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The story takes place in 2010, inside Donald Trump‘s now-defunct Atlantic City casino, the Taj Mahal. Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler are in the middle of a shot for The Bounty Hunter, but our hero, who goes by m3ch3ngin33r on Reddit, doesn’t know that.
Spotting cameras and realizing there’s something going on, he decides to make his escape without anyone noticing him. Here’s what he was thinking:
I saw a film camera in the lobby, and thought, “huh, they must be filming a commercial for the casino or something.. wonder if I’ll be in it?” But before I could finish that thought, everyone around me in the entire lobby froze in position. A second later, someone yells, “ACTION!”
I start walking alongside a person who was next to me, and ask him quietly, “I’m not suposed to be here, am I?” He immediately shook his head no.
So, I see the escalator to the casino about 20 feet away.. and two ‘extras’ are about to get on it. I think to myself, “if I can just get on that, it would be my escape from ruining whatever they’re doing in the lobby.”
His perfect exit was not to be, though, because a couple of rude jerks were blocking the way.
After a few more steps, I catch up to those two people who got on the escalator before me. And they’re blocking the full width, and NOT WALKING! I mean, come on!
Don’t just stand there, idiots! Don’t you know you’re about to ruin the shot?
Only at this point, do I see the boom microphone, the camera panning down with them, and the crowd of 150 spectators at the bottom of the escalator. Then someone yells “CUT!”, and the two people in front of me turn around.
Turns out those two jerks blocking the escalator were Jennnifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, and I completely blew up their scene. There was nothing I could do.. I just said, “Uh, I’m sorry.” I figured there was no point in explaining my series of bad decisions. Butler laughed, and we completed the rest of the very long escalator ride in awkward silence.
Ah. Hmm. Well, at least he tried. But you know what they say: the road to awkwardly staring at the back of Jennifer Aniston’s head while you burn up with shame and embarrassment is paved with good intentions.
This story reads as real for a couple of reasons. First, who would make this up? It’s so weirdly specific to a time and place. And second, there’s video evidence.
Look for Jen and Gerard coming down from the top of the escalator. Note that they’re followed closely by a man in a suit. That’s not our shamefaced reddit hero, but he says it’s someone who must have been put there as a buffer to keep the shot from being ruined by some rando a second time.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.