Wake up with a Smile

Join our newsletter

20 Real-Life Celebrity Encounters That Will Make You Jealous

Everyone thinks it would be great to meet their favorite celebrity someday, but oftentimes all you hear is negative stories about stars who just want to be left alone in public. While we totally understand why they don’t want to be “on” all the time, it sure is nice to hear about the times when people ran into a celebrity who was still as down-to-earth and polite as they were before they got famous.

On two popular Reddit threads, people from all over the world shared their stories about the nicest celebrities they’ve ever met. While some of these famous folks are notoriously kind to their fans, others might surprise you!

1. Steve Carell

Steve Carell

“Served jury duty with Steve Carell. He was great. Talked to him for a little bit while waiting outside a courtroom. The thing that sucked was when we went to lunch I saw paparazzi chasing him as he tried to get something to eat. Just wanted to be a normal guy doing his civic duty.”

2. Alice Cooper

Wikimedia Commons

“Went to dinner at Buca di Beppo and at the table next to us was Alice Cooper with family and friends. We made a point of not staring or interrupting, but when they left right after we did, we decided to ask for a photo in the parking lot. I said, ‘I hope it’s not a huge intrusion,’ to which he replied, ‘Fans are never an intrusion. People like you have made it possible for me to live my dream, and I’m glad to give back any way I can.’ [Dang] if that didn’t make a lasting impression on me!”

3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson


“My dad is just chilling in an airport, waiting for his flight back home from work in Houston. He sits down in his seat, and this big dude sits down next to him. Turns to look at the guy, (my dad was looking out the window as the guy sat down), and the guy was actually Dwayne Johnson. He had just finished up work in Houston and he was on his way to New York I believe. My dad was friends in college with this guy named Mike who went on to be a referee in a lot of WWE matches. Dwayne knew him and they actually got to know each other. I have his autograph on my wall right now.”

4. Robin Williams

Wikimedia Commons

“When I was a kid I saw Robin Williams in an elevator in San Francisco. I knew who he was from “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Aladdin” and stuff. Loudly I said to my mom, ‘That’s Robin Williams. My mom was mortified and said, ‘He lives here don’t stare.’ And I said, ‘In the elevator?‘ I was dead serious and confused.

Robin Williams laughed then I laughed and he stuck his tongue out at me and smiled. He got out of the elevator. I’ll never forget that.”

5. Adam Sandler

Wikimedia Commons

“My grandma met Adam Sandler in an elevator in Mexico. She didn’t speak English but Adam was kind enough to try and speak Spanish with her. She was delighted, she loves his movies.”

6. Renee Zellweger

Wikimedia Commons

“I served her once when I was honestly having a really bad day. She had 3 kids in tow, dressed in yoga pants and a t-shirt.. nothing about her screamed celebrity and I was focused on other stuff. I messed up twice on her order and she honestly couldn’t have been nicer about it ‘Oh no problem, just bring it when you can, etc etc.’ Still went out of her way to make small talk.. I only found out who she was when I went to run her credit card and it said ‘R K Zellweger.’ Kids all thanked me after the meal and she gave me a hug on the way out and an amazing tip for subpar service. It was a total dream.”

7. James Franco

Wikimedia Commons

“James Franco had just left the cafe I worked at right when I walked in to get my paycheck. I left my dog tied up outside at a bench by a fence and came back out to see him petting her! He was a nice guy, I was really surprised.”

8. Tom Hanks

Wikimedia Commons

“Tom Hanks at Best Buy. He was in line in front of me with a cart full, all by himself. I was only buying a bottle of water because they didn’t have what I was looking for. I just blurted out ‘Forrest Gump is my favorite movie, ‘like a creep, and he turned around, and said ‘That was my favorite movie to make! I’m glad you love it.’ He then chatted with me while about movies as we stood in line. When it was his turn to check out while they were ringing up his stuff he said ‘Oh let me get that water for you,’ and paid for my water. He kept talking to me and then we walked out and he said, “Nice talking to you! You’re a very nice young lady and always remember… life is like a box of chocolates.. you never know what you’re gonna get’ in his Forrest Gump voice. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER.”

9. Jerry Garcia

Wikimedia Commons

“When I was 4 or 5, my family and I were coming back from a vacation, and my dad and I had the aisle and middle seats, respectively, in one of those areas with three seats. We stayed on the plane during a layover, and dad took a nap. He woke up to hear me talking, at first didn’t think anything of it because I had a lot of ‘imaginary friends’ at the time. He looked over and I was sitting on the lap of our seat-mate who had the window seat now, who had gotten on during the layover, talking to him and pointing out the window. Dad had to do a double take to make sure he wasn’t still asleep and dreaming, because it was Jerry Garcia, his favourite musician then (and still is). All I really remember is he looked like Santa and was hella nice.”

