Kathy Bates once said, “Hi,” to me and tried to initiate a pleasant conversation with my young niece who was with me at the time. My niece (who knows better than to talk to strangers) looked at her with a bored expression, turned, and walked away. Ms. Bates and I exchanged exasperated smiles. She shrugged her shoulders as if to say, “I guess an Oscar doesn’t hold much sway with the pre-adolescent crowd,” turned, and walked away.
I’ve peed next to Hume Cronyn.
I was once sitting in a rather cramped seat in coach, waiting for the plane to take off, when Chris Farley appeared in the doorway at the front of the plane. He proceeded to walk past me down the aisle to the rear of the plane and I thought, “Wow, he’s riding in coach. I always knew he was down-to-earth.” Just then, he came back down the aisle on the opposite side and took his seat in first-class. I got the impression that he wanted to make one circuit around the parade route to announce his arrival and bless the lives of the commoners before taking his rightful place up front.
On a flight to Hawaii, I had an in-depth conversation with Spalding Gray‘s toddler son about Beanie Babies.
While working the door at a post-premiere party at the Sundance Film Festival, I was patently ignored by David Lynch, but Isabella Rosselini, who was with him, looked me right in the eye, smiled that beautiful smile of hers and inquired, “How are you, this evening?” I couldn’t have been better.
I once rummaged through a dumpster with Andrew McCarthy, who really, really wanted a certain pink, plastic visor that I had thrown away earlier that day.
My in-laws live next door to the wife and daughters of the Grateful Dead’s Brent Mydland. I’ve roasted marshmallows in their backyard.
Donny Osmond is married to my cousin, Debbie.
Martha Plimpton once thought that I was yelling at her, even though I was trying to get someone else’s attention.
Robert Redford and I have a little schtick that we do every time we’re in the same room together. He always looks over at me with this expression that says, “Do I know you from somewhere? You look familiar, but I can’t quite place you.” I always give him a little smile that says, “Nope, I’m nobody,” and he gives me a nod that says, “Thanks.”
My in-laws are good friends with Joey Skaggs, who tends to make fun of me whenever I visit.
One summer I was playing “Motel, the Tailor” in a production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Sundance Summer Theater. I had grown my hair out, had a neatly-trimmed beard, and I was wearing small, round glasses at the time. As I was walking through the lobby of a movie theater one day, a woman grabbed her companion’s arm and, pointing directly at me, hissed, “Look, it’s Steven Spielberg!” OK, so I’ve never met Mr. Spielberg personally, but I think I can count this one since I was him for a few seconds.
I once almost plowed into Dr. Ruth Westheimer while hurrying around the corner of a narrow hallway. (She’s quite short, so she’s hard to see.) I apologized profusely, but she just smiled and said quite enthusiastically, “It is no problem!” in that cute little clipped German accent of hers.