Meeting Jes Macallan and Justin Hartley on the Set of ABC’s Mistresses #ABCTVEvent

Mistresses Season 2 spoilersLast week I shared that I had an inside look at Mistresses when I was in LA for a variety of Disney events in May 2014. In addition to meeting Jason George, winning a beautiful necklace and learning about how the costume designer works with the latest trends, we also got to visit the set and go on location with the cast and crew!

The second episode of the second season of Mistresses is on tonight, 6/9 on ABC at 10pm EST. I’ve said all of this before:

If you haven’t watched Mistresses yet, I promise you won’t be lost if you jump in to watch the show tonight before seeing any other episodes. It’s a light drama, so most of the storylines are easy enough to follow without prior knowledge.

I also want to say that the title Mistresses definitely shouldn’t be taken 100% literally. If the title turns you off, I want you to know that the show does not glorify cheating. While the characters aren’t wild with deceit and infidelity, it’s definitely there. But their actions come with consequences and the show’s stories depict the (soapy, dramatic and sometimes humorous) fallout and aftermath of those actions.

April's store on MistressesIf you’re a fan of Mistresses, I’m pretty sure you’ve dreamed of shopping in April’s store. We were lucky enough to walk through the set of the store, and it was pretty much just like walking through a unique Anthropologie combined with real storefronts for Modcloth and Ruche. In short, it was amazing!

We also learned that Mistresses is filmed on the same set that’s used for ABC’s Cougar Town. I think it’s great that even locations are repurposed to save money, and it looks like someone was having a fun time with that fact. Look what I spotted when I was examining a deliberately arranged messy desk used in Mistresses:

cougar town and mistresses


After our tour of the Mistresses set we all hopped into a shuttle to take us to an “undisclosed location” to see where the show was currently filming.

As we approached the house in a gorgeous California neighborhood, Jes Macallan (who plays Joss in the show) came bounding out of the house.

Jes Macallan from MistressesJes was super-friendly and incredibly energetic, and she really, really wanted to give all of us the full set experience! She invited us into the house (but was immediately told that we couldn’t go inside), she started talking about what she was filming (and was told not to share any secrets), she wanted pictures and started connecting with a blogger from her hometown.

Jes was also super-eager to have us meet her costar, Justin Hartley, so she ran back inside the house and came back with him.

While I had never seen him before, another blogger, Dusty, told him that she loved his prior work and he immediately surprised her with a hug. It was so friendly and she was so happily surprised, I’m kind of in love with this picture I snapped of them:

justin hartley hugging Dusty Bastian


Let’s be honest: Justin Hartley is an incredibly good-looking guy. He had all of us eating out of the palm of his hand within minutes of meeting him. He made us give a group of random people a round of applause and we sang Happy Birthday to him, even though it wasn’t his birthday!

At the same time, he was just as nice as Jes, and they both went above and beyond what I would ever expect for a meet and greet. They both posed for tons of pictures, answered questions and were generally happy to interact with all of us. Justin even took on the job of actually taking a selfie with each of us while holding the camera:

Justin Harley selfie


To be completely up front, Both Jes Macallan and Justin Hartley were so nice it makes me like Mistresses even more because of them! Meeting both of them was a great experience, and I can’t wait to see what they’re up to when their storyline appears in Season 2!

Follow both Jes and Justin on Twitter at these links:

Be sure to tune into Mistresses at 10PM EST on Mondays on ABC!

Disclosure: Travel and expenses were provided by Disney to participate in this press trip. All opinions are my own, and all experiences were real. 

All the Details of Mistresses Season 2

Mistresses Season 2 spoilersI know, I’ve been going on a lot about my recent blogging trip to California to work with Disney on a variety of television and movie promotions.

One fun thing I did was get an exclusive set tour of the hit ABC show Mistresses, along with a super-fun interview with one of the stars, Jason George!

First, I want you all to know that Mistresses premieres tonight, 6/2 on ABC at 10pm EST. If you’re a fan, I wish I could share all my Mistresses season 2 spoilers with you–I’ve already seen the season premiere and I got some fun information from Jason George about the direction the show is heading this summer!

Unfortunately, I’m under strict no-tell orders, but I can say that you probably don’t want any spoilers for Mistresses season 2. It’s so good I don’t want to ruin any of the surprises!

If you haven’t watched Mistresses yet, I promise you won’t be lost if you jump in to watch Season 2 before seeing any other episodes. It’s a light drama, so most of the storylines are easy enough to follow without prior knowledge.

I also want to say that the show title Mistresses definitely shouldn’t be taken 100% literally. If the title turns you off, I want you to know that the show does not glorify cheating. While the characters aren’t wild with deceit and infidelity, it’s definitely there. But their actions come with consequences and the show’s stories depict the (soapy, dramatic and sometimes humorous) fallout and aftermath of of those actions.

