Thursday, March 31, 2011


After work on GIRLFRIEND was complete, and a little waiting time, you can imagine how excited everyone from the film was to learn that GIRLFRIEND was an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival!!!

But before I write about TIFF I want to tell you a story about a hard time for me.


Long after filming ended, when the GIRLFRIEND trailer was first up on YouTube, I read some very nice comments and some not very nice comments about me. One night after seeing a lot of only mean comments I called Shaun O'Banion (my man) because I was very upset by these mean comments about me. We had a long talk on the phone and Shaun helped me so much. After I spoke to Shaun I felt much better. I also spoke to Jeff Castelluccio (my friend) who made me feel better too. I feel very close to both of them. They are such good friends to me. This time was very difficult for me, but I learned that with friends like Shaun, Jeff, Justin, other people from the film, friends and family that were loving kind and supportive to me, I know I can get through times like this. But even more kindness was coming my way.

After this experience, Shaun spread the word about what I went through reading the mean comments about me on YouTube, and took the time to collect encouraging loving messages from around the world (some from many of you) and created an amazing scrapbook for me. Shaun wrote me a letter that I treasure, and filled this scrapbook with the wonderful messages he collected from so many kind and loving people, complete strangers and family and friends. I even got a message from Sylvester Stallone!

Shaun also included photos from filming and all kinds of scrapbook film decorations. He never told me about this because he wanted it to be a surprise. Late one afternoon, when we were all in Toronto, resting up before one of our screenings, Shaun called to see if he and Justin could come to our room because they had something for me. That's when Shaun gave me the amazing scrapbook (and one of the movie's posters!). Shaun told me he wanted to use the same internet that caused me pain to help make me feel better. I thank Shaun so much and want to thank all the people who took the time and sent wonderful comments to me. It really means so much to me and helped me so much. I treasure the scrapbook and Shaun's and everyone's kindness. This experience taught me that although there are many mean people in this world, there are many more nice people. I just wish everyone would be kind to each other.


All I can tell you about Toronto and TIFF is that it was AMAZING! If you haven't read Shaun's 3 part blog about this experience yet, please read it. You will get to see and read about what a wonderful fun time it was in Toronto. If you go to his September 2010 archives Shaun does a wonderful job telling a lot more details (like when I met Harvey Weinstein!) and has photos you won't see anywhere else.

Besides all the interviews, photo shoots, parties and of course the 3 screenings, it was so much fun to get to see so many people I had worked with on GIRLFRIEND again. It was such a fun reunion with everyone. I also met new friends Jeremy and Judd who worked on PR for the film. Of course I loved being so busy with so many interviews and all the attention, but the reason we were at TIFF was for GIRLFRIEND's premiere.

All three screenings were SOLD OUT, we got standing ovations, and positive reviews. How perfect is that?! It was a lot of fun doing the Q&As after the screenings too. I loved when I made people laugh. It was a long but really fun day when reporter Steve Pond, from 'The Wrap' entertainment website, followed me throughout my day. He also interviewed me and called me "TIFF's New Star!" He is a really nice guy.

It was so hard for me to leave Toronto, but I think it was hard for everyone. We all had such a wonderful time and everyone loved our movie.



Friday, March 25, 2011


It was so very much fun working on GIRLFRIEND.

I've learned so much from this experience and working with the other actors. In my first film with Justin, THE REPLACEMENT CHILD, I really liked the other actors and others who worked on the film too, but I didn't get to be with them as much as I was with everyone from GIRLFRIEND since my part was very small. Working on GIRLFRIEND on our 20 day shoot, I felt more connected to my co-stars and everyone else on the film and had the chance to learn so much from them.


The day came when the final scene was filmed and Justin said "That's a wrap!". It was fun to celebrate with everyone later that night at the wrap party, but I was also sad for it to end and to have to say goodbye to everyone. (Of course I didn't know then that I'd get to see a lot of these people later at TIFF).

Since then I've learned there was more to come, and not just Toronto. This is the 'after filming ends' work that I talked about.

I did know that Justin would be back in California with the film's editor, Jeff Castelluccio (who I hadn't met yet), editing the film. I understood that this was going to take some time, but I didn't know that I'd still have some fun stuff to do.


A few months later Justin called me and said he and I would need to travel to New York for some ADR (that stands for additional dialogue recording) or looping.

Boy was that a fun experience for me, and I learned a lot! Justin and I left Boston very early one morning, drove to New York and drove home later that same night.

