Star Wars Rebels Spark of Rebellion Character Interview: Steve Blum and Taylor Gray

As a family my kids and I have been having Star Wars Rebels family time. We record on Mondays at 9PM EST and then on Saturdays watch Star Wars Rebels Spark of Rebellion together. The kids love it, actually we all love it. It’s so fun to be able to share something that we loved while growing up with our kids and have them love it too. Since I had the opportunity to interview the characters/actors I wanted to share it with all of you.

Star Wars Rebels


Steve Blum and Taylor Gray act as Zeb Orrelios and Ezra Bridger. These two characters do not get along at all, but the actors on the other hand just look at the photo above!

Q : What drew you guys to the film?

TG :  I love it. I think it’s so cool, um, like what, my favorite part about it is all the action. I think that that’s so fun. I think kids are gonna enjoy, um, all the characters and, and their multiple layers and how they run around firing off blasters and taking down troopers. I think, I think it’s all a lot of fun. It’s action along with a lot of, ah, nice dialogue.


SB : I was drawn when I was a kid when I first saw it. I was seventeen. I was fresh out of high school, and I went to the premiere in 1977, and I was one of those kids in the theatre whose head snapped back when the imperial star destroyer comes across the screen and the whole theatre rumbled. So, I get to relive this on a cellular level. It, it activates all of those memories from that time and, and, ah, when I was graduating high school, I was one of those apathetic youth and I didn’t go to my own graduation.

And, ah, to get to go and see something like that that was brand new. It was stuff that we hadn’t seen before. It, it woke up something in me and kind of gave me a new hope [UNINTELLIGIBLE.] But to get to, to work on something like that now where it’s, we’re bringing this to a whole new generation. It’s really exciting for me, and I’m a dad. And so I, I like working on quality programming that’s, ah safe for kids and it’s, um, it’s, it’s really got a great underlying message. It does, ah, offer a notion that there’s something bigger than we are and that we can strive to be better than we are and, and that a small group of people can be just as powerful as a large army against injustice.

TG : And a little bit of the force.

SB : And a little bit of the force, yes.

Q : Were you a Star Wars fan prior to this?

TG : Um, yeah. I hadn’t seen all the Star Wars movies. I had seen, I had seen 4, 5 and 6. It’s a nice joke with us, because we have some people in our cast, Vanessa and Freddy and then Dave as well who know more about Star Wars than anything I’ve ever met. They know things that I think aren’t even in Star Wars that are [UNINTELLIGIBLE]. And Steve and I, ah, Steven knows more than I do as well, but it’s been fun because, um, it’s cool to be a fan. I, I’ve now caught up and understood why everyone loves it so much.

I remember being in school when I was little, and every other kid had either a Star Wars shirt on or a lunch pail or a back pack. And it all makes sense why it’s so appealing, but it’s, it’s really cool. The best part of it is talking to fans of Star Wars and hearing their sentiments and why it’s so special to them, because everyone has their own connection to, ah, the Star Wars story. So it’s been really cool, um, coming up through all of it.


Q : We heard from some of the crew that you’re the funny one. Have you pulled any pranks on the cast?

SB : Not really. I think, what I just demonstrated there… [LAUGHING]. At the end of every effort, some, some of these guys…

TG : And an effort sounded something ridiculous. It’s like when we jump from building to building, or push a crate through planes.

SB : Yeah. I mean, he’s not used to doing that because he’s an on-camera guy and he can do that with his face or his body, but in, in voice over, we have to do everything on the mic, and so we’ll have what we call sound sets and in the sound sets, they’ll say okay, now we need you to, ah, take a punch or take six punches, three soft, three medium, three hard. And you’ll just hear us go [GRUNTING SOUND EFFECTS], and it can sound really filthy or, you know [LAUGHING] you go a lot of different directions. But basically after every sound that he makes… Do a sound.

TG : [GRUNTING SOUND EFFECT]. Every time, though`. Like you think you’ve heard it twice and it’s gonna come again, ah, but it’s always, it’s always so funny, but the king of doing all those sounds is Steve. We, there’s a thing that we do called the, what is it, [SOUNDS LIKE: walla librar--]…

SB : A sound library.

TG : Yes, sound library. And it’s like let’s hear you jump 20 times. Let’s hear you get hit in the face. Let’s hear you get shocked, and this guy can do every sound in the book when I’m like, ah, I’ve done it once. I think that’s the only way I’m ever gonna get a hit, but, um, it’s cool to learn from him. He’s so good at it.

SB : Well, I had to because I grew up doing anime, so in anime it’s a requirement to make every disgusting sound known to man.


Q : When you came in to read for the Wolf role, was anyone keen on what it could have been?

TG : Jungle Book? I thought it was like a, like a, like a discovery, like animal… I had no idea.

SB : Yeah, I do so many military games and, and military type characters that I just figured it was some military guy and some fighting show. I didn’t know what it was. I do a lot of superheroes also, so I really didn’t know until I think I was in the studio just about to record, and I saw storm troopers in the copy and I went, oh, this is something different. This is Star Wars. This is, this is Star Wars! [LAUGHING.] Yeah, so it was that moment of realization. Dave can probably speak to that about, ah….

TG : Yeah, I still didn’t pick up. I was like storm troopers, still probably like Jungle Book. [LAUGHING.]

SB : Yeah, a lot of shows that we auditioned for are coded, they’re very heavily coded. They want to protect that and we sign non-disclosure agreements once we do know, so I wasn’t allowed to talk about it. I had to keep all that inside, and thank God I can finally talk about it. [NON-INTERVIEW DIALOGUE.]

Q : How have you embraced the hardcore Star Wars fans?

TG : I think it’s awesome. I had no clue that there, we went out to, the first little taste of it we got was they sent us this thing called Star Wars Weekends in, ah, in Florida. And I had no idea what to expect. I was like oh, it will be fun to like hang out with a couple people who like Star Wars and go on some rides. There were like 60 thousand people who all had Star Wars shirts or full on, ah, costumes, ah, wardrobe, outfits, everything and, and light sabers. And just seeing that, I realized oh, wow, we’re in something much bigger than I thought.

And it’s, it’s been so much fun and they’re saying there’s so much more to look forward to, and I can’t wait.

SB : Yeah, I, I’ve been doing the convention circuit for the last 10 years for my other work for my other work and, ah, going to that weekend in particular seemed, you know, there was 20, 30 thousand people on the parade route, and they put us in convertibles and we’re waited on. It’s great, and I’m thinking the show hasn’t come out. Nobody’s gonna know who we are, and they’re chanting our names, you know. It’s my name. This guy had researched and knew everything that we did and people were bringing stuff up to me from my whole career. It was, in was amazing, and seeing the families, too.

There was this one family where there was a grandma in a wheelchair in her 90′s, and the way down to like a 2-year-old, and there are like 50 of them and they’re all together cheering for us as we’re coming out of the parade route, and they’re in first position right there, and they’re everywhere in the park that we were [SIMULTANEOUS TALKING,] [UNINTELLIGIBLE]. There’s all the signs and, and they had us take a family photo.

TG : They all had code names. They were, there was Red Leader [LAUGHING]. They, they knew what they were doing. Yeah, and, ah, it’s so fun.

SB : Yes. It’s been awesome. It’s a whole different level of fandom too, and so show-specific. It’s just amazing to me that after all these years, that the fandom is stronger now than it’s ever been. It’s incredible. [SIMULTANEOUS TALKING.]

TG : With all the media, it’s crazy. It’s on Twitter. It’s, it’s unbelievable. I’ve been telling people, I’ve had a Twitter before I’d gotten this, and I felt like half the people I see on Twitter somewhere in their little, ah, description of themself, it’s like coffee enthusiast. I like my hair. I’m a Jedi. [LAUGHING.] I’ve seen Jedi, so I see the word Jedi in more of those biographies than anything and, ah, I understand why. They’re the coolest type of person you could be.

SB : Hey, you’ve got Freddie Prince, Jr. [SIMULTANEOUS TALKING,] [UNINTELLIGIBLE]. Yeah, he’s on Twitter and he’s going crazy about it. It took Star Wars to do that.

Q : Since you didn’t know what you were going in for to read for, was there a point of time where you wondered about turning it down before you knew what it was?

SB : I don’t turn down anything.

TG : Me neither, but there’s a fine, sort of, this, it was actually this one. I, I was doing something else that day, I think and I remember being really late to, I was like an hour, and not normally would we show up late to anything and I was, I was running an hour late and I remember calling my agent, I’m like I’m late. I’m gonna make a fool of myself. I was sweaty. It was, I was working on something else. I had a hat on, and I was like I’m just not gonna go into this. I don’t even know what it is. And he’s like just walk in. I think they’re still there. And I remember walking in like this, so ridiculous. Like I, I can’t believe I’m late. I feel so bad.