Back to the good stuff (sorry, I’m still not giving up any Mistresses spoilers :))!
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Top 5 Tips for Healthy Weight Loss from JD Roth of #ExtremeWeightLoss #ABCTVEvent

extreme weight loss tipsIt wasn’t even a month ago that I was in Los Angeles for a fantastic blogging trip with Disney. I went to the Million Dollar Arm premiere and celebrated May the Fourth with a Star Wars Rebels party. I even met Jimmy Kimmel as part of our ABC promotions.

Another great opportunity I enjoyed while on this trip was a sit-down with a variety of executive producers and showrunners from four hit ABC television series!

We worked in small groups to do informal interviews with various team members from the following shows:

  • Extreme Weight Loss
  • Mistresses
  • Revenge
  • Black Box

One of the best things about the way the meetings were set up was that there wasn’t a format for any of them. Each show gave me about 15 minutes with the producers, and each conversation took on a vastly different direction.

We talked about how the Black Box producers have both been touched by bipolar disorder. The Mistresses producers discussed real-life dating challenges for millennials. The executive producer of Revenge summarized the writing process and how it changes as seasons progress. We discussed practical healthy eating and weight loss with the executive producer of Extreme Weight Loss.

healthy tips from extreme weight loss

Meeting with J.D. Roth, the executive producer of Extreme Weight Loss, kept my pen moving in my notebook for most of the time he talked. He offered so much valuable information about healthy eating and weight loss, and he expanded on those ideas to cover keeping kids healthy and body image.

It was pretty cool when he offered up his own top 5 tips for healthy weight loss, and I want to share them with you!

Top 5 Tips for Healthy Weight Loss from Extreme Weight Loss

 1. Never drink a calorie. That includes diet and zero-calorie, artificially sweetened beverages. Only drink water.

2. Move after you eat. Go for a walk after dinner. If you have kids bring them along. JD Roth said you’ll “find out more about your kids’ social life during a walk than during any other time.”

3. Never eat after 8pm.

4. Choose more fruit. When you’re deciding what to eat, make more choices that are simply fruit.

5. Count. This doesn’t mean counting calories, or ounces, or inches, or pounds. Count the number of packages you open in a week. Next week, try to cut that number in half. Put simply, eat less processed foods.

About Extreme Weight Loss:

Extreme Weight Loss is a unique undertaking that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen TV.

The show documents the amazing makeover of seventeen courageous, obese individuals who set out to safely lose half of their body weight over the course of a year. The metamorphosis is truly amazing.

Trainer/transformation specialist Chris Powell (The 650-Pound Virgin) guides each of the seventeen participants through the process after moving into their homes. He’s there to make sure the participants get the proper nourishment and exercise movement.

Chris provides a fresh perspective to individuals whose lives have become unmanageable because of their weight.

In each of the thirteen two-hour episodes, participants undergo a transformation not only of their bodies, but of who they are as individuals.

Each stand-alone episode of Extreme Weight Loss chronicles one participant’s journey. You won’t believe what a difference a year makes!

Image credits: ABC/Disney

Exclusive Million Dollar Arm Interview with Aasif Mandvi

Aasif Mandviphoto credit: Disney

Million Dollar Arm is now in theaters and I’m not even sure I need to tell you again how great it is! You can read my  Million Dollar Arm review and see my three favorite things about the movie. You can take a look at my experience at the Hollywood premiere.

To get even more behind-the-scenes details from stars of the film, check out my interview with Jon Hamm and my interviews with Mitesh Madhur and Suraj Sharma. Then, read about the real-life inspirations behind the story of Million Dollar Arm. You can see it all in my interviews with JB Bernstein, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel.

Aasif Mandvi interviewphoto credit: Disney

Finally, I also had the privilege of interviewing Aasif Mandvi, who plays Ash in Million Dollar Arm. I sincerely enjoyed him in this movie, and I’ve been a longtime fan of his since he joined The Daily Show several years ago! He was just as charming and funny as I expected him to be.

My interview with Aasif Mandvi:

At one time you were a performer at Walt Disney World. Did you think you would get to [act in a Disney film] and what has that experience been like? 

I was a street performer at the Disney/MGM Studios and now I was in a Disney movie, so it’s a very different experience. There’s less catering involved. You don’t get a trailer, catering, nothing. [Working at Disney World] was great! Disney, the MGM Studios, was my first job out of college so it was an amazing experience. It was really fun.

We sort of opened the MGM Studios back in 1989 and played street performing characters. It was a great place to learn comedy and improv. I hope this isn’t where I end but it’s where I started. It came full circle.

Did you start your career after working at MGM? Were you a stand-up comedian?  [Read more…]

Exclusive Million Dollar Arm Interviews with Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma

Million Dollar Arm Suraj MadhurThanks to Dusty from for the use of this photo!