In New York that day I was so happy to see my dear friend Shaun (my man!) again. Shaun introduced me to the film's editor Jeff Castelluccio (my friend) for the first time. Then I met Daniel Perlin from Perlin Studios where we would be working. Daniel is a very nice guy. Besides working with me on ADR he showed me and taught me a lot, also letting me hear how things would finally sound.

Our amazingly talented editor Jeff Castelluccio and I became fast and close friends. (Jeff and Shaun have been good friends for awhile). Jeff said he felt like he kind of knew me because he had been watching footage of me for months while editing. He is such a talented and gifted editor. He lives in L.A. now, but was originally from New York. He is a super friendly and funny guy. We have continued our friendship and still keep in touch. We have a lot of private jokes together. Jeff has the best laugh and I love to make him laugh (no matter what......!!!!) Sorry, private joke. I couldn't resist. If Jeff is reading this right now he's laughing A LOT!

After we finished our work at Perlin Studios, Justin, Shaun, Jeff and I went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant (I love Italian food and Mexican food). Craig Divino (my acting coach) who was living in N.Y. joined us for dinner when our work was done.

Later for dessert we went to another place and a longtime friend of mine and Justin's, Dan Zaitchik joined us. Dan, a Wayland classmate of ours, is pursuing his music career, living in New York now. It was such an incredibly fun day. Just like I was sad for filming to end, I wished this day didn't have to end. But, on the ride home Justin had a surprise in store for me.

First Justin and I spoke on the phone to producers Jerad and Kristina Anderson which was fun. Then Justin said he had to make another call. Justin knows that I am a huge fan and regular viewer of the soap opera 'Days of Our Lives' and that I was very familiar with two actors who had been on the show that Justin happened to know...

After Justin talked for a little while he said "There's someone here who wants to say hello to you." It was Rachel Melvin who had played the character Chelsea Brady! I was so excited to get to talk to her! It was a dream come true! We talked for 20-25 minutes and Rachel is so very nice. She and Blake Berris (who played the character Nick Fallon on DOOL) actually did voice-over work as soap opera actors on GIRLFRIEND. Since I'm a DOOL fan, that's really fun for me.

Since then, Rachel, Blake and I have emailed back and forth a few times. When Rachel first emailed me and said "I am very familiar with who you are.", I was so excited. Of course I was very familiar with who she and Blake are! They are both very nice people.

After arriving home from New York late that night, it was time to be patient again, or as Jerad and I always say, it was time to "Go with the flow!"

Check back soon for the next part of EVAN'S BLOG.


Monday, March 21, 2011



Finally the exciting day arrived in September 2009. The first person from the film that I met is my now wonderful friend Shaun O'Banion (my man!). Shaun and I had a few days to get to know each other before filming started which was fun.

Amanda Plummer came a couple of days before we started filming so we could get to know each other better. We had costume fittings, and just spent time together in town and at our hotel. She is an amazing actress who knew from her experience that this would be very important. I am so grateful and think she was wonderful to take that extra time for us to get to know each other better so we would be better prepared and natural as mother and son when filming started. I am so lucky for all she taught me, but also because now I consider her a good friend.

Working with Jackson Rathbone was so much fun! He came to Boston to film GIRLFRIEND when he was also filming ECLIPSE in Vancouver, so he was on a plane flying back and forth ALOT. He is one busy guy!

The first day Jackson arrived to begin filming his role of Russ was very exciting for me. I actually called it "Rathbone Day!". He worked very hard since he had a lot to do on the days he could be in Boston. I think his performance in GIRLFRIEND is amazing. His character Russ can be a jerk, but in real life Jackson is a really nice and friendly guy, and now I think of him like a brother. I loved working with him. I've also had alot of fun when Jackson and our wonderful producer Jerad Anderson have had me introduce their amazing band '100 Monkeys', who play wonderful, fun music. (They also scored GIRLFRIEND!) I am so glad and grateful that Jackson put so much time and energy into GIRLFRIEND. I know he had to drink a lot of coffee to do it and had to get his sleep on the airplane trips to Vancouver and back to Boston too.

Shannon Woodward is a person with a good heart and is also a talented young woman.

Shannon arrived a day or two after Amanda, so we had a little time to spend together also, so we could get to know each other a little bit, like going out to breakfast with Amanda and to Dunkin Donuts alone. During filming, before our scenes together, Shannon would talk with me about how her character, Candy, was feeling in the scene, in general and also her feeling toward my character, Evan Grey. This was helpful to me when I was acting in the scene with her. I wish her the best on her new show, RAISING HOPE, and on any other future projects too.

