Interviewing the Couple: BEN & LAUREN: HAPPILY EVER AFTER? #BenandLaurenEvent #DoctorStrangeEvent

ben and lauren happily ever after interview
Just last week I was in Los Angeles to learn more about a variety of movies and television shows. Let me tell you: I had a few friends who were more interested in my time with Ben and Lauren of The Bachelor Season 20 than anything else on the agenda!

No wonder. fans of The Bachelor are loving Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?, the all new reality series that follows the couple as they move forward after the final rose!

About Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?

You all know and love Ben Higgins and his fiancée Lauren Bushnell from season 20 of “The Bachelor” – but what happens after the final rose is handed out and normal life ensues?

This new reality series will follow the happy couple as they prepare to walk down the aisle and begin their brand-new life together while navigating the real world after the splendor of “The Bachelor”…

I had the opportunity to sit down with Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell last week to hear them talk more about their life after The Bachelor. I’m not a regular viewer of The Bachelor, so this was really my first opportunity to get to know the two of them.

I watched the second episode of Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? just before they came in the room for our interview.

ben and lauren happily ever after

The second episode of Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? is a must-see if only to learn how much Lauren enjoys pranks. In this episode, Lauren convinces Ben that he’s going to sing the national anthem after throwing out the first pitch at a professional baseball game!

In addition to the major prank, Lauren also played a few minor jokes on Ben. It was great to see her silly side and Ben was such a good sport about all of it, which makes the ideas even funnier.

It was fun watching the episode then getting to have my questions asked by Ben and Lauren immediately after!

ben-higgins-interview-ben-and-lauren-happily-ever-after

Here’s what I learned when interviewing Ben and Lauren:

Ben Higgins on the question: Is Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? scripted?

After the first episode a lot of people on social media were saying, “Ben & Lauren is so scripted.” I was like, just wait till next week, because nothing about that was fake. 

When I got the phone call from the baseball team, they asked, “Will you sing the national anthem and will you do the first pitch?” My immediate reaction was no. I’m a terrible singer. But because we’re doing this reality show, I didn’t even think I had the option to say no. 

Then I hung up the phone and I was like, Lauren, are you serious? And she said yeah. I was so nervous, I was sick to my stomach. It’s one of my biggest fears. I just can’t sing.

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell on getting Lauren back for her National Anthem prank

I try to get her back when we do press, because it’s live. So I try to drop little bombs on her where she has to try to fix it by herself. I’ve said she loves Cher and ask her to sing a Cher song. I don’t know, I try but she’s good at it.

{Lauren said her favorite thing is scaring Ben, like hiding behind the sofa.}

A few months ago we were in Indiana with my family. I see her kind of crawl across the living room floor. I can just see her feet, and she gets behind my parent’s liquor cabinet. So I sat down. I wanted to see how long she can hide for. I think she was there for a good 10 minutes of laying on the floor. 

But then he ended up scaring me cause he saw me and he banged on the window. I was caught in the act.

Lauren Bushnell on holidays with family

Lauren: We’re trying to figure it out, because both of our families live in different places. That’s something that a lot of couples go through. Ben’s family is in Indiana. Mine is in Portland. So we’re going to alternate Thanksgivings. This year we’ll spend Thanksgiving with my family, next year with Ben’s family..

Hopefully every Christmas we’ll try to go great places. That’s one of the great things about Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? It’s allowed us to have a bit more flexibility when we’re not filming. We can take two weeks around the holidays and go to each separate household.

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell on Halloween

Ben: We have big plans.

Lauren: Big plans.

Ben: We’re leaving LA and then we’re going to Chicago, then Tampa, then we’re going on a little vacation, to the islands, for a full week. It’s our first vacation.

There’s going to be nobody with us, and we’re going to stay through Halloween for that.

Lauren: We get back to Denver on Halloween. I don’t know if we’ll dress up. I love handing out candy.

Ben: I’ll dress up. But we might just not come back. We might become island people. 

Ben Higgins on how much of Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? is produced

I think there’s a lot of footage, so a lot of it is cut down and produced post0filming. The story is displayed and the story is shared.

But there are times where we’re getting ready to enter into a situation and we’re like, what are we going to talk about? We just can’t sit there the whole time. We want to make this as easy as possible. So some of the scenes just fill a gap. But our big life moments? That’s just us.

We do try to help our the crew and producers. If we want to do an activity, we’ll do it on a day they’re there.

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell on spending time with other people from The Bachelor

Another blogger asked this question and had an exchange with Ben:

Blogger: Do people from The Bachelor hang out? How does that work? Jared is from my hometown, so sometimes I see him out with Ashely. How is that dynamic?

Ben: Do they look like they’re in love?

Blogger: When I saw them, both their families were there. It was a charity event and it looked like he really liked her. Then I watched this summer and I felt really bad for her again.

Ben: We’re trying to figure it out, too! 

Ben: And the question: Do we hang out? Yeah.

I don’t think everybody does. There are people from my season of The Bachelorette that I just don’t talk to, but there are some that I talk to quite often. I think that we have a shared experience that not a lot of people can relate with.

