Sunday, December 03, 2006

How I Met Orlando Bloom... (I promise, I did)

I’ve been promising for ages to post my Orlando Bloom encounter story, but between proofreads, proposals, and month-end trading, it just hasn’t happened. Seeing as the proposal has now been handed in, the proofreads done (and the sheer amount of proofreading required before the publication of a novel should be the subject of its own post…) and with month-end (nearly) behind me, I should probably get to it, before the details of the story becoming blurry even to me…

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll have heard me say just how small this island is. Well, when the indie movie Haven was released not too long ago, directed by the Cayman Islands’ very own Frank E. Flowers, everyone here was very excited. After all, probably half of the inhabitants of Grand Cayman are, knowingly or not, extras in the movie (like, say, a bouncer at one of our nightclubs who figures as a drug dealer…). And of course, those of us who didn’t get a chance to bump into Orlando while he was down here filming (like moi, unfortunately) were hoping for a second chance if he decided to come down here to promote Haven, which he did, a few weeks ago…

Unlike most of our celebrity sightings news, this one was splashed all over the newspapers (well… the one newspaper) and word spread pretty quickly that Orlando would be at the Ritz on this given Friday night (the Ritz having obliterated any other see-and-be-seen locale since it opened last year).

So my sister, myself, and everyone I know who hasn’t retired from the party circuit yet, got decked out in our denim-and-fabulous-heels-and-tops best and dropped by the Ritz cocktail lounge in the hopes that the rumors were true.

The Ritz cocktail lounge was somewhat but not much more crowded than it usually is on a Friday night, but there was definitely something different in the air… I read a newspaper article once that described Julia Roberts’ presence in a Montreal restaurant where the patrons were stunned to be seated in the same eatery as the star, but had the class not to mob her – the only evidence that she was there was the almost palpable feeling that everyone was holding their collective breath. This is exactly how the Ritz lounge felt like that night, with Orlando Bloom, in jeans, a t-shirt and a fedora over his tied-back hair sitting on the same sofa I’d plopped into on other Fridays, with his small entourage.

Of course we all gawked while trying hard to pretend we weren’t doing just that. My brave friend asked if she could take a picture with him (the response: “if I said yes, luv, it’d never stop”) and me just thrilled to be in spitting distance from him.

The festivities continued at a local club which had just opened and where it’s important to note a certain bartender works, one who is very good friends with my sister.

Orlando and his party occupied the VIP lounge located on the second floor, the entrance of which was guarded by a pair of bouncers.

My sister, our friends and I were happy to boogie on the first floor, and not in any desperate state to try and sneak up to the second floor. My sister then slipped away to get a drink, and I didn’t see her for the next twenty minutes, at which point the words out of her mouth were: “do you wanna meet Orlando?”.

Turns out her bartender friend had asked her just the same question when she walked up to the bar, and then dragged her up the staff stairs to the VIP area, and thrust her in Orlando’s face. And then left. Orlando was a total gentleman, said hi, while my sister was momentarily star-struck and couldn’t think of anything better to say than ask him his opinion about the situation in the Middle East. This seemed to throw Orlando off, and he stumbled his way through a manufactured answer but the ice was broken. They chatted, and twenty minutes later, my sister remembered that she’d left us all downstairs.

She apologized and said she had to get back to her friends, to which Orlando graciously answered: “why don’t you bring them up here?”

“Because there are two bouncers at the VIP entrance.” She said.

“Just say you’re with me.”

To which my sister cocked an eyebrow and retorted, : “um… yes, I’ll just say I’m with Orlando…”

Turns out Mr. Bloom has a sense of humor and recognized the absurdity of his own words. He went downstairs with her and instructed the bouncers to let her, and anyone who came with her, back upstairs when she was ready.

And that’s when she came to get me. Had it been someone else, I would have been a bit skeptical at thought they had somehow cozied up with a celeb in the span of 20 minutes, but if you knew my sister, you would have believed her too when she dragged you past the bouncers, up the stairs, tapped Orlando on the shoulder and said: “this is my sister, Nadine.”

What’s the protocol in these situations? What do you say? He was very nice and normal, and instead of “I love your work” or “so nice to meet you” I asked him if he was planning to do any diving while he was in town to which he replied he would love to but wouldn’t have the chance. We shook hands, and I wished him a pleasant stay in the Cayman Islands.

And that’s how I met Mr. Orlando Bloom. Not very glam, but there you have it. It was exciting, but I’m more excited my proofreads are over.


Shannon McKelden said...

Very cool, Nadine! Looooovvee Orlando! Yum!

Anonymous said...

ACK! I'm sittin' over here green with envy!! LOL
That was awesome! Thanks for sharing.

slash_trash said...

Did he have a good handshake or was it one of those icky, weak, fakey ones? (I'm really hoping he had a nice, firm, warm handshake; a REAL one, you know?). Or were you too starstruck to notice? =/

Nadine Dajani said...

I'm ashamed to say I was too star-struck to notice the quality of the handshake :( Sorry! I did however notice that he was skinnier and shorter than he seems in the movies (aren't they all??)

Maureen McGowan said...

Very cool story, Nadine. I saw Haven at the Toronto film festival a few years ago and thought it was great. Have you seen the movie? I don't remember it being released in Canada... I just saw him from the audience... maybe 30 feet away... And yes, he's tiny.