When one of the Portola Avenue Starbucks baristas looked up and saw a sandy-haired man in sunglasses walking toward the door, he quipped, “Who does that guy think he is, Keith Urban?”
Turns out that's exactly who the guy thought he was. Once he entered the Starbucks, the country music superstar took off his sunglasses and a surprised barista asked, “Are you Keith Urban?”
“Yes I am,” he confirmed.
Urban came in for a much-needed java jolt about 2 p.m. Monday. He had spent the night before at the American Country Music Awards in Las Vegas with his wife, Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman.
Kidman was just a few miles down the street filming scenes for HBO’s in which she plays Ernest Hemingway’s third wife, Martha Gellhorn. The noted war correspondent and novelist traveled with Hemingway to cover the Spanish Civil War. The pasture at the corner of Manning Road and Morgan Territory in north Livermore stood in for Spain during filming Monday and Tuesday.
There was only one other customer in Starbucks at the time, and barista Mark Sneddon asked if Urban would pose for a picture with him. The affable Aussie agreed.
After re-charging his Starbucks card, Urban took his coffee and returned to the set, where his wife was filming.
When filming ended about 7:15 Monday, Kidman stopped in front of a small group of parents and children and posed for pictures with them.
On Tuesday morning, the packed Starbucks was abuzz with stories about the famous couple. One customer, Tyler Bing, was talking about how much better off Nicole was with Keith than her ex, Tom Cruise. He was so wrapped up in the story that he didn’t notice that the former Mrs. Cruise was standing right next to him.
“We were just saying that it was nice that Keith came in, but we didn’t expect Nicole to come in, and then there she was with her assistant,” said Laura Barros. “We all did a double-take.”
Megan Trant made Kidman's non-fat dry cappuccino.
“I wanted to say, ‘Hi Nicole. Here’s your cappuccino,' but I just couldn’t say a thing to her,” Trant said. “I think we were all trying to be really casual and not make her feel uncomfortable. But you also get a little awestruck. I don’t think anyone said anything to her.”
Barros said she couldn’t believe that Kidman came in.
“You know, she could have just stayed in the car and let her assistant come in and get the coffee, but she didn’t. It was so nice to have her come in. This is something we’ll be talking about for years to come.”
After the story of Kidman meeting with fans on Monday posted, the street along Manning was packed with people waiting to get a chance to meet the actress. She shot scenes with her co-star, Clive Owen, who plays Hemingway, and Emmy winner Tony Shaloub (“Monk”), who plays Russian journalist Mikhail Koltsov.
At the end of a very long day, she was greeted by a large group of fans and once again, she got out of her car to sign autographs and pose for pictures. One girl gave her a bundle of daffodils, which she held during her brief encounter with the crowd.
So, how did she like coming to Livermore?
“This is a wonderful town and I had a great couple of days here,” she said. “I’d love to come back here again.”
By Wednesday morning, the film crew had left Livermore. Filming on the movie continues in San Francisco this week. “Hemingway & Gellhorn” will premiere on HBO next year.