Role Mommy interviews Zac Efron

Lorax_Efron.jpg This Friday, March 2nd Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax opens in theaters! The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. Zac Efron lends his vocal talents to the lead character of Ted and Rolemommy sat down with him to discuss making a difference and the one lady he always tries to impress….
Question: Did you have to be alone in the animation studio? How do you get yourself psyched up when you do the voice over?
Mr. Zac Efron: You would usually film really early in the morning, and my voice is not my best. So, normally, we’d sit around for about a half hour and drink green tea while my voice recouped. Then, we’d get going, and I’d raise it two octaves. It was very fun, yes.
Question: Did your involvement with the film made you more environmentally aware and if so, how?
Zac Efron: It did. I always have this feeling in the back of my mind that I’m never doing enough, you know? And it’s true. It’s like you can never do enough. So, I was really searching for a way to get involved. What is the way I’m gonna jump in and how can I take charge and make a difference? And that was one of the best parts about this movie is I feel like, finally, I’m representing a cause. This is gonna plant those seeds out there. People are going to see this movie and maybe it’ll tip one or two people to become more green. And those are the small things that really count. Other than that, I try and do the regulars. I try and conserve as much as I can, yes.
Question: What did you find to be the most challenging doing an animated voice?
Zac Efron: Challenging? It was fun. I think the hardest part about it, and it’s just like anything else, is you’ve just got to let go. You’ve got to be free. And the first two days I did it, you’re self conscious. There’s a camera in your face. You know you look like an idiot. You’re saying ridiculous lines and making big hand gestures. Someone’s going to see this footage.Once you let go and commit and just be free and have fun, that’s when the real spontaneity and improvisation comes out, and it just turns into one of the most fun things in the world. So, just letting go, forget where you are.
Question: Do you work with anybody on the set at all? So, I know you didn’t see Taylor [Swift] too much, but most of this was just by yourself in a recording studio.
Zac Efron: Yes.
Question: Did you ever meet any other actors and actresses to kind of play off each other?
Zac Efron: No.
Question: Did they just stand there and read to you and then you have to react?
Zac Efron: Yes, sort of. I mean, once you get the line and the context, then you work with the director [Chris Renaud] to figure out specifically how you want to do it. Then, you just try it a bunch of different times. I prefer to read with people. So, I’d have him [Chris] read the lines with me. And as much as I tried to make him do Taylor’s voice, he couldn’t do it.
Question: Have you ever done anything for a girl in order to win her over such as, a big grand gesture?
Zac Efron: My mom really likes it when we write her. Honestly, I don’t care what you get my mom. She doesn’t care about the present. But, the card is huge to her and it’s so nice. So, we try and put all of our love into it and tell her how much we love her into a card, and that’s the only thing she ends up keeping. I mean, usually, everything else doesn’t matter.

