UN General Assembly – NYC

The UN General Assembly takes place every September in New York City since the headquarters are in the Big Apple.  I was in Manhattan staying at the Loews Regency on Park for Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel’s new movie “Life As We Know It.”  I’ve never seen so much security in my life… but it wasn’t for the celebs.  Apparently several of the diplomats in town were staying at the hotel and it was HIGH SECURITY!  There were no less than 9 officers when I entered the hotel.  They set up a tent out front and screened all my luggage.  I hd to go through a metal detector and get wanded just to get in.  Once in the hotel, I was free to roam around but the lobby was flooded with Secret Service.  They barricaded the streets and lined it with vehicles manned and full of ammunition — I felt like I was on a movie set.  But it was all real!  At least I didn’t get bed bugs!

UN General AssemblySecret ServiceHigh Security

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Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – New York City

I flew to New York City to catch up with the cast… Oliver Stone, Josh Brolin, Susan Sarandon, and Michael Douglas.  Michael addressed the latest on his throat cancer:

Michael Douglas: “I’m doing fine. My doctors are optimistic, I’m optimistic and obviously a combination of radiation every day and chemo limits a full day (of work). Life goes on. This is just another chapter. I’ve had a pretty good run of it, and this was a pretty bad year that is going to be topped off with a really good movie.”

Both Michael Douglas and Josh Brolin have famous dads (Kirk Douglas & James Brolin respectively) and I asked them what’s something their dads have taught them that’s made a difference in their careers:

Michael Douglas: “Being able to watch how they conducted themselves. We’re very fortunate that this is a business, where as kids, you can go and visit your mom and dad on the set at work. So you get to see at an early age what your mother or father do. I think it’s a big advantage as you got older to see how you conduct yourself, because you were able to see how they conducted themselves when you were growing up. And seeing people with their own insecurities and understanding that. I think the disadvantage is Josh or I don’t get any credit because it’s assumed that your old man is a success and he got you an opening into the business.”

Josh Brolin: “First of all my father said, ‘Don’t get into this business.’ That was something that I didn’t listen to. There was a lot of fiscal fluctuation, my parents spent money as it came, so we’d have a nice house and then 2 years later we’d be in someone’s guest house. The security factor I think was a worry for him. But ultimately what Michael said, it’s that you watch, you learn, you see them make decisions… there are very few people in the industry now that don’t have some sibling or relative in the business. You learn what to do, what not to do. It’s helped me for sure in making decisions.

Couldn’t help but take a few pictures of the iconic financial district… New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street, the Bull and rebuilding Ground Zero:

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You Asked For It. You Got It!

Hi Everyone – I’m officially entering the blogging world!

So many people ask me about my experiences traveling the world interviewing celebrities on the movie press junkets.  With some prompting from friends, I figured why not write about my adventures and share pictures and video so we can all enjoy the journey together.  But of course if I’m going to do something I have to fully commit… so I went back through my adventures the past year and posted short stories and pictures from at least one of my favorite trips each month.

Check them out, feel free to comment and get ready for some virtual fun!

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August 2010 – “Eat Pray Love”

Yountville/Napa Valley – “Eat Pray Love

I interviewed the cast at a private residence in beautiful Napa Valley. Julia Roberts is everything you’d hope she would be; beautiful, warm, open and even told my mom she has “pretty eyes.” Even though this movie was shot on location in Italy, India and Indonesia, Julia Roberts’ family is still her first priority as she told me, “They were there [on location] the whole time. We’ve never been apart so that was definitely a huge part of my decision-making process and brining my family into that process  and figuring out if it was all going to work, for all of us. It wasn’t a decision of one, which it just never is anymore.”  At lunch she even slipped into a comfortable dress, threw her hair in a ponytail and went to see her kids for an hour.  Supermom!

Since we couldn’t be in Italy to enjoy the “Eat” part of Columbia Pictures Eat Pray Love, Food Network’s Chef Michael Chiarello prepared a multicourse meal for us and paired each with a wine. Complete with an ice sculpture filled with three flavors of Gelato.

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July 2010 – San Diego Comic-Con

San Diego – Comic-Con 2010

Every July, San Diego is taken over by self-proclaimed geeks and nerds, as the city hosts Comic-Con, the largest comic book convention in the world. Not only can you be checking out of the grocery store next to a Storm Trooper, or in the coffee line with Wonder Woman, but Hollywood has taken notice of this four day event and flooded America’s Finest City with the biggest celebrities in the industry.  This year was no exception featuring everyone from Angelina Jolie for Salt, to Robert Downey Jr. for the The Avengers, Sylvester Stallone for The Expendables and a Comic-Con first, Hans Solo himself, yes, Harrison Ford, in handcuffs no less! Ford stars in Jon Favreau’s new film Cowboys & Aliens and according to Favreau, he told me Ford, “I’m bringing you to Comic-Con. And he [Harrison Ford] said, ‘You’d have to bring me in handcuffs.’ And so the big joke was we brought him out in handcuffs. That was part of the gag. But did you see how much the people love him? These people grew up with him. For like 5 minutes a standing ovation!” 

