- On Thursday I had the enormous honor (like if I talk about it I either smile or start to cry) of attending the red carpet premiere for my friend (and YA author), Jay Asher, and his book-turned-Netflix series, 13 REASONS WHY. And truthfully, you guys? It was more incredible(!) & more normal than you’d think from seeing red carpet events in all the glamor mags. Charming, elegant, relaxed, silly, sweet, & just pure FUN.
You know how when you do things you love with people you love – it’s that much better? It was THAT. Like, the only thing which could’ve topped it is if Wolverine and boy cub could’ve come down with us. (Alas he had work.)
So, my two girls and I drove down to Hollywood that morning and checked into our hotel.
Then I headed a few blocks over to Jay & JoanMarie’s hotel suite to join some of my favorites – Jay & JM (JoanMarie is Jay’s wife and a precious friend), his brother and sis-in-law, Nate & Sarah (I love them!), his agent Laura Rennert (I’ve adored for years – she’s as genuine & fun as they come), publishing peeps Ben Schrank (Penguin’s Razorbill president & publisher and quietly hilarious), Elyse Pfeiffer (Penguin Publicity Director and so funny and kind), & Kristen Pettit (editor of 13 Reasons Why and bubbly sweet) – all of whom my fam & I spent a day last July with, touring the 13 Reasons Why set and being extras in the show (episode 1, basketball scene!). Plus, Trey Pearson, and YA author Romina Russell (who is my person, I love that girl!).
In true Jay & JoanMarie fashion (generous + thoughtful + loving + fun) they had stylists up to do our ladies’ hair & makeup, put on the record player, and pulled out the snacks. And you guys…I write! I talk! I wear jeans & pjs most of the time! What is this red carpet stylist brilliance? I want one to LIVE with me and do my hair and makeup every day because they are geniuses! Soooo yeah. We played, got lovely, listened to music, ate food, and painted our nails blue (for Hannah Baker!). (And I made JoanMarie help choose my dress because I brought three with me, because I am nothing if not prepared for such things. ;))
At six we drove the few blocks to the Paramount Pictures lot which is gorgeous and full of beautiful dresses, people, photographers, the red carpet, actors & actresses, directors (Tom McCarthy, swoon), Brian Yorkey, producers, etc.
I adored seeing Jay & JM walk down the carpet amid all the honor and love given them.
One of the things I loved about the whole event was how nothing was rushed (surprisingly). Just super chill, everyone taking time for everyone else, for the photographers, and to meet and greet and chat and connect. There was no sense of urgency. And Katherine Langford & Dylan Minnette were just as sincere & adorable as I remember. And meeting YA authors Ransom Riggs and Tahereh Mafi for the first time was everything. As was chatting with singer/actress Courtney Love.
From there we went into the Paramount theater (surreal) where they introduced the show and honored the individuals involved with it. Then played 13 Reasons Why episode one – and I didn’t cry until the end when the credits came on and everyone clapped. Of all the shows and movies and entertainment Hollywood produces, bringing to screen a story that’s raising awareness on bullying and suicide – and opening up dialogue regarding a too-often silent killer – is one I’m proud & grateful to see lauded. And the cast, directors, and producers did it so well.
Annnnd the rest of the evening was spent goofing off with our group at the Paramount reception, meeting the actors and Selena Gomez – who is everything you hope – sweet, kind, sincere, and full of hugs and time to chat about life. Truly loved her.
The Ashers and my family have been friends for years, celebrating life together, and racing their son, Izzy, down the street (he wins obviously), and enjoying JM’s music. They are some of the people-people in my life. You know – the ones you talk real with. Parenting or marriage, or career, or you text to say can we meet and go over this book thing or edits, or let’s go see a concert, or want to do this fun book event, or y’all have to stop talking books now and find us food. They are real. They’re authentic. They are good. And they work hard at all of it. So getting to celebrate them at this event was most definitely my highlight! Congrats again, Jay & JM. And thanks to you both for all the soul you invest in this great big world. We love you guys tons!!!!
Oh…and the food. Good grief it was beautiful. ;)
And then our feet were tired… :)
So…I grabbed a late night dinner from a little Hollywood blvd drive-through and went back to the hotel to eat and gush with my girls.
And the following day, I introduced them to the sights of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Sunset, and Rodeo Drive.
And Greystone Manor, a gorgeous mansion and landscape that’s hosted a gazillion movies. ;)
Heading home we may have made a few stops. Ahem.
Thanks for the fun, Ashers, Paramount, friends, family, & Hollywood!!! You spoiled our hearts forever – and we can never repay it. Other than to say we love you!!!!
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