Zac Efron & Charlie Tahan Chat with RoleMommy

zacefron.jpegFollowing the screening of Charlie St. Cloud, I attended the junket for the film at the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey along with 8 mom bloggers from across the country. Within 24 hours, we got the chance to see the film (second time around’s a charm), attend a cocktail party, enjoy a morning to ourselves (I spent the time walking along the marina and beach, snapping photos along the way) and then the big moment arrived. It was time to interview the cast and producers.
Our first roundtable chat began with the stars of the film, Zac Efron and Charlie Tahan. The pair portray Charlie and Sam, two brothers whose lives are irrevocably changed when they are involved in a car accident and Charile makes a promise to his younger brother that he will never leave him. While Charlie is brought back to life, his younger brother doesn’t make it. In a strange twist of fate, Charlie is reunited with Sam every evening in the woods near the cemetery where he is buried. And rather than head off to college on a sailing scholarship, Charlie chooses a different path so that he can see Sam every night for a game of catch.
Here are some of the highlights from our Q&A session with Zac and Charlie:
Question: How did you both prepare emotionally for this role? Dealing with death and dying?
Zac: When I read the script, it was something I noticed, everyone at some point in their life experiences loss and has to go through that. I think everyone has also seen that person who has never really been able to bounce back from that and when I looked at the character and what was happening, it was very easy for me to picture my life without my brother and how that would make me feel and that guilt and that responsibility. I feel very responsible for my brother and I try and protect him every chance I get. I’m very protective over him and just thought in some ways whatever it took to (think about) leaving him behind, is all that I needed to get there emotionally. And not to mention he looks a lot like him (Charlie). (Incidentally, Zac’s brother Dylan is now 18 years old).
Q. Did your moms both see the film and did they cry?
Charlie – There were a couple of scenes where we cried. When we were exiting the woods and there was violin music, I saw one little tear. My mom cries at everything. She cried at the end of the Sponge Bob movie.
Zac – My mom hasn’t seen it yet but she cries a lot in movies.
Q. What did you have the most fun doing during the film?
Charlie – The rain scene (the brothers go sliding through the mud on garbage can lids).
Zac – I really liked the scene at the beginning of the movie where we were playing catch on the street. I just think for some reason there was something about that location that was really beautiful and it brought me back to playing catch with my dad which are some of my fondest memories, I think. That’s exactly what we would do – we’d just go into the street and play catch. It was just so real and I haven’t seen that in movies a whole heck of a lot.
Q. What about the characters were most like you?
Charlie: Well mostly the way he said things. I didn’t really change the voice or anything or the personality.
Zac: At the beginning of the movie he didn’t have all the advantages that a lot of kids have. He didn’t grow up wealthy but he’s sort of playing the dad for his little brother and trying to raise him into the man he knows he can be and teach him sort of rules. Like if you put your heart and soul into something and you really commit and give it 110 percent then you can be the best at anything you want to do. And you can make it in this world and all of the hardship that we’ve had to deal with so far, is out the window because you’re going to make it and you can do whatever you want to do – make it out of this town. And I’ve always had that sort of philosophy in me. My dad instilled that in me – he always made me believe that I could really do whatever I wanted to do and I really believed it. It was the most powerful thing for me when I was growing up.
Q. Do you believe in ghosts – did you get creeped out in the cemetery?
Zac: When we were in the graveyard most of the time it wasn’t that scary because there were so many people out there. It was actually a really lovely place. However, one night, we did a lot of night shoots and at around 4 in the morning me and Amanda were kind of falling asleep and we said let’s go do something so we said, do you want to walk into the graveyard? So we left set for a little while and kind of got lost in the graveyard and suddenly it was very scary. You realize – we couldn’t even see the lights from set anymore and it was thick fog. Vancouver gets that really thick fog – and it was very very scary.
Charlie: It wasn’t really scary spooky scenes in the graveyard it was mostly him seeing his friends who were dead.
Q. What was it like having Kim Basinger play your mother in the film?
Zac: It was weird, she was too pretty. At the same time it was amazing – she was so warm and open and sharing. Every time we had scenes together I couldn’t wait to get out there because in between takes rather than going off and doing something, I would just sit and talk with her because she’s so amazing. She’s got this magnetic personality, you don’t really want to leave her alone. She’s very very cool.
Q. What was it like working with Ray Liotta?
Zac: He’s like the opposite – just kidding. No he’s not. He’s awesome first of all and he’s so funny and so smart and really and just knows everything to say that’s cool. I don’t know how you get like that. He’s got like a swagger that he doesn’t even know he posseses which is what makes it so cool. And he’s never afraid to improv or go outside the script. And every scene he does he has a different approach to it. It’s amazing what happens from one take to another. I don’t know what goes on in his head but he’s able to come at it from so many different angles. I learned a lot from working with him.
More interviews to come! In the meantime, check out the photo montage from the Charlie St. Cloud junket. The film opens nationwide in theaters July 30.

