Actor Rob Schneider has a love affair with the Valley, where he now resides. For this reason, it brings a taste of Hollywood to the Grand Canyon State.
His upcoming film “Daddy Daughter Trip” – which he produced, directed and stars in – will screen exclusively at Harkins Theaters. Its world premiere will be September 27 at Camelview at Fashion Square in Scottsdale and will roll out to all 15 Harkins Theaters on September 30.
Shot in Arizona, the film is a family affair. His wife, Patricia Maya Schneider, co-wrote the screenplay, and it stars his daughters, singer-songwriter Elle King and Miranda Scarlett Schneider. “Daddy Daughter Trip” also features the legendary John Cleese (“A Fish Called Wanda”, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”) and features Gavin Guerrero.
“We hope people like it,” he said. “I hope people get the love. My daughter is fantastic. She’s young and she’s never done a movie before, of course. She just turned 8. It was her idea.
She took quite a few takes too, once she got the hang of it.
“I had to explain that it’s not that easy. It’s work,” he said.
“It’s fun and it’s exciting and it’s glamorous, with camera and makeup. It’s long hours. It was so hot in the back of the car. We had an old car and it was repainted a beautiful blue. It’s the theme of the film. The color of the car is the color of the sky that I see in Arizona.
Rob and Cleese appeared in comedy clubs around town during filming. The actor, often associated with his friend Adam Sandler, said it was an honor to work with Cleese.
“He’s my hero,” he said. “He really is a wonderful man. He has a lot to say, and God bless him. It’s good to have opinions. He’s to the left of me, but we both agree that “It’s about improving the human condition. He won’t call himself a conservative, but we’re bridging the gap. Free speech is everything.”
“But ‘Life of Brian’ is the greatest British comedy of all time. I love British humor. Monty Python is the pinnacle of comedy in the 20th century. If you think otherwise, you’re uneducated in acting and can’t discuss it. They changed comedy. Without Monty Python, we wouldn’t have had “Saturday Night Live”.
A mix of live action and animation, “Daddy Daughter Trip” tells the story of a second-grader (Miranda) who dreams of a fun spring break her family can’t afford. Against the better judgment of her mother (Jackie Sandler, wife of Adam Sandler) and with only coins in their pockets, her dreamy father (Rob) decides to take her on a spring break trip anyway.
After a series of unfortunate adventures, their vacation is saved when the duo meet a couple of famous travel bloggers.
“It’s about dreams,” Rob said. “If you don’t have money, that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out how to have a dream. It’s about family and hanging on to your dreams.
“In a way, that’s a universal truth that we’re dealing with in the movie that I’m really, really happy about. Besides all the jokes and physical comedy, it’s about love and family and it’s something I really wanted to show.
The film is also a love letter to Arizona, where the Schneiders moved to two years ago.
“My family, we are California refugees,” he said. “Arizona was kind enough to accommodate us. This is my thank you letter to the people of Arizona. We feel very welcome here. I am grateful.
“This is my love letter to the state and the people who have been incredibly helpful in making this movie happen. I’m showing some pretty cool places here and how beautiful the state is. The differences between Flagstaff are amazing and Sedona. It just shows how beautiful the state is. I really enjoy it here.”
Now he hopes to bring more films here, thanks to state tax incentives.
“I was asked to do this movie in other states for a tax refund,” he said. “I’m glad we made it here. I think we’re looking to open a studio here, but we need to see how this movie does and how it’s received, and then we’ll go from there.
“We want to support other filmmakers. I’m going to produce the films and do a few more. I don’t know how many more I will do. I will make more films here and have them made here. In fact, I fly to meet investors to produce more films here.