I was doing street photography around Mayfair when I passed a smartly dressed man sat outside of a café with black-rimmed glasses and a familiar face. He caught me looking and so I moved on and continued photographing along the street.
When I passed him again I realised that the man had put down his paper and was watching me, he caught my eye and waved me over. I thought this was quite strange but I began to walk over as he stood up to shake my hand and in an eloquent voice said ‘Hello, can I buy you a coffee?’ I politely declined and explained that I was working taking photos of the trends in the area of Mayfair and asked whether I could photograph him. He posed holding the football paper, which he said he had to read in order to consume anything for breakfast, and we continued to talk after I took his photo. We spoke about London Fashion Week and even baked beans and marmite on toast. He mentioned his name was Bill and when I asked him what he does for a living he quietly said he was an actor. I asked whether I would have seen him in anything because I thought he looked familiar and he said, ‘Well I don’t know Nicole, I don’t know what you’ve seen.’ I took this as either he hadn’t done a lot or he was somebody famous and didn’t want to tell me. After our conversation I said that it was lovely to meet him and thanked him for the photo but I had to go continue photographing. I then went to meet some friends and explained the weird meeting I’d just had, I showed them the photo and they shouted – ‘THAT’S BILL NIGHY!’
…and to all your comments: yes, I did die inside when I realised he didn’t just LOOK like the actor from Love Actually, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, The Constant Gardener…etcetcetc…. oh and of course on the tube on my way home I went past a massive poster for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel….