Interview : Allen Covert

We welcome Marcie Somers to Moviehole!

He’s had his nuts crushed by a football – twice; he’s sported a mullet and a red leather Michael Jackson Thriller jacket, he’s been a crazy caddy for a former hockey player; and he’s been the gay roommate for the son of Satan.

This time around, the closet he’s coming out of has nothing to do with being gay and his roommate certainly isn’t gay. With 17 movies under his belt, Allen Covert is finally breaking out of his supporting role niche and writing, producing and starring in his own film, “Grandma’s Boy”, produced by Adam Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison.

The story of an adult video-game tester forced to move in with his grandmother, “Grandma’s Boy” begins with Covert’s character (Alex) getting evicted after his roommate spends their rent money on hookers. He’s forced to move in with his grandmother (Doris Roberts) and her two roommates, the 80-something, alcoholic-slash sexaholic Grace (Shirley Jones) and the pill-popping, off-her-octogenarian-rocker Bea (Shirley Knight). Naturally comedy ensues when his friends meet her friends resulting in what Covert calls an inter-ageal relationship. “We knew that once the story would be about young people and older ladies, we had to have a sex scene between one of them and one of the young guys,” says Covert.

Enter Shirley Jones, most known for her role as the morally wholesome matriarch in the 70’s sitcom, “The Partridge Family”. Quips Jones “I’m certainly not Mrs. Partridge in this movie.”

The “party scene”, according to Covert is the scene where the characters really let loose – where everything and anything goes, including short shorts and bikini tops that come off. When Grandma accidentally mistakes Alex’s weed for oolong tea and makes herself a soothing cuppa, things go awry, sparks fly and the scene begins.

“I come home with they guys from work and there is my grandmother rolling around on the floor, watching Spanish television, laughing because she can’t understand what anyone is saying,” explains Covert. “Then I call my friend, Dante (Peter Dante) to ask if he has anymore weed, and he shows up with the entire staff and clientele of the local strip club.”

Throw in a monkey, an African tribesman and the unexpected granny hook-up and you’ve got an R rating.

As with many films, it’s not surprising, that the movie was inspired by some of Covert’s real life experiences – including a rendezvous with an older woman while on a family vacation in England. “She was 36 and I was 17. I think it was the question ‘would you like to come back and get some tea?’ that clinched the deal for me. But it wasn’t like I was being taken advantage of, trust me,” he says with a wink.

“Grandma’s Boy” was also inspired by Covert’s experience of living with his grandmother and father. It was several months of too-close-for-comfort living in a 2-bedroom condo while he helped his father recover from bypass surgery. At the time, Covert was in his early 30s. It was challenging to say the least, being with his 85-year-old grandmother and living life as any guy would in his 30s. “It meant that there were a lot of things that I had to hide from her”, Covert says. “Like my tattoos”.

Covert is going to have to hide a lot more from his grandmother this time around — like his masturbation scene to a Lara Croft doll. He may have been able to hide things from her 10 years ago, but not this time. True to form, she’ll stop at nothing to attend the premiere of “Grandma’s Boy”. “I just hope I won’t be sitting next to her when she sees it, but a part of me is like, I gotta be next to her to calm her down.”

Grandma’s Boy is set for release on January 6, 2006.

– Marcie Somers

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