In somewhat of a departure from the comedy that made him a household name, veteran actor and filmmaker Rob Schneider has ventured into family and faith-friendly territory with his latest film, “Daddy Daughter Trip.” In an interview with Reel Faith, he opened up about the movie, its unconventional distribution, and the personal journey that inspired it.
“This is the first movie I’ve done that I can watch with my kids,” Schneider said. Reflecting on the challenges facing the movie industry, Schneider acknowledges the seismic shifts brought about by the ongoing pandemic.
“The movie business is really in the toilet right now,” Schneider admits candidly. Despite the industry’s struggles, he remains optimistic about the film’s reception, emphasizing that what matters most is whether the audience watches it and has the opportunity to do so. Schneider reveals an innovative distribution strategy, opting to premiere the film in Arizona first, where it received a warm welcome.
“We did really well in Arizona,” he notes. Undeterred by the unpredictable nature of the current film landscape, Schneider finds solace in the accessibility offered by retail giant Walmart, ensuring that “Daddy Daughter Trip” will be available to a broad audience. The film will also be released for digital downloads on December 5 on Amazon.
Schneider acknowledged the support of friends who played a crucial role in making the film a reality, including unexpected cameos, including his wife Patricia, Jackie Sandler, and Lisa Lampanelli, known for her explicit comedy. Schneider playfully comments on Lampanelli’s performance, highlighting the departure from her usual comedic style in this family-friendly project.
So what motivated Schneider, known for his days on “Saturday Night Live” as well as a string of hit comedies such as “The Waterboy,” “Grown Ups” and “The Hot Chick,” to go clean? He attributes this shift to a confluence of factors, including his observations of what he terms a “scamdemic,” what he explained was an “erosion of rights and liberties.” Schneider suggests an organized evil at play, prompting him to explore the opposing force he believes must exist in nature.
“As much as I have strayed from the church, I think the church never completely (left me). Jesus Christ never strayed from me,” Schneider reflected, offering a glimpse into his evolving spiritual journey. “I wanted to have something that could bring people together about faith about hope and about dreams. And that, to me, is a sneaky way of saying God.”
Acknowledging the tumultuous nature of recent years, Schneider expresses a wish to counterbalance the challenges with a film that provides families with a source of laughter and joy, especially during the holiday season. He sees “Daddy Daughter Trip” as a unique offering, a “special little thing” that resonates with audiences on a personal level.
Not solely a comedy, the film also features some emotional touches. The actor emphasizes the unpredictability of filmmaking, savoring the pride he feels for this particular project, which he hopes will lead to more.
“You never know when you gonna’ make your last movie,” he said. “This was a good one. If I never make another one. I’m real proud of this.”
“Daddy Daughter Trip” is now available on streaming outlets and select retailers.