My husband built this! But somehow I still don't have the shoe rack he promised me 3 years ago
A word of advice: if you ever meet one of these people, it is not considered cool to squeal "oooooh, just like Harrison Ford!". Even if said carpenter is hunky and has Harrison Ford-esque scars on his lip and eyebrow.
Luckily he forgave me this transgression, and even the subsequent one, a question that I have heard pretty much every new acquaintance ask him in the almost 6 years since that fateful night:
"Do you get to meet all the stars?"
His answer is always that he sees them from time to time, but that if everyone on the crew tried to meet them, the movie would never get made. So, not really. Although he did make my trekkie Mum very happy with a story about Patrick Stewart buying iced coffees for the whole X2 crew on a hot day. ("Oh, I knew he'd be a nice man. He seems like a nice man. Doesn't he seem nice? I'm glad he's a nice man"). However his attempt to get her Patrick Stewart's autograph on X3 was thwarted, because there was never a good time to break professional ranks and stroll over with a pen in hand.
Mr E Man's job has many benefits for me**:
- Free swag (they mostly hand out t-shirts and jackets in the size that fits the actual crew member, but I have been promised a Night at the Museum 2 jacket in my size. I also have a metal water bottle from the same movie and a very nice leather portfolio binder thingy from a TV show called the Dead Zone)
- Occasional visits to look at sets (soooo cool. I thought they'd look all two dimensional, with clever lighting and camera work making them look real, but standing in the main set for the original Night at the Museum was like standing in an actual natural history museum. The curving staircase looked like real marble, but when I touched it I realised it was actually made of styrofoam. Ditto the authentic-looking Egyptian temple carvings)
- Reflected glory (especially when we took our 5 and 7 year old nephews to see NATM and the 5 year old loudly said "thank you for making this movie, Uncle Mark" at the quietest point in the film)
- Tickets to cast and crew premieres, a day or two before general release (I love these; the extras shout "there I am!" at random moments, and everyone stays for the credits and cheers when they see their own name)
- Wrap parties
I am under strict instructions to "be cool" at these latter events. Yes, even if Hugh Jackman is there (which he never is, sadly). My resolve to follow this advice is very rarely tested however; I've had a director or two pointed out to me, but I've only been to one wrap party with any recognisably famous actors.
It's a good story though. I'd spotted Ben Stiller chatting away to various people and thought "oh, look, it's Ben Stiller" (as you do), and then resumed my conversation with one of Mr E Man's buddies. I love these conversations because everyone always tells me what a great carpenter my husband is - the art director even came up to me once and said "this man saved the movie!".
And then... as we were talking... a tall blond guy strolled by, and very definitely looked at my boobs.
I was, of course, completely outraged. I mean, I wasn't even wearing a name tag! How dare he! But as he passed by, I suddenly realised that it was Owen Wilson.
Mr E Man came back from the (OPEN!!) bar, and I immediately told him that some guy had been checking me out.
"Oh yeah, who?"
(Quizzical look of the "...and?" variety)
"Pretty cool, eh?!" I said proudly.
I think Mr E Man was quite relieved that I wasn't all scandalised and outraged. Giving one of the movie's biggest stars the old tap on the shoulder would definitely count as breaking professional ranks AND being decidedly uncool.
NATM II wrap party tonight, baby!! w00t! I will report back... if I survive the (OPEN!!!!) bar.
*he even got a credit! This is a very rare occurrence for most people in the construction department, which is a real shame because they contribute so much to the movie. I've sat through the credits of a lot of terrible movies (all of them with awesome sets, obviously - Chronicles of Riddick being a prime example), just to be disappointed when Mr E Man's name doesn't get listed.
**However I don't appreciate the occasional spoilers that come my way, e.g. on X3:
Me: "so what are you working on right now?"
Mr E Man: "Xavier's tombstone."
Me: "WHAT??!! Noooooooooooo! Don't tell me that!"