Name That Dish

The tell-tale lineup of trucks and equipment could mean only one thing: a movie company was shooting inside Matteo’s. It was director-star Rob Schneider and his “Big Stan” crew. “It’s my favorite restaurant, and now maybe I’ll get my name on the menu — ‘Scampi a la Rob Schneider’,” he laughed between directing takes.  He’s making his directorial bow on the pic produced by (older) brother John. Rob is now 40. The pic’s budgeted “around $10 million” and Rob’s not taking any salary. The film’s cast includes Jennifer Morrison, David Carradine, Sally Kirkland, Emmet Walsh, Henry Gibson and Don Frye. In the film, Carradine, as The Master, teaches  Schneider several forms of martial arts to protect himself after he ends up in prison for shady dealings. He tells me he filmed scenes “in my favorite prison” — the (unused) women’s penitentiary in Stockton. Another location used was a mansion in Chatsworth.  Schneider, an alumnus of “SNL” and films with Adam Sandler, says he wanted to step out on his own “while I’m still bankable.” The pic’s financed “from a foreign source,” plus sales of territories.  “I’m happy to be away from the studio system. Besides, I don’t think a studio would let us make a movie that’s this funny!”  He and his brother have plans for more films — one they’ve chosen is “The Chosen One.”   

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