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How to approach and meet a celebrity – The night I met Emma Watson

The following encounter happened some time ago now but it is one that is repeatedly requested that I retell. Previously, the only real life interaction I have written about was the story of when I first met my wonderful girlfriend Heidi (which you can read HERE). That story proved to be very popular so I thought I would share another true story that also has a unique angle and some interesting lessons to pick up on.

Read on for the story of how I approached and chatted to a rather famous celebrity, and how it went from miraculously well to unsalvageable in one swift swoop… :)

Lumos – Setting the scene:

You don’t expect to meet A-list celebrities where I am from. I live in a historic, little town with a hip vibe in the South of England but it is still far removed from the glitz of Beverly Hills.

On this particular night I was out at a funky, local bar with a medley of social circles. There were several people amongst these groups of friends that I knew very well and there were some that I had only met that night (a point that becomes significant later on in this story).

It was a jovial evening and spirits were high. El vino was flowing and the laughter was boisterous, but all the discussions had turned to focus on a glamorous maiden nestled away in the corner of the crowded bar. It didn’t take long for people to start recognising who she was… it was only EMMA WATSON, star of the world famous Harry Potter movies!! :)

Accio – Meeting Emma Watson:

My friends, knowing what I do for a living, were already goading me to go and approach her… I was up for the challenge, although I had to make a conscious effort not to let the awe of the situation get to me.

It was a live music night in the venue, loud and busy, so as I was strolling across the room, I knew I was going to start with a low-committal and high-compliance conversation starter. This type of conversation starter is anything that prompts a socially polite response, where you are unlikely to get a rude or dismissive reaction.

I arrive at the group, compose myself for a split second and say with a friendly smile, “Which band are you guys here to see?”

Emma and her friends turn to face me. “Err, we know the organiser” her tall, male friend nonchalantly replied.

“You guys don’t seem very local” I said with an inquisitive look, “whereabouts are you from?”

As I continued, I moved slightly to position myself more directly alongside the group. This seemingly insignificant action changes the dynamic completely, as I now become observably part of their group, rather than an outsider, a stranger.

This short exchange had warmed me to the group so I introduced myself, “I’m Sam, by the way,” as I held out my hand to greet my new friends.

Even though I already knew who I was speaking to, a flutter darted across my chest as she responded with a warm smile, “I’m Emma.” I snapped back to reality and composed myself. After all, my main focus of the whole interaction was to treat her like the normal person that she is, beneath the glamorous, celebrity shell.

Playing on the fact that they had never been to my hometown before, I decided to make the interaction a bit more fun. “Here, I’ll teach you the secret Surrey handshake that only a few special people around here know.”

I then proceeded to teach Emma an overly elaborate and comical handshake, dressed with various clicks, flicks and slaps. She absolutely loved this little routine and it was definitely starting to set me apart from most of the people she meets.

Wingardium Leviosa – Building rapport with Emma Watson:

“How do you all know each other?” I asked.

“We’re in a relationship together,” replied her tall friend Jay, motioning between himself and Emma.

Prior to this revelation I had an assumption that they might be a couple. This didn’t change anything. I would never disrespect someone’s relationship and I was simply enjoying making friends.

There were other people around Emma now so I turned my attention towards her boyfriend Jay. We had a brief chat about where he’s from and what he does etc. It was very basic conversation but I was definitely warming to this guy and I could see why he had wound up dating a celebrity megastar. :)

After a few minutes, I glanced over at Emma and she looked like she was feeling slightly excluded.

“I have an intuition about you,” I mused in her direction. I turned back to Jay, “do you mind if I borrow Emma for a second? We’ll just be over there,” I said, pointing a few feet away towards some chairs. He had other friends around him so I knew this wouldn’t be a problem. Emma and I stepped to one side.

I can’t remember my exact words during these few minutes in private with her but what I was basically doing was explaining some simple intuitions I had picked up about her during our limited interaction so far. This is something I’ve become very good at from years of studying social psychology and it is a lot more casual than it sounds.

I was enjoying getting to know Emma a bit better and for a brief moment her celebrity status had been washed away. It felt like I was getting to know the real her, beyond what the cameras see.

“You’re actually really cool and it would be great to keep in touch. Hand me your phone a second.”

