Today's guest post is from Rob:
This is a celebrity encounter that happened by sheer coincidence. I had planned to see the new Judge Dredd movie at its midnight opening, even getting the morning off work the next day to sleep in. But that did not happen and I had to cancel my plans minutes before the show started.
The next night I found myself in all too familiar shoes: I had no clean dishes and I hadn't eaten dinner yet. After getting the dishes going, I debated waiting until they were done to eat, but it would be quite the wait.
Then an idea came to me. The theater down the street, Hollywood Palms, offers a full menu to order off of while you watch the latest films. I figured this was a great opportunity to see "Dredd" and eat.
I arrived at the theater and ordered my ticket, even referring to the film as "Judge Dredd" instead of its proper name "Dredd 3D" - much to the box office attendant's confusion. I headed toward the line to be seated when I looked over and saw that velvet rope line dividers were up. Hollywood Palms does this when they have a special guest visiting for a weekend. The last time I had been here when they had a guest was when Zachary Gordon of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" fame was in for the latest film in the franchise. There wasn't a crowd and it was pretty late in the night, I figured whoever was in this weekend had left already. I looked over at the people milling in the area and the face of a man sitting at a table caught my eye. It looked like Michael Madsen; I'd recognize that mug and tilt of the head anywhere. I looked up at a banner hanging over the area which in huge letters said MICHAEL MADSEN.
"Holy crap, it's Michael Madsen!" I actually said aloud. I immediately knew I needed to meet this man. Did he have a new film out he was promoting? I didn't see anything on the movie showtimes board. I walked over prepared to stand in whatever line there was - although that turned out to be a line of two other people.
I had nothing to have signed. I figured I could get a picture with him, but there was low lighting in the establishment and I only had a cellphone without a flash. I started thinking of what else I could do when I started reading the autograph rules. Included among them was a statement that he didn't take posed photos - except with his professional photographer available for a fee with onsite printing. I leaped. I paid for a photograph voucher and stood in the line of one other person.
Before I could regather myself, I was up. Michael Madsen looks over at me. Our eyes meet. My mind goes blank. I walk up and he wishes me a good evening with his comfortingly familiar voice and a handshake. I take his hand and start saying how much I love his work, trying to recall every title I've ever seen him in off the top of my head.
The photographer refocuses me and we turn for the photo. My excitement burst from my face.
The picture is taken and I immediately get back into the list. In my head I wanted to talk "Species" with him as I knew he hated doing the second film, but I did love his performance in both of them. But I mention "Die Another Day" in my list and went off on a tangent how much I wish the Pierce Brosnan films had continued because his role was clearly meant to go on. Madsen took that path to go on and he talked about his work on the Bond film and confirmed there was talk of being a reoccurring new character, even if Pierce hadn't come back (before the reboot had happened). He joked that being in a Bond film was supposed to help his career, but he gave a comedic look around like: When was that going to happen?
A man, whom I assume was his manager, came over to usher me away, but he did so with courtesy and joked about Madsen's in demand good looks. I walked over to the photo printer still in awe of having met the legend. I didn't even notice my picture was done printing and the attendant was handing it to me. She had to call my attention a few times before I realized what was going on. Picture in hand, I started texting people I knew who would care that Madsen was in town.
When I left "Dredd" ninety minutes later I was delighted to see those empty velvet ropes were now filled with people there to see Michael Madsen. "Good", I thought, "he doesn't deserve to have an empty line waiting for him ever."
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