I’ll be the first to admit that I’m obsessed with celebrities. And, in my career as a journalist, I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few famous people, such as Cal Ripken Jr., Al Gore and Bobby Cox. And, a few months ago, I got to meet Kim Fields, better known as Tootie from The Facts of Life, when she visited .
So, when I heard that Devil’s Knot was , I was obviously obsessed with catching a glimpse of one of the . My drive through town somehow always ended up driving by the old courthouse where the movie is being filmed. And yes, I was one of those people who slowed down, craning my neck to try to get a glimpse of someone. I saw Reese Witherspoon from a distance the first day of filming, and I thought that was pretty neat. I didn’t really expect much else since I haven’t had the time to go downtown to watch.
Until Wednesday night, that is. My husband, daughter and I were driving home after a late dinner in town following Lucy’s gymnastics class and a city council meeting I had covered in Marietta. We caravanned home, taking Church Street although I really wanted to drive down Cherokee Avenue again. And, when we drove by the courthouse parking lot, we saw a group of people gathered.
I immediately turned onto Elizabeth Street to pull over and tell Joe that we had to go over there to see what was going on. Joe thought I was being crazy. I insisted, and he went along with it, even though I knew he was ready to get home.
I’m a very shy person, so when we pulled into the courthouse parking lot, I asked Joe to go over and see what was going on while I waited with Lucy. He was sure it was just a group of extras waiting while a scene was being filmed. I was adamant that it was onlookers.
I’ll give you one guess as to who was right. Not Joe. He called me and told me to hurry with Lucy, and when we joined the group, we saw Colin Firth signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. I totally wanted to squeal and tell him how much I love him, but I was cool, calm and collected. I waited my turn, got my autograph but before I could get a picture, he turned away to other fans. I tried to ask for a picture as well but, as I said, I can get rather shy and quiet, so I went to the back of the line.
Then, he got ready to leave. I got disheartened. Until, one of the people in his group saw Lucy, who was patiently holding my hand, and told him to wait because he HAD to have his picture taken with this baby (who isn’t really a baby at 2 ½, but who am I to argue?). And, of course, the baby’s mommy. Duh. Lucy tried to fight it. I told her what was going on as calmly as I could. She didn’t care, but she went with it. Yes, I used my child to get my picture taken with a movie star, and I’m not ashamed of it!
Another group had gathered at the other end of the parking lot, so we hurried on over there to find Reese Witherspoon signing autographs. She wasn’t posing for pictures, but who were we to complain? Some people had the fabulous idea of having the stars sign their cell phone cases, but that didn’t register with me. It’s a good thing I had my trusty reporter’s notebook on hand.
One girl handed Reese a small piece of yellow paper with her own autograph on it. Reese said she was going to cry. See? I’m already on a first-name basis with them.
It was an unexpected, fun night. Some of the people with the celebrities commented on how nice the residents of Cartersville were. No one crowded them. No one pushed. Everyone waited patiently for their turn. I said, “That’s how we are in Cartersville.”
Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon didn’t have to spend their Wednesday evening standing outside Bartow County’s old courthouse meeting their fans. But, they did. It was an awesome gesture, and it made a lot of people very happy.
I’m looking forward to the next movie that will be filmed in Cartersville (because I’m sure there will be another at some point) and, yes, I’ll still be the one driving by slowly, hoping to catch a glimpse of yet another star.
Did you meet Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon or any of the other starts while they've been in town? Tell us in the comments and upload your photos!