One of the tricky things about working in the entertainment business is the way your work can affect your ability to actually be entertained. For example, the composer of my current show is a moderately successful pop singer-songwriter (and if that's not a giveaway, I don't know what is... um, don't look at the sidebar). The other day his major hit came on the radio, and I just started to giggle. I was never a fan, but I've always liked the song, only now I can't reconcile the guy I work with every day with the guy singing on my radio.
And I'm low on the totem pole at this job – I don't know Singer Songwriter well at all. Imagine how much weirder it is when an actual friend is singing on my iPod, or shows up on Law and Order making out with some girl. (Especially when the friend is gay-g-g-gay-gay-gay.) Of course it's not just friends. I think I'm supposed to think that guy didn't kill his wife, and be sad when he goes to jail. But if you knew him like I do, you'd know he totally did it.
It works both ways. Nothing like meeting a coworker for the first time and thinking, "I've seen you naked." Or worse, "You were in Patch Adams." I guess this happens in "normal" jobs too; there's a new hire who you've heard stories about from friends, maybe even something drunken and embarrassing from college. But probably not in Us Weekly. (God help me if I ever work with Britney Spears.)
When things are good (and I've been lucky that they generally have for me) you stop thinking of stars as stars and they just become coworkers, or better, friends. Or, better still, your friends become stars. But it can still be an unpleasant surprise to see your friend's ass on TV.