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Related Links:
Our Movie Review: Charlie St. Cloud
Where in the World is Role Mommy?

Audible.com Releases See Mom Run!

Screen shot 2010-07-14 at 9.22.50 AM.pngNews Flash for my fellow Role Mommies! Get ready to laugh! For those of you who have confessed you never have time to read, we have the perfect solution for you. For the past several months, the fabulous contributors of our humor anthology were in the recording studio bringing their incredible stories to life and starting today, you can enjoy all our harried moments in the palm of your hand on your iPhone, iTouch, MP3 or iPad and even on your home computer!
While the book normally retails for $13.95, Audible is offering a special deal for our readers where you can join as a member of Audible and get the book for $7.49. That’s the price of a grande skinny vanilla latte and a biscotti! Come on people, what are you waiting for. Here’s the link to the special offer as well as the See Mom Run page on Audible which features a laugh out loud essay by the fabulously talented Jenna McCarthy. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did recording it!

Miranda Cosgrove Chats with Role Mommy

Miranda Cosgrove 2.jpgDuring the “Despicable Me” press junket, we got the chance to sit down with Nickelodeon sensation Miranda Cosgrove. Accompanied by her incredibly sweet mom, Miranda talked about growing up in front of audiences – from “School of Rock,” to “Drake & Josh” and now the hugely successful “iCarly,” Miranda was excited to tackle something new and shares what it what it was like being the voice of an animated character.
In “Despicable Me,” Miranda plays the eldest of three orphans, Margo, who is naturally protective of her two sisters and is not afraid to challenge Gru (Steve Carell) as he tries to parent the girls. In real life, Miranda is an only child, but says she had some practice for her big sister role – offering advice and sharing sleepovers with her next door neighbor and best friend.
Miranda says she was really excited to be a part of the movie and it was different than anything she has ever done before. Working alone in a sound booth was the most challenging part of the role, but with the guidance of the director, who gave her a free pass to “go crazy,” Miranda says she was able to create a character who stands out as a tough cookie who anyone would love to have as their big sister.
Listen in to the entire chat with Miranda Cosgrove who shares more details about Despicable Me and the incredible cast, her successful singing and acting career and much more!
And check out this adorable featurette with tips by Miranda on how to be a great big sister!

Despicable Me opens in theaters nationwide July 9.

Love to Travel? Join the Villa Group Travel Affiliate Network!

Thumbnail image for 125x125.jpgCheck out the members of the Villa Group Travel Affiliate Network, a group of mom bloggers who love to travel and spread the word about affordable and enjoyable vacations for families, couples and friends! Members of the affiliate network receive commission for vacations booked as a direct result of a reader visiting their site first and finding out about Villa Group Resorts.
Villa Group Travel Affiliate Network Members:

In addition to earning commission on travel bookings, members of the Villa Group Travel Affiliate Network will also get the opportunity to visit the properties and participate in customized retreats featuring well known celebrities, authors, fitness experts and entrepreneurs. If you would like to become a member of the Villa Group Travel Affiliate Network, please fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly!

