This may come as a surprise, but — believe it or not — some former stars are actually pretty happy leading a non-Hollywood life. Earlier this week, a fan shared photos, seemingly shaming actor Geoffrey Owens from The Cosby Show for bagging groceries at Trader Joe's. During an interview with Good Morning America, Owens sported his TJ's name tag with pride — haters be damned. Oh, and the Ivy League alum also sported a Yale hat, as Vox pointed out.
While shopping at a New Jersey-area Trader Joe's, a woman apparently recognized Owens from his stint on The Cosby Show as Elvin Tibideaux. Keep in mind that Owens was at work, just living his life and minding his own business. The woman took several pictures of the actor bagging groceries behind the counter, and reportedly passed them along to The Daily Mail.
The woman then gave the outlet some pretty rude comments about the state of Owens' career, like, "Wow, all those years of doing [The Cosby Show] and you ended up as a cashier." She also supposedly said, "It was a shock to see him working there and looking the way he did."
First of all, not every actor wants to be an actor forever. Second of all, it's pretty inappropriate for anyone to speculate about another person's life like that, in general — famous or not. There are plenty of people out there who leave high-profile jobs to lead a more low-key life. No one should be shamed for their professional decisions. You do what makes you happy.
Anyway, Good Morning America interviewed Owens about the ordeal on Sept. 4, and his attitude about the whole thing was just so incredibly positive. When GMA host Robin Roberts asked Owens about the support he'd received in light of the job-shaming photos, he replied, "It's really overwhelming — in a good way."
Of the attention, the actor also said,
"It came out of nowhere. I really want to thank everybody out there — family, friends, Hollywood community, and the general public — for the incredible support, the amazing support and positivity they've shown for me. It's really quite astounding."
Owens also told Roberts that he was "pretty devastated" when the photos first came out. "Fortunately, the shame part didn't last very long," he explained, as encouraging comments started flooding in almost immediately thereafter.
As for what he's been up to lately, Owens said he's been teaching acting for the last several decades, and has had some small parts in films and on T.V. as well. At some point, though, "it didn't add up enough," he admitted, and Owens decided he wanted a job with "more flexibility," so he could "stay in the business" and go out on auditions when need be.
Most importantly, though, Owens said he hopes that this whole job-shaming thing will cause people to continue to rethink "what it means to work. The honor of the working person and the dignity of work ... There is no job that's better than any other." Amen to that.