How To Embarrass Yourself In Front Of Famous People (Or: That Time Matt Damon Caught Me Stress-Eating A Cupcake)
Whenever I tell people what I do for a living the first thing they ask me (always) is which famous people I’ve met, which ones are awesome, and which ones are assholes. I try not to answer the asshole part because honestly, celebrities have enough people saying shitty things about them all day every day and I don’t really feel inclined to contribute to that conversation.
On the other hand, I will GLEEFULLY answer the question about awesome celebrities and my answer is always the same: Matt. Damon.
You guys. He’s just, I mean, the best. Long before I had the great pleasure of working on one of his movies I had it bad for Matt Damon. I don’t want to gush too much because I’d like to retain a small shred of dignity in the eyes of my peers (too late), but just know that this is serious business.
Imagine my delight then when I had the opportunity to work on a movie he was in and he turned out to be like, the nicest dude ever. Swoon right?
So towards the end of shooting the movie we added a shot at a major museum and the location ended up getting assigned to me. This was awesome because it’s always cool to get to know a major NYC attraction on a more intimate level, but this was also a little nerve wracking because, hello millions of dollars in artwork and sleek modern architecture with lots of glass and marble and other breakable materials. You see, my department is responsible for maintaining the integrity of all of the shooting locations and if something gets damaged, we’re the ones that deal with fixing/replacing it.
As you can understand, I was a little... on edge in the days leading up to filming at the museum. Add to that trying to get clearance from several Important Artists to film their work, figuring out how to shoot at the museum without bringing any of our equipment trucks and talent campers to the location and whatever else was happening on the job and/or in my life, well, I was pretty much fried.
To paint a clearer picture, I was in such a state that day that I somehow managed to get nail polish on my face before leaving for work. And I wasn’t painting my nails. Suffice it to say, I was having a Time.
Fast forward several hours after the nail polish debacle, I’d been running around the museum all day like a crazy person getting things ready for the crew to show up and shoot. Once we finally started, things calmed down and I went to find a hiding place to decompress for a quick second. It was one the birthday of one of my coworkers, and his very sweet girlfriend had brought in some cupcakes and I knew if I actually wanted to eat the one being saved for me, I was gonna have to do it then, and I was gonna have to do it fast. Having lost all sense I decided my only recourse would be to eat the whole cupcake in a single bite. Have I mentioned what a smart and reasonable woman I am?
What I’d failed to realize was that the hiding spot I’d chosen was basically the off camera end-mark for the actors in the scene. So imagine if you will: me, crouched like Gollum in a dark coat check hallway, shoving an ENTIRE cupcake into my mouth in one bite. As this beautiful scene plays out my number one celebrity crush Matt Damon and the not too shabby either Anthony Mackie round the corner into my stress cave and happen upon the horrific tableau.
I freeze and stare at them with an expression much like a child who’s been caught eating a booger or something else equally shameful and disgusting.
“How’s it going?” Matt Damon asks while looking at me like I’m INSANE and my mind goes blank. I can think of absolutely no reasonable response so I go with what’s in front of me and reply, “It’s a cupcake,” with a mouth full of food.
They both burst out laughing and through his laughter Mackie turns to Matt and says, “You could have said anything to her right then and I’m pretty sure her response would have been ‘It’s a cupcake’.” It was my own personal “I carried a watermelon” moment but like, so much worse. I didn’t know what to do so I sort of just shrugged and smiled (as much as you can smile with a mouth full of cupcake) and tried not to let it show that I was dying before their very eyes.
They walked away to do another take and as soon as they were out of sight I sort of slumped to the floor in a heap of embarrassment. I wallowed in my shame for approximately 8/10 of a second before someone called me on the walkie-talkie and I had to run off and do something else.
The good news is, either neither of them remembered (unlikely) or they’re both nice enough to realize how awful that must have been for me because the next time I saw them it was back to business as usual.
To this day I cannot think of a better way to have handled my #1 teen dream crush catching me stress eating/destroying that cupcake (any suggestions?), but at least maybe he’ll remember me next time we work together.