Meeting John Malkovich At The Bonsecours Market

I met, or rather stalked, legendary actor John Malkovich in Montreal. Prior to this, my only brush with celebrities had been spotting a few of the Hollyoaks cast down the Albert Dock in Liverpool.

The whole incident can only be described as surreal and, well, rather cringeworthy on my part.

Let’s just say that it was one of those days.

I’d made the decision to explore Old Montreal and left my hostel in the morning with flip-flops on, as it looked like it was going to be a dry day.

Note to self: Check the weather forecast, don’t wear flip-flops on long walks and always carry a waterproof coat/umbrella.

By the time I’d reached my destination it had began to rain and I was quickly saturated. Luckily I had a jumper with me, but the downpour was too heavy and I ended up seeking shelter in the Bonsecours Market.

bonsecours market in montreal, canada

This is a stunning domed building, built in the 19th century, that has housed a public market for more than 100 years.

It is a designated National Historic Site of Canada and is home to a number of arty boutiques.

So here I was in this sophisticated, immaculate place looking and feeling like a drowned rat.

I had a browse in some of the shops. Everywhere was really quiet and there were only a few people around.

art in Bonsecours Market, Montreal

I took a few general snaps and then put my camera away. It was then that I noticed a dapper looking man facing away from me. He was standing in an open entrance, looking out into the rain while chatting on his phone. He was wearing a distinctive blazer, holding a large umbrella, and I thought it would make a good picture – the rainy scene in the background and this quirky-looking silhouette in the forefront.

Just as I dragged my camera out, he turned around and I felt my face drop in shock.

Standing before me was world-famous actor John Malkovich.

I didn’t have time to get the picture and he looked at me suspiciously as I stood there with my camera, completely gobsmacked.

He continued to speak on his phone in French and I walked out into the rain and began heading back.

Then I thought to myself: Why don’t I try to get a photo with him?

My boyfriend is a film fanatic and runs a film review blog called The Film Oracle. I knew he’d be made up if I managed to meet him.

I decided to go back.

I thought he might have left by the time I returned, but found him looking around a shop and I sheepishly waited for him near the entrance.

Looking like a complete mess, I felt overly self-conscious, but was determined to get a photograph.

“Excuse me Mr Malkovich,” I said as he left the shop.

Mr Malkovich? Did I just say that? How embarrassing!

He paused and turned around, clearly recognising me as the loiterer from earlier. 

“I’m a big fan of yours, would you mind if I got a photograph with you?”

A long silence followed and I was expecting him to refuse and walk away. But he reluctantly agreed. I positioned my camera and took the photo, but it was blurry from my hand shaking so much. Luckily the second one was okay.

Well, Mr Malkovich looks alright. He had obviously been trained in the art of looking good in pictures (head down, at a slight angle etc). Me? Awful moon face. 

I asked him what brought him to Montreal and he said he was filming Red 2, which meant other stars like Catherine Zeta Jones, Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren were also in the city.

What was he like? He wasn’t unfriendly, but clearly didn’t want to be bothered (can’t say I blamed him really). He was humble enough to let me take a picture and was courteous enough to have a quick chat as well.

Meeting John Malkovich wasn’t the only surreal occurrence in Montreal. I also had a spooky ‘doppelganger’ experience.


  1. December 12, 2012 / 04:21

    That was way cool! One never knows how to react to a celebrity but bravo for going back and asking to have a picture.

    • December 18, 2012 / 13:22

      I nearly didn’t, but glad I went back and thought the worst that could happen would bee him saying no, probably worried the picture would end up on some blog :-)

  2. December 12, 2012 / 09:42

    I remember watching your picture a while ago (I think Andy posted it) but it’s nice to know the story behind it now. I’m very jealous! Malkovich is awesome. This reminded me of when I stalked Andy Serkis for a bit at Comic-Con.
    Fernando Quintero recently posted..DVD Court: December 11thMy Profile

    • December 18, 2012 / 13:21

      Ha ha, it was great meeting him in retrospect, but so awkward at the time!