Published On: Fri, Apr 5th, 2024

Celebrity Etiquette For SoFla

If you follow the news, you’ll see a slew of celebs are abandoning their West Coast digs and moving here. Not to mention famous athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods who already live in Palm Beach County.

So, the chances of encountering somebody who looks familiar are big. If you see a man who resembles Sly Stallone, for instance, it’s probably him.

Most of us, except Manhattanites who know better, think it’s perfectly fine to overreact to these encounters by asking for a selfie, and even interrupting these people when they’re eating. If you’re lucky, they may act gracious because they’re used to this.  

But trust me, you’re better off with a wave or a head nod, unless they initiate an encounter. Some famous folks come here to perform or promote a new book or movie, so they’re more inclined to socialize. You can take the hint.

I learned this as a reporter, and as a cousin to the owner of a big PR firm in L.A. He invited me backstage at a pre-Oscar event attended by A listers. I knew that asking Cate Blanchett for an autograph (pre cell phones) wasn’t acceptable behavior in Hollywood. I didn’t want to embarrass him.

I found the wave and head nod worked in Manhattan, too. I saw Joan Rivers get out of an elevator, and TV actress Tyne Daly walking down the street. I acknowledged them, and they acknowledged me back. Neither one stopped to chat, and I didn’t expect them to. Billy Crystal waved at LAX and kept moving.           

Actors are not the people they portray on TV or in the movies. That’s what makes them good. I always ask what would surprise fans. Jason Alexander said he was shy, not the chatty George Costanza character he played on “Seinfeld.”  

I’ve interviewed famous people for years, and there’s many I admired and would have made a much bigger fuss over if I could. So, I completely understand how hard it is to keep your cool when you see someone whose work you admire.

If you spot Tiger or Stallone out and about, say hello for me.

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