Friday, October 24, 2008

My Brush with Celebrity

I went to the Hour taping yesterday. The guests were John Legend and Dr. Julio Montaner. John Legend’s interview was pre-taped, they filmed it at the Toronto International Film Festival.

However, the epidemiologist dork in me was very happy to meet Dr. Montaner. He’s the president of the International AIDS Society. He mentioned, 2.7 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2007. And, 2 million people died from AIDS in 2007. Dr. Montaner, who has persuaded the G8 leaders for more AIDS funding, said the world leaders are very forthcoming when it comes to introducing new policies, but when push comes to shove people in Africa, and now in Asia and South America still need our immediate help. Through his medical research he was able to find a link between the development of HIV resistance to nucleoside analogues and clinical progression of the disease.

The Hour’s host George Stroumboulpoulos talked about One Million Acts of Green (please check out the website). George Strombo was extremely nice in person. He hung around during the commercial breaks, and answered questions. He even stuck around after the show, so my friend and I got to have some one on one time with him :D. But I was totally left awestruck by his humility, and did I mention how nice he was. He made me all giggly and I turned totally red. Same thing happened to me when I met Keanu Reeves at TIFF. The charity I used to volunteer with got me and my significant other (who happened to be my sister, Hotchick^n) red carpet tickets to North Country’s world premiere. So we got to walk down the red carpet along with Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sean Bean, and Woody Harrelson. So when Keanu Reeves made an unexpected red carpet entry I totally went weak on my knees, and all girly-giggly.

There is something about celebs that makes us, or at least me, all giddy and all girly. Now next on my list is to attend SNL and the Daily Show’s taping. I don’t even know what I would do if I ever had an encounter with Seth Meyers *gasping for air*.


changetheworld360 said...

Cool experience. You got to walk the red carpet at TIFF??? Lucky! And the humanitarian in me really appreciates the work being done to fight AIDS in the Third World, but we need the assistance of the G8 leaders to make a bigger impact.
I'm not much of a girly-girl, but who knows how I'll react if/when I ever meet an uber-cool celebrity? We'll see if it ever happens. Seth Meyers always makes me super happy (probably b/c of his awesome talent & good looks = always a good combination). =D I don't know what I would do if I ever met him/get to attend an SNL taping (a life goal of mine)! Wow, a few more things we have in common!

Zany said...

Dr. Montaner talked about how the AIDS drugs don't really make it to Africa, which is a very brutal reality. But our fight against AIDS is still barricaded by racial, sexual, and behavioural stigma.

In university, I volunteered as a campus coordinator for Best Buddies ( It is an amazing organization, working to provide people with intellectual disabilities same choices that we take for granted. Such as, we recruited student volunteers and matched them up with people with disabilities so their friendships can flourish, and our participants can have the opportunity to form relationships outside of their family.

Seth Meyers is a dream come true. The fact that he wrote the Palin sketches is just amazing...

Yes, it is very scary that we have so many interests in common :D.

Josh said...

A good post, apparently some countries in Africa have a population that's over 33% HIV positive!

This isn't helped by no drugs (or even worse, out-of-date drugs) reaching the people. There's also the matter of education in getting over the behavioral stigma. It's good to know that there are charities out there working to battle this needless killer.

Zany said...

Thanks Josh. I agree with you, the important thing is preventing the spread of HIV through education & public awareness.

An important aspect of my research is identifying the risk factors so we can prevent the spread of infectious diseases, such as HIV and TB (which is making a comeback in the West) without drugs, which these populations cannot afford.

I am hoping they would upload the interview on youtube so I can post it here. It was very inspiring to see someone dedicate his life to work for such a special cause.

Changetheworld360 & Josh, apologies for being too chatty.