2012 Year in Review: Celebrity sightings in Asheville include Franco, Gaiman, Helfer, more


Another December has rolled around, so it is time once again to take a look back at the year that was in lovely Ashvegas. We’ll start with a little fun – local celebrity sightings. Call it AVLTMZ. Call it the death of our culture. I just call it fun.

Asheville has always been a playground for the rich and famous. They just have Twitter handles now.

Here we go:

James Franco has pretty much adopted Asheville as a home-away-from home over the last few years. The actor has been in town since 2009, when he first started enrolled in Warren Wilson College’s famed MFA program. Since then, Franco has earned a master’s in both fiction and poetry. This year, he was hanging out in July and was seen at Curate restaurant and a couple of other spots. Franco also made a splash when he showed up at the Toronto International Film Festival press conference for his new movie Spring Breakers sporting a Warren Wilson College T-shirt. O, James.

Neil Gaiman, the New York Times bestselling, Newbery and Hugo award-winning author, was in Asheville for both business and pleasure this year. Gaiman came through in September on The Unchained Tour, which included a band of writers and storytellers who were supporting independent bookstores. The following month, Gaiman returned with his celebrity wife, musician Amanda Palmer, for the wedding of his son to an Asheville woman. Gaiman also ran a 5k while he was here. When in Rome…

Jef Holm, better known as one-eff-Jef, stopped by the Chick-fil-A in June. Holm at the time was rumored to be the guy that Bachelorette Emily Maynard was going to pick as her man. She did indeed pick him. And they did indeed break up a few months later.

Tricia Helfer, the actress who played sexy Cylon Number Six in the Sci-Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica cruised through town in July. She was on a motorcycle participating in Kiehl’s Liferide 2012, an Atlanta-to-New York City tour. She visited the Biltmore Estate and rode the famed motorcycle route the Tail of the Dragon west of Asheville.

Colin Farrell was spotted at the Starbucks on Charlotte Street back in January by John Lloyd, the son of WLOS anchorwoman Darcel Grimes. No word on what the actor’s drink of choice was.

William Shatner chilled at The Bohemian in July. The Star Trek captain was seen at the Grove Park Inn last year.

Sandra Oh stopped by True Confections at the Grove Arcade back in August. She reportedly snacked on a quiche and chilled. Oh, of Grey’s Anatomy fame, was spotted in Asheville back in January, too.

Ron Jeremy and Jenna Jameson showed up at a birthday party at The Corner, a new bar at the corner of Patton and French Broad. The porn stars, who have made their name performing in videos on sites that are similar in nature to do sex video, did a little meet-and-greet photo session and were quite affable, according to patrons. No word on whether Jeremy’s prodigious member made an appearance.

Beth Phoenix and Adam Copeland, two former WWE wrestling stars, dropped in at ZaPow! gallery in downtown Asheville back in October. Phoenix is better known as The Glamazon. She’s a WWE Diva’s champion. Copeland, aka Edge, lives in Asheville and gets out and about on a regular basis.

So who did we miss?


Susan December 6, 2012 - 10:14 pm

James Taylor did a private concert at the Asheville Organizing for America (Obama) Volunteer headquarters.

Drake Fowler December 6, 2012 - 11:34 am

Didn’t Zach Galifianakis (yeah I had to look up the spelling) stop by Asheville? With that beard he could probably walk around for days and not get noticed.

skippy December 6, 2012 - 10:59 am

WTF is going on with james franco’s hand in that picture?

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