Someone Wanted To Know People’s “Never Meet Your Heroes” Stories, And 30 Folks Didn’t Hold Back
Seeing a famous person in “the wild” can be a surreal experience, since our brains often can’t comprehend that they are actually flesh and blood, not just moving pixels on our screens. Even stranger, they buy groceries, gas and eat snacks in the park over lunch breaks, just like us.
An internet user wanted to hear others’ experiences with “don’t meet your heroes” so people delivered their best (or worst) celebrity encounters. So if you have a particular celebrity favorite, be warned that these examples might ruin your opinion of them. Regardless, be sure to upvote your favorites and comment your own celebrity stories.
This is my Ex boyfriends story but I think it fits. He went to a talk with Adam Savage from Mythbusters. Now, my ex is not a tall guy. Adam made his way through the crowd, turned to look at one of the stage people, ELBOWED my ex in the face, and kept walking. But it gets better. My ex went to another talk on a separate occasion hoping to meet Adam and get a signature and apology for last time, Adam stepped on him on his way to the next stage. My Ex forever hated Adam Savage after that.
My ex was an emotionally abusive a*****e with severe narcissism. Adam Savage will forever be my hero for elbowing him in the face.
I met Mickey Mouse at Disney World when I was around 6 years old. He just took a picture and signed my autograph book without even saying a word. He was a lot bigger in person than in the cartoons, though. Almost seemed about the size of a human adult.
Went to a large comic book show probably 10 years ago or so with my GF. Generally go with a bunch of comics we want to get autographed and meet the creators. Standard stuff.
Todd McFarlane is one of the big guests to be there and we manage to get decently close to the front of his line, but before he's actually there. That's OK, we're used to this kind of thing. He's supposed to be there in an hour.
So, we start by taking turns, one person waits on line while the other takes a couple of comics over to another creator, meets them, gets a sig or 3. We generally care about meeting different folks so that's fine. Over an hour goes by, someone comes through the line and said he's not here yet, expect it to be another hour.
OK, so we do some more taking turns getting other sigs. A second hour goes by, and now we're told it'll be a bit longer and they're limiting people to 3 sigs each. OK....
Another half hour goes by, and now we're told it'll be a bit longer, and they're limiting it to 1 sig per person. WTF, but OK.
Another 30 mins goes by, so 3 hrs from when we got in line (don't even know how long it was for the people at the front) and he finally shows up, 2 hrs after he said he would be there and by how they kept cutting down how many books we could each get signed, obviously still planning on staying until he had originally planned to leave (not staying longer to make up for the time he was late).
As we're getting up to the front, dude's not even acknowledging people as they walk up to him. They try to say anything, he says nothing, quickly signs and shoos them away. Until we get there. Because one of us is a girl. He stares my GF down in the creepiest way possible while continuing to ignore the rest of us. She doesn't have much to say to him at that point, so just got the sig and moved on. As we're walking away, he continues to stare her down, ignoring people in line after us.
On the flipside, Jim Lee was the f*****g man. We were in line for him and he was told that his time was up and he had to stop. Everyone was bummed that they waited on line for nothing. He gets up and loudly announces to everyone on line for him that he was told his time's up, so he's sorry he won't be able to really meet everyone else, do any sketches, or take pictures, but if everyone can each take out 2 things they want signed, have them opened to wherever we want him to sign, he's going to quickly walk down the line and sign 2 things for each person so they at least get something for waiting in line. And while he did that, he was chatting with each person who said something to him, at least smiling and saying hi to each person who didn't. He knew fans had waited in line a long time and wanted to thank them for doing so.
It’s easy for others to tell us to avoid meeting our heroes since it implies that they have already “enjoyed” this experience and we should just skip it. Like a person trying some exclusive new restaurant then telling you to avoid it, it leaves a lingering feeling that maybe you should just see for yourself.
The original the quote is “Il ne faut pas toucher aux idoles: la dorure en reste aux mains,” from the French novel Madame Bovary. The English translation is "You should never touch your idols: a little of the gold always rubs off,” which is a lot more poetic, but in usual English language pragmatism, we cut off the latter part. But the idea stands, an idol will often seem “worse” in person, particularly if they don’t have the best personality.
Opposite answer, because of course it is, but Dee Snyder. I was 19 and working at a Hard Rock Cafe and he was judging some mid-level battle of the bands thing. I was raised on hair metal and Twisted Sister was a favorite of mine, plus I’d never met anyone famous before. He made his small entourage stop so he could sign a napkin for me, shake my hand, and the best part was his first question: “So how long have you been rocking?” “Since I was 13 and I’ve never stopped!” “Rock on little lady!”