Emma complied and I dialled my number from her phone so that I also had her number. I could feel my friends’ stares burning on the back of my head from across the bar and I was conscious of not outstaying my welcome, so we rejoined Emma’s entourage and I prepared to say my goodbyes, however I didn’t get quite as far as that…

Avada Kedavra – The interaction takes a turn for the worse:

Craig was a quiet but pleasant guy with blonde, shaggy hair. I had been introduced to him at the beginning of the night, several hours ago, but had barely spoken to him since then. This is what made the next few moments even more of a surprise.

As I was wrapping up my meeting with my new friends, out of nowhere came an inebriated bellow, “Sam, is that Emma Watson!!” Before I had a chance to respond, Craig was alongside me awkwardly clinging to Emma’s midriff, whilst bouncing up and down chanting “oh my word, it is you!”

As amusing as this scene must have looked to everyone around us, I could sense the instant unease amongst Emma and her friends, so I decided the best course of action was to politely drag my acquaintance away.

As we headed back to our friends, Craig seemed blissfully unaware of his social faux pas and was still noticeably excited that we had a celebrity in our presence.

Reparo – The aftermath:

I rejoined my friends and was hit with a barrage of questions about everything we had talked about. I dismissed Craig’s little cameo from my mind… I had Emma’s phone number after all, so I could speak to her again regardless.

I continued with our jovial night out and hadn’t noticed that Craig had slunk off from our party. Several minutes later, Craig appears before me with a beaming smile, “Sam you’re going to love me.”

He continued, “I went back to Emma and told her it was your birthday. I said that you were a massive Harry Potter fan but you were too shy to ask for her autograph. Here, I got this for you.”

He proudly presented me with a crumpled napkin like a king being bestowed his crown for the first time. I unfolded the napkin to reveal a scrawled message written and signed by Emma Watson.

I glanced over and saw Emma and her friends leaving the bar. Craig had unwittingly transformed me from a cool guy she had met randomly… into another obsessed fan of hers! Perhaps she didn’t believe Craig’s revelation (it certainly was not congruent with how I had been behaving) but even so, I knew my chances of having a wealthy, celebrity friend had just taken a dramatic nosedive…

Much love,

Sam

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38 Responses to “How to approach and meet a celebrity – The night I met Emma Watson”

  1. Ellen says:

    So what happened with you and Em? Did you Talk to her again that night? Did you ever texted her?

    • Hi Ellen,

      Sadly the story does end there. They left fairly swiftly and so I didn’t get a chance to speak to her again and redeem my image slightly. :)

      A lot of my friends were telling me to call her and put in the effort to meet her again. Weighing up the situation I think it would have been very difficult given the way things turned out. :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting,

      Sam

  2. C says:

    I really want to throw this Craig dude into a volcano.

    • Haha, I felt the same way at the time. I did find it hard to stay mad at him though because he did seem to genuinely think he was doing me a favour. Ah well! :)

      Thanks for reading,

      Sam

  3. Marianne says:

    I loved the story, and I really hate it when a friend messes up my plans even if he does it unintentionally… :) Did you ever speak to Emma after that encounter?

    • Hi Marianne,

      I haven’t spoken to her since… or yet should I say! :) I do wonder if she would actually remember me because I’m sure she meets a ridiculous amount of people in her line of work, however much I feel I made a good impression. :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting,

      Sam

  4. Marianne says:

    I think you should try calling her and even if she doesn’t remember you, reminding her of that encounter might have a positive effect and help you meet her again…A lot of bad situations seem a lot funnier after a while has passed :P

    • You make a good point so maybe I will call her one day. This did happen some time ago so there is a chance she has changed her number but I might as well have some fun with it like you say. I’m really not too fussed about it from a personal point of view; I just think it makes a good story. I also don’t want to go overboard as I’m sure my girlfriend wouldn’t appreciate me chasing after female celebrities haha! :)

      PS: I’ve just had a quick look at your blog and I love your writing style! :)

  5. Jon says:

    Wow this story is awesome and really inspirational for me. I would never have the balls to approach someone famous like that, let alone actually come across well. What was she like in real life? Did it seem really different to approaching a regular attractive woman? Props again to you, great story. -J

    • Hey Jon,

      As surreal as the interaction might have seemed at the time, she was actually incredibly normal and very friendly. I’ve met other celebrities and she seemed a lot more down to earth and humble than some of them.