*New! The Role Mommy Writer’s Network

If you are a member of The List, then over the past two years, you’ve been receiving all kinds of great opportunities – from media inquiries, to event invites, to product reviews and much more. We are committed to building upon the incredible network of bloggers, freelance writers, authors, experts and entrepreneurs who are all members of our community and as a result, we are thrilled to launch the Role Mommy Writers Network, a syndication platform that will offer you the opportunity to feature paid advertorial content on your blog.
Please be advised, we will not be compensating bloggers to post reviews and will continue to offer you the opportunity to have access to products and services before they hit the mainstream market so that you can share this exclusive information with your readers.
Advertorial posts will be advice driven and at times, will feature videos, photos and/or podcasts that have been written exclusively by bloggers. These articles can be utilized in its entirety on your blog or adapted as you see fit. All members of the network must fully disclose that the posts are sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network.
In addition, this incredible group will have the opportunity to attend writer workshops, events, retreats, interview best selling authors and entrepreneurs and network with like minded women and men who love to write. If you have’t already been in touch with us and if you’d like to apply to become a member of The Role Mommy Writer’s Network, please fill out the application below and we will notify you if you have been accepted into this exciting new program.

Quitting Blogging

I’m sure I got you there. No, I haven’t decided to pack it in and give up my blog but I have seen a lot of women making the conscious decision to walk away from this world in order to spend more time with their families or pursuing careers IRL (in real life for those of you new to the whole bloggy/tech scene). You see, when you first start blogging, it can actually be really cathartic. You share your innermost secrets that you can’t tell your real friends, you connect with like minded souls across the country, you plan to meet them in person and you do, and then you start getting contacted by publicists to attend events, review products, possibly go on all expense paid trips, the memories can be priceless. But what do you have to show for it?
Have you been able to turn your passion for blogging into a business or have you tried for years and for some reason, something just doesn’t seem to be clicking? Do you get frustrated when you see other bloggers succeeding while you’re struggling to make a dent in a world that already seems pretty overpopulated at the moment? Let’s get down to the heart of the matter shall we?
Blogging certainly means different things for different people.
For many women who are pioneers in this world, blogging is about great writing. It’s about storytelling, as we instantaneously share those intimate moments when something incredible or heartbreaking happens in our lives.
For others, it’s about marketing and branding. A blog is a wonderful platform builder for budding authors, photographers, artists, manufacturers, food mavens, savings experts and entrepreneurs.
A blog can be a forum for individuals who are passionate about causes to band together to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than themselves.
A blog can be a mom’s connection to individuals in the outside world who might be going through the same thing she is – sleep deprivation, post partum depression, parenting a child with special needs.
It’s a wonderful motivator – just look at Bookie Boo and her Mamavation campaign which has swept through the Internet encouraging women to take back their bodies and lose weight!
And speaking of bodies – blogs even takes on taboo subjects like sex – with blogging pioneer Kristen Chase leading the charge with the release of her new book The Mominatrix’s Guide to Sex.
It’s a place where women who are struggling on the homefront might find a forum for themselves to succeed. As a writer, a marketer, connector and a friend.
Blogging can be a hobby and it can also be an addiction.
When your child is begging you to get off the computer so that you can help them with their homework, school project or take them off to buy clothes for summer camp – it’s time to step away and return back to life as we know it.
For me, blogging has been an amazing and surprising experience. I have met some of the most talented writers in our nation – many of them humor writers, since that’s my passion, and have made lasting relationships that I am certain will endure throughout my life. I have been inspired by the bloggers who rally against adversity and protect their own when tragedy strikes. I have been incredibly disappointed and shocked by women who hurl mean-spirited comments on Twitter and ascend to their own bully pulpit via their own blogs. And I have also felt incredible respect toward the women who have managed to turn their passion for blogging into a successful business. (Still trying to figure out that one as I write this post – damn how I wish my hubby was an IT guy).
As my children continue to grow and need me more (trust me new moms, it doesn’t get easier, it just gets harder), what I’ve come to realize is that I need to keep my blogging in check. I will never give it up because writing is my passion, but I am finding ways to bang out blog posts when my kids are fast asleep (um, that would be now), at a friend’s house for a play date or during my work day when inspiration strikes.
If you believe that you will be able to build a brand because you have a blog, just know that the work you have in front of you is incredibly arduous. I’m not saying you should give up – just don’t try everything at once. You don’t need to criss cross the state attending dozens of conferences – just choose the ones where you’ll get to connect with your online friends while learning how to take your passion for blogging to the next level.
And it’s perfectly fine to continue blogging as a hobby. This is not a race – it is a marathon – an uphill one at that, and the more you blog, the more you build a loyal following who may be interested in what you say or might just be entertained by your writing.
Don’t get down if people don’t comment. There are amazing bloggers who are great at engaging their audience. Others may have lurkers on their blog who read and move on – either way – if you are happy with your writing, don’t look for validation online. Connect with other writers you admire and respect and find out how they’ve managed to perfect their craft.
Join a writer’s group or a book club. Step away from the laptop and meet people in real time where you can discuss the things you love or help one another achieve your personal or professional goals.
Spend time with your family and friends. I remember one old friend telling me she keeps up with me through my Facebook and blog posts. That’s not how I want her to keep up with me – I want to see her more. Get the chance to have dinner or a glass of wine and laugh the way we used to when we were back in high school.
Technology can be a blessing and a curse. It can enrich your life by exposing you to opportunities and friends you never even knew existed. But it can also suck time away from the ones we love. At the end of the day, blogging should not be all consuming. And as you’re cruising for Facebook friends and Twitter followers, you should know that in your own home live the most important people who would really like to know your status right about now:
Status:
“Mom is about to wake me up so she can make me breakfast, fix my lunch and take me to school.”
One day, they’ll be too old for me to wake them up, cheer them on at ball games or kiss them on the cheek before they fall off to sleep. And I don’t want to miss a minute of it. Am I quitting blogging? No way. Just doing it in moderation so that I can get back to the real world.

