Craig Sheffer enjoying anonymity

VENICE BEACH, Calif. — Actor Craig Sheffer on Tuesday admitted to no one in particular that he is enjoying the relative anonymity that comes with being Craig Sheffer.

“I have to say, this is kind of nice,” said the 54-year-old “One Tree Hill” star while dining alone at the Sidewalk Café. “I’ve been here drinking coffee for almost three hours and haven’t been interrupted by so much as a single autograph hound or TMZ cameraman.”

Despite his breakout role opposite Brad Pitt in the 1992 film “A River Runs Through It” and his memorable turn as troubled college quarterback ‘Joe Kane’ in 1993’s “The Program,” Sheffer admits he freely travels about the United States and even the globe without fear of being recognized by starstruck fans or inconvenienced by the dogged pursuit of persistent paparazzi.

“Pretty easy for Craig Sheffer to go unnoticed, and I prefer it that way,” Sheffer attempted to tell largely indifferent staffers at the famed Venice Beach eatery. “I mean, I see the attention Brad (Pitt) still gets, what with his ageless good looks, arresting movie star wife and adorable children, and I can assure you that headache of undying attention and adoration is something ol’ Craig Sheffer wants nothing to do with.”

Though Sheffer admits the freedom to go anywhere he wants, be it a Hollywood hotspot or the town center in his hometown of York, Pennsylvania, with the relative certainty that he will go unrecognized is a luxury few actors enjoy in a day and age so influenced by social media. But the “Turbulence 2: Fear of Flying” star is quick to note that he is occasionally asked for a photo or autograph when out and about, and he’s always happy to oblige those fans who can’t resist complimenting his 30-year career.

“Just the other day I was caught off guard in the Ralphs on Cloverfield by a female fan who kept going on and on about how much she loved my work,” Sheffer admitted to a hearing impaired elderly woman sitting at an adjacent table on the café’s patio. “It turned out she thought I was David Boreanaz, and was even relieved to discover David Boreanaz didn’t look like a man in his mid-50s. So it was nice to be reminded that Craig Sheffer can still bring a smile to a beautiful woman’s face. Even if that beautiful woman admitted she had no idea who Craig Sheffer was.”

And while Sheffer is quick to point out the entertainment industry axiom that fame is fleeting, the star of the 2013 made-for-television film “Battledogs” is equally quick to point out just how quickly many actors go from relative obscurity to household name.

“Sure, I can sit here for hours on end on any given day and then stroll the Santa Monica Promenade without anyone even doing a single double take when I walk by,” said Sheffer, who currently has no projects in the works for 2014. “But my next collaboration with Tom Skerritt could be right around the corner, and then it’s back to being ‘Craig Sheffer, movie star’ all over again. But until then, I’m just going to sit here and enjoy being the only person within spitting distance who knows I’m that Craig Sheffer.”

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