The night before filming began, Justin and his family hosted a dinner where all the people who would be working together on GIRLFRIEND got to meet each other. The dinner was so much fun and everyone was so nice. Boy, was I excited for the next day, when filming of GIRLFRIEND was actually going to start!


The first day arrived and I was driven to the set, went to see June Suepunpuck for my costume and then Jill Sanders for my makeup (Jill had also done my makeup on THE REPLACEMENT CHILD). I was prepared for my scenes and I couldn't wait to get started. Every day was so much fun. Everyone works very hard when you make a film. Sometimes the days can be long and the weather can be bad, but I don't mind it at all because I love acting so much! I loved the experience no matter how long the days were or how bad the weather was.

I would like to talk about some of the other actors I enjoyed working with very much, besides my co-stars.

First, in a smaller role as a friend of Evan Grey's named Andy, is my lifelong friend in real life, Dan Turnbull. Dan and I met each other in kindergarten and he has been such a wonderful friend who has done so much for me in my life. I value his friendship very very much. Another actor in a small role has been my friend in real life since 5th grade. That is Darren McDonald who plays Andy's brother, Darren. He's a great guy and a good friend too. I think Dan and Darren did amazing work in GIRLFRIEND. Their roles may be small, but there is a saying in acting..."there are no small parts, only small actors". They were so good together. I don't want to give too many details to spoil it, but I know people will see what I mean when they see the movie.

I also got to work with Dan's real life dad, Joe Turnbull again. Joe actually played my dad and boss in THE REPLACEMENT CHILD. I think Joe did a wonderful job in both films. It was very comfortable for me to work with Joe since I've known him in real life for a long time.

Playing the role of my Uncle Jeremy in GIRLFRIEND is Seth Chatfield. It was fun working with Seth. He is such an amazing and kind person. Besides acting, Seth is a talented musician and singer. He was also the Production Designer for GIRLFRIEND.

I first met Harrison Lees, who plays my boss in GIRLFRIEND when I acted in THE REPLACEMENT CHILD, where he was the Production Designer. As my boss in GIRLFRIEND he is not very nice, but in real life Harrison is a very nice person.

Then of course there is Nate Krawshuk who played Simon, Candy's son. I first met Nate when I came to read with the different children who were auditioning for the part of Simon. Everyone did a good job, but I was very happy that Nate was cast. Nate did a great job as Simon and was very well behaved and professional on the set. He is a sweet little boy. We got to know each other a little more in makeup. I learned he likes to play Star Wars and other games as well. Nate and his family are all very nice.

Making a movie takes a lot of people, not just actors. Some people work on a film way before filming starts, a lot of people during filming and others once filming is done. Everyone's job is important, so I wanted to mention some of the other talented people who worked on GIRLFRIEND. Of course there is my friend from junior year of high school, the talented director, Justin Lerner. Our wonderful producers Jerad and Kristina Anderson, and Shaun O'Banion, and Co-Producers Sarah Steinberg Heller and Jackson Rathbone. Associate Producer Scott Kirkley, but there are so many others too. Sweet and loving June Suepunpuck (costumes); wonderful Jill Sanders (makeup); nice and amazingly talented Cinematographer Quyen Tran; Sound Mixer, Eric Bautista who had worked on Steve Carrell's 'Evan Almighty' and was so funny because he'd call me Evan Almighty on the set; 1st Assistant Director Mike Whitecar who I would call Dr. Whitecar because when I had a cold he made sure to get my medicine; gaffer, Tom Clancy who is a really nice guy and would joke with me asking me to sing the morning song ("Oh What A Beautiful Morning" from Oklahoma); sweet and caring Nicole Rivera and Cecilia Chapman; and of course wonderful Kathy Conzen, Kristina Anderson's mom who was in charge of craft services. Not only did Kathy make sure I had nice warm drinks and warm noodle soup on cold days on the set, she became like a surrogate mom to me on set, making sure I got my cold medicine on time. She worked hard and took such good care of everyone.

When filming wrapped there were more people who helped make GIRLFRIEND, like our amazing editor Jeff Castelluccio; Daniel Perlin who did our Sound Design and Mixing in Brooklyn. He also did ADR with me and of course the 100 Monkeys wonderful music. There are so many more people who helped too. Too many to list. I just think I am so very lucky because everyone was so very nice.