Some of the people who have been the most supportive of our relationship are people like the twins. They were so supportive of us; they’ve seen us progress, they’ve seen the emotions of it all. 

With the show, for at least this short season of life, we get to do some really fun things. We get to go to events and on trips together, and it helps if you like the people.

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell on other stars from The Bachelor

Blogger: I saw chat on the preview for the next episode of Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?. Is he really as big as a douchebag as he’s made out to be? I have to know.

Lauren: When we first met him at JoJo’s, we talked to him and I felt so bad for him. I’m not saying that his actions were acceptable, but I just felt so bad. 

You don’t know what he’s going through at home or behind closed doors. I just wanted to talk to him.

I thought he was very likable  in my conversation with him, so we invited him to go camping. He’s done things that are so very clearly out of line and acted a certain way, especially on social media. 

But I think I saw a different side of him, but I also saw why so many people have had run-ins with him. I don’t know if he’s being fake or not.

On the biggest challenges of being on camera

Ben: The hardest part is that you come out of this feeling so happy. I ended up with this woman I’m so in love with and that I know is going to be the person I spend the rest of my life with.

Then the next day you wake up and realize all the stuff that happened is actually going to affect our relationship. Like that I didn’t tell Lauren that I told someone else I loved her. That I dated a bunch of other people at the same time I dated her. That I’m still a bachelor in everybody’s eyes for the next five months.

So we’re engaged and falling in love and we’re actually starting to date for the first time and going through the show (while it was on the air) was a difficult time.

My strategy was to tell her everything right away. Be as truthful as I could. Let it sit and we’ll work through it. It wasn’t easy but it works.

ben and lauren happily ever after

Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? airs Tuesdays on Freeform (formerly ABC Family) at 8/7c. The next episode airs October 25!

After you watch Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? stay on Freeform to watch The Letter. It’s on immediately after, on Tuesdays at 9/8c.

About The Letter:

“The Letter” is a bold, new relationship show that asks the simple question: “If you could anonymously tell your best friend in a letter the things that he or she really needed to hear, would you do it?”

In each stand-alone episode, four friends draw names and anonymously write to the selected person a thoughtful, yet totally honest letter outlining their opinion of what needs to be changed in order to improve and transform their friend’s life for the better.

Learn more about Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? then check out the preview here:

Interviewing Ben and Lauren was just one of several events I attended on this press trip. There’s more to come, and I can’t wait to share it!

marvel disney blogger press trip

Thanks to Enza from EnzasBargains.com for the photos!
Disclosure: Disney, Marvel, and Freeform flew me to LA and covered most expenses for this press junket. All opinions are my own.

Doctor Strange, Finding Dory, Ben & Lauren and a Trip to LA! #DoctorStrangeEvent #FindingDoryBluray #BenandLaurenEvent #MechX4Event

Disney press junket blogger

I am so thrilled to announce I’m heading to a press junket for some of my very favorite companies: Marvel, Disney, Freeform (ABC) and Disney XD!

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Stepping in the Disney Recording Booth for a Zootopia Voice Acting Lesson! #ZootopiaBluray

Disney voice over

I think everyone knows that I love Zootopia and I think it’s a fantastic movie. Given my strong love for the movie, I was so excited to go into the recording booth at DisneyToon Studios to try my hand at voice acting for a scene in the movie!

Since Zootopia is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD, more people than ever will recognize the “Icing” scene I got to work on.

zootopia mr big fru fru voice

If you’re not familiar, it’s the part of the movie where Officer Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde are brought before Mr. Big, the mafia boss, and his daughter Fru Fru.

Here’s the video of my Disney voice acting recording session. The first part of the video is a few practice rounds I had with the script, and the last part is the finished video with my voice as Fru Fru:

I was able to do a different voice acting session for Disney on a different press trip for Big Hero 6. Let me tell you: voice acting was hard then and it hasn’t gotten any easier since then!

disney recording booth

After I did my Zootopia recording I was able to sit down with the Paul McGrath, the dialogue mixer who worked on Zootopia to find out more about what happens when voice actors record their lines and what’s done to the recordings afterwards.

About Dialogue Mixing in Animation

I learned that the dialogue mixers are involved in the filmmaking process from the very beginning all the way through to the very end. Everything starts with the script, but the very next part of making an animated movie is the voice.

In animation, the voice recording is done very early. It starts when the movie is simply sketches and drawings and continues on as it goes into animation and layout. the voice recordings give animators direction as to who the character is going to be on screen.

Zootopia is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD. Order it at a big discount today!

There are some fantastic bonus features that you can enjoy when you watch the movie.

hidden mickeys zootopia blu ray

Zootopia’s Blu-ray and Digital HD bonus features include features on deleted characters, deleted scenes, Zootopia Easter eggs and much more!

Know where to find the Hidden Mickeys in Zootopia.

Check out my exclusive interview with Flash from Zootopia!

Be sure to get my free printable Zootopia coloring sheets and activity pages!

Finally, read my parent’s review of Zootopia!