Very nice man, very pleased to see enthusiasm. Great hand shake and eye contact, which couldn’t have been easy since he’s easily a foot taller than I am.
His daughter (?) on the other hand was a damned bint, though. I barely got out the perfunctory “Welcome to the Hard Rock!” before she shoves up front and gets in my face with a snotty “Do you even *know* who this is?” like how dare I impede the way of greatness in all my unwashed splendor. And of course dopey me only stutters out “...yeah, that’s Dee Snyder.”
So, Mr. Snyder? Class act. Seemed genuinely happy to pause for five minutes to talk with a young metal fan. Has one of the best opening lines. 10/10 would love to meet him again (especially since his signed napkin got “lost” in my divorce)
Whoever was with him riding coat tails? I hope her bleach blond hair never holds a proper curl for longer than 10 minutes and goes brassy.
Not a bad story, just awkward. Got to meet Karl Urban at a con, he was friendly and all, but I was so nervous I could barely say a word (English not being my first language also didn't really help). Also had to wait a little bit in line because he'd just left for a quick bathroom break, so I just sorta stood there. He actually tried to make a bit of a conversation but I just giggled awkwardly, it's like my brain forgot every English phrase or word I ever learned. Damn insecurities.
I went to the Q&A panel in the afternoon and he was really funny and entertaining, so I think he's a cool guy overall. I was just too awkward for my own good :/
Not so much a meet my hero story, but write an essay praising someone who inspired me, and would then go on to do some bad things, story.
Grade 6 I wrote an essay about Jeff Gordon (this was during my professional motor sport phase). He would eventually go on to cheat on his wife.
Grade 8 I wrote an essay about Kobe Bryant (this was during my basketball phase). He went on to get charged with rape.
In post-secondary, during my inspiration of the differently abled persons phase, I included a profile of Oscar Pistorius in a project on Para-athletes. He went on to murder his girlfriend.
I've stopped writing essays about public figures who inspire me.
Who better to ask about meeting celebrities than other celebs? Musician Moby maintains a “don’t meet your heroes” policy for himself. In an interview with Insider, the musician revealed that if he was at a party with another artist he enjoyed, he would make a conscious effort to not encounter them. His reasoning was simple, if he catches someone on a bad day, he could not only lose a hero but, say a large body of media that he can never enjoy the same way.
I've never met anyone that was an idol of mine that I had a bad experience with.
However, my best friend growing up had his go so bad he ended what was nearly 20 years of fandom right then and there. He worked for one of the big shoe stores and had won a contest to go to the All Star festivities for the NBA. He met a lot of current and former player and coaches and had a blast. Until he met Michael Jordan. Being a sneaker head, my friend owned originals or rereleases of every shoe Jordan ever had up until that point. It was something like 30 shoes if you counted the different colorways. Posters, jerseys, trading cards, memorabilia of all types adorned a room at his apartment. He sees Jordan and decides to just kind of hang out until he is done talking and just get a quick meet and greet, no photo, no autograph, just to say hey. Jordan ends his conversation and my friend steps up near him and Jordan basically asks him who the f**k he is, what he wants and acts like an a*****e. My friend just tells him that he was a big fan and it was great to finally meet him. Jordan basically says, "yeah, whatever" and walks away.
He got home from the trip and started selling off his collection of shoes and all things Jordan. He had heard the stories and assumed they were just overblown or didn't happen. Nope, Jordan is a c**k in real life.
Oh, this one is fun...
I went to a Blondie concert a few years ago and was allowed to go backstage with my friend who was with a talent marketing agency.
Debbie Harry was there talking to some people from the band, and we didn't want to disturb her, so my friend asks one of the guys in the band if he could be in a picture with him instead. I had a pretty nice camera with me. This was nearly a couple of decades ago, so it was a camera with a roll of film inside. The guy in the band was fine with it, so I took the picture with my friend and the band member in the foreground, and Debbie in the background.
As soon as I took the picture, Debbie f*****g exploded on me! I explained the situation but she just freaked out and told me she'd call the cops if I didn't give her the film roll in my camera rightaway and did I want to go to jail!?! I asked what she thought the cops would send me to jail for. She just pushed the decibels up one level and just repeated "Give it to me! Give me the f*****g film roll!" over and over.
At this point, I'm thinking – yes – this used to be Debbie Harry, but right now she's just some crazy person, and I do have the option of just not interacting with crazy persons, so I just take a couple of steps to walk away.
Rightaway she screams like she's just been stabbed or something. Just this loud, high pitch, continuous scream. These two enormous guys appear and she tells them to take my camera, the same way you'd imagine a queen saying "Off with his head!".
The two heavy guys are like "Give us the camera or there's gonna be trouble". So, I pull out my phone and say "Right, I'm calling the cops".
Something must have worked in the way I said this, because a person I assume was Debbie's manager then says "OK, here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna buy the film roll from you. How much do you want for it?" I say "I don't know. I've got a few nice pictures on there. Maybe a hundred pounds for the trouble?". Without flinching, he pulls out his wallet and, I don't know, maybe he misheard me or he's just not good with numbers, but he takes a whole wad of £50 banknotes and counts ten £50 notes out loud which he gives me. This is way more than what I asked for, so I'm completely confused by now, and I just open the camera and give him the film. The end.
Every time I listen to one of Blondie's songs now, I keep wondering what it was that got her to freak out like that, or why this guy just gave me so much more for the film roll.
I realized that celebrities were normal-a*s people when I saw Steve Buscemi drop salad in his lap in a Burger King near Bob Hope Airport
While some might be able to separate the art from the artist, that doesn’t really work if the artist is your “hero,” icon, idol, or anything else that fits that category. Similar to Moby, a bad experience with an actor will negatively paint them in all their work, potentially ruining films both past and present for you. Depending on the age of the “hero,” meeting them gets increasingly dangerous; if they are young, there is a lot more potential work to be ruined.
My fiancé and I met our favorite author, Caitlin Doughty, during her book tour. She’s a mortician and the creator of the popular YouTube channel “ask a mortician.” When I met her I was star struck and said I wanted to be her best friend, and she proclaimed that now we are.
Then my fiancé said “I’d want you to cremate me. In fact, you can even be the one to kill me.”
So in context, we both had great conversations with her and she was the biggest sweetheart.
But out of context, my photo with her is of me gazing at her lovingly while she strokes my hair, but my fiancé’s picture is of her with her hands around his neck, choking him and telling him how she’s burn his corpse.
My dad was working for a baseball team in Rochester, New York when he was in his late teens/early 20's. One day, Mickey Mantle came for some charity or promotional event or something. My dad, being a boy in the 50's and into sports, was obviously a HUGE fan and was awestruck when he was approached by him.
Turns out, Mickey was a big ol' jerk (maybe just in a bad mood that night?) that didn't look up at him and literally just huffed out a "Take me to a steakhouse". My dad, being somewhat of the odds and ends guy for the team, obliged and took him to the best in town. Mickey sat across from him--just the two of them at the table--all night with his head down as he ate. My dad says he never looked up ONCE. Didn't say a SINGLE WORD to him.
Afterwards, my dad, an errand boy at a minor league baseball team, was left with the check as Mickey went to go to the car to have my dad drive him back to his hotel. Rode in and left the car without saying a word.
My dad likes to say he met Mickey Mantle and spent all night staring at the small balding spot on the top of his head.
To be fair, another baseball player came the next year--Whitey Ford (another famous Yankee)--and said "Where's *Dad's name*? Mickey told me to find this kid, *Dad's name*, and have him take me to that steakhouse." So, my dad got to spend a very pleasant evening with Whitey Ford, another hero of his that eventually turned into a semi-friend/mentor.
My grandpa worked as a bartender at a very fancy hotel in my city years ago. One day, in walks Mick Jagger. My grandpa never knew much about the Rolling Stones but he knew the rest of us were fans, so when he served him at the bar, he asked for an autograph. Jagger didn’t say anything but wrote something down on a cocktail napkin. When my grandpa looked at it, it read “f*ck you”. He didn’t even sign his name. Just a d**k move in my opinion.
The other inherent, but overlooked risk is having a bad experience in general. A person doesn’t have to be a celebrity to be a jerk and ruin your day. Anyone who has worked in the service industry or any other client-facing role will be well aware of just how petty, obtuse, and annoying the average person can be. Celebrities are “more dangerous,” as it might be more difficult to get back at them for anything they do.
I grew up with a poster of Cameron Diaz on my wall. Always thought she was the dopest. Then I met her and she was rude, stuck up, and made me get out of an elevator I was already in so she could ride it up alone. We were going to the same event. She later didn’t acknowledge the elevator ride when we were introduced by a mutual friend. Made me think she’s always like that. She may be hot but I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole anymore.
In college, a friend of mine used to draw comics on the side. Because of this, he always used to get a table whenever there was a comic convention in town- they were usually in the back of the hall, but still, he would say we were his assistants and get us in for free.
