Mama Mary is the host of the her own blog The Mama Mary Show, a freelance writer, author of Dead Dads Club, a mom to two spunky little girls and an a over-zealous GLEEk.

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My Big Love Cougar Town Date With Zac Efron

I’ve officially been initiated into the Cougar Club compliments of NBC Universal and Rachael of Two weeks ago I received a message from Rachael, CEO of, asking if I would be available to attend a press junket for the upcoming Zac Efron movie, Charlie St Cloud. My reaction…Press what? Zac who? Um, yes, sign me up! And a week later, after shuffling my schedule, frantically piecing together child care, breaking the bank at White House Black Market and watching High School Musical 1,2 & 3, off I went to the City of Angels for one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

Prior to two weeks ago I had only heard of Zac Efron via Perez Hilton and Entertainment Weekly, but had never much paid attention since all I knew him as was a teenie bopper icon whom my daughters had been too young for, and I too old. But for the sake of good journalism, I started paying attention. Serious attention. And I have a strong feeling that women of all ages are going to be paying attention to this young superstar as soon as this movie hits the theaters.

So after having a leisurely drive to LA, with no kiddos screaming and no Yo Gabba Gabba music blaring, I checked into the swanky Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey, ogled the view from my room

and then promptly headed to the lobby to size up meet up with my competition fellow mom bloggers. Immediately the chatter began and bonds were formed.

At 3:00pm we were transferred to a private screening theater, located right along the Santa Monica pier…

…and anxiously awaited the movie to begin. I had seen the previews and knew I would most likely need tissue, so I snuck into the key-coded restroom and shoved some toilet paper in my purse—classy stuff. Then I heard my stomach growling and considered busting out the bag of Annie’s organic Cheddar Bunnies hiding in the bottom of my purse, but decided against it, as that would have just pushed the classy envelope too far. So snackless I sat, a little worried that my grumbling tummy would not withstand a two-hour movie. But, as soon as the lights went down, not one thought of hunger crossed my mind until the lights came back up, thanks in part to the amount of eye candy on the screen (more on that in my full review, out later this week).

Back at the hotel, Seana our contact from NBC Universal, had organized a lovely poolside cocktail party for all of us, complete with a veggie crudite platter and a specialty martini. Nothing like Ranch dip and a lemon-infused martini to get the party goin’.

We gabbed about Zac, the movie, and other famous people we have met in our lives. I dared not tell them about my Depeche Mode debacle for fear of them not letting me into the press room the next day.  Seana briefed us on what to expect during the round table and she gave me permission to ask Zac about his love for the Flight of the Conchords, if time allowed. Oh, it was on.

Saturday morning I awoke and ate only half of my $40.00 room service breakfast, as the jitters had already begun infiltrating my innards. I worked on my questions for the stars, director and writer of the movie, and said a few prayers to the gods of eloquence that I would not stutter, spit or trip over my words, as I have been known to do, particularly in the presence of hawtness.

Before the main round table began, I was called into a private hotel suite to interview the little cutie patootie, Charlie Tahan, who plays Zac’s brother in the movie. My one on one with the adorable 10 year old was priceless. Both of us were novices at the press junket thing, so it allowed me to work out my jitters and gave him a feel for what it would be like to be hammered with questions.

Once in the main round table room, aka the Big Love Cougar Den, the pressure was on. All eight of us “mommy bloggers” gripped our pages of questions, reviewed the production notes, and snuck in one last tweet before the stars arrived.

When Zac and Charlie entered the Den, the swooning, lash-batting and nervous laughter were in full swing. Oh, and the cougar claws were out, though slightly tempered by the fact that we didn’t want to scare off the innocent Charlie who accompanied him. I’ll be posting a full recap of the interviews later this week, but to answer the hot, burning question undoubtedly on your mind, yes, he’s really that good looking in real life. And even more impressive than his dreamy looks, was his charming, down-to-earth personality (okay not MORE impressive, but nonetheless impressive). He gave great eye contact when speaking and was very forthcoming with his answers. And the rapport he had with Charlie was just adorable. It was clear why their on-screen relationship was so believable.

I was able to squeeze in 2-3 questions directly to Zac, none of which had anything to do with Flight of the Conchords or GLEE (I really want to know if he’s a GLEEk. He’s got to be, right?). I’m sure my face turned red as soon as my first question left my lips, and I’m positive that I was guilty of at least four or five overly-zealous outbursts of laughter, complete with head toss and hair flip. My inner tween was taking over, which is truly the epitome of cougardom.

However, my official initiation into the Cougar Club came at the end of the interview when we all gathered together for a group photo. I swiftly headed directly towards the back of the pack, since my height always lands me there anyway, and lo and behold, I found myself directly behind Zac. As the photographer raised her camera, nervous laughter abounded and I, in an attempt to get my face in the shot (and next to Zac’s), moved in a little closer. So close, in fact, that the left side of my chest was touching his back. Yep, I said it. I got chest to back action with Zac Efron. Notice my flush cheeks in the picture.

I’m never washing my left side ever again.

Stay tuned later this week for my full review of the movie and my full recap of the awesome interviews given by Zac, Charlie, the director Burr Steers, and the writer/producer Ben Sherwood.

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Comments (38)

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  5. 111364 04/02/2011 at 4:42 pm

    What a lovely day for a 111364! SCK was here

  6. Chanda Carthew 01/11/2011 at 10:38 pm

    There are times that i dont read more than two lines but i think that your blog can be an exception. Grats !