Role Mommy interviews Danny DeVito

Lorax_DeVito.jpg This Friday, March 2nd Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax opens in theaters! The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. Danny DeVito lends his vocal talents to the iconic title character of the Lorax and Rolemommy sat down with him to discuss going green at home and going orange on screen….
Question: We asked Danny if he read The Lorax to his kids when they were little?
Mr. Danny DeVito: Yes. Well, I have three kids so we started out with all the books without any words and mostly the really cool pictures And then, we started moving into the picture books with words, and that natural progression took us right to Dr. Seuss because especially when you come home at night and you’ve been working and you want to read the kids to sleep and give them that book in the bed, and you can sit there and go and da-da-da-da-da-ba-ba-ba-da-da-da-boom-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-dum you know? But, Dr. Seuss always gave you a really cool story. And so, we did all of the normal Green Eggs and Ham and the this and the that. We also loved Horton Hears a Who and then, of course, when we got hip to The Lorax, it was really cool.
Question: We asked Danny what did you think about The Lorax character before you took on the role and did you indentify with him?
And so, a lot of people don’t know about Dr. Seuss. It’s kind of subversive a little bit in a way because it’s not just a simple message. It’s a message about the environment and there are controversial things in it, and same thing with Matilda, which I like. I like that there’s a little bit of an edge to it. It’s not just a simple story.
And The Lorax, I didn’t identify with the character as much as I dug him. I thought he was really cute and cool. And it wasn’t until two years ago or so when Chris Melandandri [Producer] called me and asked me if I would be interested.
Question: It’s no secret that you resemble The Lorax in real life so we were wondering if you ever thought about growing a huge mustache to get in to character?
Mr. Danny DeVito: Yes. I didn’t think I’d ever get it quite as beautiful as The Lorax’s mustache. That guy’s been living in that stump for a long time.
Question: Now that you have played the role of The Lorax, do you feel an even great responsibility to speak for the trees?
Mr. Danny DeVito: Yes. I’ve never been as environmentally wacky as my friend Ed Begley [Actor, Environmentalist]. He’s my dear friend. But, I was one of the first people back in the days when they gave you the EV1 car, the zero emissions car, I was one of the first people to rent that car. Rhea [Perlman] actually rented it for me for Father’s Day, and I loved it, and I drove it everywhere. I own right now, and it’s out in the parking lot, a Leaf, which is an amazing car. It’s a Nissan car. They’re building factories right now for the batteries and for the parts and everything in the United States. But, the greatest thing about it is there are zero emissions, I plug it in at my house at night. You have to put a 220 in or some line because it charges it faster. And I plug it in.
And the other thing we don’t have in my house is napkins. We have cloth napkins in my house. We just started about a year ago. At Christmastime, we bought everybody in the house reuseable water bottles, all the people, even the people who work around the house to come in, we give them their own bottle with their name on it. And they fill it up. We have filtered water, and we fill it up with tap because water is going to be the real big issue.
Question: Do you see any of your children in the characters of Ted or in Audrey in The Lorax?
Mr. Danny DeVito: Yes, in the film. Well, I’ve seen my son look do-eyed at a young woman and win her over. He’s a romantic. And my daughters are also. I don’t know how it is with you guys, but in our family, the girls talk to me and we have a great relationship. They’re 28 and 26 now, and both have boyfriends. But, we’ve never talked about anything like dating or what would you. I gave them all kinds of really good advice, and Rhea too has given them all kinds of good advice.And you all know what that advice is because you’re all aware of the fact that it’s a different world out there, and we have to make sure our kids are protected in every way and give them the opportunity to be protected. I thought that was a sweet romance in the movie and done really well. The younger guy and the girl who he looks up that he really likes. And there you go. Just looking at it now in hindsight, you say romance and matters of the heart can really change the world.
Question: How depressing would it be for The Lorax in the real world?
Mr. Danny DeVito: Yes, it was bad when I had to let the animals find some other place to live. That was pretty sad.
It is a mirror in a way to what’s happening all over the world, in the rainforests and in our country. And the more we can protect parks and trees and it’s not an “anti logging” message at all because the main thing is what the Once-ler didn’t do and how he redeemed himself was saving that seed.
And when he gave the seed to the kid to take to plant, that’s the message really of the movie, for us to be aware of the fact that we can make a difference, and we can still be commercially viable, and we can still do all the things that we naturally do as long as we’re not hurting the environment.

