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HELSTON: Welcoming worldwide celebrities the Okanagan way

Charlotte Helston is the Vernon reporter for InfoNews.
November 14, 2014 - 7:30 AM

We’ve all seen photos of mob-like crowds pooling around celebrities, smartphones thrust above the horde, paparazzi elbowing their way to the front, stars diving into vehicles while body guards hold back the gawkers. The famous people at the centre of it all just wanted to enjoy an ice cream cone at the park, or something normal like that.

But a very different scene went down at Vernon’s Village Green Mall when Oscar-winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins was spotted shopping with his wife. People recognized him, but they treated him with respect. There were no line-ups for autographs, no suffocating crowds breathing down his neck. The 76-year-old browsed the shops, got a warm drink at Starbucks and was left alone.

There’s no denying people were thrilled by his presence—who wouldn’t be? The beloved actor has brought some of our favourite films to life. But the citizens of Vernon didn’t freak out and stalk him through the mall. At most, people shared a discreet smile with him, acknowledging who he was, but affirming they would keep his little secret.

It was a similar scene two years ago when actress Nicole Kidman and her husband, country singer Keith Urban, took in some skiing and a hockey game in Vernon. They weren’t harassed by fans, but rather left to enjoy what the city has to offer.

It’s a reflection of the laid-back, relaxing atmosphere that makes Okanagan towns so pleasant to be in. Generally speaking, we’re pretty down-to-earth, friendly and welcoming people. Hopkins and his wife were treated with the same kindness and respect shown to any other person in town.

That’s just how we do things around here.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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