Saturday, May 28, 2011

Judy Moody Not Bummer Summer Behind Scenes


MBE partnered with the Judy Moody Movie for this post

MBE interviews stars of the film

Photo Above
Front: Megan McDonald, Parris Mosteller, Jordana Beatty 
Back: MommyBlogExpert's Daughters
Photo by 

With so many popular book authors, celebrities, and high profile personalities making appearances and multiple stages operating simultaneously, the 2011 Los Angeles Festival of Books was definitely one activity I can check off my bucket list.  For sure, covering an event like this with my family in tow really makes me appreciate the fabulous benefits of working as a professional mommy blogger.

Truly the high point of that day was when my triplet daughters and I sat down for an exclusive interview with Megan McDonald, author of the popular and best-selling Judy Moody Book Series, and kid stars Jordana Beatty and Parris Mosteller.  Our talk zeroed in on Judy Moody and The Not Bummer Summer, the movie from Relativity Media and Smokewood Entertainment that's opening Friday, June 10th.

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer Movie
Image, Relativity Media & Smokewood Entertainment

This kids feature film, rated PG for mild rude humor and language, centers around bummed-out Judy who is left behind for the summer when all her friends go off to summer camp.  Now, with only buddy Frank and little brother Stink still around, all she has to look forward to is the most boring summer ever.  That is, until her fun-loving Aunt Opal makes an impromptu visit and the kids soon discover what they're really in for is the funnest summer of anyone in their crowd.

What a pleasure as a mom it was for me to finally meet Megan, Judy Moody's creator, who says the main character is modeled after herself.  For the last ten years, this youth author has been writing the wholesome Judy Moody series, enchanting an entire generation of girls with her prose, including my daughters.

Judy Moody props from the movie
Photo by

"Sometimes I think I am Judy Moody," the author tells us with a giggle when we first meet. "I'm certainly moody like the character is and Judy's always speaking up for herself, just like I do.  I have messy hair and love collections of odd things like Judy does, too."

My girls are 13, BTW, just like Australian actress Jordana who plays the title role of Judy Moody, so the three of them connected almost instantaneously.  And, I hope Parris -- who performs the role of kid brother Stink Moody -- won't smack me for saying this, but my girls and I all thought you were absolutely Adorable with a capital A.

Jordana (Judy Moody) with Heather Graham (Aunt Pearl)
Image provided by Smokewood Entertainment

From talking to the two young actors, these talented kids certainly appear to be ideal for the characters they play on screen.  The sister-brother chemistry between them really showed through as we chatted.  That day, we didn't get to meet Heather Graham, who plays the wild and wacky fun-loving Aunt Pearl to these youngsters, but from the clips of the movie we've seen so far, this A-list actress seems to be well-cast for her character as well.

This is Jordana's first lead role in a motion picture.  Previously, she played the little girl in Superman Returns (2006) as well as acquiring some television credits.  An only child in real life, she's a regular teen girl who is also strikingly beautiful with her naturally curly red hair even without wearing any makeup.  During our interview she shares that having to cut her long locks was probably the single-most difficult thing she had to do for her role in the film.

Jordana Beatty
Photo by Tashi Palmer

"I really enjoyed working on this film," says the budding actress.  "I was far away from my home in Australia filming on locations around Southern California for three months.  But, this project was great fun to work on.  In fact, without this movie I probably would never have had the chance to learn to walk a tightrope -- which was my favorite scene to film -- or ride on the Goliath Roller Coaster at Magic Mountain."

Parris, who lives in a Southern California beach town, has the perfect spunk and wise-cracking attitude that any annoying little brother would be proud to own.  Though he's only 8 years old and does still act like a kid, he's also able to articulate at a level that goes way beyond his years.  Among his other acting credits are the Worst Week TV series and voice overs for a trio of Paramount Pictures projects: The Last Airbender, Fred Claus, and Into the Wild.  He has had several other roles on screen and in commercials, as well.

Parris Mosteller during our interview
Photo by

This blond-headed fellow with a sparkling smile that disarms you, tells us that he is one of five boys (second to the oldest).  So, I'd say that his mom sure has her work cut out for her with five sons, right?  

I hope to be reviewing both the book based on the screenplay as well as to screen the movie Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer shortly.  So, watch for book and movie reviews soon as well as more posts on this topic in the coming weeks on MommyBlogExpert.

Meanwhile, please leave a comment.  What's your (or your child's) favorite Judy Moody book?  What do you think makes Judy so lovable among her target audience?

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