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  8. Rani 07/30/2010 at 7:03 am

    Laughing out loud!!! This was such an awesome read! My daughter woudn't let me off the picture of you all with ZAC! His hometown of Arroyo Grande is just a few miles away from us! What a great time!!!!

  9. Seana Johnson 07/28/2010 at 9:21 pm

    This is honestly one of the best junket recaps I have ever read. Totally laughed out loud! So glad you came to the junket. I'll try to get you face to face with Zac some other time, so you can properly ask about GLEE and FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDS. Also because I'm curious 😉

  10. mamamaryshow 07/28/2010 at 2:17 am

    Thanks Erica! Can't wait to read your post(s). Are you on Twitter? I can't find you.

  11. mamamaryshow 07/27/2010 at 4:09 pm

    I hope we can meet soon! And yes, you may have a little rub.

  12. Not Just Another Jen 07/27/2010 at 3:16 pm

    You are so funny. When we finally meet I might get a little rub on your left side. However weird that may sound, I just may do it. 🙂

  13. Erica Stall 07/27/2010 at 2:13 pm

    BTW, I absolutely LOOOOVE your post!

  14. Erica Stall 07/27/2010 at 2:12 pm

    I did! LOL BUT I am not sharing it in my posts….just here…LOL So keep it on the DL. 😀 But yep, it was funny when I realized he touched my butt…I paused for a second and was like, woah, wait did he? LOL I think he kinda had the same reaction….but I couldn't turn and look at him…I was kinda embarrassed. LOL

  15. mamamaryshow 07/27/2010 at 6:16 am

    OMG, you got butt action? Whoa, that might top my boob story.

  16. Erica Stall 07/27/2010 at 5:55 am

    This is Erica the one up above in the blue. I told my closest friends that when the picture ended and we started to move, Zac's arm slid down my back and um…he um..touched my butt…it's true. I vowed never to wash it again as well, but that's gross. 😀

  17. mamamaryshow 07/27/2010 at 5:19 am

    Thanks Laura! We'll be entering the den around the same time, right?

  18. mamamaryshow 07/27/2010 at 5:18 am

    It was some pretty good chest to back action, if I do say so myself.

  19. mamamaryshow 07/27/2010 at 5:17 am

    You're coming with me next time!!!

  20. LFrontiero 07/27/2010 at 5:14 am

    You simply make me smile Mary. I think you were the hottest mom at the junket! Watch out Cougars, here comes Mama Mary (in a few years)!

  21. Stefanie 07/27/2010 at 5:11 am

    You are cougar, hear you ROAR.

    Or. Giggle.

    Also. I am GREEN with envy. Green I tell you.

  22. Contact 07/27/2010 at 4:57 am

    Is is gross if I say that I'm jealous of your 'chest to back action' with someone who could be my son? Wait – I just did, and it so is. Ew. You're still my hero.

  23. mamamaryshow 07/27/2010 at 4:50 am

    Would have been so fun to have you on our date!

  24. mamamaryshow 07/27/2010 at 4:49 am

    As it should be! 🙂

  25. mamamaryshow 07/27/2010 at 4:48 am

    Yes, very down to earth and not brattish at all. Very real and very charming. *swoon*

  26. mamamaryshow 07/27/2010 at 4:48 am

    OMG, you're right! I'm not 40 yet. Phew! I'll wear my C-I-T badge with honor. And you'll have to beat me at tether ball before I give up his digits!

  27. mamamaryshow 07/27/2010 at 4:47 am

    Well, I have to admit I have showered since then. BUT, in my mind, I will never wash the left side of my body ever again.

  28. Mama Mary 07/27/2010 at 4:45 am

    Yes, my left breast got to touch. On pure “accident” of course.

  29. Danielle 07/27/2010 at 4:10 am

    Oh, I am just so envious! I've had my eye on that Zac Efron since the HSM trilogy that my daughter “forced” me to watch. I was really hoping that she would “force” me to take her to the movies to see this new film. Unfortunately, she has not yet insisted. Sounds like this was a great opportunity and I'm relieved to hear that Zac seems like a down to earth young man and not a Hollywood brat. Looking forward to your full movie review!

  30. San Diego Momma 07/27/2010 at 4:09 am

    You are my cougar heroine. Which, I want to point out, does not take full effect until you are really a cougar at age 40. Because you are still FARRRRR away from that age, you can be my cougar-in-training.

    NOW Grasshopper…give me Zac's number.

  31. Mern3 07/27/2010 at 3:09 am

    I love love love your face in the picture with Zac, you are grinning from ear to ear, priceless!! Sounds like such an awesome time, can't wait to hear more!



  32. JustMalia 07/27/2010 at 2:57 am

    I was so jealous of your placement in the picture! Of course, if I had been standing there, you wouldn't have been able to see me in the picture. He did shake my hand after the picture…but I have washed my hand since then, you're relieved right?

  33. somedayilllearn 07/27/2010 at 2:08 am

    My left boob is sooooo jealous!

  34. Lua Naquin 07/27/2010 at 2:04 am

    Awesome! 🙂 Sounds like a blast! …so jealous 😉 hehe

  35. Theresa Seid 07/27/2010 at 1:41 am

    So you're saying you actually got to touch him?

  36. Kathyr2 07/27/2010 at 12:42 am

    I'm so jealous, he's such a cutie! What a fun job you have.

  37. Rachael 07/26/2010 at 11:37 pm

    Dude. I just fully laughed out loud about your chest and his back. Outright giggling in front of my computer! Go Cougars! (I so wish I was one that weekend!)

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