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Summer in New York has been all sorts of record-breaking hot, and I'm not just talking about the weather! This July, I decided to take a break from waiting outside talk shows and it back to my roots of meeting celebrities on film and television sets.
Not only was I able to stage a run-in with James McAvoy, who is filming "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby" here in New York, but, by crossing a state line or three, I also got to meet "The Hunger Games" star Alexander Ludwig and "Twilight"'s Taylor Lautner on the set of "Grown Ups 2" in Massachusetts.
Not to brag, but I am surprised that I haven't suffered heat stroke from being around three massive movie-making hotties during all of these East Coast heat waves.
After seeing dozens of pictures on Taylor Lautner fan sites of people meeting him on the "Grown Ups 2" set in Swampscott, Mass., I decided to head up there myself. Even if I couldn’t meet Taylor, there was always Alexander Ludwig, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Henrie and Milo Ventigimilia also filling up the cast. My eye was on the prize though, and I set off in the middle of the night on a bus from NYC to Boston with my camera and a dream.
When I finally made it to Salem, I received terrible news: The set had moved from the Swampscott location.
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It took some time and a whole lot of talking to fans on Twitter, but, late that afternoon, we finally discovered the shooting location for the day. We left Salem and took the hour and a half drive to Westford where they were filming at a quarry in a very quiet residential area that required us to park about a mile away from where we needed to be. Thankfully, a group of neighborhood kids had started waiting at the end of the "VIP Base Camp" driveway, so we joined them. By that time, it seemed like they were wrapping for the day, so we hoped we didn't have to wait long.
About 45 minutes later, a small car drove down the driveway and stopped a few feet away from us. A tall, blonde, muscular guy in a tank top and shorts got out of the passenger side and went around to the trunk to look for something. It took us all a minute, but we soon realized exactly who it was: Alexander Ludwig! Of course we called him over and he was more than happy to come take pictures with us. He seemed surprised that we recognized him.
Also check out: Next Factor: Alexander Ludwig
I told him I had come all the way from New York but just getting to meet him made the trip totally worth it. He responded, "That means the world to me! Thanks."
Unfortunately, our luck on set ended with Alexander. Lautner, Sandler and James all left without stopping but did take the time to roll down their windows and wave. Some people even got high fives.
Once the cast was gone, my friends and I headed back to Boston and and hit the pavement in search of an open restaurant for dinner. We weren't above ground more than five minutes before we spotted him: Taylor Lautner getting out of his SUV with his security guard. I felt like I was in a movie!
We stole Taylor's attention before politely asking for pictures, and even though he looked like he had just left the gym and seemed exhausted, he was very happy to pose with us. In fact, when I asked him if I could have one as well after both of my friends had taken pictures, Taylor told me, "Always." I am definitely going to remember that. Swoon.
Also check out: Hot People Looking Hot: Taylor Lautner
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Later this month – after I'd fully recovered, of course – I decided to see if any movies were shooting in the Manhattan. Indeed, "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby" was filming in SoHo, so my friend and I hopped on the train downtown to check it out.
Shortly after finding the set, we located the actors' trailers. In my experience, it's much easier to meet stars at their trailer rather than on an actual set.
After hanging out for just a few minutes, James McAvoy walked out of the trailer in front of us and headed across the street to film. We were happy to see that James was on set, but we waited a few moments to see if Jessica Chastain would pop out and follow suit. Sadly, she did not.
James filmed a short scene which involved him running from one corner to the next, and, after three takes, he was done for the day. On his way back into his trailer, we asked him for pictures and he was very happy to do so despite still being somewhat out of breath and a little sweaty. We didn't keep him long so that he could head into air conditioning and cool down.
One month of summer left – I wonder what's in store for August.
Like many of you, Professional Fan Girl Lauren Cox has always had a fascination with movie stars. She's turned her hobby – hitting premieres and other events in New York City to meet them – into a blog, and now a NextMovie column. Keep up with her adventures meeting celebs by following her on Twitter.