Rob Schneider talks about his directorial debut film, his cast and future projects.

Rob Schneider has been making us laugh for years, from his days on Saturday Night Live to memorable turns in his pal Adam Sandler's movies like The Waterboy, Big Daddy and starring turns in Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and the highly underrated comedy, The Benchwarmers. He's taking a new step with his new film, Big Stan, which hits the shelves on DVD and Blu-ray on March 24. Not only is Schneider starring in this new film, but he's making his directorial debut as well. I had the chance to speak with Schneider over the phone about his new film, and here's what he had to say

I saw the movie last night, it was quite a good film. A nice directing debut.

Rob Schneider: It's the feel good anti-rape film of the springtime.

{bold|Absolutely. So, first of all, how did you first come across Josh Lieb's script and what made you want to make this your directing debut?

Rob Schneider: Well, first of all, he had worked on a couple of movies of mine. I think he worked on one of the Deuce Bigalow's and The Hot Chick, I forget which ones. So I was at this manager's office and there was a script by Josh Lieb and I was like, 'I didn't know Josh Lieb wrote a script.' I read it and it was hilarious but I could see why no studio would want to make it, and, sure enough, no studio ever wanted to make it. It was a nice little independent film. He originally wrote like a two-act comedy, so we had to come up with a third act, which was pretty easy to do. We did a lot of rewrites on it, but a lot of the funny stuff is Josh's, for sure.

So initially what made you want to play this character then?

Rob Schneider: That's a good question, because I think this is such an unlikeable prick, this character, I could work from that. For me, it's something like what Charles Grodin would've done, after he did The Heartbreak Kid (1972), if they would've offered it to him. This guy, if I could recover from a character who wakes up in the middle of the night and tells his wife that big men have broke into the house and that she's going to get raped... 'You see, honey, maybe now you'll understand what I'm going through.' I don't know if you saw that in front of an audience, but people were losing their minds when they saw that. Women, especially, it's so funny. It's such a funny moment. It's so f&^%ing mean.

With this being your directorial debut, did you kind of seek out some advice from some people, maybe actor/directors?

Rob Schneider: A little bit, a little bit. But it took so many months to get the money, in an independent hell-world, by the time we got the money, I was ready to go. I didn't feel like anybody could do it any better than me. It was a simple little movie, and I love prison movies, so I think this is going to run forever?

You have quite the diverse cast here with David Carradine, M. Emmet Walsh, Sally Kirkland, Kevin Gage, Brandon T. Jackson and some athletes like Randy Couture, Don Frye and Ahman Green.

Rob Schneider: Quite a cast, huh?

Definitely. So what was it like to have this kind of a cast to feed off of on this film?

Rob Schneider: Well, you know what, what I heard about directing, I didn't know if it was true or not until I did this movie, a good director just hires the right actors. So I hired the right actors so I guess I'm a good director, they made me look good. You know, when you hire M. Emmet Walsh, you don't have to give him many notes. You just tell him, 'Stand over here.' Same thing with Henry Gibson, you don't have to tell him how to be funny. Then David Carradine is a legendary guy, so it's all good.

So was it difficult to direct and star in this as well, wearing both of those hats?

Rob Schneider: No, everybody asks me that, but no. I wanted this. I didn't want anybody else getting in the way of me and the other actors. I wanted to do this myself and I really had a clear vision for what I wanted, so I didn't need to bring in anybody else. It was tough getting myself out of the trailer. 'Dammit Robby, get out of that trailer!' Other than that, I don't think it was... anybody who says directing is the toughest job in showbusiness, I'd say is a liar. But I've only directed this movie, so maybe there are some tough movies out there, but I question that. I just think it's about time, directing anything. You only have so many hours in the day, you have to get so many shots in. That's the toughest part, knowing what you've got and trusting in it. This is such a small little movie that I didn't even have any video playback that was working. So most of the time I just trusted it.

What about actually directing yourself, since you're starring in this as well?

Rob Schneider: You just kind of have to have an idea of what you want beforehand and I had written the script enough times without Josh that I felt that I know this guy and I'm ready to play him. It took so many months before we got the money to make it, I was ready to shoot myself and shoot the movie.

There are some really great fight scenes in the movie, so can you talk about your training for all that?

Rob Schneider: I did seven months. I called Dan Inosanto, who was the guy who introduced nunchucks to Bruce Lee, so I really had the best guys in the world training me. It was five hours a day of training. One hour of yoga, one hour of weights and three hours of martial arts instruction. We did Muay Thai boxing, five different martial arts. It was fun. I had a good time. I ended up being pretty dang good at the sticks.

