Monday, January 12, 2015

Exclusive interviews with the stars of the ABC Family hit, Melissa & Joey, Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence #ABCFamilyevent

I have been a fan of these two actors for many  years, I grew up watching Blossom, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch... These were some of my favorite shows as a teen... Now I would be able to meet and interview those starts I loved... Whoa! (ok, ok I had to do that.... my inner Joey Russo had to come out for a minute)  And no sadly I did not ask Joey to say Whoa... I wanted to keep professional, but the teen inside of me kind of wanted to. To find out these celebrities are just working parents like me, really made me comfortable and relaxed and excited to ask them so many questions... Luckily for us after touring the set, we were able to do just this. First up was the handsome Joey Lawrence, Here are some of my favorite questions from our interview with Joey Lawrence:

Question: We had a sneak peek of the winter premier of Melissa & Joey what happened, on your honeymoon?

Joey Lawrence: Or not so honeymoon, yeah.  Every week it’s been, it’s been a honeymoon week.  I swear to God Melissa and I have been in bed every week. It’s been a dream come true for her.  Every--  something that we--   and they’re even let us get away with, as I’m sure you've heard you know ABC Family as it’s still called, is working on a re-branding of such sorts. 

Question: We all heard you singing (Christmas carols) during rehearsal… Do you like to sing on the set a lot?

Joey Lawrence: I do.  I like to sing period, you know, yeah.  I've been singing for a while, but working actually on some, some new music for the first time.  I did a big band song actually  ‘cause Joey’s Angels, which are my Twitter followers which are few, but extremely passionate you know. I sort of did it the old school way. I love being able to talk to them.  You know, I don’t think they need to know like what latte I’m drinking you know.  They, and they coined themselves "Joey’s Angels" and they are like so passionate it’s unbelievable. We had a little contest and we gave away--  I said you know choose the genre. I’ll write an original song and we’ll put it up on iTunes and we’ll give it away you know.  They choose big band. So I had to write an original big band record we recorded with an 80 piece orchestra at Capitol Records and we released it.  I mean if I had sold it.. it would have been really sweet.  I probably should in retrospect. We had  129,000 downloads in 4 weeks.
Joey Lawrence: Which is pretty incredible.  So it got me thinking that well we should do some music for real.  So me and my brothers, believe it or not, for the first time ever.  Andrew, who’s the youngest, is one of the most Amazing guitar players that you’ll ever hear. He’s been playing since he was about 6, he’s classically trained, he's 26 now and incredible.  He’s amazing singer too and Matt can sing his rear end off.  So we’re coming together and we’re working on some tunes and we’re going to be singing a lot next year.  We call ourselves Still 3, which is  going to be fun.  The music’s really dope otherwise we would not do it, especially me.  You know but  it’s really cool.  So I’m excited about it.  I didn't know what it was going to be, but it’s, it’s really good music.  So we’re excited about it and it’ll be out next year.    

Question:  What kind of music?

Joey Lawrence:  I mean we’re all individually sort …we have our tastes you know.  I think, I think Andy comes more from like Rock sort of’ Indy Rock world.  I come more from like the Classic Pop world and, and Matt comes more from like the urban Sam Smith’s vibe. So I’d say coming together it’s a combination of like you know Cold Play meets probably Sam Smith I’d say. It’s probably like kind of where it’s landing.  We’re using a lot of live instrumentation.  It’s got great hooks and stuff, but it’s, definitely got more of a Rock vibe to it, but it’s really good stuff. We’re going to' give it a shot and see what people think.

Question:  Is that going to be an album release or exclusively on You Tube?

Joey Lawrence: No we’re going to probably have about 10 songs and it’ll be up on iTunes for sure. We’re talking to Target and as a possible place. 

Question:  How does being a parent influence your role on the show?
Joey Lawrence: It doesn't really.  I mean you know Joe Longo is, is you know-- obviously found out that he was a parent, but he, he’s not really a,  parent you know.  You know this show is definitely not for kids.  My 9 year old cannot watch this show you know.  I mean she watched like the Christmas episode.... But it’s not for the 9 years olds. I mean it really is for teens and for young adults and for people that are our age you know in their middle to late 30’s.  It doesn't really affect it too, too much.  I mean honestly I keep my, my private life and my work life pretty separate.  I’m not one of those Actors that loves to bleed the two together. 

I don’t think that one goes with the other.  That’s just me personally.  You know I don’t, I don’t take my kids to premiers.  And you know I don’t post pictures on Instagram of myself, my kids. It’s all about me, my work and my fans, and the relationship that I have with them you know.  I want my kids to live normal lives and I don’t know why they have to kind of’ go hand-in-hand you know.

Question:  Do your kids know that you're a celebrity? 

Joey Lawrence: Yes. 33 years doing’ this already. Do you believe that? I know, I’m 38. It’s like crazy man. It’s crazy. My 9 year old for sure, you know she’s almost 9.  She knows it, yeah.  I mean you know and she is cute with it, you know.   She knows.  She’s like, “Dad I, I think they are treating us really nice in this restaurant because you're Joey Lawrence.” I mean it’s just part of what I do you know. It’s my job.  Just like my Grandfather was an Architect.  And he would bring tons of art home with him, the sketches of the buildings home with him and he explained to me,  I didn't know what he did.  I looked at the building. He drove me by one that he designed in Philadelphia.  And I’d be like, “That’s my-- Poppa designed that."  It’s the same sort of thing, but that’s about as far as it goes. 

Question:  You directed a couple of episodes. How is it like to direct and be one of the main actors?
Joey Lawrence: It’s tough.  Most that I've directed 7 or 8 now each... I love to direct.  I don’t love being in it and directing.  I don’t really love that.  I think it’s super tough to do that.  A lot of responsibility and you know something is going to suffer a little bit.  it’s just tough to keep it all, all together.  But I do love to direct.  It’s something that I would love to do. Films too, but later.
Question:  Do you have any other upcoming projects that you're working on?

Joey Lawrence: We’re hoping to do this  film next year called Shy Ray, which is an original idea that I came up with that was written by a great Feature Writer Derek Holtstad, who’s awesome.  It’s basically like a true romance meets Bonnie and Clyde.  It’s really neat.  Kind of an edgy a little Indie that we’re going to' do next year called Shy Ray.  You know TV wise I mean I got to wait to see what happens with Melissa and Joey.  They’re fortunately all out of opportunities you know, which is great, and that excites me.  We've got to’ wait and see what happens.  We’re going to be crossing that hundred episode threshold this year, which is a feat, so whether they have intentions of making any more we’ll find out sooner than later.

The amazing Melissa Joan Hart was up for interviews next. Yet again, I held in my teenage self... no I did not ask about Sabrina, or Clarissa... She seemed so sweet, a working mom who loves her job and her family.  As soon as we arrived, Melissa asked if we were ever in this audience before? She told us how much fun it is, from a DJ to disco lights, it sure seems like they have a blast filming. Here are some of my favorite questions we asked Melissa Joan Hart:

Question:  You  guys do an amazing job,  I love the Halloween Episode this year. Are you guys gonna do more of that? The period piece?

 Melissa Joan Hart: Our Christmas episode was probably my favorite episode I've ever done. The Period piece was hilarious but of course the hoop skirts in the comedy, being able to use that old fashioned language with, with current sort of more, racy humor was really fun and exciting and we just had a blast doing that.  We have one other special episode coming up this year.

We're calling it Melissa and Joey's Prison but it's a flash forward thing so that'll be a special episode.  Luckily Joey and I don't have to age so we don't need prosthetics but everyone else will.  But we've been able to keep the show really tight, keep it really just about, smaller stories with just more room for dialogue and Character growth and that kind of thing to really, you know, focus on the humor and the real life.
 You know, what really happens when people get married, when you change the dynamics of a relationship, when you have a relationship like we do.  It's, like my husband and I actually, our relationship thrives on sort of bickering and – and it's like a flirting.  It's like a little bit of a I don't know, off kilter flirting.  I have so many people in my life that look at me and my husband and go, I don't get your marriage.  You don't have to.  12 years later, I think it's OK.
Question:    Is it important for you then to bring not the same aspects of our family life here but, to make it real like your marriage so it's like a typical TV Marriage?
Melissa Joan Hart :    I think so.  In a lot of Comedies where it's a married couple, the Female is the one that's the sort of nagging, you know, bitter like stop it like if you think about.  I was so afraid when they were getting these characters together that I'd all of a sudden have to become, the strong center pole that, funny things happen around me but not to me, which is what happened on Sabrina.  I felt like I didn't like playing that Character for that reason. I mean, I did on that show, get a lot of opportunity to be a goofball.  But on this one, I get to be a complete lush, completely self-centered.
Question:    Do the kids come out to visit you?

Melissa Joan Hart :    They're here right now.  Ever since I had my third son, we stay, they come with me now.  But now like they're in School here half the year and like today's, tomorrow's their last day of school so we're doing like the Teacher's Gifts and all the Goodbyes.  They wanted to do Candy Canes for all their friends so we had to handwrite every Candy Cane for every friend.  I had to redo all the paperwork and re-enroll them in Connecticut and now we go back to Connecticut on Monday. So they'll start there riding the School Bus again and stuff...  And then I'll be here by myself for 6 weeks.  I know, it's harder on me then,  It's better for them though so...
Question:    What experience from being a Mom have you brought to your role on this Show?

Melissa Joan Hart:  The exact opposite.  Everything that I know about being a Mom, I try to do the exact opposite of my, instincts for Mel cause she doesn't know.  You know, she didn't have a baby.  It's so different I think when you have a baby and you raise a baby, and they become these little people, and you know their personalities all throughout.  And then all of a sudden, you're given Teenagers I think you really, and you've known them and you've spoiled and they've been your Niece and Nephews and you spoiled them your whole life you know, I have some examples in my life of people that have come into step children that know how to spoil but do not know how to raise.  And that's the difference and so I  try to bring that to Mel, you know, just inappropriate things.  Like telling too many stories about Sex and Alcohol and then realizing Oh, I'm not supposed to be saying that to you.
Question:    You have a great working dynamic, are you friends with the others on set?

Melissa Joan Hart :    Absolutely.  Our Key Grip, Ron, he has a little boy and his baby is here right now at lunch. My baby will be here as his best friend so we'll, we have a little Lunch.  You know, we all hang out, Taylor and I are super close.  Joey unfortunately lives a little far away so his daughters don't come to lunch anymore like they used to.  There’s always high chairs at our lunch, at our crew feed.  We all hang out as much as we can.  This crew is different from Sabrina in the sense that everyone has families and babies.  And actually, we all had babies in 2012.  We actually took, a picture of all the babies lined up on the couch.    We had  8 babies born in 2012 when we were on hiatus that week.  So we all came back and we're like, none of us saw each other pregnant.  It was just like, Hey look we have babies.  It's so weird. We have a tight group.   We have a really tight crew and we have a lot of fun.

It was a great experience chatting with stars I grew up watching, it was cool to see they are just like me, working parents doing a job they love. Melissa Joan Hart shared with us her new venture, she has a clothing line, King of Harts for Little Boys will be out, starting March 1st. The collection will be for boys with the clothing sizes from 2- 12. All of the clothing will be made with Awesomness and made in the USA, in Montauk NY. Be sure to check out for Joeys new music, when I hear more I will let you all know more about it. Melissa & Joey winter premiere will be on Wednesday January 14, 2015 8/7c check your local listings for your ABC Family channel.

Interviews, and group picture credit ABC FAMILY/ Eric McCandless

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Joey Lawrence  @joeylawrence

Melissa & Joey winter premiere will be on Wednesday January 14, 2015 8/7c check your local listings for your ABC Family channel.

  ***Disney provided me with an all-expense paid trip for me to cover this event***


Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions . No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ. The opinions I have expressed are my own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising .


Ellen said...

It sounds like you had a fantastic time. What a great experience!

Scott said...

Joey Lawrence? Doing something serious? All I can see is him saying "Whoa"!

Anonymous said...

I am so jealous right now. I love that show so getting to meet the characters would be such a great opportunity. It sounds like you had such a great time.

CindyWindy2003 said...

I loved these two growing up watching Blossom and Clarissa Explains it All!

Grandma Juice said...

That would have been such an awesome set visit! I just love Joey Lawrence! Whooooo ;)

Frugal and Fun Mom said...

That is an awesome event! I remember Joey from Blossom and Melissa from Sabrina, and they are such funny actors.

Jerry Marquardt said...

This is really cool. I cannot wait to see this. Thanks for the posting.

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Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions, . No compensation was received. All opinions are my own. This is a unofficial fan site that is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or Disney theme parks.