Gnomeo and Juliet Red Carpet Event – Interview with Sir Elton John!

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GNOMEO & JULIET OPENS IN THEATERS FEBRUARY 11th – TOMORROW!

Day Two of the Gnomeo & Juliet Red Carpet Premiere {make sure you read my first post and how mom bloggers take on Hollywood – Red Carpet Style!} Since we didn’t have to meet in the lobby to leave until late in the morning, Brandy and I decided to walk around Hollywood a little bit.  It’s funny, I live in California, and have been to the L.A. area quite a bit, but I have never explored Hollywood.  Oh the sights we saw!  We first hit Starbucks {of course}, and while standing in line, I saw – get this – Charlie Chaplin at the counter, waiting for his drink.  I had my phone all set to take his picture when he walked past me to leave, but wouldn’t you know he scooted out the back door. Oh well. I did manage to get a shot of him a little later:

Charlie Chaplin on Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood events, Gnomeo and Juliet Premiere

We ventured to Hollywood Blvd., and found some interesting things, including these famous Hollywood landmarks:

Chinese Theater movie times,Hollywood Movie Theaters

Where is Grauman's Chinese Theater,events at Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Oh and I met Tom!!  Okay, not really, but this guy really did look like Tom Cruise.

After we finished wandering around Hollywood, we met at the hotel – en route to the gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills! Of course, we had to take a few snapshots of the outside:

Beverly Hotels, What hotels do stars stay at in Beverly Hells

We went into the hotel and were ushered to a room where a buffet lunch was waiting for us, then we took a walk to the meeting room where we would be interviewing Sir Elton John, et al.    My heart is racing now, just thinking about it!

First up for interview was the director of Gnomeo & Juliet – Kelly Asbury.  He strode in with a big smile on his face and said, “Wow, wow, this is sort of like British court or something!”   We all laughed, and I felt immediately at ease {and I’m sure the other bloggers did too}.  He just had such an easy and friendly way about him.  The funny part is he seemed to be impressed with us – mom bloggers!  He asked us a few questions, and then we started in with ours.

Don’t judge a gnome by the color of his hat. You know. That’s what I say - Kelly Asbury

We learned that Gnomeo & Juliet had been in the works for many, many years, and the animation alone took over five years. He also told us how they {for obvious reasons} had to make this movie just a little different from Romeo & Juliet…after all this is a movie that kids will be watching, so a little toning down was necessary.

Without getting too specific, let’s just say they don’t consummate their relationship, um, in the Abby quite the same way they do in the play. But, um, and there’s no blood and things of that nature. But we found ways, I hope to let that still sort of happen in its own way without being specifically as in the play. I mean, they’re not humans, they are gnomes. So we didn’t really get into the, the anatomy of gnomes if you will, too much.

Mom bloggers interview director Kelly Asbury

Mom Bloggers - anxiously awaiting interviews!

He was asked how he chooses the voices for the film, and it was fascinating to hear his answer. The studio gave him clips of the voices, and he listened carefully, without necessarily knowing who the voice belonged to. I have never really thought about this before!

We hated to say goodbye to Kelly, but we did have other interviews lined up. He is now on Twitter and I am sure he would be delighted if you would tweet him and tell him how excited you are to see the movie! He is @KellyAsbury.

Next we interviewed James McEvoy and Emily Blunt {the voices of Gnome and Juliet} – who were both so charming!  They were unfamiliar with mom bloggers as well, and had questions for us, which we happily answered.  It was interesting to learn that they hadn’t met in person until a couple of days prior to our interview with them.  Their voices were recording separately.

Gnomeo & Juliet voices,

James McEvoy (Gnomeo) and Emily Blunt (Juliet)

Finally the big moment was here – Elton John would be walking in any minute.   The excitement was evident – this was a once in a lifetime interview, and we had been waiting not-so-patiently.

Enter Sir Elton John.  Oh.Em.Gee.  The man himself, decked out in some pretty cool sunglasses, of course!

Mom bloggers interview Sir Elton John for Gnomeo & Juliet

Sir Elton John

The first question asked was what attracted him to the story.  He explained that he loved the positive message in the film:

We wanted to say, message of the film is basically, listen, we’ve, these two gardens and these two groups of gnomes have been horrible to each other for so long. They eventually destroy everything that they’ve created of beauty. And it takes a young gnome who’s red and a young gnome who’s blue to come through the rubble of all this destruction at the end and to bring these people together and say, what are
we doing. Why don’t we respect each other, you know, we’ve been doing this for so long.

It’s a message that 11 years ago we were really strongly feeling about. And, coincidentally it’s coming out at a time here not only in America but the rest of the world needs to hear this message.

I couldn’t agree more. The movie does have a very positive message, one that I believe will encourage adults and kids alike, to be nicer to one another.

Gnomeo & Juliet press event, Elton John interview

Mom Bloggers and Sir Elton John

Now that Sir Elton John is a father, he also had this to say:

We can all have different views on everything, but we must have dialogue. And we must have positive role models. As mothers, you know, you pass this on to your children and now as a new father, I have to pass it on to my child that, you know what, respect people’s views, respect people’s opinions. You can disagree to disagree, but have respect and have love. Believe that love conquers hate always. There’s so much hate in the world. And I always believe that love conquers hate always.

How beautiful is that?

We asked quite a few more questions, and he thoroughly answered them all. We learned about his son, and he is one proud papa!

When it was time for his interview session to end and they asked him to wrap it up, he told them that he had time for a couple more questions and that he was enjoying himself. Needless to say, we were thrilled. The interviews were so much fun, and this is something I will never, ever forget.

The day did not end here – there is so much more to tell you, but I will do that in my next post!

Don’t forget – Gnomeo & Juliet opens in theaters February 11th – what a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

*Travel accommodations and lodging were provided for me for this trip

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About Author

Jennifer Regan is the owner/editor-in-chief of Eighty MPH Mom, a family-friendly blog. She is active in Brand Ambassadorships and campaigns, and is active in social media, helping brands promote!

10 Comments

  1. Sounds so exciting…you will have to drop my name next time you work with Disney…I would love the chance to go to something like that…how awesome!

  2. How exciting it must have been to meet Elton John! Heck, sounds like it was all exciting. Hope this isn’t delving too much, but I know that you have been to a few exclusive events and such. How are all the experiences in general? Is it stuffy or laid-back? Do you ever get nervous? I’m asking because I just found out earlier tonight that I’m invited to an exclusive event in March, similar to this one (can’t give details just yet). I’ve never done something so huge, being a blogger. I once went to a conference, but nothing on a scale such as this. I’m super excited AND super nervous. Any advice and tips is appreciated.

  3. Oh, how exciting! This sounded like such a fun event, and how cool that you got to meet Elton John. Or more importantly for me, James McAvoy! I have such a crush on him, after seeing Last King of Scotland and Atonement. I’m glad we get to live vicariously through you.

    • Jennifer-admin on

      Why thank you! James was such a sweetheart (and pretty easy on the eyes too :). I will have more posts up shortly. Thanks for reading!

  4. LOL @ hangin’ with my gnomie 🙂 Awesome interview… I’m sooo jealous! 🙂 I’ve loved Elton John ever since I was a teenager… Tower of Babel is still one of my all-time favorite songs. I used to have all his album covers on my wall, until my parents actually looked at the Captain Fantastic one and had a FIT! LOL

  5. Sounds like a wonderful time!

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