Screen legend Jane Seymour chats with STACK about playing dodgeball with Robert De Niro and working a store checkout in the new family-comedy, The War with Grandpa.
Kids love their grandparents, including Peter Decker (Oakes Fegley) – an everyday, happy-go-lucky kid. That is until he discovers that his grandpa (Robert De Niro) is not only moving in with his family, but will also be taking over Peter’s bedroom. Having been displaced, Peter draws up a declaration of war against the old fella, triggering a secret-skirmish and an all-out battle of wits whereby the winner takes the bedroom.
In the spirit of Home Alone, The War with Grandpa is a fun-filled festive comedy romp full of slapstick hijinks and a stellar all-star cast including De Niro, Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour, Rob Riggle, Uma Thurman and Cheech Marin. It’s a comedy gift for all generations.
Speaking with STACK, Hollywood legend Jane Seymour delights in starring in such a frivolous and wholesome movie. “I can’t wait for my grandkids to see this, I know they’re going to love it.”
Of the many antics throughout the movie, one of the most notable (and hilarious) sequences involves the entire ensemble cast participating in an intense game of trampoline dodgeball, which Seymour recalls fondly.
“I have worked with Christopher Walken before on Wedding Crashers, and so that was quite fun, and Cheech I have known socially. But as for Mr. De Niro, I mean that was a wow moment. To actually share the screen with him is a lifelong dream really, and being on screen with them all at once in that sequence, you can imagine what that was like. It was really, really funny.”
Seymour’s character works in a large department store and spends much of her time behind the checkout register, which she recalls with equal frustration and humour.
“The store was actually open in other areas and I would sometimes walk around between shooting. I would forget I was wearing my uniform and people kept coming up to me asking if they could return things and could I help them find this and do that,” she laughs. “I felt like I had a full-time job and then when they needed me back on set, I had to tell the store manager that I had to go back and shoot with Robert De Niro!”
Moreover, she recalls having to spend much of the movie in activewear, adding with a laugh, “I am never that comfortable. Usually they’ve got me in some ridiculous thing with high heels. This was a very comfortable show.”
One of the more peculiar things about the production of The War with Grandpa is that one of its executive producers was 11-year-old Tre Peart, who brought the book to his producer parents and suggested they adapt it into a movie. They chose to involve him in the production, and by spearheading the entire project, he brings a unique and surreal quality to it.
“I can tell you, when I was on the set, I saw this young kid sitting there like he owned the place – which clearly he did,” Seymour laughs, “and then we would finish doing a scene and he would go up to Mr. De Niro and he’d say ‘good job’. Everyone thought it was hilarious seeing an 11-year-old telling Robert De Niro he had just done a good job. But it was sweet and it was very cool, actually.”