A Fan Of Nat’s Lesser Known Works

Before I get to this blog account of a chance meeting with Natalie, I need to ask if anyone out there is very familiar with creating and setting up Blogger blogs. I’m having a hard time getting a couple elements that I want included to gel with the template I’m using. Please send me a mail if you can help.

Now onto the interesting little story:

I haven’t been in L.A. long, but I’ve already accomplished everything I came here to do. I was lucky enough to spend the better part of the night with Natalie Portman, easily among my three favorite actors.

We ate, we drank, we watched a movie featuring another one of my favorite actors, Isla Fisher. We took a nap. It was a long date. The fact that Natalie was sleeping in first class for the entire 5 1-2 hour flight from JFK to LAX, and the unrelated fact that I was stuck in coach … next to the bathroom … behind Howard Beck of the New York Times … those facts are hardly material to my enjoyment of the evening.

I actually did have occasion to introduce myself to Ms. Portman at baggage claim carousel No. 4 after we landed.

I asked her if she would mind if I bored her with a story, and she was a good sport. I didn’t bore her with the details of what I do for a living, even though I knew she’s a semi-regular at Knicks games.

I had more important things to talk about. You see, Natalie Portman is somewhat of a folk hero in the BergerSphere household.

When my oldest son, Jason, was an infant, he used to have hellacious crying fits during which he was inconsolable for hours. The only thing … and I mean, the only thing … that would soothe him was a particular episode of Sesame Street in which Natalie Portman sang a duet with Big Bird. There was simply no way I could spend the entire evening with Natalie Portman and not share that story.

As bored (and perhaps fearful) as she must’ve been, she played along. “Aw, that’s so sweet,” she said. “Thank you.” She was quite gracious, considering some strange dude was making small talk with her in the baggage claim area at roughly 3 a.m. New York time. I later learned from Beck of the Times and Marc Stein of ESPN.com, both jealously surveying the scene from 30 feet away, that her driver was eyeing me severely the entire time. No doubt he was plotting whether to kill or simply paralyze me if I made a false move.

I had no idea, mind you, that this innocent clip from Sesame Street — the one that soothed my first-born for a good three or four months — has become somewhat of a YouTube sensation. With some creative editing.

Natalie’s luggage arrived, and she parted by saying, “See you later.” Not a bad first night in L.A., if you’ll forgive me for boring you with that story.

Always nice to hear about a positive encounter with Natalie. These are often overlooked once someone talks about meeting Natalie and not being treated like a long lost best friend.