I read “Charlotte’s Web” as a child and vaguely remember loving it. Truth be told, I didn’t remember what it was really about. I remembered there was a spider named Charlotte and a pig. And that (SPOILER ALERT) someone dies but it’s generally uplifting.
Well, I watched it with my boys during my recovery from surgery and it was beautiful. Netflix only had the Dakota Fanning 2006 version and I think I saw an animated version as a kid, but whatever, it was fine. And all of the celebrity voices were really good. Julia Roberts as Charlotte? Genius. And that actress who played Vincent D’ Onofrio’s wife in “Men in Black” was in it and I love her, the one who says he was wearing “An Earl suit”…
If you saw last night’s Valentine’s Day episode of The Big Bang Theory, I assume you might still be swooning… Yes, Sheldon kissed Amy. For real. The way mommies and daddies do.
Here are some behind-the-scene tidbits from last night’s episode.
1. The Train
The train set was built right on our stage, complete with “train movements” which made me slightly nauseated. We filmed every scene you saw twice, in 180 degree rotations. It’s a long complicated director’s story as to why we filmed it like that, but suffice it to say we filmed a 14-hour day in that train set and it was a long 14 hours. But I think it came out great from what I hear.
What made the 14 hours fly by was that all of the scenes were with Simon Helberg, Melissa Rauch, and Jim Parsons. While our entire cast gets along swimmingly, the combination of the four of us made the hours seem like minutes. We had a blast all day and Simon makes me laugh so hard on a regular basis. We also had interesting heavy conversations on breaks throughout the day, including a discussion of some interesting Jewish philosophical ideas. Yeah, that happened. Read the rest of this entry →
I was a guest at The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club last week. We did a vodcast (like a podcast but with video; I know, I didn’t know that expression either) for his “Lovitz or Leavitz” program. It is basically an hour-long interview where we talk about literally everything you can imagine, and we try and make it funny. Mostly we succeeded. Case in point: he kept teasing me that I was an African-American Jew which is only funny if you watch it and see why.
Anyway, I have been a fan of Jon Lovitz since I was a very young aspiring actress. I’m 37, and the years he was on Saturday Night Live (1985-1990) formed some of my earliest memories of understanding and appreciating comedy. His iconic voice is etched in my brain for so many of his well-known characters, and he was part of the Phil Hartman, Mike Myers, Kevin Nealon, Dana Carvey-era of some of SNL’s truly memorable comedy of my youth.
I like the opportunity to talk to people without a “time limit” like this. Jon is a very bright guy with a sincere interest in getting interesting conversations out of guests, and he had so many questions about Attachment Parenting and Neuroscience and how I make the decisions I do in life and so on. Read the rest of this entry →
What many people remember from “Blossom,” besides the hats with sunflowers which my character sometimes wore, is the relationship between Blossom and her best friend Six, named so because her “father said that’s how many beers it took.” The actress who played Six was two years younger than me and her name is Jenna von Oy.
Jenna is now a mother of a toddler, and although we had spoken sporadically over the years since the show ended, Jenna’s becoming a mom started a new phase of our relationship. I was able to do some breastfeeding counseling for her (I am a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor) and we have shared a lot about our parenting and lives in the past year. In honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month a few months ago, we decided to start a dialogue which we would post jointly here and on her website. Some of it is about our lives, some is about our parenting, some is just us catching up.
You can read my interview of Jenna below, and you can read Jenna’s interview of me on her website, www.cradlechronicles.com. I know it’s not a full “Blossom” reunion, but we think this might be a tad more interesting than seeing us try and dance like teenagers as grown adults while wearing flowered hats, floral dresses with vests, and those little clips that cinch the vest and clunky shoes with scrunched down socks.
Last year, I attended the premiere of a movie franchise I knew nothing about, Breaking Dawn, the first of the final two movies of the Twilight series.
It was entertaining, sort of bizarre, and a true spectacle to see the thousands of people camped out in downtown LA, shrieking and sobbing as they watched Robert Pattinson and Kristin Stewart pout and grope each other in love scenes right out of a teenage novel written for grown adults. The whole thing was a sociological wonder to me and I didn’t feel judgmental about it so much as amused and fascinated.
So I went again this year to the final installment, Breaking Dawn 2. It was a lot like last year to be honest, but I knew better what to expect. Fancy Assistant Brandon came with me, wearing suspenders and a tie with his standard-issue Converse. (Sort of love him.) Read the rest of this entry →
Things you should know about “The Shiny Trinket Maneuver” AKA “Oh, it’s a tiara!”:
1. I only delivered the reaction to the tiara that way every single time we rehearsed it for five days. It was my instinct to do it exactly that way and I was never told to do it otherwise.
2. The original line was, “Oh my God, it’s a tiara!” but I don’t like to say God’s name “in vain” or in performance (since my “Blossom” days) so I just sort of vocalized my way out of the “my God” part and no one said anything to me so I kept doing it that way.
3. “Put it on me,” was scripted to be said five times, but the audience was laughing so hard I just kept it going to cover the time until the next line so Kaley Cuoco (who plays Penny) would not be left hanging and waiting.
4. I had no idea what the physicality of my performance looked like until I watched the scene at home. (I hate watching myself as I discussed in my review of “The Isolation Permutation” for Kveller.com.) I know what it felt like though; a total melting; a collapse; the conveyed intent was that Sheldon’s understanding of me was so deep and so perfect and so touching and so profound that it literally weakened my knees. I have been lucky enough to have that feeling a few times in my life of literally being weakened by a man’s affection, and I have found it powerful and comedic, even in its profundity and tenderness.
5. In one rehearsal, my “Of course I do [look beautiful]! I’m a princess and this is my tiara!” came out too intense. Our director, Mark Cendrowski, told me, rightfully, that I seemed angry. A point well taken. I adjusted it by backing off and making sure to gush instead of gloat.
6. Originally, Amy left the scene’s focus to admire herself in the mirror after kissing Sheldon. One of our executive producers suggested I embrace him after the kiss and linger in his arms awkwardly. I think it was a brilliant suggestion.
7. Jim didn’t put his hands on my back in every take to ‘embrace’ me after I hug him. Sometimes his hands just hovered, but obviously what you saw on TV was the version of the scene that our editors and producers liked best.
8. I never got to see Kaley Cuoco’s reaction to me during the scene because I was so all over the place and out of focus in the moment. I love how adoringly she looks at me after she puts the tiara on me.
Mayim Bialik is the grandchild of immigrants from Eastern Europe and the mother of two young boys. She is best known for her lead role in the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as her current role as Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS' The Big Bang Theory.