About The Production
"Joe Dirt is this plucky, brave, upbeat, nothing-gets-him-down guy," explains Dennie Gordon, making her feature film directorial debut with
Joe Dirt. "He's an inspiration to everybody he meets. He gets punched. He gets pummeled. He gets pooped on. Everything in the world happens to this guy, but Joe Dirt picks himself up and keeps on going."
Emmy Award-nominated actor/comedian David Spade stars as the irrepressible Dirt. "Negativity's puke, don't eat it. Life's a garden, dig it," says Spade, reciting some Of his character's favorite mottoes.
"You have to feel sorry for the guy because his parents dump him when he's eight," says Spade. "He spends the rest of his life looking for them and sleeping in backyards and doghouses and railroad tracks. You'd think he'd sleep
next to the railroad tracks in case there's a train, but no—a pillow right
on the tracks. He hopes for the best.
"Honestly, I think it's kind of good for kids," continues Spade. "I mean, here's a guy that's just trying to be a good guy. He's not mean to people, and he's not sarcastic, and he's not a jerk. I think kids need to see the message there. Don't be a quitter. Work hard and get what you want."
Spade says this is the first time he has ever played a character that is likable.
"It's a big switch for me," he says. "I think it's fun for people to see something different."
"This is a role David Spade was born to play," adds Gordon. "He has tremendous heart. He's a wonderful actor. He brings so much to this party. There's comedy, but there are also heart-tugging moments. David has this inherent sweetness that a lot of people haven't seen because his characters are kind of satirical and caustic. When they see David Spade play Joe Dirt, they're going to see a whole new David Spade.
"I walked on coals to get this movie," Gordon laughs. "I wanted this movie bad. It is one of the funniest scripts I've ever read. The jokes are really fresh; they are jokes you've never seen before. I had a sense early on of what I wanted it to be—and what it could be—and, luckily, that was in tandem with what Adam
Sandler, David Spade and the studio all had in mind."
"When I first met Dennie, she was so into it," says Spade. "She said, 'I love this movie more than anything I've read, and I've got to do it. You have to help me get this thing.' She had all this homework done with the cast and the locations. She was ready to go and I was like, wow, I want someone that's just going to rally."
Spade worked closely with Gordon and his co-writer Fred Wolf to keep the look and feel of the film on track. "We talked back and forth," says Spade. "It was good to have a director that was in my groove. She said, 'Look, I dig your script. If
I'm starting to veer off, let me know."
"We were really careful about every scene," Spade continues. "We constantly asked, what's funny?
Is there somet:hing to say? Is there a throwaway joke? Is there a set piece? I didn't want any dead space. We wanted this movie to look a bit skewed with a little personality, and Dennie is great at picking out lenses and camera angles. We had a blast with her. She's a total cheerleader."
"We had the dreamiest cast," gushes Gordon. "This script attracted some amazing people. one of the first to sign on was Kid Rock. He's making
his feature debut, and he is amazing. It's not surprising that someone like him, a killer musical performer, would be a killer actor."
Rock plays Robby, Brandy's suitor and Joe Dirt's rival. "We really wanted Kid Rock for the movie," Gordon explains. "David had him halfway there. When Kid finally called me back, I was out scouting. I'm on a bus with 40 people, and they're listening to me persuade Kid Rock to make this movie. I said, 'If there's ever<
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