Tony's Take: A Mile-High ‘Twilight' Surprise

“Twilight” fans pay attention!!

You see, a funny thing happened yesterday on the flight back from the Sundance Film Festival to Los Angeles.

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There was a guy sitting in front of me in seat 5b who I thought looked familiar from behind. But who can make a definitive ID looking at the back of someone’s melon, right? So, I thought I’d wait to see if he would get out of his seat and then I could take a peek and see if it was him.

So, as I was reading this great book, “The Tibetan Book of Serenity,” the man in front of me stood up and made his way to the restroom. I thought, “Yep, looks like John.”

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When he returned I tapped him on the shoulder, he turned around, looked at me and said, “Hey, Tony…how are you?”

John and I have worked together many times over the years at Access Hollywood where he occasionally works as our floor director. A floor director is like an air traffic controller, although in this case he has to deal with pilots (us on-air talent types) who never follow a flight plan. He’s one of the best.

Anyway, we talked for a bit and he said he was flying back with his daughter. John said his daughter had a film at Sundance. She was curled up sleeping in 5A.

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Now, at this point, I need to digress.

John and I never discuss “work,” the all-encompassing world of Hollywood. When we chat, it’s always about our kids, things in life we love to do, etc. In those conversations over the years, he has mentioned his daughter was starting to act and was getting a part here and there. He also mentioned she did very well in school and they had hopes she’d go to an Ivy League school. I always said to him, “Let me know if she’s in anything and I’ll go see it.”

So, fast-forward to today. His daughter slept for most of the 90-minute flight so I didn’t have a chance to meet her. We land in LA and all the passengers head to the baggage claim. While I’m waiting for my bag to arrive, I head outside to make a phone call.

Suddenly, I see camera flashes going off. Now, if you’ve ever been to LAX, you know what that means. It’s usually a celebrity who has just landed and is trying to get to his or her vehicle and get home.

So, I turn to see my friend John surrounded by paparazzi. I’m thinking, “WTF?” And then I see he has his arm around a young girl…his daughter.

And then it hit me, OHHHHHHHHHHH, his daughter is Kristen. John’s last name is Stewart. His daughter is “Twilight’s “ Kristen Stewart.

I’m usually a pretty sharp guy. Can put 2 and 2 together. Not today. All this time I had no idea Kristen Stewart was the daughter John had talked to me about over the years!!

Maybe I was lost somewhere in the Twilight Zone. Anyway, forget “Twilight” for a minute, how great was she in Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild?”

Here is the capper. I interviewed Kristen just a day earlier at Sundance!! She’s a great kid with a great set of parents. For 18 years old, she’s not at all overwhelmed by the hype, which diminishes the chance she will fall prey to the classic Achilles heel of so many actors before her, believing her own hype. Not a chance. Good for her. Good for her mom and dad.

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