Hangover Part 3 Buildup with Heather Graham

Heather Graham Abby Tegnelia

Heather Graham teaches me her favorite pose.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend in the US, and this year that means Hangover Part III mania!! For me, it began months ago when planning my tenth anniversary special issue of Vegas magazine. I knew that nothing else could equal the impact on Las Vegas that the Hangover franchise has had. So I was thrilled when Heather Graham agreed to do our cover and host our big party. The result: my favorite cover ever. I was even allowed to buy a special glittery font. (Our finance guy quipped, “I’ve never had to buy an editor diamonds before.”) That’s Vegas for you — we love our razzle dazzle! After the issue came out, Heather came out to Vegas for our huge soiree at the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental.

It was the party of the year!

Before the big bash, a few of us pre-gamed in the stunning Mandarin Oriental bar on the 23rd floor.

Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas Bar

 

 

One of my closest friends (and my favorite food writer) Catherine De Orio flew in from Chicago.

Abby Tegnelia Catherine De Orio

 

 

Fabulous fashion designer Chong Cha came into town from LA to come to the party with Camille Fagan.

Chong Cha Camille Fagan

 

 

My coworker Tiffany Carey is always by my side!

Abby Tegnelia Tiffany Carey

 

 

The party itself always goes by in a blur, whether the celebrity is Celine Dion, Shania Twain or Brooke Burke. I am consistently a bundle of nerves, trying to suck in my stomach, remember my speech (despite a sometimes crippling public speaking phobia), and keep my makeup perfect, all while being pulled in a million different directions.

Walking the red carpet with a star can be nerve-wracking. Stand up straight, suck it in, try not to blink in those lights… But above all, make your smile seem “natural” (ha)!

Red carpet

 

This photo shows how bright all of the camera lights can be.

Hangover Part III

 

Before our party, Heather got some bad press for saying she didn’t like Vegas, the city responsible for making the Hangover boys household names and earning her a pretty hefty paycheck. Me, I forgive her. She complained of “phony” people, too many machines and chilly air conditioning. She is hardly the first person to think that “the Strip” and “Las Vegas” were synonymous. Of course, I think that’s ridiculous and have worked hard on this blog to show what “normal” life here is. How can you judge an entire city (and population) based on four miles of tourist activities? Maybe you don’t like “gambling” or “casinos” or yes, even “the Strip” (although she loved the Cirque du Soleil shows so much she asked to try some of the stunts backstage)…

But I know that’s an uphill battle.

When I hung out with her, she asked me what it was like to live here, and was surprised when I said I liked it because I can afford to live in a three-bedroom house with my two big dogs and that I never go to nightclubs. She seemed genuine and into clean-living, which I certainly can’t fault her for.

Heather Graham Abby Tegnelia Vegas

 

 

As for the movie, I got a sneak peek the afternoon after the party. Heather has only a small role, and really, everyone else are just accessories to Zach Galifinakas. The only person who comes close is Ken Jeong, who has a huge role. Zach made me laugh by just walking onto the screen, every gesture, facial twitch, flash of him simply standing there an example of his comedic genius. As for the plot… Remember how everyone complained that Hangover Part II was just the first Hangover but in Thailand? Well, they took that to heart and made a completely different movie this time, for better or worse. Everyone was sort of stunned when it was done. After the credits though, there is a sort of short film in the old Hangover style, a ridiculous romp that instantly creating a theater full of belly-laughing fans. Although, I am not sure I could have taken a whole movie of it. But I am not the target audience here.

Did you see Hangover Part III this weekend? Tell me what you thought!

 

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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Comments

  1. You look really fab in that color, Abby. Beautiful as usual.

  2. I agree – that color looks great on you! 🙂

  3. Look at you with Heather Graham! Who is the celebrity? You look fabulous and it’s always fun to get a look inside glitzy Vegas. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie –hope it’s as good as the first.

  4. You ladies are too kind! That color was sort of an accident — an older dress I’d purchased pre-Costa Rica tan. In the end, I was happy with it!!

  5. You look gorgeous in that color (my favorite) and that first picture is hilarious! It sounds like a really fun night, even with the nerves and the stress.

  6. You look amazing Abby – and so does your guest. Oh, yes, and Vegas or no Vegas, diamonds are a girl’s besy friend, right? 😛

  7. OMG – Certainly a glamorous life although I have to admit to not knowing who Heather Graham is *blush*

  8. Your blogs are always so much fun to read Abby! What a life 🙂

  9. EEEEEeeee! I love these posts Abby! And you look absolutely FAB. <3 Am I going to see you any time this year? Don't have the money to make it out to Vegas at the moment… but you never know, right? 😀

  10. I’d better see you this summer! And thank you 🙂

  11. You look gorgeous and so tan! It must be so weird meeting celebrities all the time.

  12. I haven’t been keeping up with your blog (shamefully), and when I do finally get back to it, I chastise myself for not reading as soon as you post!! Love it!
    We did go see Hangover III and I liked it!! I wasn’t disappointed in the second one, like so many were. You have to know what you’re walking in to and don’t set your expectations so high, it’s just entertainment, they’re not trying to win an Oscar or anything!
    I liked how they tied the third one in, it was more of a story than I thought it would be.
    And of course, you look beautiful, love the pictures! 🙂

  13. It’s an ongoing battle, living in Vegas and trying to explain to them that their Vegas is not your Vegas. Since leaving, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain what it was like to grow up there and how all the people who think they could ‘never do it’ (because their liver would give out or they’d go broke from gambling) – actually could do it. That’s not to say we don’t know how to take advantage at having America’s playground at our finger tips – but we also know how to live a well-balanced life. I miss you, I miss the parties and I miss home! Great post 😀

  14. A permanent battle, I’m afraid.

    Thank you, everyone!

  15. Love both you and Heather’s dresses! I just returned to the US and was shocked to learn they made a third Hangover! I agree with the criticism of the second one but nothing will stop me from seeing the third! Can’t wait…

  16. Yes, you must go see it lol. I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t filmed in Vegas!

  17. No Hangover III for me. The irony is that it’s movies like this one and similar media attention that gives Vegas its stereotype. I’ve seen the other side of the Vegas strip, and I like it, too. I could even live there, if it wasn’t for the intense heat in the summer. And if you like, it can’t be that bad, right?

    By the way, you one-up’d Heather on that pose – you’re always stunning, no matter how hard you try not to be.

  18. You have such an amazing life.

  19. Abby, you fit right in on that red carpet. What a fantastic job you have. You know you’re rolling with the big boys when you can buy diamante fonts! Love it!

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