Thursday, March 1, 2012


Okay, so have I made you wait long enough to tell you about our celebrity encounter?  Well, if you're in the know, the title of this entry clues you in to who it was.  If not, then I'll just say it.  Neil Patrick...wait for it...Harris.  That's right,  Doogie effing Howser!  AKA-currently the girl chasing character Barney on How I Met Your Mother, a show I watch every week.  In real life he's a super nice gay guy with a partner and adorable boy and girl twins.  We're totally best friends now and have a playdate set up for next week.  Here's what happened.

Well, I guess before I tell you this story, you should know that I like to talk to celebrities. Anyone who knows me will tell you I have no problem walking up to them, introducing myself, and chatting with them. Most of the time I tell them how much I like whatever show or movie they've done.  I promise it's not as douchy as it sounds.  I am very respectful.  I don't chase after anyone and when I've said my piece I leave.  I don't turn into some teenage Justin Bieber loving girl and squeal when I see someone.  (Although, I have not met Jon Bon Jovi. There is a small chance I would do that with him.)  

There were many celebrities I met when I used to work at the movie advertising company.  People like, Adam Sandler, Kevin Costner, and Mike Myers.  Then there is the place the girls take gymnastics where I became acquaintance/friends with Christine Taylor of the Brady Bunch movies, married to Ben Stiller (who I also met at one point).  We used to chat while our girls took their class.  They moved to New York last year though, so we don't hang out anymore.  Sonya used to have class with Joel Mchale's oldest kid and we were friends with them for a while.  For real though.  We went to birthday parties.  Last summer I walked over to Jason Bateman, who was sitting at gymnastics, and chatted with him for a bit.  He recommended that I see Bridesmaids stating that it was a very funny movie.  Then there are the countless times I just run into stars out and about.  One of my favorite encounters was with Michael Keaton and Quentin Tarantino.  It was my twenty something  birthday and I was out at a bar with some friends.  Michael and Quentin were sitting at a booth chatting.  I walked over to them, and complimented their work.  They asked what we were doing out, I mentioned it was my birthday and the next thing you know, they were singing a round of "Happy Birthday" to me.  Yup, I got serenaded by Michael Keaton and Quentin Tarantino on my birthday.  I don't think many people can say that.  It's one of the perks of living in L.A.  You can just run into a celebrity on any given day.  And I don't care what anyone says, when you see someone, it's fun.  I love it, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.  People can pretend they don't care, but they sure will tell you if they see someone themselves.  So, on Saturday night when Andy told me that Neil Patrick Harris was in the restaurant, I did happen to get a little excited.  

He mentioned it to me as we were looking over the menu to order.

"Don't turn around, but Neil Patrick Harris is here," he said to me.

"Where!?" I said excitedly, but NOT turning around.

"DON'T TURN AROUND!" He said again, not trusting me.  

Please!  I've been through this before.  I know how to play it cool in these celebrity situations.  I just took Lana to the bathroom to see where he was.  Well, she did have to go.  

Sure enough there he was sitting diagonally behind us with a table full of family.  The twins were in high chairs and looked to me not much older than a year.  That in itself, it when I felt better about the girls being there.  We WEREN'T the only ones with kids at sushi!  Neil Patrick Harris brought his even younger kids out!  He was even more awesome now.  

Of course, after I realized he was there, the wheels started turning in my head as to how I could go over and tell him how much I loved him. Without being douchy or disrespectful of course.  Eventually, I decided there wasn't really a good way.  He was having dinner with his family and I wasn't about to bother him.  I figured this would just be a celebrity sighting this time and not an encounter.  Until...

"Hey mom!  That looks like the guy from TV!" Sonya said halfway through dinner.

Andy and I responded at the same time with, "That IS the guy from TV."

"He's an actor, Sonya," Andy explained to her.  

Her eyes got wide, "Ooohh..." she said somewhat captivated.  

Then Andy and I spent the next five minutes trying to figure out how she knew he was, "the guy from TV".  She doesn't watch How I Met Your Mother.  I love the show but it's not exactly kid friendly. Perhaps she'd seen a commercial for it?  

"Was he on Sesame Street?" Andy asked.

I'm sure he had been at one point, but it has been a while since the girls have watched that show, and I doubted she would remember him from when she was three.  

"Wait!  Wasn't he in the Muppets?" Andy said referring to the latest movie.

"Yes!" I said at first, and then immediately, "No, no he wasn't in was another kids movie...THE SMURFS!' I suddenly realized.  

"Oh yeah!" Sonya exclaimed.  "I liked that movie."

Here was my opening.  Yes, I was going to use my child.  It was only fair.  I mean I feed her, and take care of her all day.  The least she could do was help me meet Mr. Harris.

"Sonya," I said.  "If you want, I will take you over there and you can tell him how you liked him in the movie."

Sonya is a bit shy when it comes to new people and with a pained look said, "Nooo...I don't want to."

"Okay," I said, letting it go again.  "I guess she didn't get that gene from me," I told Andy.  

"I'll go!" Lana piped up.  

"No, it's okay Lana," I said.  She had no idea who he was or seen the movie, so that was pointless.  But it's good to know she's so willing to talk to strangers.  

Over the next ten minutes I could see Sonya glancing in Neil Patrick's direction.  She looked conflicted.  Then finally she said to me,

"Mommy, I want to go, but I want YOU to tell him." 

Let's see, let me think about this...."Okay, let's go!" I said.  

Luckily, he was done with dinner and they were all packing up getting ready to leave the restaurant, so were weren't interrupting the meal.  I walked over to where he was loading up the diaper bag, with Sonya in tow.  

"Excuse me, Mr. Harris?" I said, making sure I didn't sound  not to sound like crazy fan lady.

"What? What happened?!" He said in his comedic tones.  

"My daughter just wanted to come over here and tell you how much she liked you in The Smurfs movie," I told him.  

"OH! You saw The Smurfs?" He said addressing Sonya.

She shook her head yes, completely entranced and beaming.  

"I'm Neil," he said shaking her hand.

She responded with a somewhat audible, "I'm Sonya."

"Well, you know we're making a new one that is going to come out next summer.  Smurfette gets into all kinds of trouble." He told her.  

"Oh we'll have to go see that!" I said, looking at Sonya.

Then I told him how much I liked him in How I Met Your Mother.  I asked about the twins and how old they were.  He told me 16 months. Then his partner interjected apologizing about how bad they were at dinner, hoping they didn't bother anyone.  I reassured him that it was fine, and they were braver than I was for even taking babies out for sushi.  Neil, (yes we're on a first name basis) said they've been eating sushi, since they started eating food and how much they loved it.  Then we thanked him, he said goodbye to us, we went  to our table and they left.  He couldn't have been a sweeter guy and especially to Sonya.  She sat back down at dinner smiling from ear to ear.  I love him even more now.  

When I told my sister, Beth, this story she requested that we have a run in with a celebrity when she and her family come to visit this summer.  While I can't guarantee that we will run into someone, I am the person you want to be with if you do.  I will go up and talk to anyone.  They're just people, after all.   I see no reason NOT to talk to them.  And in all the years that I have met and chatted with a star, I have yet to meet someone who has blown me off or been a complete asshole.  When it comes down to it, they got into this business not just because they loved to act, but because they wanted to be famous.  Having someone recognize you and want to talk to you comes with the territory.  I don't care what any of them might say, on most levels they like it.  I know I would.  

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