So I’m Sat There Next to Richard Branson, Right?
Yesterday, I flew from JFK to SFO with Sir Richard Branson and Kevin Smith for a thing; don’t worry about it. Point is, like a true professional, it occurred to me about 10 minutes before boarding that I’d be sat there (British!) for nearly six hours across the aisle from Sir Richard Branson, and so maybe I could ask to talk to him? So, I asked someone if I could ask to talk to him and they said they could ask someone else. And then, a few hours later, one minute after waking up from a nap, I was tapped on the shoulder and told I could speak with him “for a few minute in a few minutes.” When I asked how soon “a few minutes” was, I was told “three.” All I remembered of the flight so far was that he and Kevin Smith served mimosas to everyone on board shortly after takeoff.
Did anything fun happen back there when you were waiting on people?
No, I soon realized that um, you have to think of kids differently than adults [Ed. — Pronounced “ADD-ults.” Still British.] and it’s important that you don’t have champagne in a kid’s drink.
Kevin ran back there asking for the kids to drink them.
So that was my main mistake, but actually they still gave me my Virgin steward [points to wing pin on his chest]. But I haven’t served on a Virgin plane in a while, so…
Do you do that regularly?
I used to do it a lot. I’ve been a bit lazy lately actually, but um, it’s fun. It’s nice just to get out and do as many jobs as possible in a company. You know, in fact, when I was last in Australia I lifted the bags onto the uh… the whatyacallit…
Conveyer belt, yeah. That’s a back-breaking job. So, I think it’s good to experience what everybody else has to do. And it’s fun to make people smile.
I think a lot of people were really shocked that you were here today, so that was fun. Everybody who I told that I was coming here to do this said that I needed to a) ask you for a million dollars and b) your phone number. And I told them all they were being crazy about both of those things. Does that happen a lot? Are people really forward with you? Like, “Lemme get your email! Lemme get your phone number! Let’s be best friends!”
Well, um, beautiful girls asking for my phone number? I haven’t had that for a number of years so um, uh, always happy to give my phone number. Um, million dollars? Lemme see? [Pats down pockets.] Don’t carry much money around these days?
I expect I talk about million-dollar propositions and things, but…
Does that get annoying, that everyone just wants to talk with you about business all the time?
Um, nah? You know, somebody just pitched a business idea from the back actually [points to a binder my elbow and mimosa are resting on], so I’m used to that. I was a struggling business person myself and know it’s… if you have the opportunity, you should give it a go. So I don’t blame people for it. I like people; I’m lucky. I like learning from people and one of the nice things about being a recognizable face is that you see the best in people, I think?
Well they smile. I see people boarding and they see you and they’re just immediately like…
Yep, smiles are good!
Um… I saw your episode of Cribs and it was… the best.
Oh, thank you very much.
Maybe second best — Redman’s was pretty good. Did you see Redman’s?
Yeah. I did it some time ago, which is nice. It’s always nice seeing a young version of yourself. And I’m really glad they haven’t asked ot re-do it because the house was… burnt down in a lightning strike, so… we’re excited to have it back again in the spring.
Oh no! You are working on it right now? What a project.
[And then he asked me if I was getting married and we chatted about that for a bit.]
Well, I wish you a beautiful wedding.
Thank you very much… does everyone call you “Sir?”
No, just Richard.
Lots of happiness.