The first in a series Who: JOHN MALKOVICH
Where: The bag check counter at Shakespeare & Co. on lower Broadway in NYC.
When: After Dangerous Liaisons but before Sheltering Sky.
What'd he do? Surrendered a flaccid suede backpack to me. I gave him a claim check.
What was the vibe? Angst-ridden. I think he was trying to be Unnoticeable Guy, and the fact that I recognized him and was freaking out six different ways on the inside was clearly visible through my frozen, bunny-in-the-headlights expression.
Coworkers' reaction: Only the theater students were impressed.
Who: MICHELLE PFEIFFER
Where: Same place.
When: After Baker Boys but before Batman.
What'd she do? Asked for a copy of Silence of the Lambs during that hopeless period where the hardcover is out of stock and the paperback isn't in print yet, which meant I had to tell her that God himself couldn't get a copy. She asked me to call around anyway. I handed her off to Andy, who clearly was dying to get involved in a lost cause with her.
What was the vibe? Casual. She showed me where she'd lost a snap on her leather jacket, then said she was on her way to the airport.
Coworkers' reaction: Later, in the stock room, Andy asked everyone if her lipstick color didn't remind us of a used tampon.
Who: MEL GIBSON
Where: The lobby below the marketing offices at Paramount.
When: After Jack and I had made our ill-fated move to L.A. but before he asked me to marry him.
What'd he do? Mel did a double take and then stared as I was going into the elevator.
What was the vibe? Naah, he's too short old Catholic Australian married.
Coworkers' reaction: I got trumped by a sighting of two producers in a limo picking up a prostitute outside of Todd AO and then bringing her back to the exact same spot three minutes later.