Animals Hit the Red Carpet at Sony with a little help from Rob Schneider and his Goat.EXCLUSIVE report from Paul Fischer in Los Angeles
It was like a miniature Noah's Ark, but these animals were not in pairs and oh so well behaved. On the Sony lot in Culver City, the red carpet was in readiness for one of the more unusual premieres of the year: The world premiere of the trailer for the new Rob Schneider comedy, The Animal, which Columbia is touting here as one of their big Summer films. Marching in unison down the red carpet was an assortment of exotic animals, from a cougar and the original Beethoven dog, to a sheep, pig, Sheba, 11-month old bear and even a 15-year old elephant from Asia. At the end of it all, escorting Hoover the goat, was the more human Rob Schneider, in his second starring role following the surprise hit Deuce Bigelow. In fact, Schneider couldn't resist asking Rosie the elephant how many times he'd seen Bigelow. I believe he stomped three times. Ah yes, the life of a movie journalist is thankless at times.
As for The Animal, Schneider plays a wimpy would-be cop who is critically injured in a car accident, before being brought to live by an evil scientist (played by Aussie Michael Caton from The Castle) who infuses Schneider with animal parts. The wimp discovers the beast within. Introducing the trailer to the small media contingent, Schneider joked that the movie "is destined to appeal more to primates than other animals" and encourages moviegoers to defy tradition "and bring your favourite animal to the theatre. They'll dig it." After the screening, Schneider chatted to me about working with Aussie legend Caton, who is making his Hollywood debut in The Animal. "We wanted him because I became such a huge fan of The Castle", Schneider remarked with Hoover the goat in toe. He added that star Caton "is such a huge cultural icon down there I was actually nervous to be working with him." The comic actor even conceded that he "was constantly being upstaged by Michael. I'm the straight man in scenes with hi m, trust me." Caton plays the comic villain and decided, "to tone down his Aussie accent for the part. I would have been happy if it had been broader." Schneider, who has travelled extensively, said, "he longs to get to Australia", but questioned how he would get along with "the weird wildlife you've got down under."
If he can handle a goat, (who also seems to steal the movie if the trailer is anything to go by), Rob Schneider is game for anything.
Look who pops up in this film...Survivor star lives on
Colleen Haskell (Rianna) captured the hearts of millions of Americans after struggling through over 30 days on an island in Malaysia with the original cast of Survivor.
Born and raised in Bethesda, Maryland, Haskell graduated from Walter Johnson High in 1994 where she enjoyed drama, working backstage in lighting, sound and set design. She went on to earn a bachelor's degree in Theater from the University of Georgia. During her time at UGA she took a six-month internship with the London Film Festival. After graduating, Haskell spent two months in Ghana, West Africa, before returning to Miami, Florida to enroll in a two-year portfolio program at Miami Ad School. It was while in Miami, at a local mall, that she saw the open casting call for contestants for Survivor.
Now that she has survived her island ordeal, Haskell plans to make a move West, possibly San Francisco. She continues to receive a steady stream of offers from the entertainment industry. The Animal is Haskell's feature film debut.
- Paul Fischer