Yeah. I loved the soap nunchucks as well. Those were pretty awesome.

Rob Schneider: Yeah man. Those were pretty tough to get those things spinning around, because they were a little bit heavier. Every ounce matters when you're whipping those things around and it took a little bit of trial and error, but it ended up working pretty good. I had done the exact same routine as Bruce Lee. That thing in the shower was about 10 minutes longer, but it was just like, 'This is showing off. Let's just get to the jokes.' That's the best fight scene in the movie, I think, the one with the sticks in the yard and the bathroom scene. You know, we had the crew staring at my cock all morning.

I saw on the special features that towards the end you collapsed from heat exhaustion. Just how hot was it that day?

Rob Schneider: It was 127 degrees in my pants. It was a 104 degrees outside, the concrete was like 120 and, in my pants, it was 127 degrees. I'm not kidding. I measured it with a thermometer. What finally happened was the refrigerator's on set couldn't keep the eggs fresh so they rotted and I had four or five of them in the morning and I had gotten massive food poisoning. It was no big deal, but unfortunately it was a slow news day, so people in Italy called me, (in Italian accent), 'Robby, you all right? I read on the news that you collapsed.' I'm fine. I broke my finger with the sticks, I tore my rotator cuff and I broke my ankle eight days before filming, so we had to cut out a lot of the kicking stuff. So I just did the whole movie with my ankle taped up.

You're a trooper.

Rob Schneider: Eh, what the f*&%.

So I was wondering if there was ever a theatrical release planned for this?

Rob Schneider: There was, but the company that had it went bankrupt. Then Sony didn't want to spend $20 million on it, but you know what, I got it released in Mexico, Australia, Spain and a bunch of other countries, in the theaters. It's nice that people can discover it now on DVD. It's nice that HBO is giving this a nice release on DVD. It's a nice little discovery thing. I hope people will rent this and will buy it and watch it on pay-per-view with their friends, because it's a hilarious movie and I'm really proud of it. It's my favorite one that I've made.

We just ran a story a few days ago about Salma Hayek joining the new Adam Sandler film that you are attached to as well. Is there anything you can tell us about that? I was hearing it was like The Big Chill, but funnier.

Rob Schneider: It is. It better be funnier. It's these guys that come back into all their lives 20 years later and a lot of it is based off ourselves. I'd say more than I'm willing to admit is about us. It's fun. Adam, he's a tremendous talent and he really wrote something special here with Fred Wolf. It kind of captures the DNA of some of us and I'm excited to see what people think of it. It's a nice little movie, so I'm psyched. It's a little more dramatic than his other movies.

Oh, cool. So is there anything you can tell us about Virgin on Bourbon Street, The Chosen One, or anything else you're working on now?

Rob Schnieder: FI8obf98nhkWaf||Virgin on Bourbon Street}, I think they're just calling it American Virgin now. I basically play the guy from Girl's Gone Wild, a version of him. This girl basically took a vow of chastity, and she goes up to one of those parties, gets drunk and shows her titties and she's got to get the tape back. It's a nice little movie. I'm making a movie now called You May Not Kiss the Bride. It's directed by Rob Hedden and with Dave Annable, Katherine McPhee and Mena Suvari. We just started that last week.

Oh nice. Is there anything you can tell us about the plot of that one?

Rob Schneider: Yeah. It's about a guy who's forced by the mob to marry the mob kingpin's daughter so she can stay in the country legally. He has a stalker girlfriend and complications but, of course, he falls in love with the mafia guy's daughter. It's a sweet little comedy. I play a guy that's trying to help them escape. I play a Spaniard, so that's fun. Ernesto, from the Spain.

(Laughs) Awesome. So is there anything that you're currently writing right now or developing?

Rob Schneider: Yeah. I've got a really fun character that's kind of like my comedy National Treasure. It's a fun little movie and I don't want to give the title away, but I would say it's a lot of fun. It's for the whole family. A lot of physical comedy. I'm psyched.

Awesome. So, finally, Big Stan comes out on DVD tomorrow, so what would you like to say to your fans or anyone else to get them to pick this up on DVD?

Rob Schneider: It's a really funny movie. I think it's my funniest movie and it was too outrageous to be released by the studios. I think it's going to be worth your while. Please watch it with many friends and please ingest whatever you need to add to your viewing enjoyment.

Awesome. Well, that's about all I have for you, Rob. Thanks so much for your time, and the best of luck on your new projects.

Rob Schneider: Hey, thanks for your time man. I appreciate it. Bye.

You can check out all the hilarity of Rob Schneider's directorial debut when , Big Stan hits the shelves on DVD and Blu-ray on March 24.

Cinemark Movie Club