The Role Mommy Best of 2010

It’s been quite the year in books, entertainment and gadgets and so rather than compile a separate list for each, we’ve decided to come up with a top 10 of our favorite things for 2010. Take a look…
1. The iPad – Full disclosure on this one. I do not own an Apple iPad . However, it is the one product that I really, really, really want to buy. I do, however, own a Kindle and I read about 5 books on it until I forgot to keep charging it. Biggest mistake of 2010, not biting the bullet and buying an iPad. I am currently hoarding gift cards so that the sting won’t be as big when I finally do give in and place an order. I’m also hearing that a new iPad will be released in February or March so I may hold out another few months…maybe.
2. The Help – typically, over the course of a year I hear from several friends about the books I need to read and overwhelmingly, the consensus this year was “You must read The Help.” And so, I bought the book (before I got my Kindle) and took it on an eight hour plane ride and managed to finish it before the flight was over. And now, they’re making it into a movie that debuts in 2011. I’m so cutting edge.
3. Despicable Me – By far, Despicable Me (Minion Madness DVD Double Pack + Digital Copy)
was my kids’ favorite animated film of the year. Put Steve Carrell in any movie and you pretty much get our thumbs up, but this adorable film about a bad guy who has his heart melted by a pair of orphans had us laughing in the aisles. We also bought the DVD – a true measure of how much you love a film when you choose to have it in your DVD library.
4. Dancing with the Stars – Call me a cheese ball, but I have to say, since “Dirty Dancing” was one of my favorite movies of all time, I was thrilled to see Jennifer Grey win the silver disco ball. And to know that she had several back surgeries and is 50 years old and looks beyond amazing is reason enough for me to hit the nearest Weight Watchers center and start taking some salsa lessons stat.
5. XBox 360 Kinect – A game that recognizes you when you stand in front of it, takes pictures, and has you feeling like you are white water rafting, boxing, playing ping pong and more, without having to get confused by a remote control is sheer brilliance. If you haven’t ordered the Xbox 360 4GB Console with Kinect yet, then what are you waiting for?

6. Grandpa Fix-It and Movies under the Stars – Our first experience in 2010 with a movie under the stars took place on a Princess cruise ship for my dad’s 70th birthday (incidentally, we gave dad the ultimate birthday present when we published a children’s story he had written called “Grandpa Fixit.”) We wrapped ourselves in blankets, sat on lounge chairs and nibbled on popcorn as we watched one of my son’s favorite films “This Is It.” (He’s a huge Michael Jackson fan). Movies under the stars part II took place in our backyard when we decided to throw an outdoor movie party for my son’s 8th birthday and we watched “The Tooth Fairy” with about 30 kids. So much fun!!!!
7. Blueberries, blueberries, blueberries – The summer of 2010 was the summer of blueberries for me. The reason? While on vacation in Rhode Island, I discovered a fabulous new drink – a blueberry martini. Then, when we headed to Maine (which happens to be known for its blueberries and lobster of course), I sampled a blueberry mojito…delicious. And I hear since blueberries are good for you, it’s officially become my go-to ingredient for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
8. Visiting Riviera Nayarit, Mexico – Earlier in the year, I got the chance to travel to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and then spent the night in a two bedroom luxury suite at Villa La Estancia overlooking the pool and ocean. Did I mention our suite also had a state of the art kitchen, marble bathrooms and some of the best food I’ve eaten in years? I keep telling people that Villa La Estancia is like visiting a Four Seasons on steroids. And now, I keep reading that Riviera Nayarit is totally the place to be for vacationers. I love being in the know 🙂
9. Meeting and Interviewing Sharon Osbourne, Emma Thompson, Sigourney Weaver and more – I have to say, my favorite part of the year has been getting the opportunity to meet inspiring women who have achieved amazing things in their lives. And considering I’m an entertainment junkie, any time I’ve been invited to attend a junket, participate in an interview or roundtable luncheon with a major star has been the highlight of my year. Now that we’ve launched Project You Magazine, I’m determined to perfect my interview skills, pull a Barbara Walters and make someone cry.
10. Taking my mom and daughter to see Wicked on Mother’s Day – There’s nothing that quite compares to doing something incredibly special with your mom and this year, I decided to take her and my daughter to one of the best Broadway shows on the planet, “Wicked.” To this day, I still can’t get “Defying Gravity” and “Popular” out of my head and will probably go see it again in 2011 with my husband and son.
So there you have it…my top 10 of 2010. Comment now with your favorite memories of the year!

