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!’
This is beautiful. I bet it was lovely for him to not be recognized and be treated like a normal person, it’s probably rare for him.