Check back for Part III.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Something Very Cool Starts Now.

Hello to everyone who reads this blog. Today is the start of something very special.

A few weeks ago, I asked my good friend Evan Sneider if he would consider blogging about his experiences working as the star of GIRLFRIEND. Lucky for all of us, he accepted.

He has a lot to say and so I've decided to tease all of you and break it up into installments, the first of which will begin right now. So, without further ado, I turn it over to Mr. Sneider. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.


Shaun O'Banion (my man!) asked me if I would write something for his blog telling about my experience acting in and working on my first feature film.  I hope you enjoy reading it.  Thank you for making this offer to me, Shaun.  You're such a dear friend.
I've loved every minute of GIRLFRIEND.

Before acting in GIRLFRIEND, my first film work was in Justin Lerner's thesis film THE REPLACEMENT CHILD. Before that, my acting experience was in theater, but I'll tell you more about that later.

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. I've learned that it is the same when a movie is made.  It takes a lot of people to "put it together" (a lyric from my favorite composer, Stephen Sondheim).  Some people work on a movie way before filming starts, alot of people work during filming, and some others after filming ends, but first you need a script.  I thought I'd start by telling you my experience of the start of GIRLFRIEND..


One day I had plans to go to lunch with my friends Justin Lerner and Dan Turnbull.  During lunch Justin and Dan started talking with me about doing a film that I would have a starring role in and wanted to know how I would feel about that.  This touched my heart SO much and it was a real WOW moment for me.  I was SO excited to think I would have this kind of opportunity.  I loved acting in THE REPLACEMENT CHILD, so to have the chance to act again with a really big role was SO incredible.  I told them that I would LOVE IT, and I couldn't wait to get started!

A funny thing happened later that night.  I was telling my Mom about my lunchtime conversation.  Knowing how the thought of starring in a movie would be a dream come true for me, and how unlikely things like that happen, she thought possibly I was doing some wishful thinking, or had misunderstood. She quickly learned it was really true.

But first, Justin had to write a script. The story of GIRLFRIEND. or more the character of Evan Grey is based on me, but GIRLFRIEND. is a work of fiction, not my true life story.  I have some things in common with my character, but many differences too.

After some script revisions Justin and others were busy with casting director Brad Gilmore, auditioning people and making many decisions.  More planning began with many people doing many things, more than I totally understand, but I know producers were busy needing to get $$$ and make alot of other arrangements and decisions, hiring many talented people so GIRLFRIEND. could actually be filmed.  It takes alot of people, not just actors to make a movie. 

I was so excited and looking forward to getting to work on the film.  To get to act and to get to meet and work with alot of new people.
I was very happy when I found out that I would actually have some things to do before filming began.  One was to help for casting and one was to help me prepare for my role.


Justin called me one day to tell me they were going to be looking for the right person to play Simon and a few other roles too and were holding auditions.  Justin was flying east with producers Jerad and Krstina Anderson and our script supervisor Giulia Setembrino.  Our east coast producer Sarah Steinberg Heller would also be at the auditions. They wanted me to come to the auditions to help by "reading" with the children auditioning for the part of Simon.  They also wanted me to "read" with Seth Chatfield who they wanted for the part of Jeremy, Joe Turnbull who they wanted for the role of Willie Jones and Darren McDonald who they wanted for the role of Darren Jones, Willie's son. 

It was so much fun helping with the auditions.  It was such a fun day also because it was the first day that I met Jerad, Kristina, Sarah and Seth who have become such dear friends to me.  (I had already been good friends with Joe and Darren for a long time.)  Since Sarah and Seth live on the east coast, we've been able to see each other even after filming wrapped.  Everyone has been so wonderful to me.  I couldn't wait for the day when we'd be working together on the film.  On another day, I drove around with Justin and he showed me houses and other places in the area where we'd be shooting the film.  That was fun too.  On a seperate trip back to Wayland, Justin introduced me to Craig Divino, who was a friend of Justin's from Cornell.  Craig is a talented actor, but Justin wanted us to meet ahead of time because Craig was going to be my acting coach. (Craig had also worked as the fight co-ordinator on Justin's film THE REPLACEMENT CHILD).  We got to talk a little bit about relaxation exercises he wanted to teach me and also talked about what to expect when we started filming.  Craig was very helpful and I learned alot from him.  Craig and I have also talked with each other about our acting and theater work.

Check back for PART TWO: FILMiNG BEGINS.