I used to work at Twitter. Among other things, this meant I had the opportunity to meet a lot of random celebrities.
Kanye West came and performed “Power” acapella, Snoop Lion came and smoked us out (this is still one of the best things that I’ve ever seen IRL), Jamie Oliver (the Naked Chef) came and talked to us about eating healthier, and Rainn Wilson *actually* came.
Wilson was there to say “hi” and to tell us about his new project, SoulPancake (he had just published a book and was going to sign it… etc.).
At the time Twitter had about 300 employees or so.What this meant was that whenever anyone famous visited, a large portion of us usually gathered upstairs in the commons to meet them.
We’d typically set up the old chirp podium in the front and then lay out about 30-ish rows of chairs.
I was working on a new analytics project at the time with one of my best friends, Ian, so we arrived at the event a little late.
It was pretty crowded but we managed to get a spot toward the back. Despite this, Ian lost interest about halfway through the talk and abandoned me (dick).
Not 15 minutes later, Rainn Wilson paused mid-sentence…
He was looking straight ahead (but in my general direction), when he mumbled, “You are the most beautiful man.”
There was no way in hell he was talking about me. No way. But without thinking about it too much, I slunched down in my chair a bit and tried to hide.
But he just kept staring in my general direction and said again, “Yeah. You. You are the most beautiful man…” pointing his finger across the room.
At this point the guy literally in front of me stood up and gestured toward himself, “Me?!”
I was relieved.
“No! The guy BEHIND you!”
Before I had much time to react, Rainn had left the podium and was marching down the center aisle straight toward me, gesticulating wildly, “Stand up! Stand up!”
Hollllly shiiit. Rainn Wilson is going to make me stand up in front of the whole office. I panicked.
Somehow, I managed to stand up.
“Come over here and hug me.” He wouldn’t break eye contact with me.
I walked over and he pulled me close, nuzzling his face into my neck and holding me tight. I remember vaguely that he kept talking into the microphone as we embraced but I honestly have no idea what he was saying.
All I could think about was that he was kinda sweaty/damp but otherwise a pretty chill hugger.
So there I was, “the most beautiful man,” hugging Rainn Wilson in a huge room full of my peers for what seemed like an eternity (honestly, probably more like 3 min of silent hugging).
After that he signed autographs and talked to everyone in the office. But I didn’t speak with him again. I figured we had shared a special moment that day and I didn’t want to taint it with the awkwardness of a real conversation.
I still don’t think he ever got my name.