You asked the questions, Rob answered them! Our first Zohan interview is now online!
Recently we gave Movies.ie users the opportunity to ask questions to comedians Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider.
Adam’s interview was done on camera, we’ll have the video online this week. Rob’s interview was done in a hotel suite at the Merrion hotel. He was surprisingly intelligent and well read, pausing at one time to quote James Joyce at us.
After a day of answering the same questions over and over again Rob admitted that the Movies.ie questions were a breath of fresh air and he tried to answer as many as he could in the 30 minutes we had with him. Below is just a small selection of his fan questions…
Q: Why was Ireland picked for the ‘Zohan’ premiere? (Question submitted by Fiona – Arklow)
We enjoy being here, I was really touched by the warm reception of the people here. I’ve been before, so I knew what was coming but Adam was really touched, it was just beautiful. Seeing kids running across the street last night as we were going to the cinema was a puzzle, I was like ‘What’s going on?’, it was for me and Adam.
Ireland is a particular place where per capita they see twice as many movies as the rest of Europe, we’re aware that people see movies here, we appreciate that, we want to make sure they have a good time.
I took my daughter here because I wanted her to see Ireland, I couldn’t believe how much it’s changed. I was here in 1984, I know people don’t look back on that being a bright time in Irish history but to me it was magical. I read Jill Uris’ book, “Ireland The Terrible Beauty” and said ‘I gotta go’, so I sold my car and hitchhiked around the whole country and had an amazing time. I want to do it again, I’m just going to take a little back-pack and go.
Q: How did you first get involved in ‘Zohan’? (Question submitted by Lisa – Dundrum)
I got involved 8 years ago, Adam told me it was about this Israeli army guy who wants to become a hairdresser, I thought, ‘oh man, you’re going to be hilarious at that’, then he told me I was playing a Palestinian taxi driver trying to kill him. When it came time to realy doing it there was a lot of responsibility trying to pull it off, I’m working with other Arab actors, I want to be respectful. I’m not mocking them. We’re equal opportunity offenders but I don’t want to insult anyone.
Q: You’re one of the few actors lucky enough, or unlucky enough, to have his own catchphrase (‘You Can Do It’), are you sick of hearing it or do you embrace it? (Question submitted by Shaun – Naul, Co. Dublin)
I embrace it and get sick of it and then embrace it again when no one says it. If anything, the ‘you can do it’ guy was Adam Sandlers joke on me, when I was on Saturday Night Live I had a catchphrase, the copy machine guy. We couldn’t go anywhere without people yelling it at us, and now 15/20 years later people are yelling at me. It’s both rewarding and frustrating. I was stunned how it’s taken off, ‘The Waterboy’ is still my favourite Adam film.
Q: A lot of your movies push the comic boundaries between what can be seen as absolutely hilarious by one person and perhaps offensive by another, do you worry about stepping over the line?
(Question submitted by Brian – Co. Louth)
Yes, All the time. The guys that wrote it were very conscious of the fact that there’s a small window of success here but there are landmines all over the subject matter. So they would get on the phone with their Arab-American friends and ask what they thought. But they were never afraid to offend, you’re always going to anger somebody for something. We’re just trying to make people laugh just like the movies that made us laugh when we were kids, Mel Brooks, Monty Python, Peter Sellers, you laugh so hard that you couldn’t breath, that’s what we’re trying to do.
Q: How did you and Adam Sandler first meet? (Question submitted by Adrian – Skerries)
We’ve been mates for 20 years, we’re not sexual yet but we’re working up to it. The beer and Jamesons and the Guinness are helping us to get closer. Yeah, We met as struggling young comics who made each other laugh, unemployed guys just trying to get work and no one giving us work. And we’re here 20 years later still rooting for each other, I think of him as a little brother. It’s not sexual but its definitely a special relationship, I always want to do good by him.