      There really were not too many differences between meeting her and an attractive woman without the celebrity status. The only difference I can recall is that she was perhaps more wary of who I was at first, before I had properly introduced myself. Getting over that hurdle is one reason why the rest of the interaction went so well. Her boyfriend was also really cool and laid-back, which made things a lot easier. :)

      Thanks for commenting,

      Sam

  6. G says:

    Have you ever considered if Craig was trying to get between you and Emma? Was he legitimately trying to help you by telling her you were a fan? Maybe he was intentionally tarnishing your reputation with her.

    Just a thought :p

    • Hi,

      I had considered the possibility of him intentionally sabotaging the interaction but I really do think it was just a misunderstanding. He was very drunk and hadn’t seen the majority of my interaction with Emma.

      Although he didn’t seem to think he had done anything wrong, he must have sensed that I was annoyed immediately after we had left the group. Getting the autograph seemed like a genuine attempt from him to do me a favour or make amends. I’ve spoken to Craig a few times since the incident and he is a genuinely nice guy.

      Thanks for your comment,

      Sam

  7. Marianne says:

    Hey Sam,

    Thank you so much for your comment about my blog! :)

    It makes me really happy to hear that from someone whose first language is English considering that English is my third language :P

    Thanks again :)

    P.S. I really like your writing style too and that isn’t always the case with the personal blogs I read :P

  8. James says:

    This is a great story and I got a lot out of reading it. I would love to be this solid and cool around normal women let alone hot celebritys.

    I’m sure there are more details and stuff going on inbetween the dialogue you wrote out but how did you get her on her own and her number so easily? I’m pretty sure she would have told me to get lost if I tried this lol.

    Also looking back at it all, do you think you could have done anything differently so your friend didn’t mess it up so badly?

    Thanks for a great read, I just signed up for your website updates.

    • Hey James,

      My main goal when speaking to any new group of people is always to befriend everyone and make sure I never come across as a threat or weird in any way. Once you have established those roles, it is actually very easy to guide the interaction in whatever way you want by being leading and assured in your actions. Note how I confidently instigated each small step of the interaction rather than asking for permission or seeking approval.

      The whole interaction was longer than the above recount perhaps suggests but the omitted details were just standard conversation filler and building rapport. It all seemed very natural at the time.

      With regards to the second part of your comment, I have thought about how I could have handled the situation better when Craig joined us but I am not sure I could have, as it was completely unexpected. I can think of a few friends of mine who would have instinctively been able to help me out but they weren’t with me that night.

      Thanks for reading and for signing up to the mailing list, :)

      Sam

  9. Elena says:

    Thanks for sharing such a cool story regardless of the outcome. It made me smile. Ok, it didn’t have the ending that you imagined, but from where I sit, it’s really realistic. Your acquaintance may have been the shy type and actually drank a bit to get the courage to approach her, especially if he barely said a word to you all night. He probably was kicking himself in the morning too, unless he never gets embarrassed about anything.

    His actions are something I wouldn’t think twice about. It was beyond your control. You never know, you may bump into her again and this will all be a passing memory. I don’t know about calling though. If the desire to talk to her is genuine and you’re good with leaving messages, then I would say why not? However, I wouldn’t expect much in return because it happened a while ago. I would think after time has passed and if she thought about it, she would believe the guy who struck up a genuine conversation with her as opposed to the one who had a little more to drink than he should have.

    Still, what stands out most to me is that you were totally fearless and didn’t get nervous in her presence because she is really famous. Also, you showed your friends that you don’t have to be a person with a huge following or large dose of fame to make a real connection with someone who normally isn’t part of your everyday life. Not everyone could do that. There’s too many positives in my opinion that outshine the embarrassing moments. We all get into uncomfortable situations but what people remember more is if you bounced back or you succumbed to the awkwardness. As always, that’s just my two cents. :)

    • Hi Elena,

      You make some great points and I love the way you summed up your comment about being fearless and learning from experiences. Making genuine connections with people is a very learnable skill, and you can only perfect it by practising talking to as many different types of people as possible.

