Opinion » Pique'n Yer Interest

OMG: The dos and don'ts of celebrity sightings



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Sea to Sky residents are familiar with this, in smaller doses. Twilight's Rob Pattison, for example, reportedly loves Squamish because no one bothers him there. But major celebrity sightings are about to spike as the Whistler Film Festival begins this week. Organizers have announced that Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter fame, Rashida Jones from a slew of smart TV sitcoms and movies, and Julia Stiles, whom we all fell in love with in 10 Things I Hate About You, will all be in attendance.

Earlier this week I asked Shauna Hardy Mishaw, executive director and founder of the Whistler Film Festival Society, what it meant to the festival to have big-name stars like Radcliffe attend. "Well, what do you think?" she said with a little laugh. "It's very exciting that he's coming to Whistler to talk about the next stage of his career. That's what I think is exciting; that he's doing that from Whistler. That is very important."

Important, she meant, from an industry perspective, but you can bet the panel will be packed with enamoured teens tweeting enough pictures to break the Internet.

We fawn over celebrities for different reasons. Sure those excited teens might love Radcliffe because he's grown up to be quite a babe and he's super-duper famous, but, ostensibly, they also truly love his acting in the Harry Potter franchise.

Similarly, I broke my rule and approached Craig Finn, singer of a band I love called The Hold Steady, last summer at Calgary's wonderful Sled Island festival to tell him that I adore his music and ask him if I could take a photo. (Facebook profile pic, obviously.) I wasn't embarrassed, partly because it was past midnight and I was full of liquid courage, but mainly because I know all the words to most of his mournful rock anthems. I am a serious fan.

And that's the difference between approaching a celebrity you recognize on Sullivan Street simply for an awesome Instagram pic and stopping someone whose work you truly admire: authenticity. I have no firsthand experience, but I suspect those exotic creatures can tell the difference.

Still, for the sake of our reputation as a celebrity retreat, where the stars can relax without being pestered, perhaps we shouldn't thrust pen and paper in front of our famous visitors this week. Instead, take a cue from Giggles and secretly text your friends.