I think my Million Dollar Arm review leaves little doubt that I’m a huge fan of this movie. It’s not because I went to the Hollywood premiere, it’s not just because I got to interview Jon Hamm, and it’s not even because I met and interviewed JB Bernstein, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel.

I even had the amazing opportunity to interview Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma, who play Dinesh and Rinku in Million Dollar Arm. But the reason I loved Million Dollar Arm so much is because it’s simply a great story told with amazing actors.

Two of those amazing actors are Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma. I’ve seen the movie twice, and, while I was impressed with their parts in the story during the first screening, I really noticed both of their brilliant acting skills the second time around.

million dollar arm suraj madhurphoto credit: Disney

Not only are they both fantastic actors, both Mittal and Sharma are incredibly nice! When my group of influential mom bloggers interviewed them a few hours before the Million Dollar Arm premiere, they were beyond gracious, sweet and funny in their answers to our questions.

Million Dollar Arm picphoto credit: Disney

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Disney’s Million Dollar Arm Review: I LOVED This Movie! #MillionDollarArmEvent

million dollar arm review

Disney’s Million Dollar Arm opens in theaters everywhere TODAY, May 16th! Find it at a theater near you and buy your tickets today!

I’ve been talking a lot about Disney’s Million Dollar Arm lately. It’s based on a true story, and I learned a lot about the people and the emotions behind the movie in my interview with JB Bernstein, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. My interview with Jon Hamm shares behind-the-scenes details and my recap of the red carpet at the Million Dollar Arm premiere shows just the tip of the iceberg of how incredible the night really was.

But I haven’t really said much about the movie itself. When I was writing those other Million Dollar Arm articles I found myself writing about how much I loved the movie, particular scenes that really stood out and the overall message of the movie. Then I’d remember that I wasn’t writing a Million Dollar Arm movie review at the time and I’d stop myself from going down that road.

Now’s my chance to rave about Million Dollar Arm. I’m not a professional movie critic, so this article is just me, talking about the good things and hoping I can convince you to see this movie. Because it’s that good.

Are you a sports fan? Let me be clear: I’m not. I like going to live sports events, but I couldn’t tell you anything about any professional sport and you pretty much have to pay me to sit down and watch televised game of anything if I can’t bring a book or my laptop along!

million dollar arm reviewYet I love the sports films Disney has released in the past: The Mighty Ducks, Angels in the Outfield, The Rookie, Miracle. I’ve found them all to be heartwarming, goosebump-inducing works that I could watch over and over again. Million Dollar Arm fits in perfectly among those fantastic family films.

I think Jon Hamm said it best: million dollar arm review

Based on a true story, sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) finds that business has changed and things aren’t going well for his career.

In a last-ditch effort to save his livelihood, he concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace. JB travels to India to produce a reality show competition called “The Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of cantankerous but eagle-eyed baseball scout Ray Poitevint (Alan Arkin), he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18-year-old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball.

Hoping to sign them to major league contracts and make a quick buck, JB brings the boys home to America to train. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India, the boys, who have never left their rural villages, are equally challenged when they come to the States.

As the boys learn the finer points of baseball, JB, with the help of his charming friend Brenda (Lake Bell), learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.

There are a three things about Million Dollar Arm that really took it to the next level for me:

  1. The acting of both Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma. These two play parts Dinesh and Rinku who won the pitching contest in India and came to America to train. I can’t decide who of the two I liked better in the movie, but, collectively, they were fantastic. It wasn’t long after their characters were introduced that I felt a connection to them, and I loved the innocence and determination of the characters they played.
  2. The Million Dollar Arm soundtrack. As Sarah Polonsky stated in a article, This is one of those film scores that come around every decade and knocks it out of the ballpark 
  3. Pitobash. This actor plays Amit in Million Dollar Arm and his character is beyond delightful. Amit is charming, funny, helpful and inspiring. When I noticed was sitting right behind me at the premiere, I had to turn around and compliment him on his performance. He couldn’t have been more sweet and gracious in person!

I’ve seen Million Dollar Arm twice and I can’t wait to watch it again with my husband. Then I want to see it with my niece and nephews (ages 8-14).

The best part about Million Dollar Arm is that I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t enjoy it. It’s definitely one of those rare movies that will appeal to everyone, making it the perfect film for the whole family!

Disney’s Million Dollar Arm opens in theaters everywhere TODAY, May 16th! Find it at a theater near you and buy your tickets today!

Like Million Dollar Arm on Facebook:

Follow Million Dollar Arm on Twitter:

Visit the official site for Million Dollar

Disclosure: Travel and expenses were provided by Disney to participate in this press trip. All opinions are my own, and all experiences were real. 

photo credit: all photos courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures