Designated Celebrity

When I was 17 (before I ever imagined I would meet famous people for a living) I was a regular teenager going to high school in Oshawa, Ontario.    One night myself and some friends heard that there was a movie filming in a secluded area called “Camp Samac.”  You have to remember this was before the internet, before smart phones, so finding out this info wasn’t easy. So late that night we headed out to grounds where we saw lights, trucks and the usual film set equipment.  As we approached a man with long hair and a cool leather jacket rode by on a horse.  It was Lou Diamond Philips.  Back then Lou was a big friggin’ deal.  He had already starred in “La Bamba” and was currently in “Young Guns.” Lou waved, rode by and we watched in awe from a distance as he headed off into the woods to continue filming.

A couple of nights later I had just finished a shift working at a bar at 1am. I had been taking a photography class in high school and just happened to have a camera with me so I decided to take another pass at the movie set and see if I could grab a picture of Lou!  There were barriers so I couldn’t get too close until I spotted Mr. Diamond Philips,  he walked over to me, asked my name and wanted to know if I would like to come onset and meet his co-star…Kiefer Sutherland.   Kiefer had come off the hit movies “Lost Boys” and “Stand by Me”  and of course was also in “Young Guns.”  I went to the set and everyone was nice and accommodating, especially the crew.  After as couple minutes of chit-chat Lou asked if I wanted to take a picture.  So a crew member grabbed my camera and I stood in between Kiefer and Lou for the photo.  I hear a ‘click’ but no flash, the batteries on the flash were dead.  Remember this is now 2am and it’s pretty dark.  But there are lights on set so I hope we’re ok but I have no way of checking until the pictures are developed.

The next day I bring in the camera and I’m telling everyone at school about my meeting with two of Hollywood’s big young stars as I headed for the dark room. Well I guess the no flash was an issue… I could make out the tiniest outline of three figures but you’d certainly never know who the three people in the picture were.

As my years covering entertainment went by I figured I’d eventually meet both actors again, tell them the story…maybe even get that picture. I remember seeing Kiefer at a network party once and I talked to Philips over the phone for… I think for “Bats” remember that one?? But I never met the two again in person.  I always wanted to thank them for being so nice to a high school kid and perhaps getting me interested in this business.  Oh and the movie they starred in was called “Renegades.”


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