The Hidden Mickeys in Zootopia + Blu-ray Bonus Features #ZootopiaBluray

hidden mickeys in zootopia

I’ve been talking about Zootopia for quite a long time here, and it’s no secret that I love the movie!

One of the fun things that comes with Disney films is all the Easter eggs that can be found. Hidden Mickeys are a special Easter egg that only Disney does, and I want to share the Hidden Mickeys in Zootopia with all of you!

I also want to share that Zootopia is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD!

Hidden Mickeys in Zootopia

The idea for this post started when I was interviewing two of Zootopia’s lead animators and they revealed the first Zootopia Hidden Mickey:

1. Officer Clawhauser has a Hidden Mickey in his markings on his right cheek:

hidden mickeys in Zootopia

2. Another Hidden Mickey with Officer Clawhauser. The cereal on his spoon is Mickey-shaped:

hidden mickeys in zootopia cereal

 3. Check out the top of the pen the hippopotamus police officer is holding as Judy Hopps takes her seat at her first ZPD meeting:

hidden mickeys in zootopia pen

4. As Nick wheels Finnick down the street in a stroller, they pass another stroller-pushing parent with a Mickey Mouse underneath the seat:

zootopia hidden mickey stroller

5. I had to brighten up this still of Nick and Judy on the bridge in the Rainforest district, but you can see a small Hidden Mickey on the right side of the screen:

zootopia hidden mickey rainforest bridge

6. There’s even a Hidden Mickey on the dashboard of Mr. Big’s chauffeur’s car:

zootopia hidden mickey mr. big car

7. It’s easy to miss, but Assistant Mayor Bellwether’s necklace makes a Hidden Mickey formation when she’s helping Nick and Judy with the traffic cameras:

zootopia hidden mickeys sheep mayor necklace

8. Finally, there’s even a Hidden Mickey in the Zootopia poster that was released months ago:

zootopia hidden mickey posterThanks, Reddit!

Zootopia is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD. Order it at a big discount today!

There are some fantastic bonus features that you can enjoy when you watch the movie.

hidden mickeys zootopia blu ray

Blu-ray and Digital HD bonus features:

  • Zoology: The Roundtables – Ginnifer Goodwin hosts an in-depth look at the movie’s characters, animation, environments and more!
  • The Origin of an Animal Tale – Follow the story’s development from its origins to a big story shift that turned the film upside down.
  • Research: A True-Life Adventure – Learn about how the filmmakers traveled the globe to find inspiration for the diverse characters and amazing city of Zootopia.
  • ZPD Forensic Files – Find Zootopia’s hidden Easter eggs!
  • Scoretopia – Watch Academy Award-wiinning composer Michael Giacchino spotlight five of cinema’s greatest percussionists and how they brought an organic, animalist sound to Zootopia.
  • Deleted Characters – Directors Bryon Howard and Rich Moore introduce citizens of Zootopia who didn’t make the final cut.
  • Deleted Scenes – Check out seven scenes that didn’t make it to the theatrical release of Zootopia.
  • “Try Everything” Music Video by Shakira.

Check out my exclusive interview with Flash from Zootopia!

Be sure to get my free printable Zootopia coloring sheets and activity pages!

Finally, read my parent’s review of Zootopia!

Thanks to OhMyDisney for some of the images. 

An Exclusive Interview With FLASH the Sloth from Zootopia #ZootopiaBluray

flash sloth raymond persi disney bloggers press trip

I’ve experienced some pretty exciting things as a blogger on Disney press trips. There have amazing surprises, like visiting a Captain America set, or when Fergie unexpectedly started singing mid-interview, or meeting Jimmy Kimmel, but I’m pretty sure the most recent surprise was more fun than anything I’ve done in the past.

Last month when I visited Los Angeles for the #ThroughTheLookingGlassEvent I also participated in a #ZootopiaBluray press day. I had the fantastic experience of interviewing the directors and producers of Zootopia then meeting and talking to animators from the movie.

raymond persi voice of flash zootopia

But the real fun came when our group of 8 bloggers entered a conference room at DisneyToon Studios and to interview Raymond Persi – the voice of Flash in Zootopia – and saw this:

flash zootopia puppet

Yes, that is definitely the body of Flash, the slow-moving DMV employee from Zootopia, and I was going to have the chance to interview and see what having a real conversation with Flash was like!

Before that, though, Raymond Persi, the voice of Flash, was in the room and had answers to questions we had! So we sat down with him and learned how the character of Flash came about and how he felt about it.

Scroll down to get right to the video of my interview with Flash!

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An Interview with James Bobin, Director of ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS #ThroughTheLookingGlassEvent

Disney press trip bloggers James Bobbin

I’ve interviewed a handful of film directors over the past few years, and every single one leaves me wowed at how much a director has to say about the movie and how much passion he or she has for the project.

That is definitely true for James Bobin, the director of Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass. I had the opportunity to interview Bobin on a recent Disney press trip, and I couldn’t be more excited to share everything I learned about him and the movie!

As you’re reading more about the movie, don’t miss my post with Alice Through the Looking Glass quotes about time!
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