10. Dave Chappelle

Wikimedia Commons

“My friend’s grandparents are from the same town in Ohio where Dave Chappelle’s mom lives. My friend was visiting them over a college break and had a huge fight with her boyfriend over the phone and was sitting on the curb outside sobbing because they had just broken up. A car pulls up and rolls the window down, and it’s Dave Chappelle, asking my friend if she’s okay or if she needs help. She said something like, ‘No, my boyfriend and I just broke up. I’ll be okay.’ And he said, ‘Okay girl you take care!’ and drove off. Nice guy.

11. Shaquille O’Neil

Wikimedia Commons

“I saw Shaquille O’Neil standing outside my store. I’m a 6ft tall woman and I told him I’ve always wanted a hug from someone bigger than me. He gave me a big ole bear hug, lifted me off the ground, and said “It’s nice to meet you! ”

12. Paul McCartney


“25 years ago I drove a cab while in college. Picked up Paul McCartney. It was near my mother’s birthday and I called her and he sung her happy birthday.”

13. Jim Carey

Wikimedia Commons

“Jim Carey gave me a ride to the gas station after my car ran out of gas in Bel Aire. I told him I was a huge fan of ‘Ace Ventura’ and I could mimic his laugh from the movie. Then we both had our heads out the window cackling away. He bought my gas and drove me back to my car. One of the greatest moments in my life.”

14. Keanu Reeves


“I remember seeing him while walking through New York a long time ago when I was a young, probably very annoying pre-teen. I yelled out, ‘Yo, Neo!’ And then I obnoxiously mimicked the bullet dodge motion from The Matrix. He looked back at me, laughed, and mirrored the same move in acknowledgement.

It’s such a great memory because I feel like anyone would have been justified in getting annoyed and shrugging this stupid kid off, but instead he was a good sport and humored me. I’ll never forget it.”

15. Daniel Radcliffe

Wikimedia Commons

“Met him in Vancouver, Canada when he came here randomly. I was working at a bar and he dropped by. Super chill guy. Took a photo with quite a few people, but I never got one because I was too shy to ask him. He seemed to be very genuine, and not over excessive with his money. He wore pretty simple clothes as well, I think like a regular plaid shirt and jeans.

16. Bruce Willis

Wikimedia Commons

“I was in Walmart and there was something that I needed on the top shelf and near the back. at the time I was only 5 foot (I’m a bit taller now). and so I scaled up the shelf and over to the side to get the food item that I needed. When I got down I noticed this guy watching me, and I realized it was Bruce Willis who had complimented my shelf climbing.”

17. Margot Robbie

Wikimedia Commons

“I work at a restaurant in NYC, first time I served here I treated her like a normal person, didn’t acknowledge that she was famous or anything like that although she is probably my number one crush of all time. I was really nervous to even talk to her to be quite honest. Her and her boyfriend were EXTREMELY personable we talked about the rangers for a bit and kind of chit chatted. She paid the bill, left a very generous tip and told me I created an outstanding dining experience and asked if they could talk to my manager. One of the biggest compliment boosts of my life. They come back and I wait on them often, I would nearly consider us friends now as we are on a first name basis.”

18. Kiefer Sutherland

Wikimedia Commons

“My friend once told Kiefer Sutherland that he looked exactly like Kiefer Sutherland. His reply was ‘That’s funny, people usually tell me I look like Kevin Bacon.'”

19. Natalie Portman

Wikimedia Commons

“I was working with ABC as part of the interview team years ago (before ‘The Phantom Menace’ even came out). I was talking with her for a while when she casually mentions that she is going to be in the new ‘Star Wars’ film. Being 17 and huge nerd, at first I just thought she was [messing] with me. But then she said, ‘Yeah, I guess I’m Luke and Leia’s mom,’ and laughed. I was so dumbfounded I actually said, ‘Take me with you.’ ‘To where?’ ‘To the Star Wars.’

She laughed and it was the greatest feeling in the world.”

20. Rebel Wilson

Wikimedia Commons

“She bought our entire team chocolate covered Oreo’s (chocolate crack for people on the breakfast shift) and was making the whole team laugh off air. Arrived early for her segment, greeted everyone, and was generally a blast to hang out with.”

There you have it — celebrities we’d love to bump into in public! Way to keep it real, folks.

Please share this story to make someone smile today!

Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.