The US comedy star makes the leap from screen to stage
Rob Schneider has played a lot of different roles: he's been an Animal, a Male Gigolo (twice) and a Hot Chick, but one role he hasn't played in a while, is that of stand up comedian.
"I felt like I never really accomplished in stand up what I wanted to, which was to be able to talk about what was happening in the world, my take on it, in a funny way" says Schneider, as he prepares to bring his ‘Registered Offender' show to our shores.
Schneider isn't the first actor to come full circle and return to the stage with just a mic as co-star. It seems to be a passion that a lot of comedians can't shake.
"You always think the grass is greener," he laughs. "You can't win; when you're on stage, you want to be in movies, when you're in movies, you're dying to get back on the stage. But there is something about standing alone in front of a packed theatre making everybody laugh."
While his movies may not be critically successful there's no doubting Schneider's work rate, and the same applies to his stand up. He took a year off to develop the show, honed it in small clubs across America, and finally took it on the road. But with all the preparation does he still stress about bombing out?
"Well, I've only been doing this show for over a year. I've developed three hours of material and I feel comfortable with an hour of it. You have to figure out places that people don't want to go to, sometimes I can be too offensive, then I've got to decide if my references to American pop culture will work in Australia, so you're always reworking it" says the self confessed Aussieophile.
Schneider's love for Australia is borne out of affection for Peter Weir, as well as Priscilla and Strictly Ballroom, but his admiration doesn't end there.
"The best thing about Australia: Russell Crowe. Russell Crowe is the last real leading man to come out in movies. I see Leonardo Dicaprio and Brad Pitt and I'm not scared of those guys: I know if I go into a bar, if I had to I could beat both of them up. But if Russell walks in I'd look for a pool cue to defend myself. Like Clint Eastwood or Steve McQueen, he's a mans' man."
It seems that Schneider's fighting days are over however, and he admits he's getting older, and has decided to try his hand at directing. Schneider directed Little Stan in 2008, but The Chosen One, to be released later this year, is more dramatic, something he isn't accustomed to.
"It's about a guy who thinks his life is over, but he needs to learn that what other people see in you is all that matters, maybe I'm getting older, there's things I want to tell and show. I've been in this for 25 years and I wanted to sit down and do something that's fun for me, so I did" says Schneider.
Before he can sit down Rob Schneider has to stand up, and while he's nervous, he's not worried. "I don't worry about the success or failure anymore, which is a nice place to be. And with stand up you get that immediately, the response, so I'm excited."