ANNIE FLOWERS South By Southwest is a huge festival bringing together the newest ideas in education, interactive film, and music. I volunteered at SXSW this year working at a movie theater during the week of spring break, and my friend/vice in life Kamia Rathore and I met/were in the proximity of some well known people.
While sitting outside the theater at the info desk, the theater next to ours was playing Hello, My Name Is Doris. I got up from the info table, and walked to the street to see what was going on, and I turned to the left and saw Max Greenfield. He was taking photos with fans, but because I was on shift I couldn’t take a photo with him. But I did sneakily take one of him. He was very kind: what a polite man.
At night, the film Lost River was premiering starring Matt Smith, directed by Ryan Gosling. Kamia decided we would go to the theater to see if either would show up. A blacked out SUV shows up and out comes the gorgeous hunk of a man that is Ryan Gosling. Everyone goes wild, and he starts signing autographs walking to the entrance. Everyone is screaming “Ryannnn, Ryannn” and he just keeps doing his thing, so I yell out “MR. GOSLING MR. GOSLING CAN WE TAKE A SELFIE?” And then the world stopped spinning and my heart stopped beating. He looks over at me, takes off his sunglasses, and says “right on.” At this point my body had gone into full out shock, and my hand was literally trembling as I struggled to take the photo. I thanked him and and he moved on down the line, so unfortunately I was unable to slip my number into his jacket pocket
Bill Hader came to the Paramount theater the next afternoon for his movie Trainwreck. When he got out the car I yelled “BILL I LOVE YOU AS STEFAN” and I swear he made direct eye contact with me. After he finished giving red carpet interviews, the whole crowd started chanting “Bill, Bill, Bill” and he ran over to take 2 group selfies. I was unfortunately not fast enough with the camera angling, and he left. I bet he was on his way to the hottest club in Austin.
Also after we got off shift, we met Tater Tot, also known as Grumpy Cat. She was tiny, like could fit in my hand small.
Kamia and I went on lunch break, and she showed me a tweet posted recently that said Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart were on 6th street filming promotional interviews for their movie. We ran over there, saw a huge crowd, pushed our way to the front, and there they were. I was so much more excited for Will Ferrell, and I didn’t even realize I was standing right next to Kevin Hart because he’s such a tiny man! Unable to get past the huge bodyguards, we took some photos and left.
One of the guest speakers at the Nieman Marcus party was Frieda Pinto, so obviously Kamia and I were there. She spoke eloquently about her projects on feminism, and then graced the audience by coming over to take photos. That day I can honestly say I saw the face of an angel.
On the roof of Whole Foods, Elijah Wood was performing a DJ set under his pseudonym Wooden Wisdom. He played 1980’s groove funk and spun actual records on the turntable the entire time. He’s also not a bad dancer.
We also met him on Day 2 when he showed up at our theater where the movie he produced was playing, but we couldn’t take photos. I saw him waiting outside and immediately ran over to Kamia to tell her, but she had already seen him. She said, “I turned around to glare at the man chain smoking behind me, and it was Elijah Wood.”
Other celebs we saw include: Judd Apatow, Paul Fieg, Amy Schumer, Vanessa Bayer, Rainn Wilson, Colin Hanks, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Max Burkholder, Will Butler, Win Butler, Edward Sharpe, Marina and the Diamonds, and probably more that we didn’t recognize who were just walking around the streets.
Really, most of this was being at the right place at the right time. My advice is to check Twitter, check what movies are playing and where, and just look around!