He’s known world over as Deuce Bigalow and that weird guy from the Adam Sandler movies, but in reality, Rob Schneider is a down to earth, normal kind of guy.
With his new project The Chosen One about to be released in Australia and an international comedy tour that kicks off this week, Rob has his hands full for the start of 2011, and it promises to be a very big year.
The Chosen One is his own production, both written and directed by Rob, and even though it has some of the characteristic elements of a Schneider movie, this one promises to be different. For one thing, it is a more dramatic role. It’s the story of Paul, a man lost in his own shortcomings, who struggles to find his way in life. “The concept is that sometimes you become separated from humanity,” Rob explains. “You become this bag of bones.” But before you worry that it might be too serious, it has its humorous side too. Steve Buscemi co-stars as his gay Buddhist brother and Rob has nothing but wonderful things to say about him. “Steve is just an incredible guy,” he reflects. “He is so funny and so generous. He is great to work with.”
Rob chuckles as he reflects on how he got started in his career, on Saturday Night Live
over twenty years ago. During his four seasons on that, he was also offered a role that most forget about, the secondary part of Cedric, the snide bellboy in Home Alone 2. He has come a long way since then, with over thirty movies under his belt, the most recent being Grown Ups, another frivolous-fun-with-a-subtle-life-lesson Happy Madison production.
He speaks with fondness about the genuine chemistry that exists between the actors in Grown Ups. After twenty years of being friends and co-stars, he and Adam Sandler have an easy nature together that is apparent in their work. When asked if the moments in Grown Ups that see the cast teasing each other and cracking up were sincere, Rob laughs. “Yes, sometimes,” he confirms. “They are a lot of fun. When you work on a movie with someone, you are committing the next eighteen months to two years of your life to them. It’s a lot of work; it has to be fun.”
Of course, with movies like Hot Chicks and The Animal setting him up as a certain type of personality, it would be easy enough to get typecast, but it’s not something that worries Rob. He says that the inspiration for a lot of his work came from Monty Python, specifically The Life of Brian, which he describes as “lunacy. Absolutely brilliant.” He lights up and eagerly discusses the comic genius from which he has gleaned so much. “You know, when they made Holy Grail, they couldn’t afford horses, that was why they made a joke out of the guy making the [horse] sound affects. I know what that’s like, but then they made Life of Brian and it was them at the height of their powers.”
It’s not all about film and comedy for Rob though. He admits to being an obsessive collector. “Antiques,” he says ruefully. “I have a massive collection of antique vases from Hong Kong. But I am getting rid of it all,” he adds regretfully. “My wife is making me. She says the only antique she likes is me.”
With The Chosen One pending release and his stand-up comedy tour spanning nearly three months, Rob admits that he has no immediate plans for more films just yet. His tour will naturally include Australia, landing first in WA but moving into Victoria for two shows at the Melbourne Comedy Theatre.
Tickets are on sale now for Rob Schneider’s show at The Comedy Theater on February 11 and 12. They’re selling fast, so be quick and log on to ticketmaster.com.au to book. Tickets are $59 for good seats and $49 for mediocre. Not to be missed.