One year, his table was in the far corner, by the door that convention guests would use to enter and leave the main hall. This year, the big guest was Walter Koenig (Chekov from Star Trek). As he was getting ready to enter the main hall for his Q&A section, he stood by my friend's table, waiting to be announced. We tried to say hello, and my friend told him how much Star Trek meant to him when he was growing up, but Koenig just ignored him. Actually, he pretty much snubbed him- looked down his nose at us, etc.
Anyway, Koenig does his Q&A and comes back through the door, trying to be inconspicuous. As he passes, my friend stands up and yells "Hey, look! It's Chekov!". Whereupon the guy was immediately swarmed by every single fanboy in the room. He couldn't move, no matter how hard he tried to fight his way through the crowd. It was a good day.
idk if this was really her or not, but when I was like 9 I had messaged Ariana Grande on Facebook back in like 2010 when she was on the show Victorious. I told I was big fan and she called me a stupid b***h. It really hurt me and I stopped following her page after that. Lol
After all, the status of a celebrity gives a person a free pass. They can say insulting things, be rude and still go on with their careers, while most of us could lose our jobs in a similar circumstance. Even worse, it sometimes is part of the allure of such people, the tortured artist, and stuck-up method actor. There is some strange human fascination with people who break societal rules, as long as we can view it from a distance. If you want to explore some more awkward celebrity encounters, Bored Panda has got you covered, you can find another article here.
I have some interesting stories as I interned at MuchMusic, the Canadian MTV, years ago and got to meet a few celebrities, as well as worked at TIFF. I'm a big music/movie fan so this was a cool opportunity.
1. Ryan Reynolds, I know he's a twitter/Deadpool darling, but he was a real prick when he was to do an interview with us. This is back in 2009. He was scheduled for an interview to promote a movie. This being Toronto, and in February, it was really friggin' cold outside. Fans of his lined up outside the building at around 6ish; Ryan was scheduled to interview at 8am. Anytime fans got a glimpse of him they lost it. Ryan Reynolds was completely disinterested in his own fans, didn't bother to go out and acknowledge them. I was a P.A., and told him if he wanted he could mingle with the fans before his interview. Didn't make eye contract and said "nah". Treated most of the crew like s**t and ducked out early. He's talented, maybe he was having a bad day, but he didn't look strssed, just prima donna behavior which I abhor.
2. Fall Out Boy. Not so much a******s or anything, just a moment of, "these guys are human beings like anyone else". I asked what food they wanted before their interview; they all requested alfredo fettucini, so it was my job to get it. Well, believe it or not, there were no nearby italian places I go to in time to get alfredo fettucini (remmeber these guys all have tight schedule). They acted like I told them their dogs died; moping, extreme sadness, it was really weird. Still, they were nice, but the "celebrity" illusion was shattered and it was an awkward moment.
3. Michael Mann. I was excited to meet him (Heat is an all timer for me), and he was in town for TIFF; my job was to be his minder. Well, he was literally just a senile old, no REALLY old/elderly man who could hardly get around and didn't really talk much.
4. For the canucks, if anyone remembers Karl Wolf (he did that crappy rap cover of Africa), he was a REAL piece of work, and truly believed he shat nothing but vanilla ice cream and was god's gift to men and women.
5. Peter Weller aka Robocop is a sarcastic a*****e in real life; if you're not on his level you'll perceive him as a real prick.
Flipside: I did get to meet Taylor Swift as well and she was an absolutely sweetheart (she also smelled heavenly, need her perfume).
Robert Pattinson looked like a dirtball when he was at Much promoting one of the Twilight films (along with the other cast), but was a really humble and nice guy. You could tell he didn't give a s**t about Twilight and was kind of embarrassed of the whole thing, but would excitedly talk about other projects he would have lined up.
Rachel McAdams came to TIFF a few times and was also a sweetheart (lives in the city). I mena, she's Rachel McAdams, she doesn't need to pay to see her own movies or any movie at the TIFF Lightbox theatre, but anytime she comes in, keeps a low profile and pays for the films. Humble as hell.
I also volunteer at the Metro Convention centre, we had WWE here so I got to meet a bunch of the wrestlers while working on the floor. All super nice (and ridiculously fit) folks.
I have so many more but these are top of my head.
I didn’t meet them but when I was 15-16 I was obsessed with New Kids on the Block, in love and miraculously they came to my hometown in Mexico.
I got a ticket, proceeded to cry on the shoulder of a random girl in front of me and then...Donnie f*****g Wahlberg tried to get the spanish speaking audience to sing along and we didn’t because, Spanish. So Donnie gets frustrated and yells at us: F**k You!!
A lot of people didn’t understand so they’re clapping and cheering but I’m standing there dumbfounded and heartbroken. I stayed until the end of the concert but once I got home I got rid of the NKOTB posters and stopped being a fan.
