Interview with Brittany Curran

Posted on December 4, 2008 at 8:00 am

One of the best moments for any movie critic is the discovery of a bright new talent. Brittany Curran, who co-stars with Lucas Grabeel in The Adventures of Foodboy, caught my attention from her first moment on screen because she did something many actresses with twice as much experience cannot do — she created a vivid and relatable character in a role that could have just been as the usual “girlfriend of leading male.” She projects a combination of confidence and sweetness that is very appealing and has a superb sense of comic timing. Curran and Grabeel have a nice onscreen chemistry that left me hoping to see them together again. Her upcoming projects include “The Ghost Whisperer” and a straight-to-DVD sequel to “Legally Blonde” called “Legally Blondes.”

I was very happy to get a chance to talk to Brittany about “The Adventures of Foodboy” and her other projects. I began by asking her what she did to create such an appealing performance.

My first read was in my room. I knew I needed to do something to make her something more. It’s so easy to slip into just being the girl and I wanted to make her more whole. I only had a week leading up to work on it. So, I read it over a bunch of times, just kept reading it to think about what kind of naturally came out of the lines. I wrote down some notes, letting the natural quirkiness that comes in everyday life guide me, and then later when we were filming tried to let myself go and be spontaneous.

What is it about food fights that makes them so much fun? And was the huge food fight in the movie fun to film?

They’re fun because you can throw all this junk around and not worry about it. It’s a non-lethal way of having fun and fighting, like a silly fight I got into with my friend where we threw ice cubes at each other, or like a pillow fight. But when we did it in the movie, it ended up looking really gross. It was all over and in my hair but the worst was the smell. I constantly had so much stuff in my face and I was aware I was making unflattering facial expressions just when I was supposed to be in the shot. I am usually not conscious of the camera but this time because so much was going on there was a lot of direction to “turn this way,” “look over here” so I was aware of it.

Food Boy Collage words.jpg

What scene was the most fun to film?

I liked kissing Lucas! The most fun was when it was just the two of us, talking like regular kids. We got along really well and I enjoyed working with him.

What’s on your iPod?

A lot of Led Zeppelin! They’re my favorite band of all time. And the Beatles and the Who and my dad, he’s a musician, too. I’m a major classic rock fan.

You’ve worked on a variety of projects. Has anyone given you some especially memorable advice?

I just worked on a episode of “The Ghost Whisperer” with Jennifer Love Hewitt. The director said, “I know what you want to do. You have the freedom to go where the words take you.” If you know the goal of the scene, you should find your own natural way to get there.

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Breakthrough Perfomers Interview Tweens

Inappropriate Trailer Shown Before ‘Twilight’

Posted on November 24, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Critics usually do not see trailers in our special screenings, so many thanks to the commenters who brought this problem to my attention. Some “Twilight” fans are seeing the disturbing trailer for “The Unborn” before the movie.
The choice of trailers is made by individual theater owners and managers. In general, they usually try to make sure the movie they are advertising will appeal to the same audience. It is unthinkable to me that anyone who knows what “Twilight” is about — a tender love story and the triumph of better angels over base desires — would want to show that audience a trailer for a film about a demonic spirit.
Parents should check with the theater manager to make sure this trailer will not be shown when they decide where their teenagers will be seeing “Twilight.” And I also recommend a protest to the authorities:
National Association of Theatre Owners
750 First Street, NE
Suite 1130
Washington, DC 20002
Tel. 202.962-0054
Fax: 202.962-0370
E-mail: nato@natodc.com
Office of the Chairman and CEO
Washington, DC
1600 Eye St., NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 293-1966 (main)
(202) 296-7410 (fax)

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Marketing to Kids Tweens Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Parenting the Facebook Generation

Posted on November 15, 2008 at 9:00 am

Be sure to take a look at the excellent Ten Tips for Parenting the Facebook Generation from Beliefnet’s Hesham Hassaballa. Technology has made the risks and humiliations and cliquishness of the early teen years exponentially more treacherous, and these guidelines will help keep kids safe until they can become wise. The most important rule, as always, is loving involvement in your children’s lives, so they know they can talk with you about all of their concerns.

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Internet, Gaming, Podcasts, and Apps Teenagers Tweens

Q&A With the Movie Mom — a 14-year-old wants to see slasher movies

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 10:58 pm

A reader of this blog wrote to ask about her 14-year-old, who tells her that all of his friends watch R-rated horror films and he wants to see them, too. Here is my response:
I am honored that you would ask for my thoughts on this very difficult decision.
There’s no good answer. At this age, you are going to be walking a tightrope for the next few years trying to keep a balance between protecting your child from social humiliation (very tender at this age of course) and protecting him from media you consider inappropriate. I can recommend lower-intensity horror films, of course, but I fear that your approving of them (or my approving of them) would probably make them unacceptable from his point of view by definition. Some of the scariest movies are not at all graphic. But at this age, I believe that these movies are not watched for enjoyment as much as they are for proof of endurance and the pleasure of crossing a line that parents have drawn.
What I would say is this: “Now is a good time to make it clear to you that ‘everyone else is doing it’ never, ever works in our house. We do what is right for us. I want you to think about why you should see these movies — why they are worthwhile, what they will add to your understanding, why they merit 90 minutes out of your life, what possible adverse effect they might have. Take some time and think about it. Write down a few thoughts if that helps. And then we will reconvene on this subject. But remember that one of the gifts I give you as a parent is ‘plausible deniability.’ If in your heart you do not want to see these films (or do anything else your friends are pressuring you to do), you can always blame me.”
Good luck and keep me posted!

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Q&As Tweens

Boomerang Explains the Financial Crisis for Kids

Posted on November 12, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Do you want to find a way to help children understand and the financial crisis? (Could you use a little help understanding it yourself?) Do terms like “sub-prime” and “bailout” make your eyes glaze over?
Boomerang, the brilliant audio magazine for kids and their families, has regular features that make sense of the headlines for kids and is always thought-provoking and a lot of fun. Their explanation of the current situation is something every family should share and discuss.

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Movie Mom’s Top Picks for Families Tweens
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