      To apply that to my story above, there were a few things I learnt from meeting Emma Watson. First is any human interaction is too dynamic to pre-empt or be completely in control of; being adaptable and quick-witted are far better traits to learn. Second is to not overanalyse what could have been. I’m sure if I have a similar run-in with a celebrity, things will go differently, but most importantly, whatever happens, at the end of the day it won’t be a big deal and I will probably learn something new again! :)

      Thanks for commenting and I hope you enjoy the holidays, :)

      Sam

  10. María says:

    I’ve always wanted to be in that kind of situation! I would really love to meet Emma one day, but not as famous person, I mean as normal girl, as you did… But it’s more possilble to win the lotery than meeting Emma…
    I thought that Emma or any other celebrity would never give her phone number to an unknown person, so you might have transmited her confidence… Even I (a normal person) wouldn’t give my phone number!
    I’m so jelaous! How I wish she comes to my town one day!! :(

    • Hi Maria,

      I still find the whole concept of fame rather absurd: how one’s job can bestow such disproportionate social importance and admiration. Such thinking is the main reason why I could meet her as a normal person, whatever “normal” may be. :)

      The reason that the number exchange is not as surprising as it may seem is because by that stage of the interaction I was no longer “unknown” as you say. I had built a lot of rapport and familiarity in a very short space of time. Although I can’t speak for everyone, most people would happily give their number to someone that they felt a similar connection with. :)

      Thanks for commenting and I hope you get to meet her one day as it sounds like you are a fan of hers, :)

      Sam

  11. John Fogarty says:

    Sam,

    Believe it or not I’m sure from time to time she still either talks of you as in “There was this one time…” If not then who cares, you met and actually got to “hang out” with Emma, something a lot of people in this world would kill for! Not only that but you played it very cool, the whole handshake thing was definitely the “Breakaway” point if that makes any sense. That point from awkwardness to her seeing you generally just wanted to converse as a human being and not as a crazed fan. Kudos to you dude, well played and correct me if I’m mistaken but just taken out of context, you’re a psychic? Great story by the way, really enjoyed it.

    • Hey John,

      What you said makes a lot of sense and I agree with your points. The main thing I teach when I do dating coaching is to basically be different or ‘more interesting’ than every other guy. This is especially important when approaching and interacting with celebrities or other people with highly perceived social value.

      I’m not sure what led to the psychic remark. I don’t do anything psychic in the sense of anything supernatural, but social intuition and being able to read peoples micro-expressions and non-verbal communication does bear some resemblance. In fact, along with things such as cold-reading, they are the very techniques that proclaimed psychics use to give the illusion of supernatural ability.

      Thanks for commenting,

      Sam

  12. John Fogarty says:

    Hey Sam,
    Thanks for responding, however would it be possible to email as opposed to constantly having to comment? Haha shoot me an email when you get the chance there’s a few more questions I have.

    • Hi John,

      I do like to keep the comments on topic as much as possible so yes you can certainly email me if you have other questions. The best way is to use the Contact page at the top of the website.

      Bear in mind that I receive a lot of emails so it might take me a few days to respond, but I do respond to every email I receive eventually. :)

      If you would like ongoing communication or have lots of in-depth questions, I do offer a priority email service for a small fee, where I have a 24 hour response rate and can generally give more detailed answers.

      I look forward to hearing from you,

      Sam

      PS: I removed your email address from your comment just in case any spam-bots pick it up. :)

  13. Ruben says:

    Awesome story bro. I think you’ve done a good job to get Emma noticed and treat her like you would meet normal girls. She sounds like a really nice person to talk to. I hope you get a second chance of talking to her again;through her phone number.

  14. Dave says:

    Hi.

    First of all I want to say you are an absolute legend! Awesome story and a real shame that dude messed it up so bad. Did you call or text her at all?

    I think the fact you didn’t worship her for being famous made you look a lot cooler than most people she meets. I’ve met models and some not so well known celebs before and the moment they think they are better than you you are never going to win. What would you do if you met a celebrity like Emma Watson in a less ideal environment like at a movie premiere or rushing down the street or something?

    Nice work again

    • Hey Dave,

      Thanks for your appreciation. I did send her a fairly lackadaisical text the next day but I didn’t receive a response and wasn’t too fussed by that point. I briefly discussed with some fellow dating coaches about whether I should call and bring up what happened in the bar but I didn’t want to end up some kind of celebrity stalker, so left it at that for now! :)

      Your observations with models and other celebrities do hold some truth, even if they are generalisations. It is not simply whether a woman thinks they are ‘better’ than you that will determine how she reacts; that depends on their ego and self-image. What is more important is whether they believe YOU think you are on the same level of social value. If you carry yourself with confidence and high self-esteem, it doesn’t matter as much what your comparative background is.