Despicable Me: Interview with Steve Carrell

Steve Carell.jpg

Sitting down with Steve Carell for the press junket for Despicable Me, I was surprised to find him so down to earth. Unlike his character Michael Scott of “The Office,” Carell is friendly, funny and normal!
In “Despicable Me,” Carell voices Gru, a villain who finds great pleasure in doing deliciously wicked things to other people. Whether it’s freezing a long queue of customers ahead of him at a coffee shop, or creating a balloon animal for a small boy only to pop it in front of his face, Gru gets to do all of the dastardly things we only wish we could.
Gru is on track to become the greatest villain of all time by committing the crime of the century, but when he adopts three orphan girls to unwittingly help him break into the heavily secured compound of his enemy, Vector, he never imagines they’d melt his icy heart and turn him into a softie.
Carell says he enjoyed watching the character develop and at one point, Gru knows his kids are in jeopardy and he storms Vector’s lair to save them. That’s when Carell knew that Gru had become a dad, “Because as a parent, you would throw yourself under a bus for your kids and not even think about it. There’s not a split second of hesitation. It’s like, he punches a shark, and is just like “Nope!” and keeps going. It becomes about them and you’d do anything for your kids, so I totally identify with that.”
To Carell, the movie has a bigger message than an evil man turned good guy, “It’s the quintessential journey of becoming a parent. That to me is really the story. Someone has their life structured the way they want, or think that’s how they want it to be. Then you introduce kids and it changes and you can’t explain it to someone who’s about to have kids how it’s about to change. The common thread is it changes everything: how you think about yourself, your work and your life, and how you view the world around you.”
And just when you think Steve Carell is winning awards at home, he reminds us once again that he is just a normal dad, trying to impress his kids, “No matter how cool you think you are, your children always bring you back to earth.” He adds, “When we were leaving the theater after seeing “Despicable Me,” my son thought the movie was great but ask why I didn’t play a minion.”
Listen in to more of our interview with Steve Carrell and then check out this featurette from the film. “Despicable Me” opens in theaters nationwide July 9.

Check out all our “Despicable Me” coverage by visiting the following links:
Interview with Julie Andrews
Interview with Miranda Cosgrove
with Jason Segal

Despicable Me Movie Preview

In “Despicable Me,” Julie Andrews Takes on Mean Mom Role

Never in my life would I imagine sitting across from the legendary Julie Andrews, but during the “Despicable Me” press junket, my dream came true! We started with a standing ovation from all the mom bloggers to which she politely commented, “I think it’s all of you ladies who deserve that.” Sigh.
Julie Andrews.jpgFrom “The Sound of Music” to “Mary Poppins,” Julie Andrews has always been the mother that you wish you had. That is, until now…..
In “Despicable Me,” Julie plays the mother of Gru (Steve Carell) and this is one mother you would not want to meet in a dark alley. Nothing is ever good enough for her and from the time he was a young boy, Gru has been seeking her approval and he’s always been left disappointed. At one point in the movie she calls to taunt her son, “That was you wasn’t it, or was it a villain who is actually successful?”
Andrews admits that “they broke the mould with that girl,” but she believes her character doesn’t necessarily mean to be mean – she just has absolutely no idea she’s totally appalling and self involved.
In order to pull off a totally unique accent that matched Gru’s, Andrews says she worked with Steve Carell to create a unique voice of Eastern European descent. She says it was truly an emancipating feeling to just “go for it” and says a lot of people didn’t realize it was her. If you’ve never imagined there could be a dark side to Julie Andrews, then you will have to see this movie and watch her play her meanest character yet!
Listen in to the entire interview with Julie Andrews and then take a look at this behind the scenes featurette on the making of Gru’s mom!

“Despicable Me” Star Jason Segel Chats with Moms

Role Mommy West Coast correspondent, Kristin Flannery, gets the chance to interview the cast of the 3D animated summer film “Despicable Me.” First up…Jason Segel!
Jason Segel2.jpgThanks to RoleMommy, I got the chance to attend the press junket for “Despicable Me” which will be released in theaters this Friday, July 9. I had an exciting day, meeting the films’ stars Steve Carrell, Jason Segel, Julie Andrews and Miranda Cosgrove and this week, I get to share my entire experience with you!
First up was the adorable, Jason Segel. In “Despicable Me,” he plays against his traditional lovable loser roles (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “How I Met Your Mother”) and instead, voices Gru’s (Steve Carrell) arch nemesis, Vector. The nerdy Vector, outfitted in an orange warm-up suit, is way too geeky to be this cocky, as he plays video games in his heavily guarded fortress while plotting his next evil move.
This was Segel’s first animated film and he was excited for the chance to tap into his geeky side when he developed the voice for Vector. Segel had wanted to play a villain for quite a while and believes bad guys have always been the most compelling characters in films (he says Dracula is misunderstood). Despite his evil nature, Segel adds that Vector is completely insecure as he sets out to impress his mean-spirited dad, who happens to run the Evil Bank in town that loans cash to bad guys so they can fund their dastardly deeds. Recalling his favorite childhood films, Segel says he’s always loved the idea of making kids feel like they can accomplish anything.
Segel also reveals that growing up, he was an odd kid who wore a Superman cape until he was 12 years old, even slipping it on under his clothes when he went to school. His mom didn’t mind his superhero obsession, but his brother finally had enough when Segel showed up at his state championship basketball game running up and down the court in the cape. Utterly embarrassed and annoyed, Jason’s brother told him it was time to stop (or he would kick his a**).
Take a listen to the complete interview with Jason Segel – “Despicable Me’s” Vector – and yes ladies… he’s single!
Check out the trailer and get ready for summer movie fun this July 9! More interviews to come!!!

Role Mommy on the Run Radio

Listen in to our latest podcast featuring Kristin Flannery, our west coast Role Mommy correspondent who got the chance to attend an exclusive junket for Despicable Me. While we’re sharing the interviews with Julie Andrews, Steve Carrell, Miranda Cosgrove and Jason Segal next week, Kristin gives us a sneak peak of her experience at the Four Seasons Hotel!
Plus, we talk about all things summer and why I hate summer shorts season; great kids activities, getaways for moms and much more! Grab a cup of iced coffee and get ready to laugh.

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August 2022