When I finally pulled myself out of bed around 9am. I checked my email over coffee and saw a message from my husband with the subject ‘pirate.’ He’s always sending me photos or comics or funny links and I thought this was the same. It was one line. “The paper says Johnny Depp is filming the next Pirates movie in Greenwich for the next few weeks.”
I read it three times to be sure I didn’t misunderstand. Johnny Depp, the second sexiest man alive, is currently within walking distance!!
I immediately opened facebook and updated my status with a joke about being busy for the next few weeks with stalking duties. I then proceeded to go about my morning routine and actually forgot about the whole thing.
Around noon, for some reason I began thinking about what my 18 year old self would say to me today. I have been in a ‘what next’ mood for a few weeks now and I thought this might be a good exercise to get me refocused. This is what happened next...
Ariel: Johnny Depp is filming in your neighbourhood and you’re sitting on the couch watching daytime TV!!!??? It’s Johnny Depp! It’s a five minute bus ride or 15 minute walk! Get off the couch!
Sadie: Really? I will joke about stalking a movie set on facebook, but there’s nothing to it. I’m too old to be chasing after celebrity sightings. There’s about zero chance that I will get even a glimpse of Johnny Depp. Besides, any minute now I am going to turn off the TV and start working, I just want to see if this CSI turns out like I remember.
Ariel: First of all, no you aren’t. You have your whole day planned out based on the TV listings. Second, no you aren’t. You are not too old to be chasing after celebrity sightings, especially when it is Johnny Depp! You currently have no responsibility or obligation for the next few hours or days for that matter. Remember Dogstar? The summer before University you wanted to stalk Keanu Reeves so badly, you played sick for two days, so you could skip out on the finale dance number of Will Roger’s Follies in order to get to his concert at a bar 40 miles away! This is just walking down the street!!!
Sadie: OK. I’ll go, but I’m running errands as well so as not to seem a complete spectator and pathetic groupie.
Ariel: Why do you care if you seem a pathetic groupie? There are probably already tons of people down there. Who is going to pick you out as the pathetic one? Whatever you have to tell yourself. Just go!
I did go down to the movie set. I showered, put on a ‘grown-up outfit’ with pantyhose and everything, I’m not sure why, and went downtown. It’s impossible to mistake the set. The entire Old Royal Naval College is screened off for the next six weeks but above the fences and screens there are huge scaffolds of fake buildings, blue screens and military/royal blue and red banners. There are also about a dozen black carriages and the horses and stables to go with. I walked around with an air of annoyance at not being able to get to the usually open walkways while secretly dying of excitement. Girls were climbing fences to try and get photos while security guards singled me out for repeated reminders to not take pictures (even though I didn’t even have a camera out). I finally gave up and decided to go down to the river to have some lunch. A fence is only so exciting, despite getting a few glimpses of what’s behind. As I walked down the ‘diverted footpath’ I came upon the Catering tent. There was an empty bench right across from where food was being handed out to costumed actors. I diverted to the bench, sat down, and when I looked up there was Captain Jack Sparrow waiting his turn in the catering line!!!!! In case that went by too fast to be appreciated (because it almost did for me at the time)...Johnny Depp, in full costume, was standing 20 feet away from me!!!
At first I cursed myself for diverting to the bench. If I had kept walking I would have crossed paths (quite literally) with the Captain. (At which point I would like to think I would have shot him a casual brim touch and “Capt’n” as I walked by, saving my ‘oh my god!!!’ jumping around for around the corner, but would actually probably just stopped and stared or apologized for falling at his feet as I tripped over my own as I so frequently do). As it was, I just stared, a little wide-eyed, a little mouth gaping, a little smiling and just shook my head a little at the unbelievablility of it all. And then it happened. He looked at me. Right at me. As I was staring, with a can’t-believe-it-type grin and he grinned back! He grinned back!!!! Johnny Depp looked at me and grinned!!!
I think I may be consulting my 18 year old self a bit more in the future. Sure she did some stupid things and probably has questionable professionalism, etc. But she also was up for fun and willing to be true to herself and her desires, in this case getting an up close glimpse of an idolized celebrity. My life didn’t change because I saw Johnny Depp. I’m still getting up late and struggling with the lure of daytime TV, but I did reclaim a little of the feisty gal I was 14 years ago.
P.S. I still can't remember what errands I planned to run in an effort to not look like a pathetic groupie. I will probably remember soaking wet and running late.