I Met James Van Der Beek

Yesterday. I really seriously did.

My friend spotted him first, and I saw the back of a man carrying a curly haired cherub on his shoulders. I figured my friend was off and just saw his doppelgänger, but she and our other friend were determined to find the truth.

We went into the Sahara section of the zoo (Ooh – is that significant? The Sahara section. I’m Sahara, and met JVDB. Coincidence?) because there he was.

We played cool and went to the window, looked at the zebras. Kept track of him out of the corners of our eyes. One friend decided to talk to him, and I approached as I heard him confirm he was JVDB. He was walking around just as normal as you please, not being rushed by people.

She asked about taking his picture and I didn’t exactly hear how he said no, but I heard him mention having too many kids that he needed to pay attention to. I asked his wife ( who was wearing their sleeping baby with mouth open in that cute way babies do) the baby’s age and congratulated her. We talked about how awesome the zoo was. They had been there when the kids were younger, but now they could appreciate it and he thought it was awesome.

He was actually quite gracious. When I’ve envisioned meeting an actor, I’ve imagined approaching them and confirming they are who they are: (Meryl Streep, Hugh Jackman, whoevs) and them sort of rolling their eyes and sighing like, oh God, again. Maybe some of them do, but JVDB didn’t, and I found that fantastic. I was quite put at ease by his manner.

This is where it happened.

Good guy. I like him more now.

Postscript: I didn’t think to include this part until I responded to a comment below, but after we parted, we were still in the same “area” together looking at exhibits, and our kids were playing together. Wee One played with JVDB’s kids! I swear, my child is the COOLEST!




5 thoughts on “I Met James Van Der Beek

  1. How cool! Very nice of you to respect his privacy. You had the experience; pictures don’t matter.

    I met a TV star at the CIncinnati Zoo years ago. I was a ticket taker in the children’s zoo and all of a sudden Melissa Gilbert (Laura from Little House on the Prairie) was standing in front of me. I was so starstruck I couldn’t even answer her question. Just stared at her like an idiot. ;{

    1. I’m sorry I didn’t reply to this in July. I wish I could say that I was so cool and talked to him like nothing, but I was surprised by how star struck I was. I did that idiot stare, too. Then, after we parted, we were still in the same “area” together, you know, and our kids were playing together. ( I just realized that! Wee One played with JVDB’s kids! Ha!) and was preparing to “parent” in front of him.

  2. Personalities have as many different reactions to public attention as the telephone book could fill. I can’t imagine Russell Crowe would have been so gracious! When we ran our restaurant back in Bexhill days we had a number of celebrity clients and we tried to respect their privacy as much as we could. And some were less than pleasant, unfortunately. My favourite was always Jon Pertwee (a past Doctor Who and English Comedian,now sadly passed on). Accosted by another of our diners he stood up and gave a ten-minute comedy routine for the whole restaurant, in spite of having already performed on stage that night. Love him forever!

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