      In the above story, not being impressed with Emma Watson JUST because she is famous is most certainly what set me apart from most of the ‘ordinary’ people she meets. This applies for notably attractive women too: not being impressed simply because they are physically attractive, prior to getting to know them.

      As for your final question, the setting does play a part in how smooth the interaction is likely to go. For the two examples you mention you obviously won’t have as much time to make a good impression and build any rapport. The best bet is to try and engage them with something quick and fun that builds attraction and intrigue quickly. I devised a bunch of interactive games that can be done quickly or from a distance to grab someone’s attention that would probably work well here. This is all theoretical of course as I have never personally approached a celebrity in either of the settings you mention.

      In general, whoever the woman is, if you want to build a genuine connection or swap contact details, it is best to get them isolated with you, like I did in the above story. :)

      Thanks for commenting,

      Sam

  15. lady says:

    Hi Sam! :)
    I’m a big fan of Emma, I wish I’ll meet her one day…
    Since you met her, could you tell how tall she looked to you (considering heels of course)?
    I ask you because my cousin’s friend who lives in Crawley (near London) said he saw her passing by and she was beautiful even if without make up, but so shocking-tiny and petite… not 5 ft 5in as she reported, but 5’2-5’3, 5’4 on a good day. Possible?

    • Hello,

      I don’t recall her being noticeably tall or short; I am guessing she is about 5 foot 5 inches in height. I can’t remember if she was wearing high-heels but it was a Sunday evening and everyone was dressed fairly casually, so I don’t think that she was.

      Apologies that I can’t give you a more precise answer,

      Sam

  16. Tom says:

    Crap… I can’t even believe how lucky you were meet her. If I were you, I would have stabbed that Craig guy as soon as he appeared with the note. With or without anything to stab him with, he would have been stabbed.

    • Hey Tom,

      Haha, in the past I might have shared similar sentiments but in all seriousness, few things are solved by reacting negatively. In my career as a dating coach, I’ve had far more inconvenient ‘obstacles’ when meeting women than the above story. This one just seems more prominent because of who that woman was. As a rule of thumb, forgiving and attempting to solve is usually better than stabbing! :)

      Thanks for reading the story,

      Sam

  17. Ruben says:

    Hi, Sam.

    It’s me Ruben again.

    Let me ask you something really important.

    Are you the new guy that is dating Emma Watson?

  18. John Fogarty says:

    Okay Ruben let’s use a little common sense…. His name is Sam, not Will!

    • I wasn’t aware that she was dating anyone new, which should answer your question Ruben.

      After some extensive research (a quick Google search) it seems that John is correct about the new fellow being called Will. It also seems that he is an unknown, normal guy, which for some reason makes me smile and reinforces how she came across to me.

      Or maybe… Will is a secret codename I’ve been using! :)

      Sam

  19. John Fogarty says:

    Normal Guy… Not for nothin but she deserves more than just “a normal guy”! At least I think so. The reason being normal guys are all the same inside of a year! They go above and beyond for the first three to five months, then they started to feel like their man card has been revoked! Right around the seven month mark the true colors begin to show and they spend the next three “fighting to make it work”! After all that they either break up and “remain friends” (which never lasts) or they’ll break up and get back together once or twice than that’ll be it, one will get sick of the other and they’ll both move on. In my opinion he’s a rebound from Johnny, not saying hes (Johnny) is the better of the two, or that either is better than the other, just simply stating my opinion on the matter. But as long as she’s happy…..

    • Hi John,

      Without personally knowing anything about the men in question, it is difficult to accurately analyse. Celebrities tend to gravitate towards other celebrities due to several factors: opportunity, understanding their world and having a disproportionate amount of social value bestowed upon them by the general public.

      From my limited experience of meeting Emma, she seemed a lot more grounded than other celebrities. Attending University and generally avoiding common, celebrity pitfalls backs this up.

      All of this does not negate the fact that “normal” people can still possess equally attractive traits as celebrities. After all, attraction is a belief system more than anything else.

      Thanks for the discussion,

      Sam

  20. Ruben says:

    Oh, sorry. I thought you were someone who is engaged with Emma somehow. I saw in a source sit ethat his codename is called ‘Will Adamovich’ Then I watched a video on YouTube about a fanboy going on a date with her. He goes into her hotel with flowers and the guy looks exactly like Will Adamovich. It read in the description that his name is Sam and I wondered if that is his real name. So I thought it could b eyou, but I was wrong.