I must admit to thinking that I would have seen more famous people out and about since living in London. The first time I was here, which was only for four days, I saw Neil Morrissey who starred in the hilarious British sitcom of the 90’s – Men Behaving Badly – and he was the voice of many children’s characters – Bob the Builder, Lofty and Farmer Pickles no less. I think if I had run into my office and shouted it out that I had seen him, people would have known who I was talking about. Not so this time around when I saw Eddie Marsan, who plays Terry, Ray’s ex-boxer brother with Parkinsons in Ray Donovan, only THE most hectic series ever made. Anyway, I only discovered this from Googling him now but turns out he is actually British which is probably why I saw him walking down Richmond High Street. But when I ran back into the office to excitedly tell all who would listen that I had seen Terry from Ray Donovan they had no clue who or what Ray Donovan was. That burst my bubble a wee bit but no matter. I now follow Eddie on Twitter (@eddiemarsan) and tweeted him to tell him that the Brits have no idea what Ray Donovan is and SA is a big fan. I find it VERY hard to explain myself in 140 characters or less, so I hope he understood the message. Thinking about it he might think I am from South America – especially since my name is Maria.
So I may have only almost bumped into one famous person since I’ve been here but I have had two very exciting occasions where I have rubbed shoulders with some very famous people.
The first time was when I just got to the UK and my friend Annabel, who was on school holidays, (she is a matron at a boys boarding school), invited me to spend a few days with her in Malvern and then told me that joining us for a few days would be her friend Daisy and Daisy’s friend Zoe. They were in a play that was showing in Malvern the same time I was to be there and needed a place to stay. The first night they arrived they got in very late (after the show) and we stayed up until about 2:30 chatting. What absolutely marvellous and delightful young ladies.
Poor Zoe was having man trouble – so we chatted about that for a bit, and Daisy was telling me stories about my friend Annabel which made me want to cry. She had been the carer for Daisy’s grandparents until they died and Daisy was telling me how marvellous she had been etc. Anyway, setting the scene for what otherwise would have been a delightful but ordinary evening. Until it became apparent that Zoe was actually quite famous and Daisy not far behind. Google Zoe Boyle and Daisy Boulton for more. Suffice it to say that we shared 4 nights with these girls plus were given tickets to see the show they were in called Present Laughter. It then turned out that Mrs Hughes from Downton Abbey (Phyllis Logan) was also in the show. One of the days I went for a walk up Malvern Hill with all of them and it really was a delight to find them all such funny, interesting and interested people. Yes, they were actually interested in my story too! To top it off, the night we went to watch the play, we were invited to have drinks with the cast after the show. I wanted to take photos of everyone and nobody wanted to let me – what is it with people and taking photos of famous people!! Surely famous people are used to getting their photos taken with fans. Anyway, I managed to get a few sneaky pics in, so there!
My last, but certainly not least encounter was through my housemate Mnandi. Mnandi works for a film studio which does 3D cyber scanning. From how I understand it, what they do is scan the actors faces and various poses and facial expressions and then they can use models at a later stage in certain cases, instead of them using stunt doubles. So Mnandi and her studio were involved in and then later invited to the screening of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It was not a red carpet event by all means, it was at 9am in the morning and everyone who was there was very casually dressed. None of the main stars arrived but all the kids in the cast were there. While I was waiting to go in I was sitting next to a boy and his friend – who were befriended by a hobo looking old man, looking for a fag. He ended up chatting to them for ages and then when I watched the movie I realised that he had been one of the main actors! The old hobo probably still doesn’t know! What I really liked about the whole affair was that water and popcorn were free on our seats and the best part was NO ADVERTS! At the end when the credits rolled no-one got up – everyone was waiting to see their name in lights! Mnandi thought that just her studios name would be in the credits but her name was there! So exciting! I tried to take a photo but the photo police bombed me immediately. So yes, yet another occasion where I would have been trigger happy but no such luck.
I feel very priviliged to have had these experiences so soon into my London experience and truly hope to have many more encounters – both planned and not!