Clumsy.

Many years ago, I moonlighted as a film writer. I wouldn’t review movies, but I’d write about the film industry and the role of cinema in popular culture; because of the writing that I did, I got access to festivals and actors pretty regularly.

I met Nina Dobrev for the first time in 2007 at the Toronto International Film Festival. She was there to promote her most recent movie, Fugitive Pieces; I was trying to get a story about young Canadian stars and their breakout roles. We had a good chat about her work in the movie, we talked about her experiences on Degrassi, and we touched a little bit about her future projects.

Sure, she was young, but she was impressive. She was talented, and articulate, and of course, beautiful.

I remember being (obviously) floored by her beauty and talent, and clumsily stumbling over my words during the interview. I remember mumbling, as I departed, “I’m sure, very soon, your face will be recognized across this continent,” or something silly like that.

I’m not very eloquent around people who impress me, at least when I first meet them. I ramble, I slur my words. I am rendered silly in the face of the talent of others.

Ms. Dobrev giggled; she thanked me, and told me not to apologize. She gave me a hug after the interview and made me feel like less of a clumsy fool.

I’m still inarticulate, still clumsy around beauty and talent. I still stumble over my words when I am overwhelmed upon a first introduction. Ms. Dobrev, that day, reminded that it was okay that I was.