Did I ever tell you about when I bumped into Kelsey Grammer?
He was in London starring in the musical Big Fish. I wanted to see him, but didn’t much care for the film Big Fish so assumed the musical wouldn’t be any good either. As I’d only go and see the show to see him anyway, I thought, why not hang about the theatre on the off chance that I might bump into him and save myself a few quid?
I’d once seen Jeff Goldblum in the audience at a show. He was alone and I wanted to offer him myself as a guide for his visit around London. I thought, ‘what if no-one ever talks to him because they’re too star-struck? Wouldn’t that be tragic?’ I however, was too star-struck as I’d always had a huge crush on Jeff so didn’t speak to him and felt we’d both lost out on something as he walked – alone – out of the theatre, brochure in hand. The brochure made him look a little sad. I imagined him in his hotel room flicking through it and smiling at his favourite pictures.
Kelsey didn’t like this story as it made him jealous. He never liked Goldblum anyway and would get upset at the thought that I never had a crush on him, as I did on Goldblum. I wish I’d lied when I first met him, but I can’t undo it now.
Anyway, I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice, so I started hanging around the theatre and the local area. It was winter so this was a commitment on my part.
Eventually I bumped into him in a nearby Pret a Manger. I was in the queue and Kelsey literally walked into the back of me. He was reading a review (not a favourable one) and wasn’t paying attention. I believe he was just dying to talk to someone about the review and get a chance to rubbish it.
I, of course, forgave him for rear-ending me, all the while pretending to be really cool and not star-struck (I’d practiced in the mirror having learned from the Goldblum episode). We got chatting and he invited me to join him. I said I would and insisted he try the pumpkin seeds, which he did. We got along famously and agreed to meet again. By the end of that week, we were inseparable.
Suddenly we were squeezing in dinner and lunch dates between performances. I can’t deny that I took every opportunity to drop his name into conversation. “Oh yes, Frasi… I mean Kelsey and I prefer Pizza Hut to the Ivy!” and how we’d laugh at how incongruent and non-show-bizzy we were.
He just adored me and my English accent and didn’t mind that I sometimes called him the wrong name. He even forgave me when I’d forget, as I often did, that Niles wasn’t really his brother, but I so wanted to meet him. Niles was always my favourite. Kelsey knew that Niles was everyone’s favourite. He said he’d learned to live with it, but I wasn’t so sure.
Unfortunately I tired of him quickly. We just didn’t have that special chemistry and I knew he never really liked the pumpkin seeds. In turn, I think he knew I never went to see the show, even though he’d given me free tickets on more than one occasion. There were just too many lies between us.
So we ended on good terms. I didn’t miss him, but never got over not meeting Niles.