast every summer (a family tradition, as my mom's parents had done the same). We always went to Heist (which is now Knokke-Heist) and when the sun was out, we played at the beach. There were always a bunch of kids playing along, always the same, year in year out.  One of those kids was named Bart. Now Bart Peeters is a very important person in TV land. He hosts shows, plays in a band...

But then he was just Bart and as I was the ringleader of the gang, being the eldest and the most daring, he did what I said...

Around that same time, also in Heist, we often met actor Jo Demeyere with his wife and kids. He played the lead role in a very popular series then, but as he liked to spend his summers in Heist as well he knew us and as we met during our walks, always stopped to chat with us.

Jo Demeyere is now one of our best leading actors. He lost his wife some time ago, but still continues to act.

Skip a decade or so. When both my sister and I were adults, we traveled together. We love skiing and this drive took us to North America and Canada, after geting fed up with the long cues in the Swiss Alps. We once went to Aspen during the Christmas season, and saw a bunch of celebs - either at their best or worst behavior. But that doesn't count for much. Martina Navratilova always said goodday to us when we met her, we always got a smirk from Jack Nicholson and Donald Trump nearly ran my sister over by ignoring a red light.

But another winter, in Banff (Alberta, Canada) we went for lunch in a Texmex restaurant. The place was empty when we entered, but after the waitress had served our drinks, another party entered. A man with a bunch of kids. They took the table next to ours. After a while, this guy began to chat with us (I suppose he was getting bored with all those kids?) and even suggested we'd put the tables together. As the talk was about Mick Jagger and others, we took it he was a muscian himself and we were sure we'd seen his face in one or other magazine. We had a very enjoyable lunch and only left the restaurant after 3 pm. The guy wanted to pay the bill, but we declined and so he insisted we had some glasses of wine with him.

Only later on we discovered we had had lunch with Eric Clapton!

Three winters ago we even met a really big celebrity. We were skiing in Beaver Creek (Colorado) and had reserved a table in a restaurant where we often dined. The boss was Austrian, and he knew we were Belgian. We were rather surprised when he took us to a side room, not to the main dining room. There were only three tables set there. At the biggest a group of 6 Texans sat. We were seated next to them. I don't think they even saw us. They were so full of each other and only talked about their oil, their (private) planes, ...

We had just gotten our entree when the third party arrived: a couple with two boys. As soon as they were seated my sister poked me and whispered: hey, doesn't that guy look a lot like Johnny Depp?
But knowing how 'soft' my sister's voice is, I'm sure he must have heard as I saw him smile. Ok, they also ordered and had a lively conversation. His son Christopher (I think the other kid was a son of Tim Burton) asked what language we spoke and he told him he thought it was Skandinvian. Not bad, as even Swedes think we speak their language (we have this unique family dialect that has a lot of different regions it it).

The Texans made quite a show of insulting the waiter and as soon as they had left, Depp told the boy not to worry as these guys had no manners. Then he jumped up, came to us and did his act from the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, where he dares the English from the bow of the Black Pearl. He said something like 'In name of all other Americans I like to excuse us for this bad behavior' and I saw how Vanessa looked at him. She clearly had not suspected this. He then continued to talk to us, and also Vanessa joined in. They talked about their home in France, about culture and art, ...

When they left, they wished us a Merry Christmas and shook hands. Oh yes, I've been quite close to Johnny (even saw the pockmarks on his cheeks)....

Wondering who's going to be next?

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