And then yeah, it worked out. And now I’m so glad that I did, ’cause that I had, I guess that’s maybe a recurring thing in my life, like if I’m like a couple, I’m like no, I can’t do this, but, um, it sit, my mom’s over there nodding, yes. Yes it is. [LAUGHING.] Um, but yes, so this is, this has been awesome.

SB : Well, yeah, I, I treat every role as though it is the most important thing in the world. And a friend of mine wrote a song called Soldier A, and it’s, it’s about like the, the most innocuous character who, who dies every episode, but you have to invest as a voice actor. Especially on camera, we don’t have the luxury of grabbing a role and carrying it, you know, through a whole series and being able to depend on that for, ah, income. In the case of the show, of course, it’s a little bit different, but, ah, there’s so many shows that I work on where I am literally fired every day.

I go in, I work one day on a show and I’m on to the next thing, and so I treat every character with great reverence and I’m very grateful for the ones that I book. So, ah, to, to have invested that much into something like this and then it fleshes out to something like this, it’s gravy, it’s amazing.

Q : Do you have a favorite Star Wars character?

TG : Um, I hadn’t even seen all those, all those three films, so I had, yeah, then caught up, Anakin. I had, ah, when he was young and racing the pods, um, because I had played like the, ’cause Star Wars has everything. I, I play the video game where you’re racing through the, the deserts…

SB : The pod racing.

TG : Pod racing. [SOUNDS LIKE: Thank you.] I just needed reassurance from somebody. Ah, and, and, ah, I thought Anakin. He was young. He was the hero and, and he was my favorite character, but Darth Sidious, that’s a much cooler character. We met Ray Park when we went out to the, um, weekends and he was, um, Darth Maul. And I thought he was awesome, ’cause I hadn’t seen all those [SOUNDS LIKE: shows], so that is another character that I think is so cool, but I, ah, I hope that kids like the characters from this show as well. And I think it will be a lot of fun.

SB : They probably will.

Q : What was your favorite scene to voice over?

SB : Well, well, pretty much, I don’t know. I–I love, I love all of it for so many different reasons. I, I think one of my very favorite scenes that I’ve seen so far was Ezra’s realization that he was doing something of value. Ah, after our first initial struggle, and then stealing stuff, and he’s sitting there and we’re giving away, ah, food, and that was the whole, ah, purpose of our mission. And we’re risking our lives to do that. And to see that look of, of, ah, realization on his face where he’s just going, well, I didn’t do anything.

It’s like he didn’t deserve the praise and you see a little bit of a transformation in him [SIMULTANEOUS TALKING] and that was, that was a very powerful moment for me.

Q : Another moment is when he realized you came back for him, another strong turning point.

SB : And for me actually not taking care of him and letting him go, that was a really hard thing for me to play as, as a dad. It was really hard for me to, to just say see, you’re on your own, and leaving him with the empire. I mean, that was, that was terrible, but thank God we resolved that. [LAUGHING.] I can sleep now.

Penguins of Madagascar New Movie Trailer


On behalf of 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation we’re excited to share with you a NEW trailer for the highly anticipated action-comedy, THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR! Featuring the voices of Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, Peter Stormare and John Malkovich, watch the hilarious new trailer NOW!




About Penguins of Madagascar

Super spy teams aren’t born…they’re hatched.  Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private.  These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind.  Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then…you know), voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch.  Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, voiced by John Malkovich, from destroying the world as we know it.

Very Bad Day Interview: Bella Thorne as Celia

Hopefully you’ve seen Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day in theaters and have seen the lovely Celia played by Bella Thorne. Bella

CELIA—beautiful, self-assured and poised for high school royalty—is Anthony’s demanding girlfriend. Her ability to handle his bad day is questionable at best— particularly if it means her perfect prom plans are compromised in any way. 

While in LA for the press junket we were able to spend a bit of time with her and she talked about her role in the movie, working with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner and dealing with dyslexia.


Bella Thorne was called on to portray Celia, Anthony’s demanding girlfriend. Beautiful, self-assured and poised for high school royalty, Celia lacks the ability to handle Anthony’s foibles—particularly if it means her perfect prom plans are compromised in any way. “Celia’s dream is for prom to be perfect, and when circumstances change that vision, she does not react well,” says Thorne. “Although she doesn’t handle it maturely, it is from a point of disappointment and not from a bad place.”

Thorne says the story strikes a chord with both book readers and future moviegoers for a number of reasons. “I think a lot of people read the book because it’s funny,” she says. “It’s very different from other books you read as a kid, which are often fairy tales. This is something that feels real. This really could happen. I think that’s very relatable. We’ve all been in Alexander’s spot.”

Q : So, what brought you to this film?


BT : Um, I like this film, because, well, first of all, it’s with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. I wanted to be part of this film, because I like the script. I like what it stands for.

Q: What was your most fun scene to shoot?

BT : The most fun scene to shoot was probably when we were in the car with Steve and everybody’s making those loud noises… in this scene, it was just so weird and so funny. Um, but it was so weird that I’m sitting in a car with Steve Carell and he’s just being ridiculous.


And it’s so funny. And we’re all I’m not — I’m the one that’s supposed to be really not laughing, and it — Dylan starts laughing. He starts like kind of cracking up. Then Ed. And then comes me laughing — because they’re right next to me, and I just can’t help but laugh now. And I was like guys, stop, stop, you’re making me laugh. And — it was so funny. It was actually really fun to shoot.

Q : One of our Twitter followers wants, wants to know three words to describe Celia, which three words you would use to describe your character.

BT : Um, funny, interesting, uh — and not so forgiving.

Q : What was the hardest part of filming this movie was for you.

BT : The hardest part about filming this movie is probably the really long hours. Um, I don’t think people realize how much work actually goes in, not just from the cast, because, of course, the cast works hard, but — the crew members. You’re there, you know, you — your scene could be 15 seconds and you look at that scene and you’re like, yeah, whatever, you don’t think anything of it. That scene took 16 hours to shoot. And maybe — a couple days, 16 hours a day. That’s crazy. It’s crazy to work that many hours and it’s crazy to always be on that many hours.

FEMALE : What was the hardest scene for you to film?

BT : Okay. This scene is the dinner scene when Steve gets lit on fire. It’s so hard to film a scene with stunts, you know, hi– it’s, it’s — it’s very hard when you’re doing stunts and tricks. And, you know, everybody’s great and has awesome energy, but I was called in at 4:30 am, and my coverage ended up being last. Because you have to get Ed and some of the kids that are younger than me in the film out earlier than me, they can keep me. So, my coverage was last, and it was — like 11:30, I wanna say, and I was tired. I was tired, and I’d been doing this scene all day long. There’s a word in the movie and it’s the name — I can’t think of it right now — but it’s the name of, uh, the place that they go do dinner — that weird, weird name. Why couldn’t I have just said Benihana’s? Okay? I would’ve been happier with Beni freakin’ hana’s.



And, um, and I had to say this name, and when you’re dyslexic, you’re usually really good at memorizing, so I’ll read something once and I have it completely memorized. But that word when I first read it, I didn’t say it correctly, and so I was on set and somebody said, no, it’s actually like this. So, I had already memorized it wrong. Um, and they kept trying to get me to do it right. I did maybe 25 takes of that same exact line over and over and every time I got it wrong. Finally, the time that I got it right, Dylan is so overworked, ’cause he’s the other actor in the scene, so it — it’s just as bad as it is for him, and he looks at me and he starts bursting out laughter — ruins the whole take. And I was — [CHUCKLES] Dylan, I might punch you in the face right now. [CHUCKLES] And he just could not help it. So, every time I got it right, he was chuckling, because it just been such a long day.

Q: I have two teenage girls and so they are very familiar with who you are. So, what, what kind of message do you want as an actress — to two teenage girls who look up to you?

BT : Okay — I’m gonna give you a — well, I’m gonna give them a piece of advice that I was given and I wish I would’ve taken it. Growing up, um, on TV — and I really grew up mostly on Shake It Up — and I always tried to be perfect for everybody and I wanted everyone to like me. For some reason, I really cared what other people thought so much and I would do anything to get someone’s stamp of approval. And now that I’m, you know, 17, I really don’t care. I don’t. And I wish I would’ve cared so much, because I changed who I was as a person to be who everybody wanted me to be, and that’s not — a cute look. And you have to realize that I don’t care who you are; I don’t care if you’re in high school and you have glasses and braces and you don’t think you’re cool, people will like you for being you, no matter what. It’s impossible for people not to like you when you’re just being you. It really is. You will find a branch, and I have. I have a great group of friends now and we don’t have to impress each other. I’m not wearing makeup when I’m with them. I look ratchet. I’m looking ratchet when I’m with them. I’m in sweat pants. I am oily, greasy, sweaty. I don’t care. And we don’t have to prove anything to each other. And that’s what’s cool.

