BATAVIA – Whitney Garwood didn’t expect to be waiting on an actor when she arrived at work Tuesday at the cafe in the Batavia Library.
She got that opportunity when Russell Crowe walked into the 10 South Coffee House and ordered a tuna salad sandwich.
“It was kind of a shock,” the 22-year-old Batavia resident said. “I didn’t wake up thinking I would see Russell Crowe walk into my work.”
Crowe has been in the area for the filming of the new Superman movie, “Man of Steel.” Crowe stars as Superman’s biological father Jor-El in the movie. Filming has been going on in several communities, including Sugar Grove, Aurora and Plano.
Garwood said she was working in the back of the cafe when a co-worker called her up front saying she had a sandwich order for Crowe.
“He asked if we had gluten-free, which we didn’t,” Garwood said. “We thanked him for his business. He was a nice guy. He left a tip in the tip jar.”
Crowe didn’t talk a lot as he waited for his order, Garwood said.
“He was just hanging out,” she said.
Crowe had a bicycle with him, and he ate his sandwich on the cafe’s outside patio, Garwood said.
She considers herself a fan of Crowe.
“I like a few of his movies,” Garwood said. “I like ‘Gladiator.’ ”
Michele Martzel, the promotional services coordinator at the library, and Batavia Library Director George Scheetz said they walked out on the patio to talk to Crowe.
“Someone in the library said they thought they saw Russell Crowe,” Martzel said. “Neither of us wanted to bother him, but if we didn’t find out it was true, we’d be kicking ourselves.”
Martzel and Scheetz chatted for a few minutes with Crowe, who was eating lunch with colleagues.
“It was exciting because I couldn’t believe there was a real-life movie star sitting on the patio at the Batavia Library,” Martzel said. “He was very nice and gracious.”
They both had their photos taken with Crowe.
“I just welcomed him to Batavia and the library, and asked him if there was anything we could do,” Scheetz said.
Scheetz also told Crowe that he had grown up reading DC Comics, including “Superman.”
He admitted Crowe’s surprise appearance at the library caused quite a stir.
“It was a strange day at the library,” Scheetz said.