Star Struck

I stood at the metal barrier with three others from my University trip- perplexed by the crowd of people on the Pantheon steps and pushed up against metal barriers that bordered the Pantheon square, blocking it completely. Resting my hands on the warmed metal in front of me, I leaned forward, my torso crossing over the boundary. People in back pants and long-sleeved shirts stood in clusters around the fountain facing the Pantheon that I had sat on the night before while eating gelato. One of the people in black held a headset in a slackened hand and dabbed at the sheen of sweat on his forehead with a handkerchief. The rest were ruddy-faced from the sticky hear, but seemed too intent on speaking with one another and appearing important to the crowd.

“What’s going on?” one of my tripmates asked, his gelato forgotten, purple and green trails of melted ice cream streaming down his cone and towards his unsuspecting hand.

“They’re probably filming a scene for Ocean’s Tweleve,” another of my tripmates, a drama major with long wavy hair informed us. “Man! This is my job! I wanna be in there!” she added, wistfully looking at the inactive movie set.

“They’re making a sequel to that movie?” the other asked. His gelato had dripped around his thumb and was working its way down his wrist.

Just then, a man in black with a headset encircling his neck moved to stand in front of me and agitatedly yelled in Italian, waving his hands about. He clearly wanted me off the metal barrier, so I complied. With a scathing glare, he crossed his arms over his chest and stood statically in front of us. I looked past him, intrigued by the activity- or lack of activity- in the cordoned off square. I had never seen a movie set before, and desperately wanted to see someone famous in the process of acting. However, given that there were a bunch of sethands dressed in black dabbing sweat from their foreheads and appearing extremely bored, it quickly became obvious not much was going to happen within the next few hours.

“Have you seen anything interesting?” one of the tripmates asked a frumpy middled-aged tourist.

“No,” she answered in an American accent. “All I saw was some guy that someone said was George Clooney. And then there was supposed to be someone named Brad Something behind him.”

“You mean you saw BRAD PITT?!?!” all three of my companions cried at different volumes.

“Yeah, I guess so. Why? Is he famous, or something?” the middle-aged American asked us.

Disgusted, no one answered and a silence befell our group as we continued to stare at the set, willing something exciting to happen.

“Well guys, the store we want to go to is over that way,” I said, pointing across the forbidden square to the other side of the Pantheon. “I guess we should go behind the Pantheon to get there.” Clearly no longer interested in the stationary store we had originally sought, my fellow tripmates gazed longingly at the minimal activity around the barred fountain, sharing my hope to see something interesting.

Reluctantly, they started to follow me towards the Pantheon when the crowd began to buzz excitedly around us. Sensing something interesting might happen, we all stopped in our tracks and looked at the forbidden square. The sethands continued to lounge around, and I realized that the source of excitement was two large men in suits leaving a trail cleared of people as they stormed right towards us. All around, people began to yell and scream indecipherable words and cameras held high by stiff arms shot up in the air in unison, all snapping pictures blindly. The men in suits pushed through my group, forcing a gap of space between us. Behind them and flanked by two more men in black suits was an elegant woman dressed in a long black evening dress with her hair piled loosely atop her head.

“It’s Catherine Zeta-Jones!” someone exclaimed loudly. And my god, it was Catherine Zeta-Jones and she walked right past me and was whisked into a expensive-looking hotel, led by two body guards and flanked by two more.