BT : — I’ve got book series coming out. — Autumn Falls. Um, November 11th. It’s very close to my heart. It’s not about a girl who’s, you know, publicized and beautiful and g– gorgeous and all y– wears heels and makeup and, you know, she’s a star. It’s not about that. It’s about a girl named Autumn Falls whose father dies and she, um — he leaves her a book. She moves to Florida.

He leaves a journal to write in. She’s like, wow, dad, thanks. Die on me and leave me a journal. Okay. And what she doesn’t realize is when she rights in the journal, things come to life, but since she’s dyslexic they come to life a little bit wonky, mostly backfiring on her throughout — – the series. So, that’s what — it’s about.

Star Wars Rebels Interview: Vanessa Marshall and Tiya Sircar

Star Wars Rebels began last week with a bang! The pilot movie had my kids cheering with excitement for the new series that starts Monday night October 10th at 9 PM on Disney XD. We will have our DVR set on record because we don’t plan to miss a single episode. TO help you guys get even more excited about the new series I have an interview with two of the female lead characters, Vanessa Marshall and Tiya Sircar.


Question : I’ll ask. Um, so, what was it like auditioning for the role that you had? Did you freak out?

Tiya : We didn’t know what we were auditioning for. So, that helped in that probably you weren’t freaking out and —

Vanessa : I [LAUGHS] — no, I —

Tiya : — if you would’ve been — if you had known.

Vanessa: Yeah, definitely. Yeah.

Tiya : Well, we, uh, we were told — well, I was under the impression I was auditioning for, um, a new animated series on Disney called Wolf. Um, and so it wasn’t until I actually got the phone call that I had gotten the job, which was great. And they said — star wars rebels vanessa

Vanessa : Mm-hmm.

Tiya : — and by the way, it’s Star Wars. And I was like, well, you know, it’s like doubly exciting, ’cause I got a job and it’s not — it’s way more exciting than I even realized.

Vanessa : Well, I didn’t know what it was, but I always — everything’s a Star Wars metaphor for me. I’m a huge Star Wars fan. So, I felt that there were elements of Star Wars within the piece of copy that I read.

Tiya : Oh, wow. You and Freddy both, okay.

Vanessa : Yeah, they — well, they said that, um, my character was a, a strong leader against the tyranny and da da da. And I’m like, hmm, well, all right, well, alliance.

So, I actually sort of transposed what I know about Star Wars onto the little copy [CHUCKLES], and, um, and I got a callback. And I thought, oh, cool, I’m gonna be a wolf or [LAUGHS]. And when I, when I got to the callbacks —

Tiya : Oh, you saw a character.

Vanessa : — I saw a, a drawing of the character on the wall, and I know what….

Tiya : You were like a wait a minute. Fun shot of Vanessa rebels

Vanessa : — race that is. I mean that’s not a Trekkie. [CHUCKLES] You know, I know exactly what’s going on here. And it sort of dawned on me in the moment, and I had to pull it together.

Because I’m such a huge fan. I — if I really thought about it, I’d probably have a heart attack. So, but I’m also a professional, so I was able to do my job and I showed up and I did a good job clearly and then I got the call.

Tiya : Enough, yeah.

Vanessa : Then, then I hyperventilated. And — my agent was literally afraid for my life. [LAUGHS] She was like, honey, do I need to call a paramedic?

[LAUGHS] And I mean she probably should have [CHUCKLES], ’cause I couldn’t stop going, oh, my God, oh, my — you know, I was crying. Ohh, anyway.

Tiya : Freddy also says that he figured it out, because Freddy and Vanessa —

Vanessa : Well, I didn’t figure it out. I just — it just lucked out that it was in fact what it

Vanessa: No, no. Well, I — but I even said to a friend of mine who read for another wolf, um, he [CHUCKLES] — I said — do you think this is Star Wars? And he said, you’re such an idiot. [LAUGHS] Everything is — Star Wars, Vanessa.

Vanessa : Yeah, exactly. He was like, yeah, you with your Star Wars. [LAUGHS] Yeah, anyway. But, um, so, it was, um, it was go– probably a good thing that I didn’t know what I was doing. [LAUGHS] ’cause I would’ve been terrified. [CHUCKLES]

Question : How do you feel about being a strong female character ?

Vanessa : Hera is the leader and, and while she is fierce, she’s a great fighter and a great pilot, she’s also very nurturing, and she sort of plays a maternal role, uh, within the crew. And I think she sets a really great example, I think she does a lot of mentoring to — Sabine. Now, I will also say parenthetically as a Star Wars fan, she is a Mandalorian. So I personally bow down to her character.


Right. Getting back to Hera. Um, but, but I do think it’s really wonderful, uh, that Star Wars Rebels embodies two, uh, female characters that we all can aspire to act like them whether we’re adults or children or even little boys or little girls.

I’ve said before that the empire universally oppresses all races and all gender to where it sort of neutralizes elements. These aren’t good women or good female characters. They’re all good people. So that we’re not even thinking in terms of gender or class. Um, we’re, we’re united towards doing the right thing. So, while they are strong, female characters, it’s also kinda cool that there’s this different element that even transcends those distinctions.

Tiya : And not to get too, you know, well, social commentary on you, but — you know, there are, in my own personal opinion, there are,so many female personalities that, well, for better or worse, they may be famous not for a specific skill or talent but just famous for the sake of being famous. And maybe not for the right reasons — if you know what I mean.

So, it’s — such an honor you know, and I, and I — it makes me cringe, you know, I don’t have kids, but it makes me cringe to think like all little girls are like — this is, this is what they have to look up to and to aspire to be, and it’s worrisome for me. So, to me, it’s such an honor to get to play this female character who, you know, Sabine’s a teenager and yet she is so intelligent and so, uh, uh, uh, like not even concerned about the superficial stuff whatsoever. She’s never taken a selfie in her life, you know. [LAUGHS]

And if she knew what that was, she wouldn’t be interested. So I think it’s really — I think it’s amazing to get to play these two smart women. They are right there alongside the guys, beating up the bad guys. I hope that, that young girls and young boys can aspire to be like these characters, because they’re fighting for the greater good. They’re doing the right thing and they’re,  just like really smart and savvy about it while they’re doing it. So, I, I hope that’s like, you know, uh — I don’t know.


Vanessa : Yeah. Yeah. And I think also that, that what we’re all driven by is hope. Once again in transcending gender that I hope that kids take that hope, that, that it’s important to have faith, to have morals, to have ethics, um, and, and adults could probably [CHUCKLES] learn from, from that as well. And, um, some of those, those bigger human values that are not often embodied in, say, the people who are famous for things less than, you know, desirable. But, um, it — it’s really cool. There are some very wonderful, delicious ideas, uh, that are also in– inspiring over all, you know. Um, but I agree, definitely. These are really cool women, for younger girls to emulate.

Tiya : And they’re still fun, too. It’s not all about —

Vanessa : Yeah. They’re hilarious.

Tiya : — there’s, there’s, you know, Sabine’s c– can be a little sassy and she has a little attitude, but —

Vanessa : Yeah, it’s cool. Those things are sort of hidden beneath all the, the jokes and, and the high stakes. Yeah. It, it very much feels like the original trilogy. It has the same wit and, you know, get this walking carpet out of my way. You know, we talk to each other like that —

Question : Talk a little bit about how you guys do this script all together.

Vanessa : I love it.

Tiya : — for me, it’s — yeah, it’s, it’s so — such a treat, because —

Vanessa : Well, uh, yeah, oftentimes in animation and animated series, they try to get the entire group together, uh, but, uh, the previous Star Wars video games that I’ve done, I’ve been in a room by myself, uh, on a quote unquote Jedi counsel talking about people — [OVERLAP]

Tiya : [LAUGHS] Me, too. No.

Vanessa : You know, I mean, luckily, I know enough about the different places and things in the Star Wars universe, but it’s so much easier to interact with people, you know. We all love Star Wars, but that collective energy in the room is something that I think viewers will feel. I think it’s a real advantage. And, uh, and like I said, the, the writing of the scripts is so great. It’s really not that hard to do.

Tiya: Right.

Vanessa : I feel like we don’t do much [CHUCKLES], you know.

Tiya: It doesn’t feel like work certainly for me.

