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    Into The Woods: Bringing the Magic with Costume Designer Colleen Atwood

    When watching a movie there are a few elements that are crucial to its success one of them being costume design. If the clothing on the character just isn’t right it might throw off everything about who the person is, their role in the movie as well as the actual carrying out of the story line. Because of their impact in character development a costume designer has one of the most important roles in a film.  So when I recently had a chance to sit down with Colleen Atwood the Costume Designer for Disney’s Into the Woods  was so excited to see what went into her thought process for perfectly picking out the pieces to be worn by the characters in the movie.



    Colleen’s name may not be a familiar one to many of you but her work should be. She’s been the costume designer for hits like: Edward Scissor hands, Silence of the Lambs, Joe Versus the Volcano, Little Women, Planet of the Apes, Chicago, Big Fish, Memoirs of A Geisha, Alice in Wonderland (Which she won an Oscar for),Snow White and the Huntsman, Big Eyes and so many more hits.  Her work is impeccable and it shows with all the nominations she has received for her work. Which include 3 Oscar wins!  So when I tell you she has talent and an eye for the trade I am not lying.



    Sitting down with her was such an honor and most important so insightful in seeing what goes into the process of developing the costumes for a movie.

    So we asked her how do you get started on a project?

    Colleen: “Every project starts with a story. So, I get the phone call and, the script and I read the script and I kind of have a little dream about what you want to see. Sometimes when you get a script you sort of see different things right away and sometimes, you know, it’s a different process. But I start thinking about it and then,the next step is usually meeting with a director and having a kind of a conversation about what he’s thinking it is, because ultimately that’s the person that I collaborate with the most on a film. So you’re there to kind of serve his vision of the story. And then the next step is going off and doing research, design, costume textile development which I’m huge on because I love the craft. And people doing things with their hands is, is exciting and sort of inspiring for me. Then I take those things  I put them together and present them to the director. And then as actors are cast in the film and I have meetings with them, I usually show them. Before I give them clothes at all, I usually try to meet with them and show them my ideas so if they have something they don’t like, they object to, I kind of figure it out and sort of talk to them about it. And get to the heart of what their feeling is and then I start the actual making of the costumes and fittings and that process.”





    Because there were so many different costumes in the movie, We asked her which one was her favorite:

    Colleen:  You know, it’s kind of like children, it’s a weird question to ask, because I never- like one, one day some of them are definitely not my favorites (as she said this laughing) but, I had a great time of course with Meryl’s costume because of the textile art that was involved in it. And it involved not just my ideas but the hands of a lot of really talented people, mainly women. Um, and then, you know, each one has a different beat, so it’s kind of fun to- the thing that makes it great for me because I kind of bounce around a to is-It’s great that you can go from- in the room you can go from Meryl’s costume and walk over to, to Billy’s costume, and walk over to the baker and his wife’s costume. You know, the vocabulary is so varied that,  when you walk around and go from one thing to the other, you’re thinking about each thing as you go, and you kind of as you hit one, you go oh, and you kind of go back to the other one. But it’s, it’s nice ’cause they’re so varied and you can always, you know, take from one and- and sort of lend to another when it’s something isn’t working in the room.


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    So then we asked:Whose costume would you say involved the most from your first thoughts to the finished product and why?

    Colleen: Well I’d say Emily’s because she was pregnant.


    [LAUGHTER] it changed the most of any costume. It had a lot of, uh, it had a lot of panels and, you know, she- I was just saying next door, like, you know, when I got her, she was just barely pregnant. Or- and all of a sudden she got into that like kind of fifth month kind of thing. And she came to work after a weekend and it was like she’d grown I swear. [LAUGHS].She’d grown like two or three inches I’m like what happened over
    the weekend, the baby just kind of [MAKES NOISE]. And so I was continually kind of modifying her costume because, you know, her bust was bigger and her belly was bigger and- and you’re kind of- even though she was incredibly small for how pregnant she was. Um, so I was continually like making the body- the apron bigger and- and all that. Thank goodness she was in an apron from the start [LAUGHTER] And the little jacket, I kept raising the kind of where it buttoned and kind of painting it in darker and darker on the side, so you kind of use a lot of tricks of, of, uh, the trade. But, but that costume I was continually changing and touching the whole time.


    What About Cinderella’s Costume?


    Colleen: Cinderella’s costume for me, the first costume in the house in the, you know, that- that whole world, it’s hard to talk about just her without the world, because she’s in the world with the steps. And it kind of when I saw what Rob was doing with the rehearsals with the, with the girls and their action and how they were playing that opening scene, where you kind of establish who they all are, um, it was very farcical to me and- and I immediately went to the eighteenth Because it’s such- it, it lends itself well to that kind of comedy. It’s exaggerated in a way that really worked with the girls. And I wanted, so for Cinderella she was sort of a nod to that world but with a little bit of a more modern kind of take on it, not so over the top and very peasant and aged down and-and dirty. What you’d expect Cinderella to be in a way. And then when she has her moment, it’s based on her- that costume was sort of based on the fact that, you know- The costume was created by her mother. And in the early Grimm fairy tales, the shoes are gold not glass. Um, and so it kind  12 of- I kind of wanted it to be gold and sort of of the tree and the willow. And I started with more green in it, but then it became, I found this great thirties vintage fabric that I had been hoarding for a while. And it sort of had the right feeling of, I wanted it to be when it went through the forest kind of like a butterfly wing, like when you see a butterfly in the light and it goes in the dark and you don’t see it. So I wanted it to have that kind of flighty quality to it. And she had to do a lot in the dress, I mean, you see, she runs, she goes upstairs, she goes downstairs. You know, I wanted to re- I kept the same sort of silhouette, but I sort of made the, the, the sort of shape of it more loose and modern in the sense, and also to get the movement I wanted for the camera.


    As for Costumes for her children when growing up, she told us about trying to make a costume for her daughter who in the end preferred the store bought kind. It’s funny how as a mom her trade wasn’t honored the way it should have been. I guess no one is ever a prophet in their own land. Either way Colleen has garnered so much attention because of her beautiful work. Check out some more of her gorgeous costumes from the movie Into the Woods.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she gets another Oscar nomination for her work on this amazing movie as I hope Into the Woods will also be nominated for an Oscar this year!






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     INTO THE WOODS is rated PG and is now playing in theaters across the country!

    Disclosure: This post is part of my press trip to LA, CA with expenses provided by Disney. All Opinions are 100% mine.

    Pictures courtesy of Disney and Hollywood Reporter.


    Into The Woods with Rob Marshall & Anna Kendrick


    When you watch a movie one can get so much from ones own thoughts and ideas on a movie. However, to watch a movie and then find out what the Director was thinking and feeling when in production is something so grand because it allows you to re-see the movie in a new light. Recently, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down with not only the INCREDIBLY talented Anna Kendrick but with Into the Woods Director Rob Marshall. This was such a fantastic experience that really gave me even more understanding of Into the Woods and also gave me a behind the scene look into what went into production, something this mama of 4 never gets to experience 🙂


    Rob Marshall is truly a talented individual with such an amazing arsenal of movies under his belt it’s amazing to think how much creativity can fit into someone so quiet yet empowering personality you can’t help but admire as soon as he walks into a room. Then you have Anna Kendrick who’s vocals are so powerful they will leave you blown away and you won’t know what hit you. Yet both were such surprising personalities to meet because of their warmth and modest natures.

    We began the interview by touching on Rob Marshall’s surprise when he realized the talent of his cast. So what was the one thing that surprised him the most about Anna?

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    Rob:It’s easy to talk about Anna ‘cause I adore her. Uh, the truth is, you know, she really — that voice is extraordinary and I think everybody looked up to her in the cast because of that, everybody because, you know, she comes from that in a very rich background with her Broadway experience as a child. So to have that gift is amazing and, you know, the thing I guess what surprised me the most about Anna is her range as an actor, you know. The fact that she was able to with this piece open up and show such depth and vulnerability and agility and complexity.Meryl Streep called her role the most complex character in the film because of what she’s dealing with and she’s right because and it needs a great internal depth and I knew Anna. Listen, Anna’s an Oscar nominated actor who’s done enormous amount of beautiful work on film and on stage but to see the full range of what she has and to be able to open that up, you know, it’s an exposing thing as an actor, to be able to let you in and Anna lets you in this movie. She lets you into this person who’s indecisive and not sure and wrestling with her, with what she’s feeling and it’s a very brave personal, beautiful performance and I’m very proud of it. Very proud of her.

    Something that was interesting was the fact that they literally rehearsed for 6 weeks. I didn’t realize it took that long to rehearse for movie. It’s interesting to put it all into perspective.

    In the movie Anna plays Cinderella, but a more modern day independent version. I had the chance to ask her What it felt like playing a different kind of Cinderella, almost like a modern day Cinderella in a way? What’s the thought process?


    Anna:It’s funny because I think a lot of girls’ dream of playing Cinderella and a certain kind of girl dreams of playing Sondheim Cinderella. And, yeah, and we love those kinds of girls and I think that she is very modern, you know. I mean I’m glad that some people are surprised by her but, you know, it is a Cinderella that has existed since about 1987 you know, so I didn’t have that sense of responsibility or anything about it. But, I think that something that we do to ourselves as women, especially modern women we instead of trusting our instincts I think we have a tendency to feel a responsibility to weigh every option and look at things from every angle and ask our mom and ask our sister and ask our friends and we find ourselves in situations or committing to certain things that, you know, our gut is telling us is not gonna make us happy or is gonna be harder in the long run. So that was kind of really fun to play that she’s talking herself into things and out of things and, you know, I think that by the end of it for her to really realize what’s important, uh, once she is in a situation where an entire community has to come together, uh, and decided what’s really important to them then it becomes pretty easy to say goodbye to this guy who’s sort of a tool.

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    Rob & Anna Both also talked about their background in theater. Their love for that genera was obvious during the interview. Even when talking about how lucky they are to be doing so many great musicals they realized its something people do love and well and it works and as Anna Said “They’re making them”.

    Rob showed such an immense respect for his whole Company (as he called the cast of the film). To him this was a group of people he enjoyed not only working with but being around. From Anna to Meryl he felt their talent was so abundant and such important pieces of the film that he felt so honored to work with them. Coming from a man with such talent you can truly garner the immense talent this group as a whole has.

    Rob: “Listen, it’s been joyous working with this amazing woman next to me who is very special and I would say the best word about her is authentic, you know, and I think people feel that and embrace that and that’s why she’s so loved and that’s why she’s so great on film as well. I feel very lucky to have worked with this company across the boards starting with Meryl Streep who sets the bar incredibly high for everybody and it was just, it was one of those projects we were all very aware the entire time we were working on it that we were very lucky to be there, all of us serving this piece and we were careful with it and there was a joy every day and we worked really hard ‘cause it was a fast shoot. We had a limited budget and a limited amount of time but that never stopped us. We were all there to do the right thing and it was, it was one of those special ones for sure.

    As for Anna, I can’t wait to see her in future films. I know when I saw that she would be playing Cinderella I was intrigued because I remembered her more from What to Expect when Expecting, The Twilight Saga and Up in the Air. I was one of the few that never saw Pitch Perfect nor was privy to her amazing vocals. After seeing her in Into the Woods my respect for her not just as an actress but as an entertainer has grown immensely.  I hope Rob Marshall decides to grasp another musical or maybe even join together with Sondheim and create a musical fit for the ages and bring it to life on Screen. I know that with all the artistic talent flowing around them all they would be able to create another masterpiece.

    Emily Blunt Group Shot

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    Disclosure: This post is part of my press trip to LA, CA with expenses provided by Disney. All Opinions are 100% mine.


    Into The Woods: Getting Real(ly) Funny with Emily Blunt & James Corden


    If you’ve been following my other Into the Woods Adventures you know by now what an amazing time I had. Between watching this incredible movie to interviewing some of the fantastic (And incredibly talented) actors and actresses from the film. So when it was our turn to spend some time with Emily Blunt and James Corden I couldn’t have been more excited. Not only because I love them both and find them to be two of the funniest actors but because I knew anytime with them would be a blast. I couldn’t have been more right!

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    The interview literally started off with James asking us all who had the most kids. Having 4 little ones and one on the way I figured I was the winner of that title. What I wasn’t prepared for was the expression on both of their faces when they realized how many I had. It was actually pretty funny. I am usually pretty annoyed when people make comments about the number of kids I had, but they were so funny about it I couldn’t help but laugh. Considering James then told us about the fact that him and his wife have a 3 1/2 year old and a 5 week old I couldn’t help but sympathize. Those are hard ages buddy, it gets a little better.


    From there the interview took a hilarious turn when Emily pointed out to James that he had something black in his teeth and began helping him pick it out. This showed you the insanely funny combination these two make. These two are truly a comedic duo not only on screen but off screen as well. These two are truly a comedic duo, maybe something you don’t really get to experience on screen but off screen these two have you in stitches!


    Then we began to get real…or as real as one can get with this funny duo. We all wanted to find out what it was like for Emily, who happened to be pregnant during the filming of Into the Woods. She actually found out she was pregnant the week she found out she was doing the movie. Which she said was fine considering she was the Bakers wife and well “She could have a few pounds extra”and get away with it. Of course what she wasn’t prepared for was the fact that she would be running around, and doing all sorts of physical stuff like body slamming Anna Kendricks down(“nearly killing the poor thing”), and Pulling Rapunzel hair off to name a few. Thankfully ,when rehearsals began she was over the 1st trimester when morning sickness hits and was filming during second trimester when all the energy hits. Filming wrapped up right when she was hitting her 3rd trimester and the “bigger” stage. However, I can’t imagine her looking big at all…nothing but beautiful!

    During the film there were a lot of parenting methods shown and we wanted to find out if any of those parenting methods impacted either Emily or James since they are practically new parents themselves. James right away said it made him want to be more honest with his kids.  James felt there was a strong message in that we always teach children that Happily Ever after is what will always happen but in reality it isn’t always the case.


    James:“And I feel like- that’s not to say you won’t be happy, but like that song, No One is Alone, which at the end of the film, I sort of feel like what that song is saying is, it’s two adults talking to two children saying, there’s some screw-ups coming your way, and that’s true of all of us. There’s screw-ups, and they’re coming for you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But when they do, you might feel like you’re completely on your own in the world. You will feel like you are completely alone, and you’re not.And you never will be. And these things are just part of your life and what ultimately make you better and stronger. And it
    has made me think that that’s a positive message to tell your children, that mistakes are gonna happen.

    This message was one that impacted most of the actors in the film and showed what a deep message is in this film. That although things happen we can all come out stronger in the end.

    As for parenting they both discussed many of the things that they have found interesting in parenting and  how kids are like little sponges.

    Emily:“They see everything, they’re like little sponges, they  pick up- even babies, I’ve noticed, they pick up on your energy, they pick up on, like, if someone walks in the house that Hazel hasn’t met before, and they, and they’ve had a bad day, she-she doesn’t want to go to them. She doesn’t want to be around them, you know. And so even at- from a young age, they’re so perceptive. And, and I just feel that it’s important to teach your children that life is not always going to be easy, you know, and that is what this film is about.”

    As for the friendship between the two, they’ve actually known each other for about nine years. They actually met at a Polo Match in England that the princess put on. They hit it off so well they even did a duet of Something Stupid by Frank Sinatra.  So when they found out they would be working together on this film as the Baker and Wife they knew it would be perfect.

    From working with the Kids in the movie to all the fantastic talent in the film this was obviously a great combination of elements that bring together a theatrical masterpiece.  It was so much fun spending time with Emily and James during this interview from all the joking around to finding out about their parenting goals,techniques and methods. It’s not everyday you meet actors that are so  real, funny and quick witted  like Emily and James. You really  can’t help but love these two.


    I was a fan of these two before meeting them and now I love them even more. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for them. You will be able to catch James every night when he takes over the Late Late Show. But most important don’t forget to check out this fantastic duo in Disney’s Into the Woods. Now playing in theaters across the country!

    Emily Group

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    Disclosure: This post is part of my press trip to LA, CA with expenses provided by Disney. All Opinions are 100% mine.




    Into The Woods: A Conversation with Tracey, Meryl & Christine



    I’m a mother of 4 little kids ages 8 and under. So meeting celebrities isn’t something that is even on my radar.  My days are filled with school work, dishes, laundry and cooking. All things that make my life whole but nevertheless are not exactly luxurious. So when I recently found out that I would have the opportunity to interview the Legendary Meryl Steep, Christine Baranksi & Tracy Ullman you can imagine the excitement that went through my body and soul.

    These 3 women have been as much a part of my life for as long as I remember. As a young girl I remember their names being part of movie vocabulary even in an a predominantly Spanish Speaking home. I just knew who they were. As a teenager I really began enjoying their work through their various movies and shows. I still remember trying to sneak in a glimpse of the Tracey Ullman show. I remember religiously turning on Cybil to see what antics Cybil and Maryanne would get into. Most important, I remember the impact Meryl had on me when watching Post Cards from the Edge. So you see, these women have all had their part in my life,and although our paths didn’t cross until Friday their impact had been felt.

    Going into this interview I know I had many sleepless nights wondering what I could possibly say to these legends. What question could I possibly ask them to know more about their thoughts on acting, motherhood and life.  It’s one thing to read an article in your favorite magazine written by a reporter looking for the latest news, than to sit there as a fellow mother and woman ready to take in the life lessons and experiences these 3 real life friends have been through. So when it came time to sit down in the gorgeous conference room at the Montage Beverly Hills I was ready to experience this amazing event that doesn’t happen everyday,especially to someone like me.


    As I waited for the ladies to enter I couldn’t help but feel nervous yet excited.


    But when they came in I felt a sudden urge of excitement go through my system. It took a few minutes to compose myself. Maybe it was pregnancy hormones but I swear I almost began to cry!


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    I wanted to think of this event more as a conversation because although we all had questions we were all sitting around them ready to engage and learn more about these fantastic women.


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    Of course the interview began with the one question we were all dying to find out: “Can you tell us how that friendship came to
    be? And any funny stories you want to share with us?” 


    Christine: Where do we begin? Well, Tracy and Meryl are old friends, so you can start there. That’s an old friendship.

    Meryl: Well, I’m a way older friend than Tracy.

    Tracey: Yes.

    Meryl : I met her when she was 21. We did a movie called Plenty. I was 31. And I thought I’d just met my new best friend, who was my age, because I had no idea she had — I think you were 20, maybe, when we started it.

    Tracey : I was a pop — I was a pop star.

    Meryl : She was a pop star in England. Discovered by Paul McCartney and —

    Tracey: He was my mate, yes. And then we worked — we worked  on Plenty.

    Meryl: Kinda top 10 — couple top 10 things —

    Tracey : I did. I did. I was a one-hit wonder here. And an MTV vee-jay. And yeah, we got on great. We ended up in  Tunisia, and we —

    Meryl : Yeah, we lived through that.

    Tracey : Yeah. We broke down in the desert, and, oh, we — we  flew back together, and the plane had been — the engine went, and we thought we were going to die.

    Tracey : So we went through these dramatic moments.

    Meryl : Over the Mediterranean.

    Tracey : It was bad. It was bad.

    Meryl: It was amazing. Mmm. But, um, we stayed together.

    Tracey: We stayed to — yeah.

    Meryl : In spite of it all. Had kids the same age.

    Tracey : Kids the same age, yeah. Was nice. Mery And Christine and I —

    Christine : We did — we were dynamos in Greece together, on Mama Mia. So then we — we had to do research by being friends, so  we just hung out all the time, doing “research,” so we had a lot of fun with all of that research, and then —

    Meryl : But we’d known each other a hundred years.

    Christine : We have. We have, because we’re theater babes, and  we’re Connecticut moms, and our kids are roughly the same age,and all three of us had long marriages, and like, shared, y’know, parallel — parallel experiences, and it’s a trick, being an actress, and wife, and mother, and having that longevity. That’s — that’s a real achievement, in my — in my opinion. That’s the greatest achievement, not just in career, but holding your life together, and look at Meryl, with four kids, and —


    Meryl: It’s a tribute to our husbands.

    Tracey : Yes. Fantastic fathers.

    Christine : Yes. And our sense of equilibrium. But, yeah. Girlfriends. It’s great. So we did — we did — but then I met Tracy, and it was like, “Oh, wow…”

    Tracey : Yeah. Dying to meet you.

    Then I had the chance to ask my question!

    Q:You all mentioned motherhood. What advice do you guys have for us young mothers with little kids, eight and under,  little kids. What do you do to survive the life? You know, what advice do you have for us mothers, I mean, because you ladies are moms. You’ve got older kids already….
    Meryl : Well, I really feel — I mean, just speaking for the group, I feel like so much has changed. Raising little kids now is so different from when our children were little kids. I mean just that — and I think that’s part of why this film and its warnings and its, you know, overweening care of the mothers and — it speaks to this time when children are, it’s harder and harder to keep the world out. The worst parts of it out. To keep them in the little tower’s impossible. And all of the bad stuff comes in, and people  worried about this film, that it maybe is too dark for kids. Kids know so much now. And they’re aware of so much, and yet  they’re so resilient, and innately hopeful. So that’s — and that’s sort of what the film is.

    Tracey : Would we have taken Mabel and Grace to see this? When they were like, six? They would have handled this.

    Meryl : Are you kidding? You’d let them watch Cops. When they were seven. And Gracie came home and she said, “Oh.” And then she was imitating, you know, the people, and the crack addicts, getting pulled by their hair.

    Tracey : They use to be downstairs at your house, watching those —

    Meryl : No, never.

    Tracey: — Oscar screeners with Liam Neeson and the wife getting murdered and —

    Meryl : No. No. (Laughing)

    Tracey : “Oh my God!” They would have liked it. They —


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    Meryl : They would’ve loved it. Oh —

    Tracey : You’re right. She would have taken them–

    Meryl : — would have taken the kids at, well, I would say, seven, eight — wouldn’t you?

    Christine : Maybe. Maybe seven, eight. But kids are really like, visuals can really affect, and you can explain it away, but be careful what — what you give them visually. I mean, I remember being — seeing a — a documentary on an African tribe. There was this leopard man with long fingernails, and a mask, and I mean, it just had such an impression on me, and it just happened to be on the television set, so you never know what image will —

    Tracey : But it goes back to these Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and we all portray them as they were written. You know. I do smack the kid ’round the head, and I was always loving him afterwards, but, you know, when you would cut your child’s foot off to marry a prince. Lock your daughter in  the tower. And there was
    — the fairy — fairy tales were so frightening when I was a kid. You know, that Peter with the — you know. “Don’t play with matches. Your hair catches on fire.” And all of those illustrations. They were terrifying.

    Meryl : Bluebeard. Remember Bluebeard? Ooh.

    Tracey : Yeah. They were for children to be scared of. They did get sort of sanitized a bit, fairy tales, the last 20 years.


    Q:Which fairy tales did  you love when you were children and wanted to share to your kids when they were little? Which ones stayed with you the most?

    Meryl : Um, well, for me, I mean, I don’t know if that’s what I wanted to — what I — what stayed with me the most is what I wanted to share with my children necessarily, but I remember being really marked by Bluebeard, by this idea of a — a man who would take serial wives, one after another, and kill them in the castle. And I was terrified by that. It’s probably why I just stayed married.But, no. I think you — you know, I remember being dropped off at the library when I was eight, and just having the run of the place, and opening a book and seeing the pictures of the Kindertransport, in the — of the children’s, uh, a picture of
    the children’s bodies, because one of the trucks had been — where they’d just suffocated. And I’d never forgotten that. And it made me ask my parents questions about the Second World War and the Nazis. And what that — what that was. And kids want to get ready for trouble. They — it’s why my son used to draw lots of monsters. Boys draw lots of scary things, because they want to get ready. You know, they want to get ready.

    Christine : And they’re intrigued by it. I mean, look at our fascination with violence in our culture. It’s just a part of  it. I was always telling my kids, as read to them, that — that there was such a thing as the world of the imagination. I said, “You’re safe. If you’re in the world of the imagination, you can go anywhere, and you all come back from that, so you’re safe. We will read this book, and it’ll take you places, but don’t worry. You will — you will come back. There is that world.”
    And movies are like that. Movies should — you go there, but, remember that you can come back. You don’t transfer. It — but it can be tricky when a child is too young. They don’t know how to do that. So, I think — one, you know, be careful, be careful, I would say. Just take care of them, their little — their little psyches.

    Tracey : I think it’s scarier for boys, actually. The boys, just the — they have the whole weapon gene.   Have you noticed? I’ve never liked
    guns or any of that toy g — but they would just get a stick, and they would just get, “Hey!” And they have that thing that they want to — yeah. So I think it’s harder for them, a bit, for the boys. It’s tough, and especially with all of the porn and stuff that’s available as soon as they’re like, you know.

    Meryl : Little kids.

    Tracey : I think Johnny punched in “big melons” for some bizarre reason when he was like 10 and went “Oh my God.” Like, “Johnny, what the hell?” And it was like, said, “I know, ’cause we’d watched Showgirls.”

    Meryl : That’s what she lets ’em watch.

    Tracey : No! Alan! He showed Johnny Showgirls one night, and he’s like, nine years old, and he’s going, “Oh my God.” It blew his mind.


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    Christine: We both raised our kids in Connecticut. But the reason we — I literally hauled our television set. This sounds so quaint. It’s impossible, now, I guess, but literally hauled the big television set out of our house, and we raised kids without a television set.

    Meryl : Even though you’ve made your living in television?

    Christine: I know, but they never saw Mom play that drunken character — When my daughter was maybe six or seven, and she just happened — and I was downstairs. I forget. I was downstairs, cooking dinner, so it wasn’t like I was 3,000 miles away on a movie set. I was downstairs cooking dinner, and she was upstairs, and the TV — she just took the clicker, and like, did that, and suddenly she was watching male strippers. On Sally Jesse Raphael, and she came downstairs, and she was very disturbed. She said, “Mommy. All these women were screaming. And there were these naked men.” And I was like, “What are you watching?” And this was an afternoon show. And I just said, “If I can’t control it when they’re just upstairs, and with a click of a button, they see something that’s so troubling,” took the damned thing out, now, as Meryl said, I don’t know how you protect kids now. From all of this. All of these toys. But I would really recommend encouraging quiet time when you just talk to your kids. And say, “Okay. We’re just going to get rid of all of this stuff. Let’s just be together, and experience, like, real time, and quiet.”

    Meryl 2

    Courtesy of

    Tracey: I’m very disturbed when I see kids now — and I mean, ’cause it’s such a different generation with me — and when they’re out at dinner with their parents.

    Christine : Yep.

    Tracey : And everyone’s sitting around a table. And there’s a child in a high-chair, with a headset on, with an iPad going, being fed, like that, and then they take the headphone off,(and they begin to cry) and And put the headphones back on. I don’t know. I know, boy, I was exhausted when I was a young mom, and I would put on The Little Mermaid sometimes, and go, “Girls, please.I’ve just got to try to go to sleep on the sofa.” But I don’t like that thing. At the dinner table —

    Christine: It’s like anesthesia. It really is.

    Tracey : Yes. That really disturbs me.

    Q : This is for all three of you. You’ve played a variety of drama, comedy, and Wicked. What is your favorite role to play?

    Meryl : There — I — I don’t even know if we — I don’t know If I think about it that way. I think each,  particular person you play deserves their own voice, and deserves their own place in the world, and they’re all about 5’6″ and a half, and they’re all about, you know, my weight and age that I play. But that’s — that’s the — that’s the through-line, but I feel like there are so many different women. So many different stories. And they each deserve their voice, you know, and their articular neuroses and needs and passions. So, I don’t — I don’t make a distinction — I mean, there are — you know,  stupid stuff I’ve done that I — I won’t say what. But, you know, and more cartoony sort of things. Um —

    Tracey : Your empathy for Margaret Thatcher was extraordinary for me. Because, when you first said you were going to be Margaret Thatcher, and I’d grown up, you know, in the Eighties. And everyone was like me, you — it’s like, a real difficult, it’s like, “Oh. Not her!” But you saw her in a way, as a woman, and how she faced the world, and in a way that you — it was amazing to me.

    Meryl : Well, I was just interesting in an old lady. I like old ladies.

    Tracey : Yes. And that vulnerability. And that’s what it became — it was amazing, her vulnerability, and how we have our time. And that, you know, my initial reaction was “Margaret Thatcher! Ughhh!” You know?

    Meryl : Yeah, but, you know, you’ve played evil people, but they’re fun.

    Christine : Yeah. No, they are fun, but I think more to the point is the project that you’re in if you feel like it’s contributing, especially being, um, actresses who have an opportunity in our work to maybe move the culture forward, and show women in a deeper, more complicated way. I love that I’m playing somebody on television who is well-educated, she runs a law firm, she actually has a r — y’know, a relationship. She’s not the butt of a joke. She’s not an old crone.
    You know, there’s never a mention of menopause or — or any of these clichéd things that we have put on things after a certain age. I love that these are just non-issues, and she’s a woman who is in the world, dealing with a complicated moral topography in her personal and professional life. So being part of anything like that — and I think that this — this movie is transformative, and contributes good to the world, so I think that’s — that’s what would we look for —

    Meryl : Increasingly, that’s what I think about. I mean, I’m — I have, I guess, for a long time, thought, each thing, is this  helping? Or this hurting? What’s this doing? Because everything makes a mark on the culture. Everything you do, everything you do, every actress has a choice, you know? Even if you’re supporting a lot of kids, by yourself, you still have a choice, what you’re putting out into the world, and I think it matters.

    Christine : Yeah. Are you reinforcing clichés, and — or are you breaking boundaries with the work?

    Q : Last night you had mentioned that one of the things that kind of helped you find your character was coming up with  designs. So, what else — for all three of you — what else helps you develop that character into your own, instead of being that exact character that was on Broadway or just to kind of create it as “you”?

    Meryl : Well, for — for me, I feel like it — the part I played was so indelibly done on Broadway by Bernadette Peters. But it’s also been indelibly done by many, many kids, throughout the country, in their high schools, and in colleges. And it’s like any really good play, the part can morph to the shape of the person who is, you know, in there. And, so, I felt completely free, and also a failing memory helps me in this.  In this place, because I — I couldn’t have  remembered.
    I would’ve stolen from Bernadette more, if I could remember the  thing. So I — I felt free, too, and he — he made us feel that way, Rob Marshall, and certainly Sondheim said “Do what youwant.” He also wrote me a — a song for this, and, um, that isn’t in the film, because it sort of halted the action, but it’ll be in the DVD extras. But when he — he sang this for me in a — in a — a private session, and I was so thrilled, and he gave me the sheet music at the end.
    I said, “Could — do you mind — if I — could — could I keep the sheet music?” And he said, “Sure.” I said, “Well, I hate to ask this, but would you — would you sign it?” And I did! And he said, “Yeah. I’d be glad to,” and he wrote: Don’t fuck it up. Don’t put that in the mommy blog!

    Tracey : It’s going in, it’s Tweeting.

    Meryl : But that was, ah, sobering. (Laughing)

    Q : So, back to the costumes and the makeup and hair and everything. How long was the makeup and hair process, and what was your favorite design?

    Christine: You know, I was just thinking about this in getting ready today, about how the look of the step-family, and I will never forget, my first day on the set was a huge, huge scene at Dover Castle, with the arrival of Cinderella. And I had been going back and forth, doing Good Wife, so I didn’t have a whole lot of time for hair and, um, makeup tests and all. And this marvelous man, Peter King, he put on my blonde wig, and it was really big, because we originally conceived of them as a truly over-the-top, larger-than-life, trying-too-hard kind of family. And I showed up and Rob took one look at me, and went…”too
    big.” And I had to go all of the way  — and then I thought as — as I look at the movie, and I see my various hairstyles in there, they’re a little bit, and then a little off, I think, but that’s exactly right. That’s exactly right.  These women, they are trying so hard. You know. You look in the mirror and go, “Mmm, no, that’s not enough, I need morehairspray. More, more, more.” And they don’t get it exactly right. And so it’s funny. Little accidents can be very helpful and very human, and exactly right for the character.


    Tracey : I loved my approach. Peter King said to me on the first day, “I’m going to make you a gray wig.” And most people would be like, “I don’t want to go gray.” I was like, “Great.” Made me go gray, having this wig, and I put it up in this topknot, and I had this beautiful, simple, Colleen Atwood outfit, that reminded me of a sort of Dries van Noten peasant look, and I could roll around in the leaves, and there was just no vanity, and I — I just loved it. I could see, you know, it’s — I loved — because I’d done so many things where I’d wear these extravagant make-ups. And just to come in and just smudge my cheeks with mud and become a peasant girl, I found it just wonderful. And it’s feeling comfortable in who you are, and getting older, and not worrying about it. It’s just such a relief. And there is so much
    pressure on how we all look, and it’s just exhausting. Dignity, girls! Aging with dignity.


    Christine: The man who is sitting right over there has created that extraordinary look for Meryl.  Roy Helland.

    Tracey: The Oscar-winning Roy Helland.

    MS : Well, that was a joke, because Roy decided early on that we would have a joke on blue-haired ladies.You know.  Making  fun of old ladies, because they put the blue rinse, so you don’t have yellow in the white hair, and so he thought — he said, “Well, we’re gonna have blue hair!” And  it was so fabulous. And then I came out to LA and I see all of these young girls with blue hair, and I think: “I am on trend!”


    As you can see the time spent was so much fun. I was a huge fan of these ladies coming in, and coming out of the interview I couldn’t believe how genuine, fun and amazing these women truly are.  Nothing could have prepared me for this experience. Their elegance reminded me of Old Hollywood, even Tracey who claims to be crass (as she said), showed a way about them that you don’t get to experience unless you are in front of them. Their body language and the way they carry themselves is of  class and elegance that we should all try to emulate.

    Meryl Group Shot

    This experience taught me so much. It taught me how incredibly resilient and smart these women are. The fact that they’ve all been able to raise families and have successful marriages, something you don’t see in Hollywood everyday ,was mind blowing. Most important they showed a human side, the mothering side, the side one only gets to see in company of friends. They treated us with such respect and comradery. This experience will be one I carry for years to come.


    You can catch these amazing women along with a fantastic cast in Disney’s Into the Woods. Playing in theaters on Christmas Day!

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    Disclosure: This post is part of my press trip to LA, CA with expenses provided by Disney. All Opinions are 100% mine.



    Disney’s Into The Woods: A Masterpiece for The Senses

    If you could wish for one thing what would it be? A bigger house? A  new Car? More money? Health? Wealth?

    We all have so many wishes, but what happens when you get your wish? Does it end up being what you really needed or wanted?  In Disney’s Into The Woods we get to experience what it’s like when 3 Characters have wishes they want so dearly, yet when they have those wishes come it really what they wanted? Cinderella wishes to attend the King’s festival; Jack, a simple young man, wishes that his cow, Milky White, would give milk; and The Baker and his Wife wish they could have a child. Into The Woods follows these 3 central Characters along with some other great ones combining for an epic story that joins some of our most beloved fairy tales, some that end up being quite different than what we thought they were.


    Last week I had the privilege of attending a special screening of this Amazing remake at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, The Academy theater, in Los Angeles. This special screening not only allowed us to see the movie but ended with a special Q & A with the Director, Costume Designer,Writer and the Main Actors of the film. This was truly the Rolls Royce of Screenings.

    The "Into the Woods" Cast Gathers At The Samuel Goldwyn Theater For An All Guild Q&A

    Disney’s Into the woods is the remake of the Classic Hit Broadway show that was made famous in the late 1980’s . I remember as a child watching this play, soaking it in and loving every aspect of it. This play which was made famous not only by the fantastic soundtrack and incredible story line, but by the characters whom you can’t help but love.The remake is nothing short of incredible.  It has a cast that leaves you absolutely breathless just by naming it. Staring Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Anna Kendrick, James Corden,  and Chris Pine to name a few and even has a cameo by none other than Johnny Depp!

    This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy), all tied together by an original story involving a Baker and his Wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), who wish to begin a family and their interaction with the Witch (Meryl Streep), who has put a curse on them.  This all leads to a storyline that is so complex, yet flows so smoothly together you will leave feeling so satisfied and enamored by each and every character.

    Now for the talent! When remaking a beloved story such as “Into the Woods”, one has to be so careful in not taking away from the original masterpiece that was brought together to make a hit. This is when Director Rob Marshall’s talent came to show. He was able to combine an incredible force of talent, some obvious and  some that surprised everyone with their amazing acting and singing skills.

    To pick your favorite characters in the Movie is to pick your favorite child, But If I had to say the ones I felt most heart for were definitely the Baker & His wife played by James Corden & Emily Blunt. Their characters were not only characters you felt a sense of compassion and love for because of their situation but you felt their desperation and need to do anything to get that child they truly wanted.  You could feel that sense of emotion that was so raw in their roles yet they managed to mix it in with a comedic sweet side that didn’t send you into the depths of despair.


    I can’t say enough about the vocals on Anna Kendrick who plays an modern day Cinderella. One that doesn’t necessarily follow the status quo set by her predecessors. This role plays into  a strong character who although can’t make up her mind when it comes to the prince,is able to make a concise one that show her inner strength. I have to admit that Anna Kendrick was not my obvious choice for this role, I had only seen her in a few movies that didn’t really capture the extent of her talent. However, she was able to give an unconventional  beauty to Cinderella not only through her body language but through the passion and sentiment in her voice that made you realize Anna Kendrick was born to play this role.


    A big surprise for me were the two child actors in this film Lilla Crawford who plays Red Ridding hood and  Daniel Huttlestone who plays Jack (from Jack and the Bean Stalk). A review of this movie couldn’t be done without mentioning the powerful vocals on these two and the amazing presences on screen they had. I was truly BLOWN AWAY!  These two added so much to this movie with their presence let alone vocals you were left wanting so much more from them. I can’t wait to see what these two have in store for the future because honestly if they showed at least one ounce of the talent they displayed in this movie in future roles I can only imagine he sky is the limit for these two!



    I can’t complete this review without  giving an amazing round of applause to Meryl Streep. There is a reason she is a legend and she proved it again in this role. How can a woman as gorgeous as her play a witch you truly hate but then end up sympathizing with so deeply!  She is able to capture so much complexity in this role, not just that of a Witch. She is able to take this role so far and transform so seamlessly that you realize there’s a masterpiece being made on screen before your very eyes. IntoTheWoods53f63ef054dde

    This movie is a Cinematographic Masterpiece for the senses. There isn’t one scene that couldn’t be captured and framed as art. The lighting, the costumes, the charachters are so much and more! For an adult this movie plays to the senses through an amazing story line that can only be recreated with the amazing choice in cast. For children this will awaken an imagination that only children know how to take to the furthest limits of the brain’s scope.


    Filled with Characters you will  love or love to hate “Into the Woods” will take you so deeply Into the Story you will be left in awe when the credits role.IntoTheWoods54514fa7ef76b

    The lessons to be found in this film are as extensive as the talent that portrays them. Each character does an amazing job at capturing their role so perfectly. There is so much to be learned by any who see this movie. Life lessons are abundant in this film, from fighting the Giants in our lives, to being careful what you wish for. Rob Marshall, Steven Sodenheim and James Lapine are truly a force to be reckoned with. This trio of talent is something you only imagine in books and seeing the power of their creativity come together on the big screen is something so magical and amazing it will be talked about for years to come.

    So I leave you with the trailer of this Movie, A trailer I don’t tire of watching and reminisign of the beautiful magic of Into the Woods!

    Don’t forget to Like INTO THE WOODS on Facebook:

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     INTO THE WOODS is rated PG and opens in theaters everywhere on December 25th!






    Disclosure: This post is part of my press trip to LA, CA with expenses provided by Disney. All Opinions are 100% mine.

    Join me on my #IntotheWoods #ABCFamilyEvent Adventure

    There are moments in your life when you get news so exciting that you want to scream for joy. A few weeks ago I got such news. I was asked to join 24 other bloggers on an amazing adventure to Los Angeles for the a special screening of the Movie “Into The Woods” which hits movie theaters this Christmas day.  This will be my first Disney Blogger adventure and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am!


    What will this trip look like?

    ABC Family will also take us on the  set of their returning hit TV shows MELISSA & JOEY (returns on Wednesday, 1/14 at 8:00pm/8:00c) I will have the opportunity visit the set of Melissa & Joey as well as Interview stars Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence(WOAH!)


    and BABY DADDY (returns on Wednesday, 1/14 at 8:30pm/7:30c) to observe production and meet the casts of the show!

    And finally, the ABC Family portion of the event wouldn’t be complete without a 25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS themed welcome dinner!


    On Thursday Night I will be heading to the Legendary  Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills which is the official “Academy” Theatre.  This is the Theater were the Oscars Nominations are presented each year. Could you think of a more magical place to catch a special screening of “Into the Woods”?After the screening I will have the chance to attend a Q&A with actors Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Christine Baranski, Tracey Ullman, director and producer Rob Marshall, writer James Lapine, producers Marc Platt and John DeLuca, costume designer Colleen Atwood and cinematographer Dion Beebe. YES! I will be sitting in the same room as all this talent!





    While in town I will also attend a special press day in honor of the Diamond Edition Blu-ray release of 101 DALMATIONS! 101 DALMATIANS releases from the Disney vault on 2/10!

    Finally on Friday before heading back from this amazing adventure I will have the opportunity to interview a couple of the actors from “Into the Woods” Not sure who they will be but when I find out I’ll be sure to let you all know!

    So join me on this amazing adventure! It’s not everyday this mama of 4 gets to travel across the country without here little chicks and enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity like this.

    Thank you so much to the amazing people at Disney and ABC Family for making this possible and for allowing me to bring this experience to all my readers.

    So make sure and follow me on  Instagram to catch all the fun pictures. As well as follow the Event Hashtags #IntoTheWoodsEvent and #ABCFamilyEvent to Follow in all the fun!

    So I leave you with this fun trailer from the movie Into the woods and don’t forget to catch me on all my adventure next week!


    Disclosure: This post is part of my press trip to LA, CA with expenses provided by Disney. All Opinions are 100% mine.