5 Ways to Sundance The Star Sniffer

“The best place is a celebrity lounge a little off the beaten path—if you wait outside they come right to you.”

by Christie Marcy

What Ground-breaking films? Stuart’s all about stalking the A-(and B- through F-) listers.

Stuart Graves has never seen a Sundance movie at Sundance. “I have no interest in that.” This is nothing short of amazing because the Salt Lake County administrator has gone to the fest for five years, even sometimes renting a hotel room in Kimball Junction just to stay close to the action. In 2015, he was invited to give Sundance updates on X-96’s Radio From Hell and in 2016, Graves became a key player in Salt Lake magazine’s Sundance coverage.


You see, Graves is a celebrity-watcher extraordinaire. He’s Perez Hilton without the snark. TMZ without the fangs. Celebs actually like Graves and recognize him in the street and step into his selfies. He heads to Park City every year to get photos with Sundance’s rich and famous and he says he’s got a set of rules he follows that almost always result in success. Just ask Jeffery Tambor, Penn Jillette or Elijah Wood. (But don’t ask Joseph Gordon Levitt or James Franco—they’re Graves’ white whales.)


Stuart with Elisabeth Moss

Know when and where to look. It may be counterintuitive, but the stars are out during the day, usually 9-4. “They have events in the evening and it’s cold in the morning,” he explains. And, he adds, “the best place is a celebrity lounge a little off the beaten path—if you wait outside they come right to you.”


Stuart with John Krasinski

A little human decency goes a long way. “I don’t follow them into stores or restaurants,” Graves says. “It just seems like a common courtesy.”


Stuart with Molly Shannon

Be polite. “I always ask if I can get a photo. I would say, at least 90 percent of the time they say yes. If they’re in a hurry I ask, ‘Can I walk with you and get a quick picture?’”


Stuart with Armie Hammer

Be real. “I’m not shy,” says Graves with a smirk. “I say the first thing that comes out of my mouth, and usually that’s something funny that breaks the ice. Then they’re happy to pose for a picture.”

Most anticipated celebrity: Toni Collette

Follow our Sundance coverage online and #slmsundance.

Follow Stuart on Instagram at @gravesstuart and #stuartselfie

Christie Marcy
Christie Marcyhttps://www.saltlakemagazine.com/
Christie Marcy is a former managing editor at Salt Lake magazine. Though she writes about everything, she has a particular interest in arts and culture in Utah. In the summer months, you will find her at any given outdoor concert on any given night. In the winter, you will find her wishing for summer. Follow her on social media at @whynotboth.

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