Many, many years ago I met Kate Winslet.
Titanic had not come out yet. It had been wrapped and there was much speculation in the industry as to how it would do. Would it be the costliest bomb ever or do well?
We all know how it all turned out.
The year was 1996. I had started my design company about a year earlier and was working part-time at a Starbucks in Los Angeles to make ends meet and for the insurance benefits. I grew up in a very blue collar working class family. We didn't have much and I remember my Dad always working two jobs, sometimes three. I have never felt secure enough in any job that I don't always have my eye on something else.
Kate Winslet walked in with someone that was either her agent/manager or PR guy.
If you've lived and worked in LA long enough, you can spot them.
Most are essentially the same person. No one knew who she was.
This was before she became the world's best actress.
I had seen her in Heavenly Creatures when in came out. It was her first film and I was mesmerized. Her beauty is obvious at first and more complex the closer you look, but her talent--her talent was undeniable from the start. I was completely taken. Talent is very seductive.
She ordered her coffee and against her agent/manager/pr guys scowl, she ordered a scone. When I finished making her coffee I walked over to where she was standing and handed it to her and quitely said, "I thought you were incredible in Heavenly Creatures. You're unbelievably talented." She took my hand, the agent/manager/pr guy approached to shoo me away. She shooed him away. She held my hand, looked directly into my eyes and not only thanked me, but spent the next 10 minutes talking to me about acting, film and her nervousness over the opening of her new film, Titanic.
She has only become more beautiful and talented as the years have gone by. This year's Kate Winslet movie offerings are the latest of examples of her immense talent.
Congratulations Kate and next time, the coffee and scone are on me.