Find more videos like this on Role Mommy

Coping with Controlling Grandparents

Thumbnail image for Backseat Grandparents Recently, I got the chance to join GMA correspondent and Moms Get Real host JuJu Chang along with Lee Woodruff, one of the funniest and most inspiring moms I know, for a no holds barred conversation about Backseat Grandparenting. Take a look…
Real Moms Get Real: Part I – JuJu Chang, Lee Woodruff, anonymous mom & me!
Real Moms Get Real – Part II – Dr. Terry Real shares great tips you can use to help bridge the divide between your parenting style and those of your parents or inlaws.
During the segment, my issues had to do with my overzealous dad who attempt to coach my kids during ball games even though my husband is the team coach, while Lee shared stories of her mother-in-law who smokes in their basement and then denies it in front of her kids. Plus, an anonymous mom shared why she is fed up with her mother-in-law who criticizes her parenting skills every chance she gets; and JuJu chimed in about her own mom – who actually sounds quite amazing even though with her first child JuJu was one of those overprotective parents who thought her own parents didn’t know what they were doing. That philosophy quickly changed by the time she had baby number three!
Also on hand was psychologist and best selling author Terry Real who shares tips on how parents can combat the effects of a parent or in-law who steps over the line when it comes to your kids.

Top Summer Family Vacations

Check out my latest post over at Lifetime Moms where I share my favorite picks for top summer family vacations. We’ve got something for every traveler so get ready to start taking notes and get ready to make reservations!

An Interview with Mom Blog Magazine

A big thank you goes out to Jennifer James at Mom Bloggers Club for this wonderful interview that was recently featured in Mom Blog Magazine. I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer in person two weeks ago and am so impressed with the incredible website she’s produced – with over 9000 mom bloggers and counting, Jennifer is a positive force in the mom blogging world. We’ll be chatting with her soon on Blog Talk Radio – so look for our upcoming interview with her and in the meantime, check out out her site!