Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Met Oprah And Scared Robert Redford

Back in the 90's I was in a movie called Indecent Proposal. The director hired five comedians to keep the principals laughing between scenes because the shoot days were long. I got assigned to English comic slash actor Billy Connolly. The comedians had no lines, got day player rates and all the food they could steal for later. Unlike the others, I didn't steal any food. I borrowed it. As you can see I'm very honest if Craft Services is reading this.

Robert Redford and Demi Moore were in the film and Oprah had come to Los Angeles to interview Demi. Oprah's team asked Redford if they could question him about Demi but he declined. The only reason I know that is because Oprah told me the story while she rolled her eyes and said, "I guess since the interview isn't about him he's not interested."

I had talked to Redford the second day I was on set. He was about 20 feet ahead of me and I yelled, "Mr. Redford!" He turned around and I made a dumb remark. He laughed and stopped walking long enough to make a dumb remark back. And if I didn't have Alzheimer's I'd remember what I said and what he said. I'm sure it was brilliant, though. Not him, me.

I saw him the next day and said "Hey!" when he walked by. He smiled and said "Hey" back and I wish I could remember what we both really said. Other comics with me that day and the day before thought I was mental for talking to him as if I knew him. Well, he was in my movie, wasn't he? That means I knew him. The third time he spotted me he quickened his step. Away from me. Whatever.

The arrival of Oprah was a big deal. She wasn't nearly as famous as she is now but her arrival still got everyone buzzing.

I, of course, positioned myself to run into her. She stopped and said hi to three of us blocking her path, told us about Redford and I launched into this story:

"I'm a comic. I travel a lot and get stuck in condos with male comics. I always watch your show every day I'm on the road and this story happens over and over: The first day the male comics always find me sprawled on the couch with the remote control in a death grip and the TV turned to Oprah.
"Is that all that's on?"
Then they watch a few minutes and wander away.

The second day, same scenario. Only now they stay and watch for about 10 minutes before they wander away.

The third day the men yell out to me, "Hey Suzy, you're missing Oprah." By the time I get to the couch they're already watching. And they don't wander away."

Oprah laughed.

Why do I remember this story and not the conversations with Robert Redford? My Alzheimer's kicked in later in my career, apparently.

That afternoon we were in a scene and Oprah was standing off to the side, watching Demi and Redford. I was standing by Billy Connolly, telling dirty jokes and trying to get him to laugh and disrupt the filming. As you can seem I'm very easy to work with if any directors are reading this. I glanced over at Oprah and she waved to me. Only I thought she was waving to someone else so I looked behind me. No one.
Oprah waved at me again. STOP FUCKING WITH ME, WINFREY. I looked behind me. No one.

Finally Oprah pointed to her chest, her very ample chest, and then pointed at me, stabbing her chest twice and then towards my direction twice. She WAS waving at me.

I still looked behind me before I waved back.



    You know, I could spend the whole day just sitting and reading your stories.

    I know you say you have a million of them, and I want to read them all.

  2. Okay, that's pretty impressive.

    Mind you, I did stand in the urinal at Alton Towers amusement park next to British ski-jump contender-turned-plumber Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards once.

    Good times . . .

  3. Hey, SWG - wow, you know all kinds of famous people. I too like to hear your stories. (well, that is your day job (um, night job?))

  4. great story...i love "celebrities are human beings too" type stories. Doesn't happen nearly often enough.

    i think i have Alzheimer's too BTW

  5. -->Now I can hear in my head Oprah saying, "Suzy Sooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrroooooooooooooo."

  6. It's too bad you're old and can't remember shit, I'd like to hear about what you said to Redford!

  7. I saw that movie. In a theater.
    Your story is better.

  8. Yeah...what Shieldmaiden said, even though you can't remember half the good shit. I have to wonder about the director's thought process, thinking he had to hire a comic to keep Billy Connolly amused. He's a freaking comic for crying out loud, or is that too much like masterbation on set...letting a comic amuse himself? Or is it a union thing? I'm glad you got the work, but really...this is just confusing the shit out of me.

  9. They hire comedians to entertain the stars? There is so much about Hollywood I don't know.

  10. Great story. I'm with Juli. I had no idea about hiring comedians for that purpose.

    Well, I guess there is a lot about Hollywood I have no idea about. However, I do know that I never knew how small the sets for sitcom were until we were there. I couldn't believe how large they can make one little work area look. Pretty awesome.

  11. yeah, well, like i said eons ago... she's a mile wide and a micrometer deep... nuf said!

  12. Oprah probably tells the story about how Suzy Soro snubbed her on a movie set.

  13. Tell Oprah she can stay with us this summer. I hear SHE'S unemployed, as well.

    Three's company.

  14. This EXACT thing happened to me with Oprah that one time never.