F**k you, Donnie, you piece of s**t.
My best friend drives for a luxury taxi line and drove Ed sheeran to his concert. Ed gets in my friends car, my friend is greeting him ,he doesn’t even say hello back. My friend tells him few seconds later : „ Hello my name is... I am your driver today and i am sorry but i just have to tell you i really enjoy your music and its really an honor for me to drive you to your concert.“
Ed, the a*****e he was, just looked at him and said „yeah whatever“ and put his earphones on.
Yeah you can imagine, my best friend doesn‘t like him since that moment.
I used to love science as a kid, and I'd watch a ton of Bill Nye the Science Guy. He was autographing stuff at the St. Louis Science Center, I think I was about 8 or 10 years old and super f*****g excited to see him. My mom bought me a poster with dinosaurs on it that he could sign for me.
Waited about 5 minutes in line to see a very bored, pissed off Bill Nye. Told him I really liked his show and that I want to be a paleontologist when I grow up. He literally said "yeah whatever kid" under his breath, and signed my poster then loudly said "NEXT!"
I wasn't too bothered about it tbh, but I remember my mom being like "huh he was kind of an a*s, wasn't he?"
To be fair he didn't just sign the poster, he also left a quick little note that said "follow your dreams" or some s**t. I'll give Bill the benefit of the doubt on this one, I just think he was just bored and tired from signing stuff for little kids for hours straight. I would be too!
when my friends & i were like 17-18? we went to see an X Factor taping recording when Demi Lovato(disney star who was a judge on the show) was pulling out of the studio drive way & my friend just said “omg i love you so much, you saved my life” & she was so angry & just said “get the f**k away from me.” in the bitchiest manner ever & drove off. she is bipolar but he still never liked her after that & was so heartbroken
Neil Degrasse Tyson was a real a*****e to the crowd when he spoke at Mississippi State University around 8 years ago. The talk was a bit condescending, and it ended in a Q&A where he told a person with a question about pluto to put their hand down in the most serious and offended voice ever. This pretty fresh after the pluto isn't a planet thing, so I'm sure he was sick of hearing it, but he was just an a*****e in general. I guess I was expecting a student of Carl Sagan to be as awesome as Carl Sagan, which was my f**k up.
Not my story, but my dad was once kicked out of a restaurant because John Travolta wanted to eat there and made them clear the entire place out in the middle of everyone else's meals.
Peter Weller. Excuse me... DOCTOR Peter Weller, as he liked to tell everyone. Yelled at the young woman taking money at his table for him. Yelled at people in line. Yelled at me. Yelled at the people after me. Should've been named Peter Yeller.
If I saw him laying in the street, I wouldn't bother to walk around him. I'd casually step on him and keep walking.
Fortunately, I've met other people who I was warned ahead of time that they're not nice at all - William Shatner and Keir Dullea come to mind - and they ended up being really polite and conversational.
In high school I really loved *Ender's* *Game*. One summer I went to a writing workshop taught by Orson Scott Card. He spent the first 20-30 minutes talking about how immoral homosexuality is. Of course now I know he's a nut, but young me didn't.
I was told that as a kid I met Ryan Reynolds on the street once with my parents and he tried talking to me and I told him to go away he’s now one of my favourite actors
My mate is a huge Batman fan and was dragged along to see Val Kilmer at one of his Q&A tours. Val proceeded to be a huge d**k while my mate was trying to ask a question. I keep hearing he's awfully rude towards his fans but now I have a first hand account to confirm.
Travelled 3 hours with a few friends of mine to watch an independent author (36m) on his speaking tour when we were 14. He’d just released a book about his sex addiction, but his other books were just about his life and I loved him. When he found out we’d travelled so far, he started asking about how we got there and I told him my sister (34) drove us. I tried to tell him that he inspired me and I was so happy to meet him; all he did was ask if my sister was hot. Told him she was in a long term committed relationship and all he could say was “I don’t mind”. Discovered dude was just gross and never bought another of his books.
I was 15 and at Warped Tour and met one of my favorite band members. He wasn’t an a*****e or anything, but he wasn’t what I thought he would be. I had built him up in my head, but he was just a normal person who was tired and sweaty from the long day. And then I kind of realized that all my heroes are just normal people.
I met Adam West at a Comic Con in Dallas. He just seemed really bored and over the who event. He was just doodling in a book and wasn't acknowledging anyone.
I went back to the Dallas Comic Con a few years after that and met Stan Lee, he was amazing! Very nice, made sure everyone got a signature and answered everyone's questions. He looked like he was enjoying the event and the fans.