Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Aniston's Spider Sense

Celebrities are really good with disguises. I clearly remember one Saturday afternoon chilling at a Midtown bar last year with some friends, downing the better part of a fifth of Beefeater Gin, when a woman in a floppy summer hat and sunglasses walked in with two burly Latino bodyguards in tow.

She didn't want a drink, but the bodyguards did; la belle dame sans merci simply wanted change to play the pool tables. True story.

I just knew -- I don't know why -- that she was some celebrity, not an heiress, a movie or music industry star of some kind. And big. But try as I might to recognize who precisely she was, I just couldn't. The hat and the sunglasses shielded her face, for one, but more important, she always leaned in at a certain angle, in such a way that I couldn't draw a bead on who she was. It was uncanny the way she could do that.

It was all about the angle of her face and the view of the observer. I just couldn't put my finger on it at the time, but it was a weird experience.

She was playing pool with one of the beefy bodyguards while the other got quietly "tight." I pretended that I had to go to the bathroom so I could get a better look at her. But, try as I might, as close as I leaned in stalker-style, I could not fucking figure out who she was, as she gave me an angle confounding my attempts.

It was ultimately so frustrated by this one sided parlor game that I just went back to the bar and ordered drinks and chatted with my buddies on other subjects, to get my mind off this great failure on my part. None of them had even noticed the strange woman.

I mean, it could have been Julia Roberts or Meg Ryan or anyone for all I knew. It was brilliant the way she -- whoever she actually was -- rocked that disguise, maneuvered herself, and gave me unrecognizable angles of her face.

I remember also Howard Stern once said, his voice dripping with hidden insider knowledge, that if he were really in disguise, really in disguise, even his biggest fan would never recognize him. And he never mentioned it again.

Matt Leblanc gets into it, a little, of just how celebs shield their identity from the rabble.

From Details, September 2004:

"(Matt) Leblanc is back in the golf cart now, resisting what must be a frequent urge to give the finger to a studio tour bus filled with tourists who spot him tailing them and commence squealing. 'Well, you learn these tricks,' he explains, hitting the accelerator and taking as left. 'You turn your head just slightly so they can't see that it's really you, turn this way, turn that way,' he demonstrates, the cart swerves a little. 'You develop this really weird sixth sense. You know whose really good at that? Aniston. Aniston really has eyes in the back of her head. She's like, 'God, there's a photographer,' and I'm like, 'Where? Hidden in the trunk of that car? Really?'"

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