From running around with animal instincts to playing a male gigolo, Rob Schneider has developed an interesting array of characters in the film industry, not to mention in his successful stint on “Saturday Night Live.” In his upcoming film, “The Hot Chick,” directed by Tom Brady, the star comedian entertains audiences once again by playing a popular high school girl, Jessica, who gets trapped in a man’s body. “The Hot Chick” will be the third screenplay in which Schneider had a significant part in the script writing. He also wrote “The Animal” and “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.” In a recent interview with Schneider, Brady and Schneider’s co-star, Anna Faris, The Michigan Daily got the inside scoop on what it was like to create “The Hot Chick.”

Paul Wong
Rob Schneider is … “The stapler.”
Courtesy of Touchstone

When asked how in the world the idea for this movie came about, Schneider explains, “Tom used to see me making fun of my own girlfriend, and he thought that would be a funny movie. We took the form and inverted it and made it a weird love story.” Schneider also mentioned how he had just gotten married during the production, and this new joy carried over into his acting, especially during the special moments between characters Jessica and her best friend, April. “This was a special one. I was falling in love. All of those scenes were really sweet. It was fun to play.”

Anna Faris (“Scary Movie”) plays April, who is also a member of the “in” group, one in which each member is, of course, an attractive, popular cheerleader. When asked how Faris identified with the role, she explains how it embodied experiences that she never had. “This was a high school I didn’t have in my high school reality, I was pretty angry. I was president of the drama club for three years. I turned 16 and looked like I was 11. I looked so young.”

Faris expresses her enthusiasm about working with Schneider, “I’m lucky to work with such a great comedian and such great people. I was really excited to be a part of the project.” The young actress had just finished doing a series of training videos, which she described as just plain “awful.” She is far more excited about her next job, “Lost in Translation,” a comedy starring Bill Murray. Faris plays a movie star who is doing press in Tokyo for her recent film.

Of the many hilarious scenes in “The Hot Chick,” Faris mentions the “pillow fight” scene, where Jessica and all her friends start playfully knocking each other around, as her favorite. Most of them were wearing only shirts and panties, including Jessica, with “her” hairy chest and pits. When asked how Rob liked being seen so often wearing only silky ladies underwear, he notes how he had spent hours on the stairmaster for the part, in order to tone his rear end.

Schneider kept female viewers in mind while playing the role. While sipping his organic tea, Schneider remarks, “I wanted to be respectful to women. I didn’t want to be mocking them; that’s one thing I didn’t want to do because then I’d think it would defeat the purpose of what you are trying to do.” He also mentions the benefits and challenges of playing such a role. On a more serious note, he discovered what it was like to be more emotionally available, and at times “more vulnerable.” To Schneider, this character allowed him to explore such areas.

Brady is well aware of Schneider’s risk-taking abilities. He explains how “He’s willing to do any thing … It’s not like he panders for a laugh. He’s willing to go to the most vulnerable places. He tries things that no one else will, and as a writer and a director, that’s more than you can ever hope for.”

Brady and Schneider met on the television series “Men Behaving Badly,” which had a successful, though short-lived run. Brady’s first significant writing job was on “The Critic,” which began in 1994 and ran for two seasons. He was also a producer of the show. Brady had also written a few episodes for “The Simpsons” and “Home Improvement” before moving on to the more recent films that he co-wrote with Schneider.

The relationship between Brady and Schneider has been successful. Brady remarks how, “Our sensibilities are different … and I think that works.”

When Schneider asked to describe himself, he had quite an amusing response: “Not very tall.”

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