Role Mommy Interviews Betty White

Betty White Lorax in session artwork.jpgThis Friday, March 2nd, The Lorax FINALLY opens! Role Mommy sat down with Betty White to discuss her animated voice role as wise Grammy Norma, the importance of family meals around the dinner table and if anyone has ever been mad at her.
Question: You were so great as the grandma who wanted to just guide him (Ted) and help him and fall in love and change the world that they were living on.
Betty White: That’s what I love about it. And it’s such a pretty movie. It’s a beautiful thing to look at. I love it.
Question: This is such a strong empowering female role and just when the grandma seems sweet and unassuming, then she kicks it in to high gear. How did she make that happen?
Betty White: Oh, that’s the fun of it. And I love the way they wrote it because it doesn’t make fun of anybody. It’s not mean spirited.
Question: Why do you have such a connection to today’s teenagers?
Betty White: I think it’s honesty. I think they’re pretty honest at this point, and if you start talking down to them, they’ll turn you off in a minute.
group Lorax_BettyWhite.jpg
Question: You have the most brilliant comic timing, we were wondering if you’ve always been funny. Were you funny as a child?
Betty White: Oh, bless your heart. I was an only child with the best mother. I did a magnificent job of choosing a mother and father. And there wasn’t a straight man in the house. I mean that in a nice way.But, we would have Sunday morning breakfast together or we’d have dinner together every night around the table, and my dad would always ask me how things were at school and somehow, we’d get into silliness and fun. And we also would talk very seriously. It wasn’t all giggle time.But, I think those dinner tables and those breakfast tables went a long way on teaching me how to appreciate the positives as opposed to the negatives.
Question: Was it hard working alone in a studio reading your voiceover lines?
Betty White: Well, you feel kind of silly because they ask you to make all these weird noises and you don’t know what they mean by, well, it’s a gasp, but you’re doing this. So, you’re sitting there by yourself and you finally feel rather ridiculous. But, somehow, pretty soon, you get into it, and then you get into the beautiful visual thing that it is as well as the Dr. Seuss loveliness. And so, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it.
Question: What was your favorite part of the movie?
Betty White: Overall, the beautiful colors and the celebrating the environment and the caring about the environment, which is one of my big, big, big things, and the fact of looking for trees and wanting to find trees. Dr. Seuss has a way of doing, you could get into it. I hope everybody else loves it as much as those of us involved in it…And the animation side of it, you don’t put on eyelashes. You read your lines. I think another word for it is stealing.
Question: Tell us about your involvement in the Moms Clean Air Force.
Betty White: What I love is that we pass along that message to your offspring because they’re going to be the ones passing that message on forward. And so, I think the more we can encourage, not preach, encourage appreciation of clean air and clean water and the things that, sadly, we’re abusing this beautiful planet we live on as hard as we can. We have to try to get an appreciation going to stop some of that would be marvelous.
Question: You are such a vibrant spunky person in real life, on TV and film that we wanted to know if you had any secrets or tips for women and men of how to make the most of everything that you do and continue radiating and being so spunky?
Betty White: Well, if you don’t appreciate something as it’s happening, if you look back and say, oh, gee, that was a great time, I didn’t realize it at the time, you’ve missed it. So, everything isn’t sweetness and light. You get some bad times, too. But, by appreciating and celebrating the good stuff, you can handle the bad stuff better. And sometimes, you wonder how did you get this lucky, you’re going to owe it down the line somewhere along the line, but enjoy it now while it’s happening.
Question: You are so funny and quick witted, we were wondering if you got to improv any of your lines in The Lorax.
Betty White: No, just the lines. They sent it overseas to get the animation done. It’s incredible how complicated an animated show is and how expensive that animation is. So I would follow their instructions to the letter, yes. But, it’s interesting. I can’t wait to see the movie.
Question: Have you ever made anybody mad in your life or do you always have a diplomatic way about you?
Betty White: I have two ex-husbands.
Since we haven’t seen any tell all books, Betty must have done something right! Don’t forget to see (and hear) Grammy Norma in The Lorax this Friday, March 2nd in theaters!

Join Us Friday For a Twitter Party for “The Lorax”