Vanessa: No. I mean not that we don’t — yeah, I mean we — obviously, it’s a job and we do work very hard. We research and all that, but, um, I think, uh, working as a group, I think that is a part of why it bristles with so much love and energy. Yeah.


Tiya : And also I think, uh, what’s really, special — makes the experience so special, aside from the fact that you know, we — I think that like getting to act the — actually act these scenes out in a room together — you know, not is it more enjoyable for us, but it infuses the scenes and hopefully makes for a better show. But aside from that, I think we really forge, you know, this, this, this family, uh, you know, this Motley Crew of people. Like we have this Motley Crew of characters.

Vanessa : Exactly.

Tiya : And so, we’ve like created this, this bond, uh, as a, as a crew, you know, the, the five of us and, and also, you know, our guest stars and — but the five of us really have like [STUTTER] kind of, uh, embodied these — the, you know, the same dynamics, familial dynamics as we have on this show. And so — yeah, as, as [CHUCKLES] Vanessa was saying, you know, she kind of is this maternal figure making sure I am not hungry — do I have — need a snack — am I cold; do I need to borrow her cardigan. I mean it’s the  it’s just the best.

Freddy is like the big bro and making sure everything’s … and under control. And —

Steve is like the, the clown —

Vanessa : The prankster.

Tiya : — that’s like cracking us up —

Vanessa : He is hilarious.

Tiya : At inappropriate times. So, it’s fun to like get to kind of be part of this, crew that we’re actually getting to, you know it, it — art imitates life, imitates art. Whatever. [CHUCKLES]

Vanessa : Yeah. Yeah. That — that’s, that’s fortunate that we all have, have sort of fallen into a groove that’s very similar to what we need to —

Tiya : To do and embody —

Question : I love your, um — Sabine’s character, because she’s very multidimensional. Like she’s out there shooting and fighting with them, but then she’ll like be gone over doing some technical stuff, like shutting down the field and all of that stuff. But one thing I notice about her character, she’s the only one that wears a cover over a face, like wears the [INAUDIBLE]. Do you know if there’s a significance to that?

Tiya : Well, she’s Mandalorian, so that’s like Mandalorian armor, the full thing. The only difference is that, um, I think she’s probably the only Mandalorian that has armor that’s been graffitied [CHUCKLES], because she designs her own. Yeah, she, actually like sort of, uh, embellishes her armor, but, yeah, that the significance of the helmet is that she’s a Mandalorian and that’s full Mandalorian, like, warrior armor.

Question : Um, who are you guys’ favorite characters in the Star Wars universe? Can you pick one or?

Vanessa : Well, you know we both love Princess Leia, because she’s a strong female character, but I also don’t wanna forget Ahsoka from the because Ashley Eckstein is so wonderful and she’s really a — she’s also a wonderful character that we watched grow from being a young padiwan, you know, towards becoming a Jedi. Um, but I think it’s the same principles.

Uh, women who are strong on so many levels that, uh, they’re really inspiring. So, I would say, overall, probably Princess Leia. Yeah.

Tiya : And I have a soft spot for Han Solo, but who doesn’t? I mean — [LAUGHS]

Vaenssa : Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Tiya : But as inspiration, Leia. [CHUCKLES]

Vaenssa : Yeah, exactly.

Tiya : [OVERLAP] For my own viewing pleasure, Han Solo. [LAUGHS]

Vanessa : You know, it’s really — it’s, it’s hard to choose. I mean —

Tiya : It’s true. There’s so many good ones.

Vanessa : Yeah, ’cause I, I sort of believe that I love Chewie, but I think that’s born on the fact that it was my first action figure that I got. But, you know, in terms of things that have really touched my heart, I would say Leia.

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day Movie Review

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day movie is based on a children’s book about how Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) always has bad days. From there the movie takes on a life of it’s own as we explore how everyone else in the family can also have the worst day ever.

alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day poster

Alexander’s day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by setting the science lab on fire and embarrassing himself in front of the girl he likes. It also happens to be his birthday and classmate of his decides to have his birthday party on the very same day and has GRAND plans for the most awesome party ever. So everyone cancels on poor Alexander.  He finds little sympathy from his family as they all have amazing days. That night before he falls asleep he goes downstairs has a birthday cupcake and makes a wish that everyone would know what he’s really going through. The next day, his family has the worst possible day EVER.

We start of with Mom Kelly (Jennifer Garner) and dad Ben (Steve Carell) waking up late. As they race to get the family out the door and off to school, they find that one of the cars is dead. That means they have even less time. Alexander’s sister Emily (Kerris Dorsey) wakes up with a terrible cold on the day she’s supposed to perform Peter Pan and their brother Anthony (Dylan Minnette) wakes up with acne and it’s his prom night. What a nightmare for everyone and guess what? It just goes downhill from there.

How does the family handle everything? That’s the priceless part of the movie.

Very Bad Day is so funny, I couldn’t imagine how hard it was for everyone to keep a straight face being on screen with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner they are both very intelligent funny people. This is a great family film and we have plans to take the kids on Saturday.

Groove Along With The Boxtrolls Original Motion Picture Soundtrack!

The Boxtrolls Soundtrack

Promotional copy provided.

Earlier this year, both Louise and I had the opportunity to visit the set of The Boxtrolls at LAIKA Studios. It was a phenomenal experience getting to see the puppets and sets up close and personal, as well as meet the creative minds behind it all. I’ve been so excited to see the film ever since and all of its finishing touches – like the soundtrack.

Knowing how much care had been put into this movie from meeting the filmmakers, I knew the soundtrack would be on point also. The Boxtrolls Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features an ambient, atmospheric instrumental score by Dario Marianelli that really sets the tone for the picture.

Also featured are some lighthearted songs included in the movie, such as “The Boxtrolls Song” written by Eric Idle, the catchy and upbeat “Some Kids”, writen by Jessie Donaldson and Rilchie Young, and the cover of “Whole World” that you might recognize from the film’s trailers. This is a really fun CD in the spirit of the movie and a great add to your collection if you’re a fan of the film!

The Boxtrolls Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is available on Amazon and wherever fine music is sold for $12.99. And make sure you catch the movie this weekend if you haven’t already!

Alexander #VeryBadDay Interview: Producer Lisa Henson

As part of the press junket for ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY we had the opportunity to interview the producer Lisa Henson.


Q : What first attracted you to the film? The-the idea of creating this film?

LH : Well, we actually optioned the-the book. Um, so we look, we’re at the Henson Company, we’re a great fans of that book and have been looking after the rights to see if they would become available. And, you know, when we-we got the rights to the books and developed it along with 21 Laps, which is, ah, Shawn Levy’s company, family bean. Um, and then we hired Rob Liber, this-the writer, who, I don’t, I guess you guys are-are you meeting with the writer or are you not? Probably not. But he…

LH : You know, we went through a really interesting development process taking that very small and very intimate little book and blowing it up into a full feature film by focusing on the rest of the family. But we really felt that the-the-the Alexander, as a character is such a sweet, and loveable underdog. He’s really, there’s a little bit of Alexander in everybody including adults. You know, even, adults have bad days, and teenagers have bad days, and mommies have bad days and that’s…

LH : We got to that with the, with the development of the film.

Q : Did you read the book as a child? Or was this a book that you were interested in?

LH : Actually my-I-I read it to my children. But I was little, I think a little bit old for the book originally.

Q : Why did you decide to cast twin girls for the role of Trevor instead of just finding a baby boy?

LH : Well when you work with kids at that age, you almost always have to use twins. And we knew that if it was a, we-we auditioned both in a way, we actually did have a baby audition. Um, so we auditioned both boys and girls as long as they were very identical and in, and in the right age range. Um, and those girls already have been in the movie Neighbors. So if you remember a baby that put something nasty in its mouth and you’re neighbors. Um, that was, they, so they already had some experience on set.

LH : And they were fantastic babies. When we, when we started, um, into production, we were going in pre-production, casting the movie, we thought, oh working with babies is going to be so hard. We have, we have vehicles, we have, we have animals, we have babies, what do we not have that’s difficult in the film? And we never dreamed a baby in the movie, that Trevor would be some may people’s favorite character. And when we previewed the movie, so many people named that baby. Anything else? Yes?

Q : What was the process for, I mean, like how long did it take for them to get to the end to get this together?

LH : It’s actually, we didn’t, it’s not one of those movies that had a very long and torturous path. Actually, we-we moved quite steadily towards production after we got the rights to the book and hired Rob Liber to adapt it. And-and it-it did, um, develop quite, ah, quite quickly. And I can’t remember what the exact date, I’m sorry.fixed group garner carell

Q : Obviously Steve Carrell and Jennifer Garner are huge, um, did you have them in mind for these roles? Or was it another like interview process or anything?

LH : Well we did, we did have Steve in mind and he, um, attached himself to the property before it was setup at Disney. So we worked with him in the, in the film in process. He was, he’s been sort of entangled to the, to the movie. And then, um, Disney introduced us to Jen, um, and she-she had just done The Odd Life of Timothy Green with them. And, you know, she’s such a marvelous person, and a wonderful mother, and, um, you know, she’s just perfect for the part, I felt so lucky to get her.

Q : The book is only 22 pages and the family isn’t mentioned very often throughout it. So what was the process like of basically creating his family for him, and giving them their identities, and their roles?

LH : Well so much of that is the creation of the Screen Writer, Rob Liber. Um, but his challenge was to use that-the book, as essentially the first act of the movie. And then the second two acts of the movie are what happens when the very bad day is had by an entire family, not just one person. So all of that became invention. And, ah, we were, we were so happy to know that Judith, of course, like the movie. Because most of her book is in just-just the first act of the film.

LH : Yeah. But the heart of it, the mov-, the heart of the movie is so similar to the heart of the book.

Q : When, was it, deciding again to pick an Australian actor to play Alexander who obviously loves Australia.

LH : That was the strangest coincidence and it is a very strange coincidence because as a character he’s obsesses with all things Australian. And then, and yet he was an Australian actor who had to get rid of his Australian accent to do the role. [LAUGHS] And, ah, you know, he only gets to say one thing in an Australian accent in the film, when he says, Thanks mate.

LH : Ah, and actually our director just pointed that out this morning. Um, but yeah, it was, it was a just purely a coincidence. And he was just a perfect kid, and he came all the way from Australia to-to do it. Yes?

Q : Well listen, my question is, what was your trigger point to actually take the book into film, and into the movie, into the bigger project than just, ah, a book? Is, ah, anything, you know, in the back of your mind? Or anything that you wanted to do in the realm of the family film?

LH : Well the idea of making a family film that really every person in the family can enjoy, that’s, you know, is, that would, that’s going to be the-the best possible family film. And not something that the adults must accompany their children to and not really enjoy it, you know, we wanted to make a movie that adults would enjoy and find something drily too in it. And that, um, the kids would enjoy it in their own way, maybe they don’t, might not even understand everything that their parents are going through in the film.

LH : We wanted this movie to be appreciated on all levels by every person in the family. And we, you know, I hope that families go all together to see it. Um, so many, there’s so many thing, way, there’s so many ways in which families are sort of being split up in their viewing patterns. Kids preferring to watch one thing, adults maybe, even at the exact same time are watching something different. And we would love it if pe-, families would watch the film together. Yes?

Q : I really liked the message in the film that, you know, if you’re having a bad day that the people that you, you know, kind of in your, [CLEARS THROAT], in your, ah, your network of support is al-, you know, your family, your friends, or whatever that might be, is always there to catch you. Um, did you kind of build the story around that theme or did the theme kind of develop as your wrote the story?

LH : It’s kind, the movie was kind of built around that theme. Um, because Alexander in the book really feels misunderstood. And if his family wasn’t there loving him, in spite of his bad day, it would just be a bleak book. It would be a, it would be a depressing book for children as opposed to a happy one. So I-I think the idea that the family is loving, and your family is there for you no matter what, is really in the original book, as short as that book it.

LH : And we tease at the amount in the, in the film. Um, yeah, I mean, it’s, the movie has a lot of heart to be his, so many bad things happen to people in the film. But everybody ultimately has compassion for the rest of their family. And, you know, they, I think, one of the things that I love about the movie is it’s so easy to relate to and there cannot be a family that hasn’t experienced a day where you-you might even have prayed the night before, am I really going to be able, can we juggle all these things?

LH : And over optimistically you might think, yes, we will be able to juggle those things because we’re an amazing family. And like the family in this movie, it just all unravels and it’s sort of, I think, I think everybody’s had a bad day. And maybe moms might particularly relate to that idea, that it just, you cannot keep all the plates in the air every day of your life. Yes?

Q : What character do you relate to the most?

LH : Well of course I relate to the mom. [LAUGHS] Because I am a working mother and, um, you know, all of, trying to get phone calls from your kids at work, that, you know, I, when somebody says to me, well you have to be pulled out of a meeting because your child wants to speak to you right this second. And then it turns out to be something important in their life, but maybe, you know, I as mother, they, well they could’ve waited. But they don’t know you’re in a meeting.

LH : So it’s just that misunderstanding of trying to juggle, you know, working and-and being a mom. I think Jen captured it so well in the film. You can see she really doesn’t want to entirely let go of control. Even though she can’t physically be there to do everything. And that makes her very relatable character. Yes?

Q : I had a question. So I know, the whole finale thing was kind of weird, or it came out really long in the movie. But there were also some really fun parts like the kangaroo, chasing the kangaroo. Now was that really hard to film, just because, I don’t know if you guys actually had the kangaroo running down the street or something like that?

LH : Um, well, I can’t say what shots were the real Kangaroo and which ones were not. [LAUGHS] Let’s just say that Kangaroos are not very good actors and neither are crocodiles. Anything else? Yes?

Q : So speaking on the fun moments, will we get to see a blooper?

LH : Um, well I think that’s a very good question. I don’t know, we’ll find out when the, when the bloopers will be released. But we definitely had some funny bloopers. Speaking of bloopers, I love in the movie that the parents, you know, can’t swear, and they’re almost like [SOUND]. [LAUGHS] Oh, I want to swear, but I can’t. Yes?

Q : Um, Steve Carrell’s a great comedic actor, and I was just wondering if there were any parts that he just brought to the movie himself that weren’t necessarily written in his script? But that he just went with it and kind of brought his funny in, that you can think of?

LH : Um, well he, there’s a lot of hilarity in that Japanese restaurant scene, you know. [LAUGHS] And he did all of that himself. He caught all those shrimp in his mouth and-and he did the stunt, he did the stunt with the, with the sleeves himself. So, you know, he-he really went all out comedic ally in that scene.

Alexander #VeryBadDay Interview Ed Oxenbould, Dylan Minnette & Kerris Dorsey

The fantastic kids of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day are charming, funny and just love to be normal kids. We had the opportunity to sit down with Ed Oxenbould, Dylan Minnette & Kerris Dorsey characters of the movie, Alexander, Anthony, and Emily. We were laughing and learning about how close actors get on a movie set. They felt so close to Steve Carell that they made up a song and sang it to him, and that brought him to tears. Check out our full interview with them.

Alex kids solo

What was it like to act with Steve? Was he funny everyday and off camera?

Ed : He was– no, he wasn’t fun– no, I’m kidding. He was like the funniest person. He could make anything sound fun, anything.

Dylan : It’s effortless. It’s effortless.

Ed : Yeah, it’s like just completely–

Dylan : He can say what he’s having for lunch and you’re just like in tears on the floor.

Ed : Yeah, you could– you could just look at him. And he’ll give you one look. And you will just be in uncontrollable laughter.

Kerris : Yeah, and he’s so like one thing is he’s so smart. He’s such a smart person. I think you have to be that intelligent in order to be that funny because it’s

Ed : His humor is just so–

Kerris : It’s so witty and so like impeccable. Um, so that was really cool. You can just tell by looking at him, like talking to him that’s he’s just so smart. And the wheels are always turning. So–

Q : What was everybody’s favorite scene with him?

Ed : I think the party scene.

Dylan : I’ve been saying the party scene.

Kerris : Party scene.

Ed : Yeah, it was really cool.

Kerris : Party scene was so fun.

Dylan : Yeah, I mean it was just like, what, 200 people and animals and swimming and music and food and just-

Kerris : It was so cool. We were there for a long time. So it sort of became like a home to us, you know? So, yeah, that was so fun. We actually ate the food at one point.

Dylan : I was stealing– I was stealing candy all the time.

Ed : It was poisoned.

Kerris : We were eating. We were dancing.

Dylan : It was poisoned too.

Ed : It was fake.

Dylan : It was plastic candy.

Kerris : But it wasn’t real. But it was so good.


Q : How many takes actually did it take to film those parties? Or you did it just in your own with one swing and everybody was happy, you know, with what they got?

Ed : It took a lot of dancing, a lot of barbequing.

Dylan : There was three– wasn’t the part– didn’t the party take three days?

Kerris : Yeah, we were at a set out in Newhall for two weeks, and then we did the party, um, like three consecutive nights. So ’cause there were so many things to cover. There were like, you know, his shots and all of–

Ed : There was dancing, barbecuing, DJ’ing.

Dylan : Except the animals–

Kerris : Thunder from Down Under. Um, the animals– yeah, yeah, I don’t know if you’ve– you’ve heard of them. Um, so yeah, it took a lot of coverage and a lot of– of days to do. But it was actually fun. Like it sounds like it would be–

Ed : It didn’t even feel like we were working.

Kerris : Yeah, we had a party. We were all just dancing, and there’s one shot that we laughed over every time because it’s like– it’s on Jen and Steve. And you can see past us. I don’t know what we’re doing. We’re just like dancing the whole time. It’s like so awkward. But I mean hopefully no one notices it.

Dylan : Now they will.

Kerris : Now you will. So–

Dylan : Yeah, and then the– then it goes directly on us.

Kerris : On us. It focuses on us. And we’re just like, ok, cool, this is happening.

Q : So a lot in your role in the film, you were sick. I just wondered if you had any good tips for us in case we wanted to take a sick day.

Kerris : Um, I feel like if I ever get like sick and sound sick my parents are gonna be like, no, mm-mm, we know your tricks. Um, uh, it’s all about the voice I’ve found. So it’s like– you really have to sort of like– it’s more like nasally. So it’s like back in your throat and then in your nose. So anything like– M’s have to be B-sounding. So it’s just sort of like, I don’t know, I just watched a lot of– like I’m not gonna talk like that for the whole time. Um, I just watched a lot of like You Tube videos of people talking when they’re sick.

Ed : How to talk sick.

Kerris : Yeah, no, just like people when they’re sick. People post videos of themselves in any, you know, capacity. So there are literally people like, hey, I’m sick today. You know, and you just listen to it. Um, so yeah, I– it’s all about the voice. And then real– like really heavily lidded eyes and then maybe like eyeliner or something underneath your eye or something like that.

Dylan : Can you believe her sick voice, though? Like, uh, every day on set I was like how are you doing this?

Kerris : I would go home, and I would be like, hey, Just– [STAMMERS] hey, so, my sister, I’d be like, hey, Justine. And she’s like what’s wrong with your voice? It’s like, oh, recalibrating– [LAUGHTER] go back to normal.

Ed : it never faltered. It was always the uhhhh!

Q : Ed, what about you? Learning an English accent, so how was that for you?

Ed : An American?

Q : I’m sorry American accent. [LAUGHTER]

Ed : Um, that was pretty– it was pretty hard. But also kind of easy at the same time ’cause I’m– I’m– I was brought up on American film. Because there’s a lot of American TV, a lot of American film in Australia. So it’s not like it’s a completely different, um, accent that I’m kind of thinking, well, it’s American. It’s– it– I– I knew what it was. But it was a little rough around the edges. Actually, it was really bad. So– [LAUGHTER] so I had training. And, I learned all the little tips and tricks on just to sound authentic.

Kerris : Sometimes I would forget that you were Australian. Well, I mean I knew, but like ’cause I forget that when I’m talking to him now like after we were filming it was just like, oh, that’s your– your real voice. You have an Australian accent ’cause it was so good. It was so impeccable.

Q : Have any of you experienced anything similar to what, you know, happened to you in the film either in high school proms or driver’s training? Anything like that?

Dylan : Well, Kerris has yet to do her driver’s test. So maybe– so maybe–

Ed : Well, don’t jinx it.

Kerris : Well, oh, shut up. Um–

Dylan : No, I– I actually– [STAMMERS] I aced my driver’s test luckily. I, uh, what else happens to me? I’ve never knocked a trophy case over. Um–

Kerris : I feel like we exercised it all out of our systems when we filmed it because we just got out– we’re like, well, this can never happen to us in real life ’cause we just did it. So that’s nice.

Ed : If– if it does happen we’re preparing

Kerris : Yeah, and you’re right. We know how to react. And we know, um, we know how to sort of adapt to it. But, yeah, I mean I have like, you know, those days where you wake up. And you’re sick. And then everything falls down in front of you, and you trip over things. It’s– those days happen to me all the time. Yeah.

Dylan : All the time.


Q : What was the hardest scene for each of you to keep your composure in?

Kerris : The car scene.

Ed : Yeah, there was one scene during the car that was completely improvised. And we’d get– the director just said– ’cause I would walk around set going brr-brr-brr, just making the stupid noises. And Miguel the director said I just want all of you to do it. It was kind of what? And then so we all did it. And Steve started doing it. And you can see in the background everyone’s laugh. And like there was blood in our faces ’cause we’re moving our shoulders like that. But when– it’s so hard to keep a straight face.

Kerris : That was so– like I don’t even know– like Steve’s instrument that he was like– he was like ya-ya-ya-ya-ya. [LAUGHTER]

Ed : And he’s like going.

Kerris : Yeah. And like I was playing the trumpet. And Ed was just like, I don’t even know. And so I, uh–

Ed : I don’t know either.

Kerris : No, it was amazing. I just don’t remember.

Dylan : I’m the only one that didn’t have to do anything in that scene. So–

Kerris : Yeah, but you had to keep a straight face though kind of. So, yeah, so that was all the car scenes ’cause we were in such close quarters. I think we got kind of loopy at one point.

Ed : Yeah, yeah.

Dylan : Also the scene outside the– the van at the DMV when we were all yelling at each other.

Kerris : Oh my God, yes, that was so–

Ed : Ohhhhhh.

Dylan : That was– that was, uh–

Kerris : When we had to ice–

Ed : We spent a whole day filming there.

Kerris : We had to isolate it so that, you know, you could hear the sound of every– so we didn’t have to like go back in post and do it. So Dylan would do his part. And we would all have to like mime talking. And then when Steve did his part, literally, I could not– you had to be normal and like yelling at him.

Dylan : Well, he was– he was– he was like yelling at me like about cra– about crashing the van improvising. And I’m off camera. And I’m just– feel so bad ’cause I’m near tears on the ground laughing. And he’s still yelling at me on camera not breaking character. It was just– that was so difficult.

Kerris : Oh my God. I just wanted them to like never call cut so we could just keep going. It would’ve been funny for like two more hours if– at the least.

Dylan : And also the scenes with Jennifer Coolidge. That was, uh, I couldn’t keep my cool like that.

Ed : Yeah.

Kerris : I can’t imagine.

Dylan : That was– that was an unintended pun, but, um, yeah.

Kerris : Just– I just got it. Ok.

Dylan : Yeah.

Ed : Next question!

Q : Were you all familiar with the book, you know, the story and the book before you started making the movie before you got involved with the project? Had you read it as kids?

Kerris : I read it as a kid. My mom read it to me and my sister. And I grew up with it and loved it.

Dylan : I actually didn’t grow up– [STAMMERS] I– it’s– it’s funny. Like I– it was one of the– I didn’t read– get that read to me when I was younger. And, um, but I’m very glad to be a part of it now and bringing it back to people’s attention. Um, but, no, I– I didn’t.

Kerris : It’s Saturday.

Dylan : It’s Saturday.

Ed : I– I was familiar with it. Uh, I never had it read to me like Dylan said. But I knew what it was. I knew, uh, yeah, that’s the book with the stupid title. The Alexander– [MUMBLES] and I still call it that today.

Kerris : The Alexander then dot-dot-dot.

Dylan : Ed Oxenbould from Alexander

Ed : It’s what I do.

Kerris : Well, at a certain point, it’s like– it’s– it’s too– it’s a lot. Like every person I’ve been like, so, you know, what do you have next? They’re like what’s that movie you’re in? I’m like, ok, get ready–

Ed : Alexander the no bad good. And then if you go terrible, horrible, no good, good day.

Dylan : For me, I could never finish the title. They’ll say like, oh, you’re in, oh– [STAMMERS] what’s the name of your movie? I’m like, no– I’ll just be like Alexander the– they– oh, right, right, right.

Kerris : Nobody– you’re so lucky.

Ed : Stop yourself now. That’s fine.

Kerris : Nobody ever cuts me off. I want people to cut me off so I–

Dylan : They always cut me off.

Kerris : I never get cut off. And like you– no?

Ed : Neither do I.

Kerris : You don’t want to help me out here? No? Anybody?

Dylan : But then when they don’t cut me off and I’m done saying the title they just go–

Kerris : Yes, yeah.

Dylan : Ok?

Kerris : It’s a long title.

Dylan : But I don’t think we’ll ever be in a ten-word, 18 syllable title movie again.

Kerris : No. Harry Potter and the–

Dylan : Oh, true, true.

Kerris : But.

Dylan : Very bad day again.

Kerris : Part two.

Q : What was your take away personally for each and every one of you from this movie working with fabulous, you know, cast and the director–?

Kerris : This was our take away.

Ed : This, this friendship.alex kids

Q : No, I’m just wondering is this like one of your favorite projects that you guys have worked on?

Ed : This is the best project I’ve worked on.

Dylan : But you’re actually– yeah, no, the– I mean– I mean this, uh, is– it goes without saying that this is just– like I said, it’s life changing. I mean I– it’s– the amount– the experiences that we’re all gonna have together throughout life now just because of this we’re gonna– I’m gonna always be able to watch this movie and– and think that this was such a great time in my life that I’ll never regret doing it ever. Um, so, um, it’s really special. And the premiere night’s gonna be great.

Kerris : It’s gonna be so fun.

Dylan : Having it– seeing it in theatres with people is gonna be great.

Ed : Yeah, I can’t wait just to see it in front of the real audience.

Dylan : Even I saw the trailer, I saw the trailer in a movie theatre. And they showed it and the theatre was packed. And everybody was laughing at the trailer. And I was like, wow, this is good. Like, this is–

Q : My question’s for Kerris. How was the scene where you performed Peter Pan on cough syrup–?

Kerris : It was really fun. And I— when I was, um, doing the audition process and I read the script. I was like I can’t wait for this day. And I kept asking like the– everybody like, when am I filming it? When am I filming it? And they’re like it’ll be the last day. So my last day on set– both of our last day was, um, uh, I– I got to do the flying scene. And it was so much fun ’cause it was like, it was a life goal to, uh, to play Peter Pan. And, um, you know, I’ve always wanted to play Peter Pan. And I grew up with the Cathy Rigby, um, DVD of Peter Pan. And so, um, so, yeah, it was just– it was so fun. And like to do a twist on Peter Pan, which was that I’m just intoxicated with cough syrup, which I don’t think I ever picked–


Ed : [OVERLAPPING] her own weird drugs– drug twist on Peter Pan.

Kerris : Yeah, it’s Peter Pan like you’ve never seen her before. So–

Ed : And you probably don’t want to see her.

Kerris : And you’ll never see her again and don’t want to. No, but it was so much fun. I really loved being the harness, and I really like how it turned out.

Ed : I was there watching it. I wasn’t even called for set. And I was just there watching it. And it was hilarious.

Kerris : Laughing probably.

Ed : Everyone was laughing. Yeah.

Kerris : It was really fun. It was a good day.

Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition Special Bonus Features & Slumber Party Kit

SLEEPING BEAUTY DIAMOND EDITION awakens on Blu-ray™, DVD, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on Oct. 7. I’m really impressed with Disney because when they re-release any of their movies they add new content to the special bonus features.


Disney dug around in the archives and found new sketches for a version that was cut from production for Sleeping Beauty. The Crow was once supposed to be a vulture. I think they made a good choice switching to a crow.


They also found an alternate scene where Maleficent enters the ballroom when Princess Aurora was born.



I had the opportunity to sit down with David Jessen (Vice President, Content Enhancement) and we had a special appearance by Sarah Hyland – @Sarah_Hyland. David is your typical Disney employee, exuberant about all things Disney, full of passion and zeal and very very creative. I asked him who is his favorite Disney character and he said 101 Dalmatians and that he would love to work on a real life version.

He talked to us about the bonus features for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and showed us a preview for a new parade at Walt Disney World called the Fantasy Parade. It’s a really cute video starting Sarah Hyland.



Sarah Hyland was kind enough to take a photo with us.


She was super sweet and older than she looks. She 24 but to me she looks like she could be 14. But I’ve never ever been a good judge of age. One of the bloggers asked her who her favorite Disney Princess was and she couldn’t pick one. She had a reason for liking each and every one. Created by RAYZ

Complete List of Bonus Features:

The Diamond Edition features new bonus material, including three new deleted scenes, never seen before: “The Curse is Fulfilled,” “The Arrival of Maleficent: Alternate Scene,” and “The Fair.” These are presented as original storyboards, newly recorded voice work, and narration.


On Disc 2:

· Once Upon A Parade’ (Starring Sarah Hyland) – Behind every attraction, event and parade at the Magic Kingdom is a unique story. Join Sarah Hyland from ABC’s “Modern Family” as she tells us the tale of Walt Disney World’s new Festival Of Fantasy Parade. This magical “in world” short film goes behind the scenes of the new parade and shows how the residents and characters of Fantasyland created this parade to tell their stories.

· Art of Evil: Generations Of Disney Villains – This legacy piece spotlights Disney’s favorite villain animator, Marc Davis and his infamous creations of characters such as Maleficent and Cruella. Throughout the piece, we will talk to modern day animators like Andreas Deja and also the new generation of Animators (Lino DiSalvo Animation Director of FROZEN) on how Marc’s designs and characters influenced what they do today.

· @DisneyAnimation: ARTISTS IN MOTION (Extended Edition) – Join Walt Disney Animation Visual Development artist Brittney Lee as she goes through the process of creating a three dimensional sculpture of Maleficent, completely out of paper. In this extended edition, go deeper into Britney’s process

· Never Before Seen Deleted Scenes:

o The Fair (With Deleted Character – The Vulture) – In this version of the story, the fairies do not take the Princess to live with them in the forest. Convinced that King Stefan’s order to burn all the spinning wheels in the kingdom will not prevent Maleficent’s curse, the good fairies put a magic circle around the castle and cast a spell: "No evil thing that walks or flies or creeps or crawls can ever pass these castle walls."

· BEAUTY-OKE “Once Upon A Dream” – Sing along to this kinetic text video of Aurora’s signature song.

· Classic DVD Bonus Features Include:

o The Sound Of Beauty: Restoring A Classic – This featurette covers the creation of the 7.1 mix of the score of Sleeping Beauty that was done for Blu-ray, using the source tapes from the original recording sessions resulting in an audio experience of superior quality with greater detail and fidelity that you have ever heard before.

o Picture Perfect: The Making Of Sleeping Beauty – Discover the behind-the-scenes magic that transformed a beloved fairy tale into a cinematic work of art. Legendary Animators, actors and film historians reveal the secrets behind Disney’s masterpiece.

o Eyvind Earle: A Man And His Art – Early in his career, renowned American Artist Eyvind Earle worked as a background painter at the Walt Disney Studio. Walt Disney liked his work so much that he entrusted him with the assignment to be the Art Director for Sleeping Beauty. This was the first time that one artist was given the responsibility for the entire look on one of Disney’s animated features. This piece follows Earle’s development as an artist and his years at the Studio.

Audio Commentary by John Lasseter, Andreas Deja and Leonard Maltin


We also have some fun slumber party ideas and some great sleeping tips for kids!

Download Slumber Party Kit

Cracking Up With Jennifer Garner & Steve Carell #VeryBadDay Interview

While I was in LA two weeks ago I had the chance to interview one of my favorite actors, Jennifer Garner. I hate to admit it but I was so nervous that I couldn’t come up with any questions and even when she helped me out of the floor after taking the group shot, I couldn’t even get anything other than “Thank You” out of my mouth. I wanted to tell her that I’ve been a huge fan for a very very long time. Maybe next time!

I suppose I should mention that not only was Jennifer Garner in the room but so was Steve Carell and between the two of them we were barely able to stop laughing. Here is their interview and I hope you crack up a bit too!

Photo of Jennifer Garner & Steve Carell


Q : So, how did you both get involved with the project?

SC : I was asked to be in it, and I said yes. I just, I liked the script, I thought it was funny, and inventive, and different. I feel like I hadn’t really seen this kind of family movie in a while. And the fact that Jen was going to do it was a — a huge draw for me, because I’d been a huge fan of hers for a long time.

It’s true. We met a few times over the years, but just sort of in passing, and you know when someone not only lives up to, but exceeds expectations, of everything you’ve heard about them? That was her. She was….

JG : Steve Carell!

SC : — the nicest person. She is. She’s the nicest person ever.

JG : Um, well, he’s fibbing a little bit, because he was actually on it, on this movie first, so I was the one who knew he was doing it and said "Oh, yeah, I’ve been dying to work with him forever."

alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day poster

Q : Okay, so, I asked fans, and one of the burning questions they wanted to know was: were there any days on set that were really bad days, just like in the film?

JG : Go ahead, Steve.

SC : There was one that we kind of point to. The scene where we were outside, around the car, talking after the big accident and after the driving test. And it must have been — well, like it’s been the last week here. Like, 105 or something. And so that was probably the most arduous day, physically.

JG : You know, I think it was tough because the baby got upset.


SC : [LAUGHTER] Well, yeah.

JG : — it — that just — you know what that does, I mean, that practically made me lactate. It’s like, "Whaa –!" And there’s nothing you can do.

SC : You know what? We can set her off just by going "Wahh!"

Q : How many shrimp did you have to catch?

JG : He did that. That was really —

SC : How many what?

JG : Shrimp. Did you have to catch.

SC : Oh. I caught the shrimp.

JG : He caught the shrimp. I mean, they were saying "We’ll CG" and Steve said, "I’ll give it a go." He did it. We were very excited.

SC : Yeah, secret talent.

JG : Did you know you had that talent?

SC : I didn’t.

JG : Until that moment?

SC : I didn’t know that I had that  eye-shrimp coordination.

Q : I have a question. You guys made a film where the parents in the film are very relatable, and just the kind of parents you’d want to have, but I kind of, in doing my research, realized they kind of parallel you guys. Any experiences where you were like, oh my gosh, I’m filming this and it’s déjà vu ’cause this has happened?

SC : No. [LAUGHTER]. It doesn’t — it doesn’t — excellent question. However, um, no, I think I related in the broad strokes of being a parent, and — and my wife and I really co-parent. We — you know. We — we divide and conquer in terms of everything that we need to do with our kids. So, so I think I understood it and related to it on that level. But it’s — it’s crazy. It’s fun. It’s ridiculous.

It’s never what you think it’s going to be. And, at the end of it all, you can’t really take yourself too seriously, as a parent. Um, and that’s the joy of it. I think we both definitely related and brought our own experiences to — to the movie. And if things in the script or things that we were doing didn’t feel genuine, we would speak up and we would offer our own personal experiences.

JG : For sure.

Q : Steve, Lisa told us you did the fire scene yourself, so I just wanted to hear about that –

JG : So exciting.

SC : Jen was like, petrified.

JG : I was so nervous. Even though I had been set on fire before, you know what it’s gonna be, but I was so nervous to watch —

SC : Very protective.

JG : I didn’t want the kids to see him be set on fire, like, our movie kids. It was very, very tough on me. Um, but they put gel on you —

SC : It really wasn’t scary. I — I think it — I hope it looks scarier than it —

JG : Steve, you got very, very unfunny —

SC : I got focused. I got focused.

JG : You got unfunny and very focused. You couldn’t say that you did not — you were not aware that you were on fire.

SC : I was aware that I was on fire, and I prepared to be on fire —

JG : Mm-hmm.

SC : And then I was on fire. And it’s the type of thing you don’t want to do a lot. You don’t want to do 25 takes of the Steve on Fire scene. So, you just try to get it right that first time, so you can move on. And —

Q : How many takes? 

SC : Once or twice.

JG : I feel like it was twice.


Q : So, how was it, working with Dick van Dyke?

JG : So exciting. So exciting, I mean, Mary Poppins at my house, is like, one of the top three films of all happiness. Times. And, uh, so, the fact that I was there with him, was — and I got him to do "Chim Chim Cheree" with me between takes. All so great. He was just funny and warm and lovely, and so accepts his role as being somebody that we’ve all grown up with and an icon in entertainment, with such grace. He was really — it was really a great day.

Q : I mean, doing such a fun movie, how many takes did you go through without laughing, because I will bet you were laughing the whole time. How hard was that?

JG : There are definitely scenes in the movie that, I don’t know how they cut me to — I felt so — because I just wanted Steve to think that I was professional.

And I — there were times where I just couldn’t. I could not not laugh with him. I don’t know how anyone — I defy you to be in a scene with him and not laugh.

SC : Well, the same. The same from my perspective. The scene. [LAUGHTER] The scene where she’s screaming at the car in front of us. I mean, that’s a side of her I had never seen before, and it was crushing me. It was so, so good. I —

JG : The scene where we were in the car, making the weird sound, and I look at him and he’s going, "Arararara!" I can’t even think about it. I can’t watch it. Oh.

SC : But that, I think, was part of just, uh, the joy of doing it. And the kids laughed too. Like it wasn’t — it was work, and we tried to get it right, and we tried to, you know, to do it well, but it also had to be fun. And buoyant. And — and we had to feel like, you know, what’s the point of doing anything unless you’re enjoying it, and I think we really — had a — everyone had a good time doing it.

Q : What was your favorite scene to film?

JG : I liked when we were all together.

SC : That’s what I was gonna say. Like, any — well, we were all together for most of the movie.

JG : A lot. Dancing at the end. It’s just, all of the fun stuff, is really, it’s fun, it looks fun, and it is, and there was, um — there was a day between scenes where we had, um — they were setting up the cameras, and it’s the kind of thing, it was really, it was warm out, and it was the kind of thing where you would typically go back to your trailers, and do whatever you needed to do.

And I would do an interview with one of you guys about something. Or — but, instead, they just put us in a little room in the house, and we all had our phones with us. And we sat with those kids, and nobody ever looked at their phones, and nobody ever — we just talked. We just, you wouldn’t think that you would have that much to talk about with teenagers, you know, because it seems like they’re from another planet. But these are the coolest group of the smartest, most interesting, engaging kids.

And the five of us just hung out together, and had the best time, and that, to me, is kind of the crux of this whole movie, was just that feeling in that room, and that nobody came in and bugged us. Nobody else was there. It was just us as a group. And it was something that we chose to do.

SC : On my last day, uh, Dylan and Kerris did a song for me that they had written. And —

JG : And Ed.

SC : And Ed. Yeah. The three of them. Sang this song. But I think the two of them wrote it and the three of them performed it, and I — I broke down.

SC : I really didn’t see it coming. Yeah. I’m saying it because I want to elicit that response. But really — it really crept on me, the emotion of it all, and kind of the — the feelings that we all had, just over a cop ule of months for one another. And to see everyone again, and be doing press, is really fun —

JG : It’s different when you work with kids. You — you know, you really feel a different sense of — like, I know I’ll see Steve. I’ll always be glad to see him and hopefully we’ll work together at some point, but we played these kids’ parents. You know. Especially the babies. If you are working with kids, even though there are people there, making sure they’re okay, and their parents, but you’re the one saying, "Do you want a snack? Do you have to pee?" Do you know? "Are you tired?"


Q : Since you guys gelled so well and everything, did you ever play pranks on each other to make things fun or kind of loosen things up on the first day?

SC : I didn’t play pranks. But someone at this table played pranks —

JG : I didn’t play any pranks. I don’t know about pranks.

SC : And I don’t — we’ll probably — we won’t tell this story a lot.

JG : We don’t need to tell the whole story. [LAUGHTER]

SC : We went to the same college at different times. So, early on, uh, I — before we even started shooting, apparently Jen bought a bunch of Denison University paraphernalia.

JG : Everything they made.

SC : And — and throughout the shoot, like, a Denison cookbook would be in the background on the shelf, or some of the production assistants would be wearing Denison University hats.

JG : Or, truly, the whole crew would be wearing sweatshirts and sweatpants, and he never noticed any of it. It was amazing. It was — I kept going further and further, and everyone would be like, and he’s just totally a man. He’s so oblivious. Right?

SC : I am clearly just a self-centered jerk.

JG : At the end, I called Nancy, his wife, and I said — believe I’m not psycho — "Can I stash a Denison chair, like, with Denison kind of engraved in the back, in your house?"

It was his last day. And see how long it takes him to find it.

Q : How long did it take?

SC : Like, two weeks. And I — and she could hear me from downstairs. I started laughing, ’cause it was upstairs, like, in a corner, and I — I had been passing this chair for weeks, and it just registered that it was a Denison University chair, and I — I think I immediately texted you my thanks and "well done." Kudos on a trick well played. Yeah —


Q : Do you guys follow the kids after you do all of the press junkets and stuff, or is it just kind of like, you’re the teacher who sends them off hoping that they’ve learned something and that they think of you now and then?

JG : I’m starting to rack up onscreen kids. [LAUGHTER] And I started this with the first — the first time I played a mom was in "Timothy Greene," and I started this then, and I feel like it’s something to do with being "The Mom" too, that I really keep in loose touch, I would say. There’s a little girl that I worked with in "Imagine" and she and I — I send books to her, or these kids that I e-mail with, their moms are with them, a little bit, you know, just enough to say, I am thinking of you if you need another set of ears, ever, you can always call me.

SC : Yeah. She’s nicer about that than I am. Um. Do I keep in touch? Well, I — I guess, not really. You know? I see them at things like this, and — and the — the kids that I have been in movies with, I will see from time to time, and it’s always nice to catch up and see how they’re doing, but it’s incredible how quickly they are not little kids anymore.

Then they took a photo with us.. Can you find Steve?

Jennifer and Steve

Like ALEXANDER on Facebook:

Follow ALEXANDER on Twitter: @DisneyPictures

ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY opens in theaters everywhere on October 10th!