Home | Celebrities | Kristin Chenoweth, Olesya Rulin Talk Jump Ropes, Reality TV and Their New Film, Family Weekend
Family Weekend Movie

Kristin Chenoweth, Olesya Rulin Talk Jump Ropes, Reality TV and Their New Film, Family Weekend

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Kristin Chenoweth and Olyesa Rulin at a press conference in New York about their film, "Family Weekend"

Kristin Chenoweth and Olesya Rulin at a press conference in New York about their film, “Family Weekend” | Melanie Votaw Photo

Kristin Chenoweth and Olesya Rulin play mother and daughter in the dark family comedy film, Family Weekend,” available now on video on demand and opening in selected theaters on March 29, 2013.

Olesya’s character, Emily, is a high school jump rope champion in an oblivious family of five that never remembers to come to her competitions. Her mother is a type A businesswoman always at the office or on the phone, while her father (played by Matthew Modine) is a self-involved hippie artist.

Matthew Modine and Kristin Chenoweth in "Family Weekend"

Matthew Modine and Kristin Chenoweth in “Family Weekend”

Emily becomes fed up and holds a kidnapping intervention, drugging her parents and tying them to chairs until they pay attention to her. What takes place after is outrageous, funny, and ultimately, heartwarming.

The two actresses appeared at a press conference in New York on March 21, 2013 to talk about the movie. Kristin of Broadway and “Glee” fame is diminutive in every way except voice and personality, and she is just as funny and charming as you’d expect. Olesya is a lovely young actress and ballet dancer whose face you might recognize from the TV show “Greek” or the “High School Musical” movies.

Kristin Chenoweth at the press conference in New York Melanie Votaw Photo

Kristin Chenoweth at the press conference in New York | Melanie Votaw Photo

Below are some of the highlights from the press conference.

On missing important events in a loved one’s life:

Kristin: I still have guilt from four years ago. My niece graduated, and I didn’t make it. Granted, there was a huge snowstorm in Denver, and I couldn’t get in. But I still have that pang that I want to be there for those most important days.

I have to tell you that my mom was a stay at home mom, and my dad had his own business. But even with his business, he was at the important events. So, I wish I could tell some tale about “Oh, they were never there for me! I was alone! I was alone!” But no, they were great parents, and I try to be the same for my niece and nephew and for my godchildren. I think I do pretty good.

Olesya Rulin at the press conference in New York | Melanie Votaw Photo

Olesya Rulin at the press conference in New York | Melanie Votaw Photo

Olesya: I almost missed being the maid of honor at my best friend’s wedding!

Kristin: Now, that’s unforgivable!

Olesya: The day of her wedding, I wasn’t supposed to work. It was actually “High School Musical 3.” I talked to [director] Kenny Ortega. I said, “Kenny, I’m on schedule [now] for this day.” And this is how much I loved my director – he changed the shooting day so that I didn’t have to work.

Kristin: That sounds like him.

Olesya: I was like, “Kenny, she’s getting married. I have to be there to fluff the hair and do what maid of honors do and make her feel pretty.”

On whether they could draw from their own families in order to portray the dysfunctional family in the film:

Kristin: We’d all like to say we have perfect families, and I did grow up in a great family. But we have our issues. There’s a little passive aggression going on in my family. I remember when I first moved to New York, I thought everybody was yelling at each other. I thought, “Why are they mad at me?” …

Family WeekendI’m a multi-tasker. I stay on schedule, but I’m a wreck in my personal life. That actually wasn’t the question, was it? Anyway, that’s for therapy…. I think for me, [it was] just tapping into that personality, that strong woman who wants to have it all and does but is sort of failing at part of her job, which is being a mom.

Olesya: I was really blessed with parents who never said I couldn’t do anything. They never told me no.

On training for the jump rope scenes:

Olesya: I trained for four months…. It’s very concentrated movements which give you really strong, thick muscles. I had never eaten just straight protein and had never craved a whole chicken before…. It was a wonderful treat to do that [training]. [Pause followed by deadpan delivery.] I’ll never jump rope again!

Kristin: I was over at the dessert table. I was just like, “You go, girl!”

On their pop culture obsessions:

Kristin: Mine are so easy. The “Real Housewives” of any county. Preferably New Jersey. Someone’s gonna die. I think it could be Teresa. “Hillbilly Handfishin’” because I grew up in that area where my cousins all did it, and I really want to be on that show.

Olesya: If you get on it, will you take me?

Kristin: Done! … I think when I come home at night after being focused, I just want to feel really good about myself. And I turn on reality TV, and I know just how much I have it together.

Olesya: I love blogs. I have someone building one for me right now.

Kristin Chenoweth and Olesya Rulin at the press conference for "Family Weekend" Melanie Votaw Photo

Kristin Chenoweth and Olesya Rulin at the press conference for “Family Weekend” | Melanie Votaw Photo

On working with Shirley Jones, who plays the grandmother in “Family Weekend”:

Kristin: For me, that was a big moment on set to meet one of my idols because I had done the lead in “The Music Man” for ABC with Matthew Broderick. And then to meet the original Marion the Librarian…. She was “the deal” back in the day when they did movie musicals all the time, and that was when it was cool.

Check out the trailer for “Family Weekend,” directed by Benjamin Epps and written by Matt K. Turner.

Melanie Votaw

Melanie Votaw is a New York City-based freelance writer and the author of 15 non-fiction books. She’s a former actress/singer/dancer who started performing at age 4 and now loves to write about film, TV, and theater. Visit her Web site, Rule the Word, and follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Melanie Votaw has written posts on Reel Life With Jane.


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