(As promised, here is Part II of the HOP Movie press junket by “the Meredith with the banging shoes”. You can read Part I on this post.)
Universal Studios recently invited a batch of bloggers to L.A. for the weekend to attend the press junket for the new movie HOP, premiering this Friday April 1st. I was beyond thrilled to represent Mom in the City at this event, which included screening the film and interviewing some of the movie’s talent and creators.
Photo of parenting bloggers courtesy of Chris and Kristen Photography
After viewing the movie Friday night and attending a HOP inspired cocktail party complete with Hoptini’s, it was off to the official junket on Saturday morning. We were taken to the back lot of Universal Studios where the press tent was prepped and waiting. It was seriously like walking into a life-sized Easter basket. Imagine an explosion of sugary concoctions, brightly colored everything and furry costumed characters all HOPPed up on candy.
Meredith, those shoes and bunnies – photo courtesy of Chris and Kristen Photography
It was truly exciting to have all of us bloggers included with the rest of the traditional press. We got a kick out of hanging out in the tent and spotting the movie critics and reporters from those entertainment shows that we all love to watch. I have to say that I was a bit nervous about interviewing the movie’s stars as well as the creators of the film. How would they take this table of bloggers… most of whom call parenting their primary professions?
Before long, we were escorted to one of the sound stages where James Marsden (Fred O’Hare), Kaley Cuoco (Sam O’Hare), Russell Brand (E.B.), Producer Chris Meledandri, and Director Tim Hill were brought in one by one to be questioned by our merry band of bloggers. We learned about how the story was developed, how the perfect music was selected, how the actors prepared for their individual roles and how they made the animation flow seamlessly in and out of the LIVE action. But the highlight for me was when Mr. Brand strolled into the room.
Now, I don’t typically enjoy being called a “mommy blogger”. I think it’s a bit juvenile and trite. But when the cheeky, razor-sharp, British-accented Russell Brand says “Mummy blogger”, it’s like being called gorgeous. From the moment he pulled back the curtain and entered the room, until all 12 of his minutes with us was up, there wasn’t a break in the laughter. That man is dang funny.
After listening to his quick wit and brilliant comedic timing, it was plain as pie to see why he was chosen to play the part of E.B. Here’s a wee look at what went down during our 12 minutes with Mr. Brand:
Blogger: We have been informed that the rabbit wasn’t real. Now, is this or is this not true?
Mr. Russell Brand: In your position as Mommy bloggers, it’s important to keep up the idea that the Easter Bunny is real. I temporarily possessed him. Is that weird? Is that going to help? I possessed the Easter Bunny temporarily and was able to provide him with a voice.
I have got a double identity where, by night, I transform into a rabbit, which is a difficult and painful process where my fangs grow and my fur grows and I contort like a werewolf.
Blogger: So, you weren’t with any of your co-stars? How was that, acting alone?
Mr. Russell Brand: Lonely. What we should have had is we should have packed that booth with Mommy bloggers to give me something to do and an audience to play to. Tim Hill, the director, he’s nice and he was encouraging to me.
They stuck me in a booth and just left me in there. I was lonely. There were some carrots. They said it would help with the character. I don’t like carrots. I could see better, though.
Blogger: Did they film the live part of it first?
Mr. Russell Brand: No. They animate to your voice so that’s good because you can change things and make decisions. They show a script and then I always change it because then I feel that I have more ownership of it and I feel that it’s funnier. As a comedian, you have to be funny. Otherwise, they will take your card.
As Russell prepared to leave, one member of our group told him that she thought that he was super funny. He promptly turned to her and gave her a giant hug and kiss. Seeing this, I did what any smart mom would do….I looked him in the eye and told him that I thought he was really funny too. (Having Russell Brand wrap his arms around you, grab your face and give you a smooch on the cheek is one great way to end an interview!)
HOP opens on Friday (April 1st) in theaters nationwide. I plan on taking my boys and laughing all of the way through it again.
(Russell…call me 😉 )
Post Image courtesy of Universal Studios. Universal covered the travel and junket expenses for Meredith, but the down-home opinions are uniquely hers!