Get ready for a fun-filled Twitter party this Friday night at 8:30 pm ET/7:30 pm ET when we celebrate the March 2 premiere of “The Lorax.” Our Twitter event will simultaneously take place with a fun filled cocktail party at Blissdom, which kicks off in Nashville this weekend. So if you’re home with your kids, make sure you log onto Twitter to join in on the fun! We’ve got tons of prizes that we’ll be giving away compliments of “The Lorax” and Seventh Generation. Take a look…
(5) $50 Fandango Gift Cards
(5) The Lorax Gift Bags (Tote filled with Soundtrack, Seedling, Water Bottle, Lunch Bag, Fuzzy Mustache, Activity Card, Book and Bookmark)
(2) $100 Fandango Gift Cards
(3) Seventh Generation Green Clean Kits (featuring The Lorax)
It’s simple to join the party. Make sure you fill out this form, follow @TheLorax @RoleMommy on Twitter enter the #LoraxBliss and get ready to test your Dr. Seuss and Lorax trivia!
tumblr_lzt9clVrrA1r3140g.jpegFrom the creators of “Despicable Me” and the imagination of Dr. Seuss comes the 3D-CG feature Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax,” an adaptation of the classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.
Danny DeVito will lend his vocal talents to the iconic title character of the Lorax, while Ed Helms will voice the enigmatic Once-ler. Also bringing their talents to the film are global superstars Zac Efron as Ted, the idealistic youth who searches for the Lorax, and Taylor Swift as Audrey, the girl of Ted’s dreams. Rob Riggle will play financial king O’Hare, and beloved actress Betty White will portray Ted’s wise Grammy Norma.
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is the third feature created by Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Hop).
If you’re a huge fan of the trees, then make sure you Like The Lorax Facebook page and visit their Pinterest page for tons of fun green tips.

Take Back the Kitchen with Alma Schneider

P1100279.JPG When I was asked to attend a Stouffer’s event in Solon Ohio, the first question I asked myself was, “Who do I know in Ohio that I can visit?”. When I realized I couldn’t think of anyone except my college roommate’s step mother who I visited over 25 years ago, I thought, why would a healthy cooking blogger who encourages people to cook from home go to an event to learn about frozen, packaged food?
I decided that it was worth coordinating child care for the four kids for two days to see what trends are out there in frozen food, who the market is and what the company’s plan is to make healthier products. Let’s face it, even the most earnest home cook delves into the freezer periodically, myself included, and I wanted to find out what the options are and if some are better than others. Truth be told, I was also enticed by a night of uninterrupted sleep in a comfortable king size bed-alone which of course did not happen since I bolted up at 6:45 from a dream that I was being stabbed by a porcupine in my front yard. What the heck?
So, a group of Stouffer’s facebook fans and bloggers were flown out for a two day food extravaganza. We were treated to generous meals and parting gifts from the company but we also were treated to some pretty interesting presentations from the branding /marketing folks.
In my typical TBK fashion, I needed to ask the tough questions so, one by one, I pulled aside the members of the marketing and branding team and put them to the test.
Are your meals healthy and if not, why?
The responses I got were both enlightening and surprising. I found out that Stouffer’s is actively working with organizations and companies to improve and enhance flavor naturally without added fats and salt. I also found out, not surprisingly, that when surveyed, most folks say they would prefer whole grains, less fat and salt but when products are offered to them, they are not willing to give up flavor and texture for health. Although the trend is to make healthy, ethnic products, most people want convenience and want the taste of fat and salt.
For this reason, Stouffer’s products, including their new line of Farmer’s Harvest Products, have less fat than their full fat products but are still pretty high on the sodium and fat content.
Let’s face it, Stouffer’s is in the business of selling food products that the public buys. This is where we come in. We need to meet companies like Stouffer’s in the middle: If they are willing to create products with health benefits, we need to purchase them and/or let them know why their products aren’t up to our standard of taste when they are making healthier products.
I will say that many of the Farmer’s Harvest products that we tried were tasty, especially their Curry Chicken, and if eaten only when in a pinch, they may not be so bad for us. we all need to indulge once in a while and comfort food is comforting. My hope is that if people like the products, then they will eventually try to replicate them from scratch and make healthier versions on their own.
As for Solon, Ohio, a lovely place to visit with lovely people, including the staff at Stouffer’s who treated us very well.
For great recipes, visit Alma at Take Back the Kitchen.

50 Couples Get Engaged on “The Talk”

What a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day!
Think the way your hubby proposed was the most creative? Think again. Today’s edition of “The Talk” featured one of the coolest proposal stunts ever – 50 couples simultaneously got engaged on live TV. Check it out:

If you’ve got a great Valentine’s proposal you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it. As for me, my hubby pretended to have our car pulled over by a friend of his who happened to be a cop. His friend then made me step out of the car, open the trunk and inside were two dozen roses and an engagement ring.
I know – bet you’re thinking you don’t have a proposal story that can top mine – give it a try – I’d love to hear about it.

