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Out And About: Having A Real Sleepover
After a month of interior set-ups, the production headed outside for many nights of shooting in and around Los Angeles. One key location was the First Baptist Church in downtown Pasadena, where the church gym stood in as the location of the high school dance. Adding a touch of excitement was the hard-rocking dance band played by real-life rockers Allister. The young crowd was happy to dance for hours as long as they got to watch the popular performers play several songs from their act.

"We were so lucky to have Allister playing for us,” says Vega. "They were very cool and were very down to earth guys. You could just sit there and talk with them all. They actually gave me their new CD but I forgot to have them sign it for me! They are a punky cool kind of band and their songs bring a bit of a beat to the movie.”

Standing in for the Cosmo Club was the real-life SoHo Club in downtown Los Angeles. There, Julie and her friends are horrified to see that Julie's mom is also there living it up and dancing with her grown-up girlfriends. The wild dancing Gabby does on the tabletops of the Cosmo Club was a challenge for actress Jane Lynch, though certainly an important story point for her character.

"She's a good mother and strict in a way,” says Lynch. "Her family has probably never seen her cut loose and go wild like she does that night. But it's important the girls see that Mom can enjoy herself and not be so uptight. I had a ball doing those dances…some very hip moves!”

Other locations included El Segundo High School, where Alexa Vega's Julie squares off with Sara Paxton's Staci outside the dance; Long Beach Polytechnic High School, which stands in for Julie's junior high school; the University of Southern California, where Steve jumps the fountain on his skateboard; the Del Amo Fashion Mall in Torrance, where the girls fumble with mannequins and escape the clutches of Steve Carell as Sherman, the security man; and South Pasadena, where several neighborhoods stood in for the exteriors of the girls' fictional "Anytown USA” hometown. 

During the middle of filming, Alexa Vega had a great idea: why not have a real sleepover? She invited the girls in the cast and rented a room at the famed Universal Hilton Hotel adjacent to the Universal Studios amusement complex. Brie Larson, Sara Paxton, Scout Taylor-Compton and Kallie Flynn Childress all attended, and they had their very own sleepover…Hollywood style!

"I was bummed all the girls couldn't make it, but we were pretty crazy and noisy anyway,” says Vega. "We went right after work and Brie and Sara were waiting there for us. We got a little loud, I'm afraid, and I think the hotel wanted to kick us out.”

"I think we finally went to sleep at six, then got up at seven and went to Universal Studios to go on all the rides and shop,” says Childress. "We played Twister and cracked up and talked all night. We were all so hyper – it was hilarious.” 

"Brie and I got there first,” says Paxton. "We really didn't know what to do in a hotel room all alone. We got tired of waiting for the other girls and were really thirsty, so we called up room service for some water. But we didn't have any money, so we settled for melting ice cubes with a hair dryer. It was crazy!”  Once filming had wrapped, the filmmakers felt they had captured a bit of truth regarding the lives of those passing from junior high to high school, a period where, for girls, friends are still a little bit more important than boys would eventually be. For writer Elisa Bell, the story also captured the moment when a young girl and her mom share a rite of passage as well.

"I think Julie has the relationship with her Mom that many junior high school girls have right before passing on to high school,” said Bell. "There comes a point where a girl is more interested in boys than ponies, a moment where everything changes and the Mom doesn


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