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The Munros and the Gornickes
After screenwriter Geoff Rodkey (Daddy Day Care) delivered his script about a man who has trouble juggling his personal and professional life, the producers sought out the ideal actor to play the central role of Bob Munro — the ideal being Robin Williams. "He's the first person we thought of,” says Fisher, "because we wanted someone you believe would take his family on an RV trip and would, at the same time, be completely ill-equipped to do all the mechanical handyman work required. And we were so happy when Robin said yes, because he has heart and he's one of the world's most brilliant comic actors.”

To shepherd Williams through the comic zigs and zags of RV, Fisher and Wick also aimed high, setting their sights on the man who directed such major comedy hits as The Addams Family and Men in Black™ films as well as Get Shorty. "We really wanted a director who was funny and who could bring an original touch to the movie,” says Fisher. I had worked with Barry on Men in Black. He's incredibly talented and really funny.”

"Barry is one of the funniest people you will ever be in a room with,” adds Wick, "and he also has exquisite visual taste, having originally been a cinematographer for the Coen brothers, among others. So I knew he would bring a theatricality that you don't often get in these kinds of family movies.”

While Wick saw Williams' character as his own alter ego, Sonnenfeld also strongly identified with Bob Munro. "Robin is essentially playing me,” Sonnenfeld confesses. "I'm not sure he was even aware of it, but every time Bob was scared or ran out of the RV screaming because of a raccoon, or wanted to be the first guy in the meal line, he was playing me — a sort of self-centered Jewish guy, even though the character in the movie is in no way Jewish. "

While Williams may not have been aware of how closely Bob Munro's character mirrored that of his director, he says he certainly got an inkling when Sonnenfeld described the Munros' disaster-prone journey as a "gefilte-fish-out-of-water kind of family” story.

"To this day, I have personally never driven an RV,” says Sonnenfeld. "In fact, I never even drove one of the RVs in this movie around the parking lot. I think the largest vehicle I ever drove was maybe my 1962 Lincoln convertible.”

Williams, on the other hand, was required to get behind the wheel of an RV on a daily basis throughout production. "Yeah, I drove it,” Williams says with a roll of the eyes, "starting with the training sessions, which I needed because the RV is so big. I learned that they have a very wide turning radius, and you can take out everything around you if you're not careful. If you don't go wide on a turn you'll do a lot of damage. In the movie we actually do a lot of damage both to the RV and other things, because it takes Bob so long to get the hang of it.”

Playing Travis Gornicke, the head of the other main family in the story, is Jeff Daniels who, much to Sonnenfeld's delight, is a seasoned RV driver in real life. "When his agent was trying to get Jeff the job, he called me up and said, ‘You gotta hire Jeff. He really knows RVs. He drives them all the time. He even has a song about RVs,' — which, in fact, he did,” Sonnenfeld laughs. "It's an incredibly funny song about how Jeff and his family drove from Michigan to Cooperstown, New York in an RV during which he accidentally left his wife at a truck stop.”

And Daniels' agent wasn't bluffing either. Once the actor had been cast, he hopped into his own RV and drove it from Michigan to Vancouver, British Columbia, for the start of principal photography. "I wanted to make a point to Barry and the whole movie crew,” Daniels explains. "I wanted to them to think, ‘He's what? No! He's flying a private jet out, right? You mean he's really driving his RV from Michigan to Vancouver?' Alo

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