At a rather expensive hotel bar in the South of France my girlfriend and I where seated next to the actor Don Johnson famously known for the TV show Miami Vice. Not that I was with Don Johnson or his select group of friends. In fact, I was surprised that we weren’t asked to move away from the bar.
Then we found ourselves betwixt Don Johnson and his entourage and a young and famous actor who proceeded to talk to the Johnson entourage until the point came when it became so embarrassing that I said, ‘Okay, would you like to swap seats?’ It was that or slip away to the loo together and find our seats taken on our return. So much for being a gentleman.
After this silent game of musical chairs a couple proceeded to sit down at the bar next to me and both my girlfriend and I were, to put it politely, peeing ourselves with excitement. It was Clint Eastwood and a friend who we didn’t know.
Not wanting to appear like idiots, my girlfriend and I went into a quick ‘mind your manners’ huddle and tried our best to act nonchalant about this turn of events. So, I said, “Nice to meet you Mr. Eastwood.” At which point he smiled, and then happily engaged us in conversation about something and nothing whilst drinks were served.
I have always been a fan of a lot of his movies, but I was most impressed. He never once brought up the subject of the big ‘I am’. As he was leaving the hotel bar he shook our hands and then he mentioned that he would be screening a film of his for an event, and if we would like tickets to the screening, he would make sure that they were left at the box office under my name. I of course said that we would appreciate that, and it was a most kind offer of him to do so for us.
My girlfriend and I debated whether we should go to the Cinema and see if he kept his promise or not. We were afraid to go, because of the embarrassment and disappointment it might cause, to an otherwise fantastic memory of our encounter. After having a row about this issue, we arrived late to the venue and went to the ticket office and asked if Mr. Eastwood had left tickets with our name on it, expecting the worst. And lo and behold! He left us two VIP passes for us.
After meeting him I became an admirer of the man, and then the film-maker. Truly a nice gent.