Q: Was that really ALL Adam on screen or did he have computer tweaking? (Question submitted by Laura – Blanchardstown)
No, that was all Adam, he worked out for seven months, the b****rd. he can afford to, he worked out every day for the five months of shooting and two months solid before. He’s always been a hedonistic kinda guy, whenever he’s in great shape he likes to take his shirt off, he was a studly guy in college. Then life takes over, he’s in his forties, it gets tough. He has the occasional ass model, when the script demands for him to catch a fish in his ass, he calls for the ass model.
Q: If you weren’t an actor or director what would you like to do? (Question submitted by Georgina – Tallaght) I’d be stalking Adam Sandler, saying please put me in your movie, I’ll be good, why won’t you put me in your movie Adam, pleeeease, I know where you live!
Q: Which do you prefer, Acting or directing? (Question submitted by Peter – Dun Laoghaire) I prefer acting because I’m a bit of a whore, I like making people laugh, its fun, you know? But directing I enjoy also, for a few more years when I’m not so objectionable looking I can do acting, when I’m not so fat I can be on screen but then I wouldn’t mind directing.
Q: Would you ever try cross genres to a more serious role like Adam Sandler tried in ‘Punch Drunk Love’? (Question submitted by James – Sandyford) Yeah, I did one too. It’s called ‘The Chosen One’ We can’t afford to finish it, which kills me, I think about it every morning before I get up and I hope you like it, It’s an excellent film but I’m out of money. I’ll finish it or I’ll die trying.
Q: Is there going to another Deuce Bigalow movie? (Question submitted by Kelly – Citywest, Dublin 24)
I’d love to do a third Bigalow movie, Deuce Bigalow – Irish Gigalow. You guys come up with some good ideas and I’m here, the only reason why I did the second one is because everyone was asking for it but it notably failed. There were some funny parts in it but it got edited down too much and I was disappointed by it.
Q: When developing your characters, do you have a number of them on-file and a number of accents stored for future use? (Question submitted by Dariuz – Dublin 7)
*Laughs* I wish. This one was a lot of work, I kept my guard up to make sure I pronounced the Aramaic right and that I wasn’t a stereotypical raving lunatic insulting any Palestinians. In Denmark people were killed because of a cartoon, so even though this is just a comedy, I still worked my ass off to be honest with you. I put everything on tape and had two Palestinian guys listen to every word I was going to say in the script and I listened to the correct pronunciation for a couple of months. I didn’t want to be a character; I wanted to be a human.
Q: Do you know if you’re new movie will be played in Israel? (Question submitted by Martin – Navan Road)
In Israel it’s like Star Wars, the first Star Wars, not the crap recent ones. If there is a cinematic corporal punishment, and God knows people want me to have it but Lucas himself should get it, he should be beheaded for those last three movies. I don’t care if I p*** off George Lucas, he probably doesn’t know who I am.
At the essence of it, they loved the fact that some guy in Hollywood do a film about Israelis. Of course there are some stereotypical scenes in there, they love disco, they’re behind the times in fashion, they do nothing but listen to Mariah Carey but the majority get the joke.
Q: With all the attention on different comic book characters in films these days what comic book character would you most like to play? (Question submitted by David – Co. Meath)
I’m not a crazy fan of superheroes. The least favourite part of this film for me was the superhero element, I preferred interacting with people. I think they can be intelligently done, like the new Chris Nolan movie. I’ve never seen people so ga-ga over a superhero movie than this new one. Its because Nolan treats everything like Shakespeare, what I’d like to do is mock it in some sense. When you see an audience watching a comedy they’re laughing, seeing people laugh is so thrilling, you don’t get that from an action film.
Q: What are your thoughts on the ‘Southpark’ episodes that made fun of you? (Question submitted by Louise – Castleknock)
A: I was so flattered by that, its an honour to be made fun of by those guys. It was a very justifiable way to attack me and in such a comedic way. It made me laugh, I mean, me as a stapler and me as a carrot it was really funny. If anything my friends who write for Simpson’s said they were too nice they should have been meaner. I’m kind of worried that they haven’t made fun of me in a while, I must be doing something wrong.
* Watch our interview with Adam Sandler later this week on Movies.ie *
‘You Don’t Mess With The Zohan’ is at Irish cinemas from August 15th