Candace Payne, who has become better known as the “Chewbacca Mom,” is still trying to let the shock from her sudden fame sink in.
On Thursday, May 19, Payne visited a local Kohl’s store and purchased an electronic Chewbacca mask. When she got to her car, the mother of two put the mask on and started laughing hysterically. Payne’s contagious laugh landed her with more than 140 million views, setting the record for the most Facebook Live views on a single video.
Since then, the “Chewbacca Mom” has appeared on The Late Show and Good Morning America. She has also cracked up with James Corden and Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. Because of her comedic skills, Mark Zuckerberg invited Payne to visit Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, where she got to hang out with none other than Chewbacca himself.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) May 25, 2016
“We invited Candace Payne — whose Chewbacca mask video got 141 million views and is now the most-watched Facebook Live video ever — to come by Facebook HQ today. And we had a fun surprise for her!” Zuckerberg said at the time.
He also added several photos of Candace and Chewbacca riding bikes together, according to Us Weekly.
In less than a week, Candace Payne’s life has gone from ordinary to anything but. The Chewbacca Mom has quickly become a household name, and her video is still receiving thousands of views daily.
“It’s something I really can’t grasp and understand but I’m just riding every single wave of this and enjoying every single moment,” Payne told People Magazine. “Taking it all in.”
Payne, who resides in Grand Prairie, Texas, was first introduced to the Star Wars saga by her husband, Chris, who she married nearly 16 years ago. Candace calls Chris “her rock” and said he has been her “biggest support system” since her rise to fame.
“He knew that when he married me he signed up for a lot,” she laughed. “And he absolutely loved everything about me and whatever that would include in our future together, whatever that would include in our journey together. That’s really what marriage is, when you sign up, you sign up for everything. Even the stuff you don’t know that’s coming.”
— YouTube (@YouTube) May 25, 2016
Candace and Chris just recently introduced the series to their two children — Cadence, 7, and Duncan, 6 — and they seem to be enjoying it as much as their parents.
“Just recently in all honesty, they’ve started really enjoying the action movies,” Chewbacca Mom shared. “Things that aren’t necessarily animated or new, but that are really just fan favorite stuff that mom and dad liked growing up. They just were engrossed in it as we were when we were kids.”
Payne said she is just excited for the opportunities she has been given simply for uploading a funny video. Although some may find a sudden rise to fame intimidating, Candace said she is just trying to enjoy it and make the most of anything that comes her way.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) May 24, 2016
“I think I can hold my own, but man I am extremely grateful for every opportunity,” she said. “I’ll tell you that the people that I’ve met the past few days have just been incredible people – and not just the ones that I’ve been sitting on the couch with. Those on the street, or in the hotel, or in the airports wanting to take a photo with me. I’ve just been blessed.”
[Photo by Rainmaker Photo/MediaPunch/IPX]