“In the late 1990s, I was an angst-ridden preteen traveling through Europe with my family when we checked into the Hilton in Rome. Upon checking in, we were told we couldn’t speak to a blonde American actress if we saw her. Which was just a strange thing to tell kids.
“There was some sort of terror attack at an embassy, so Americans were told they had to stay in the hotel (bye-bye, catacombs tour). My brothers and I spent a few days goofing around at the pool making three young guys laugh, mowing down cheesy pasta, and chatting them up. Turns out those three guys were Matt Damon, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jude Law, and they were taking a break from filming The Talented Mr Ripley. Such nice guys.
“The blonde actress we were instructed to ignore was Gwyneth Paltrow.”