The new family comedy, The War with Grandpa is based on Robert Kimmel Smith‘s book of the same name. The film adaptation features an all-star cast including Robert De Niro, Jane Seymour, Christopher Walken, Cheech Marin, Rob Riggle, Uma Thurman, Oakes Fegley, and Laura Marano. The story follows Peter (Fegley), a middle schooler who wages war on his Grandpa Jack (De Niro) after his parent tells him that he has to relocate from his bedroom to the attic. I found the film to be very reminiscent of a 90s Nickelodeon film and was an enjoyable watch.
Prior to the film’s release, I got to speak with several cast members from the film including Cheech Marin, Jane Seymour, Oakes Fegley, Laura Marano, and Rob Riggle. This is my interview with Cheech Marin and Jane Seymour who play Danny and Diane in the film.
Scott Menzel: Hi, Jane. Hi, Cheech.
Cheech Marin: Hello.
Scott Menzel: An honor to be talking to both of you, legends in my book.
Cheech Marin: My pleasure.
Scott Menzel: First and foremost, I feel like this is a much different type of film that I’m used to seeing both of you in, but it looked like a real blast to be a part of. Can you talk a little bit about how you got involved with the project?
Jane Seymour: Well, I was offered it, and when I heard who was in the cast, I didn’t even want to read it. And I just said, “Yeah, I’m in.” Then I read it and I just thought this is really charming and funny, and I could just see all these different characters in it. I thought it was going to be a winner, so that’s why I joined.
Cheech Marin: I had the same experience. I was offered the role and I said, “Oh, these guys are going to be in it? I could probably squeeze them into my schedule.” And so I thought it was going to be a unique experience, and indeed it was.
Scott Menzel: One of the things that I enjoyed so much about this movie… I mean, we’ve seen little kids have fun. That’s no big deal. But to see you guys, and Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken all act like a bunch of little kids, that made this movie. It seriously made this movie. What was it like working alongside De Niro?
Cheech Marin: Well, I was thrilled to be in a De Niro movie and not get whacked, you know? And I don’t get whacked or mutilated? Oh, cool. I’ll do that. It was a thrill working with him. He was a pleasure to work with.
Jane Seymour: Well, they told me I was going to be the potential love interest for Robert De Niro, and I said, “Yes.” He is an extraordinary actor. And to have the privilege of actually being on the court with him as it were, really playing with him, he’s just a generous actor. He’s totally natural. He’s really there. It was beyond my expectation, and I’m just so thrilled I did it.
Scott Menzel: For each of you, we’ll start with Cheech, what was your favorite scene in the film?
Cheech Marin: I liked the bouncy house, the trampoline, that one, the dodgeball scene. That was fun. But then walking down the street with just him and Chris Walken, spouting snappy dialogue was always fun, too. And then we just did a bunch of those and okay, go home. I liked that. I liked [inaudible 00:02:36] like that. And you don’t get whacked.
Jane Seymour: Well, I mean, obviously the physicality and the amusement of the dodgeball scene, which I think is one of the great scenes in the movie, was amazing. But I really enjoyed just even trying to help him figure out how to go through the grocery store and when he comes to me and he asked me if I’ll join in and help. It’s hard for me to tell because that was just the two of us and the other one was all of us. It was pretty wild and crazy and fun.
Scott Menzel: I really loved the climax scene of the film at the birthday party. I thought that really kind of tied everything together so perfectly. They’re telling me to wrap, but again, once again, thank you so very much for doing this interview with me, both of your icons in this industry, and keep up the great work and keep fighting the good fight.