Owen and Larry, Thanks for Coming

Posted by mwallach on June 27, 2011 in Crazy Follows Me Everywhere, New To You |

Dear That’s Life,

For better or for worse, throughout my life, I have been able to talk my way into and out of various situations. Whether a speeding ticket or a free dessert, often the people I may be with at that particular moment wish I would just remain silent.  Oh well, if wishing only made it so. Too bad – that’s life… with me.

Even more excited than for his own birthday, my youngest son eagerly awaited the opening of “Cars 2”, counting down the days until its release. June 24th could have been a national holiday for the number of times it was mentioned in our home. One would think we were expected at the premier the way we have been gearing up for it to open.

We were in Los Angeles last week joined by two of our children, including my youngest son. With ‘Cars 2’ paraphernalia and signage plastered around the city as if to herald the end of the world, his excitement increased with every Lightning McQueen we passed. Spending our last day on Hollywood Boulevard, we noticed something going on behind the famed El Capitan movie theater which was hosting a premier at the end of the week, the day of the movie’s release. After taking pictures along the way and doing other obligatory touristy things people do in Hollywood, we walked over to El Capitan.

Behind the theater, PIXAR/Disney had set up a mini-amusement park dedicated to all things ‘Cars 2’. We took more pictures and peered in to all of the activity, salivating along the way. Just peeking in, everything we saw was incredible, my son staring in awe of his favorite characters brought to life. The gentleman behind the gate noticed, overhearing our comments including, “This is the coolest thing I have ever seen in my entire life.” He smiled and told us to come back at the end of the week, as the park was opening in tandem with the movie’s premier. I explained that we were going back to New York that night and that there was nothing like this in New York. Plus, of course, this was my son’s favorite movie ever and we have been counting down the days until the 24th. Smiling to myself, I turned to my husband as I continued to lay it on thick. He knew I had that twinkle in my eye and he knew what that meant: I was about to talk our way into this closed event. And I did.

Before we knew it, the nice gentleman was giving us a walk through what turned out to be a closed press event. “Are you press?” I was asked by an otherwise nice woman who was just doing her job. “Actually,” I said, “I am in New York but I have no credentials here.” She explained that they were setting up for interviews and we really needed to show ourselves out. That was fine, as we had already taken an inordinate number of pictures in the ten minutes we were able to walk around. Pleasantly, she showed us back to the entrance and thanked us for coming.

As we walked out, two golf carts drove towards us, heading for interview chairs. With Owen Wilson in one and Larry the Cable Guy in the other, our heads turned as we walked forward, shocked at who had just driven by. My husband and I were pretty stunned but my son was unimpressed – until, that is, we explained who they were in terms he could appreciate.

“That was Lightning McQueen and ‘Mater!” exclaimed my husband. Right then, he had my son’s attention and he was quickly impressed, jumping up and down with glee. In my child’s eyes, by themselves, these two celebrities were nobody’s. As the animated vehicles they play in the movies, however, they walked on water.

Sharing the story later that day with a person I met at a party, who also happened to be a Hollywood agent, she looked at me in disbelief. “I cannot believe you talked your way into a closed press junket,” she said more than once. I, on the other hand, knew I could pull it off. “I’m a Jewish mother,” I said in response, smiling. “I can do anything.”


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