Star Sightings—ABQ Style

Posted by on Jul 2, 2009 in Uncategorized


When I lived in New York City, it was completely normal to run into movie stars on a daily basis: I’d stand in line for groceries behind them (Sarah Jessica Parker), take a body sculpting class with them (Brooke Shields), eat pasta at the table next to them (Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and Emma Thompson—that time was a three-fer!). 

Because it was such a daily occurrence, it stopped being a big deal pretty quickly. You’d say you saw Paris Hilton at Bloomingdale’s with the same sort of tone you’d say there was a massively long line to get your bagel and shmear. Stars really just made tiny cameos in your day.

In Albuquerque, thanks to the ever-growing local film industry, there are celebs all around us. At least, this is what I hear, because everyone else apparently sees them all the time: George Clooney at QBar, Jason Bateman at an Isotopes game. But me? I haven’t seen anyone!

My hypothesis is that, here, I’m just not used to seeing famous people in my hometown, so I’m not looking. My celeb radar isn’t on, and besides, it’s creaky and dusty. It hasn’t been used in a long time.

I know that part of what stars like about Albuquerque is that it’s laid-back; no paparazzi here, thankyouverymuch. We let people be. And while I don’t want to out these stars’ local hangouts or anything like that, I admit I’m dying to know: which celebrities have you seen in Albuquerque? 


  1. Johnny Lopez
    July 2, 2009

    One day I was staying at the Radisson off of Menaul and Randy Travis was 2 doors down from me….. It was cool, I didn’t bother him. He had just done a show at the fair…..

  2. Mike D. Merrill
    July 2, 2009

    I have lived in Albuquerque a few times and was just back there recently doing a seminar. I was meeting with a client at the Flying Star on El Paseo and Hilary Swank sat down beside us. It was interesting to watch others around us as they realized who she was.

    Best of all, about 4-5 years ago we saw Brooke Shields in Frontier for breakfast.

    Flying Star and Frontier, two icons of Albuquerque culture and recognizable brands.

    Chief Bacon Maker and Marketing Strategist
    Bacon Marketing

  3. Michael
    July 2, 2009

    About 3 years ago I came across a few times when Mr. T was at the airport picking up and ride as well as Martina McBride (country singer).

  4. Francine Pacheco
    July 2, 2009

    About two years ago a friend and I had gone down to Q-Bar late early evening during the week. Shortly after we arrived we noticed everyone whispering and looking toward the back of the room, Mel Gibson was there with a group of 10 people or so.

    Mel Gibson was kind enough to interact with everyone in the bar and take photos and strike up light conversation….it was pretty surprising and exciting.

  5. Nachos87
    July 2, 2009

    Thought I saw the famed stand-up comic Louie Anderson wandering around a pizza place downtown onetime. However, it might not have been him, given his death several years earlier.

  6. Sydney
    July 2, 2009

    I’ve seen Gene Hackman four or five times (mostly in Santa Fe, but I ran into him at a restaurant in Old Town once). I also saw Jessica Simpson when she was filming here. She is so dainty!

  7. Niki
    July 2, 2009

    Friends of mine ran into Samuel L. Jackson at QBar and said he was so cool!!! He signed stuff for people and made conversation. He’s probably one of my favorite actors so I was annoyed that I didn’t get a phone call to run down there at 1am with my Pulp Fiction DVD. LOL!

  8. Niki
    July 2, 2009

    Girlfriends of mine ran into the hottie that played “Aiden” on Sex in the City (or the groom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding). He was filming a movie downtown at a hotel in Albuquerque and they said he was really nice but that he wouldn’t take a photo with them because it made him feel like Mickey Mouse. HAHAHA

  9. Niki
    July 2, 2009

    Woody Harrelson & Charlize Theron filmed North Country a few years ago in the courtroom of the Federal Building downtown. All of us who worked at the Court at the time were really excited. Some of us got chance encounters (more like we kept going up & down on elevators to catch a glimpse). They were all really down to earth & friendly to us & let us take some photos.

  10. JT
    July 4, 2009

    I seen Jessica Simpson,Dane Cook and Andy Dick when they were filming at Costco.

  11. JT
    July 4, 2009

    my friend ran into Kenny Chesney at a gas station off of Coors and I-40 when he was leaving town after his concert.

  12. Khopz
    July 7, 2009

    I’m pretty sure Louis Anderson is still alive, so it probably was him. I spotted Renee Zellweger at Keva Juice. Also sat next to Michael Palin (not Sarah) at Seasons and had a shot with John Corbett at Atomic Cantina.

  13. Amanda
    July 10, 2009

    I saw Mario Lopez at PF Changs about 2 or 3 years ago. He looked yummier than my meal!