Here’s some of the famous faces roaming the streets of San Diego! (Including Ryan Reynolds, Chris Hemsworth, Tina Fey & Will Ferrell, Terry Crews, Aaron Eckhart, Jeff Bridges, Michelle Rodriguez & Danny Trejo, Robert Rodriguez, Garrett Hedlund, Cam Gigandet, and my team!)

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June 2010 – “Knight & Day” Part #3

Sevilla, Spain  – “Knight & Day”

This will be a day I will never forget! One of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had in my entertainment career… I got to recreate a stunt sequence from Knight & Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz! I literally got in the passenger seat with Cameron Diaz behind the wheel of the BMW roadster. We sped off through the streets of Spain, spinning and skidding then coming to a screeching stop to have none other than Tom Cruise open my door, pound-fist Cameron, then escort me out and proceed to put me in a car with one of the best stunt drivers in the world. Then we chase Tom Cruise, who jumps on a Ducati. We take off once again, whizzing and drifting through the streets of Spain.  I didn’t catch Tom Cruise, and despite some trash talking, he still gave me a great big bear hug once we survived the chase. Did I mention the streets were lined with Spanish onlookers cheering and yelling as they watched us perform in the streets?!

Check out the photos and if you have a few minutes take the time to watch the 9-camera shoot of the stunt sequence, it’s worth it!

This is enough excitement for anyone for one day but Spain likes their long days, and fun at night, so it was off to the premiere. Red-carpet ready and once again excited to talk with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

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June 2010 – “Knight & Day” Part #2

Salzburg, Austria – “Knight & Day”

Time to run and jump rooftops! Just like in the movie I got to work with stunt coordinator Gregg Smrz to recreate the same situations I saw in the film. I got harnessed up and literally jumped from one rooftop to another – 70+ feet high. It was such a thrill I wanted to do it again. Like Cameron Diaz in the movie I didn’t wait for the count of 3… we both jumped too early. But fortunately we both survived!

Despite drizzle earlier in the day I was still able to get on the rooftop of another building and while hooked to a wire, ran the same sequence Tom Cruise does in the film. No problems here, well maybe a slight scare! (Notice Greg Smrz is covering his eyes – LOL!)

 

Only a small window of down time, but it was just enough to jump in a cab with some journalist friends and see some famous sights. The home from the Sound of Music, Mozart’s house, and I even tried these crazy chocolate balls the composer puts his face on – Mozartkugeln is the proper name!

 

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June 2010 – “Knight & Day” Part #1

Salzburg, Austria – “Knight & Day”

Some baggage belt broke at LAX and, even though I was all carry on, it delayed my flight several hours causing just enough of a delay that I missed my connecting flight in Germany to Austria.  There were 6 of us journalists that missed our connection and it would be another 7 hours before we could get on a flight to Salzburg. If we waited we’d miss the screening of 20th Century FOX’s Knight & Day which would cause a domino effect of other issues. It’s only a 4 hour drive from Germany to Austria so we ordered a car and decided to drive! It was such a beautiful trip – when do you get a chance to see the countryside this way! The autobahn is so efficient and even saw the areas where hops were growing, apparently it’s where all the beer made for Oktoberfest. The beauty was interrupted when we got pulled over by a plain clothed police officer asking to see our papers as we headed into Austria – I suddenly felt like the Von Trapp’s in the Sound of Music. We finally made it to Salzburg which is just a picture perfect city.

 

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May 2010 – “Get Him to the Greek”

Greek Ampitheatre – “Get Him to the Greek”

You never know what to expect when you interview comedians but I can tell you I never, ever, and I mean never, would have guessed Russell Brand would end up kissing me and trying to take my bra off in the middle of my interview for Universal’s Get Him to the Greek. Yes it was all on camera!

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May 2010 – “Letters to Juliet”

Verona, Italy  – “Letters to Juliet”

I’ve traveled all over the world but usually I get to stay more than one night – but one night was all my schedule could allow so I figured, you’re only young once, I might as well take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. So fly to Verona for dinner and a few interviews, check! Vanessa Redgrave (Howard’s End, Julia), Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia, Mean Girls), Christopher Egan (Kings, Eragon) and Gael Garcia Bernal (Babel, The Motorcycle Diaries) all joined us in this magical city for Summit’s film Letters to Juliet. Plus, we had an amzing multiple course meal all paired with wines from the region. Verona has some of the best Olive Oil and Vinegar in the world.

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