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Pelham Writer Dishes On Covering Tom Cruise, Melissa McCarthy In New Book

Pelham writer Kate Coyne has recently released a new book discussing her encounters with celebrities.
Pelham writer Kate Coyne has recently released a new book discussing her encounters with celebrities. Photo Credit: James Westman

PELHAM, N.Y. -- Tom Hanks cheered her up. Tom Cruise has a great memory. Jon Gosselin was a jerk.

Those are some of the many celebrity encounters that Kate Coyne, an executive editor for People Magazine who lives in Pelham, has had over the years. Coyne has written a new book "I'm Your Biggest Fan: Awkward Encounters and Assorted Misadventures in Celebrity Journalism," chronicling those experiences.

"People always have the same questions for me," Coyne said. "Who is the craziest person you interviewed? Who is the nicest, who is obnoxious, what's so and so really like? I realized I had all these great anecdotes, enough to put into a book."

Coyne got to spend time with Cruise and said he was incredibly charming and charismatic.

"I met him years later and he remembered everything in vivid detail, including the conversation we had," Coyne said. "That stunned me and made him stand out."

Hanks was there for her after Coyne had an embarrassing moment with Neil Patrick Harris where Coyne made a verbal gaffe.

"I walked away mortified," Coyne said. "I said 'I am such a moron.' Tom Hanks overheard me, stepped in and said 'I'm sure you're not a moron.' He talked to me for 15 minutes and was gracious and wonderful."

Coyne initially started working at Page Six and later moved onto Good Housekeeping before ending up at People. She said covering celebrities is a lot of fun.

"It hasn't gotten old," Coyne said. "I get a huge kick out of the people I see up close. I don't take the things I get to see for granted."

Other celebrities she has enjoyed interviewing over the years include Amy Schumer, who was lovely, Kelly Ripa, who is much funnier in person, and Melissa McCarthy.

"She was the kindest most wonderful woman," Coyne said. "I can't wait to see "Ghostbusters."

One negative encounter she had was with former reality TV star Jon Gosselin.

"I met him at a time when his marriage was imploding," Coyne said. "He was obstructive and difficult. He refused to answer my questions even though it would make him look like a decent human being. It was infuriating an disrespectful."

Coyne has tips for people who might spot one of their favorite celebrities out and about.

"Letting a celebrity know you appreciate their work is a valuable thing to share with them," Coyne said. "Never hesitate to do that. Check your environment. If they're with their families or in the middle of something, consider whether it's appropriate to approach them. It's important to have some boundaries."

Even though she does this for a living, Coyne said she gets starstruck like everyone else. Despite living in Pelham for four years, Coyne said she has yet to run into anybody famous in town.

"I interviewed Ryan Reynolds at his home in Bedford," Coyne said. "When I told him I lived in Pelham, he said he had been there recently. I somehow missed him. I guess I wasn't paying attention."

To purchase Coyne's book, click here .

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