When Gifted Writers Are Taken Away too Soon

jz.jpegOn Friday, February 10, one of the most prolific storytellers of our time was driving back from a book signing appearance on a snowy Michigan road.  A New York Times best selling author many times over, the writer probably was cautiously driving along reflecting on the night he had just experienced at a signing for his latest book, “The Magic Room.”   A kind and gentle man, the writer didn’t have to trudge out in the snow to meet his fans.  He could have cancelled – blamed it on the weather and instead, remained safe in his home with his wife and three daughters.  But he didn’t and in the blink of an eye, his life was senselessly taken away.
Out of all the journalists I have worked with in my career, Jeffrey Zaslow was by far, one of the kindest. I first had the chance to work with him nearly two decades ago when he had been assigned a USA Weekend cover story on Ricki Lake, who had just launched a new talk show. As publicist for her show, I was there to help facilitate the interview and research process and what I remember back then, was that Jeff Zaslow was incredibly nice, easy going and a great listener who managed to capture the energy and excitement of that time when Ricki’s popularity as a talk show host truly began to take flight.
More than 10 years later, I was at the check out line of Barnes & Noble and noticed “The Last Lecture” sitting on the counter. When I saw that Jeff Zaslow had co-authored the book, I snatched it up in an instant and literally read it in one day (crying through many parts of it). I then searched for Jeff’s email address so that I could congratulate him on writing such an incredibly moving and inspirational book. And guess what? He wrote back and even said he remembered who I was and was so gracious in his response.
That’s why it’s no surprise that the man responsible for penning some of our nation’s most well read and inspiring books, was doing what he loved the morning he died. Sharing his stories with people who appreciated his incredible gift. The world has lost an incredible person who managed to touch millions of lives with his prose. If you’ve never read one of Jeff’s books, then visit his website and dive into “The Last Lecture,” “Highest Duty,” “Gabby,” and now, “The Magic Room.” While he was taken away from his family and friends way too soon, his legacy as a journalist and author will last for generations to come.

Too Cool for School

mail-1.jpeg If you live in the tri-state area or know anybody who does, you must read about this great idea! A one-stop shop for any class (kids and adults) in New York City! No more researching for hours, who has time for that? Now you can visit CourseHorse and put in any type of class you are interested in, and your class choices, schedules and prices appear right before your eyes, like magic! There are currently more than 6,000 classes being offered, with the number growing daily. The average price of classes on the site is $20 per hour, making education truly affordable for anyone interested. Users can search by time, date, price, age, subject and neighborhood. Classes range from Bikram Yoga to French lessons to Still Life Painting to Negotiation Skills to Cake Decorating.
Role Mommy had the opportunity to ask Nihal Parthasarathi, founder of CourseHorse, a few questions…
RM: How did you come up with the idea for CourseHorse?
NP: The idea for CourseHorse actually came out of several failed attempts to cook a decent meal. Back in early 2010, the two of us made the resolution to stop eating out as much. However, several terrible meals later we realized that we needed to take a cooking class to get down the basics. That’s when we realized how hard it was to find a great cooking class that fit both of our schedules and price ranges. After talking to several dozen class providers and surveying hundreds of New Yorkers, we were ready to quit our jobs and create CourseHorse!
RM: Are there plans to expand to other cities?
NP: Absolutely! The plans to expand are already in the works, as we’ve had people all over the country (and the world) asking us to launch in their city next! We’re keeping the next city a surprise, but stay tuned!
RM: What is the most unique kids class you have on your site?
NP: Great question! The most popular kids classes on our site this year have been:
Stunt Trampoline for Kids
Sushi Challenge
Kids Hip Hop
Now, just for our fabulous readers, they are offering 10% off any class available on CourseHorse! All you need to do is enter the code, “rolemommy” at check out. This would also make a great gift! Let us know what class you sign up for!