By Emily Davenport
When 15-year-old Tre Peart was 8 years old, he first read the book “The War with Grandpa” by Robert Kimmel Smith. When he went to see if there was a movie about it, he was surprised to see that there wasn’t one yet.
“The rule was I can’t watch the movie until I read the book,” said Peart. “Once I read the book, I was excited to watch the movie, but I couldn’t because there wasn’t one. Luckily my parents are in the movie business, I wasn’t sure what they did at the time but I asked my mom if this could be a movie.”
Peart’s parents are Marvin Peart, CEO of Brookdale Studios/Chief Business Officer and Founding Partner of 101 Studios, and Rosa Peart, Co-Founder Marro Media Company. He initially went to his mother to ask about making the movie, who read through the book and thought it would be a good idea to make a movie about the film. She told Peart that he had to pitch the movie to his father to see if would get made.
“My mom pulled me aside and said, ‘We’re gonna tell your dad, this is what you call a pitch — tell him about the movie and why you think this would be a good movie,” said Peart. “Dad eventually agreed and we got the process started.”
Produced by Marvin Peart and Rosa Peart, as well as Tre Peart himself, “The War With Grandpa” follows the story of Peter Denker (played by Oakes Fegley), who’s life changes when he’s forced to give up his bedroom so his grandfather Ed (Robert De Niro) moves in. Desperate to get his room back, Peter starts a prank war with Ed in an effort to win his room back. The film also stars Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken, Rob Riggle, Cheech Marin, Laura Marano and Jane Seymour.
It was actually Peart’s idea to cast De Niro in the film, and at 9 years old he made a video to recruit him into the film.
“I had said originally that Robert De Niro would be a great actor for it,” said Peart. “I had heard of him, my parents talked about him a lot, they love him and had seen almost all of his movies. I made a video for him telling him how much fun it would be to be in this movie.”
Even at his young age, Peart was heavily involved in a lot of the pre-production and production of “The War with Grandpa.” Throughout the process, Peart pitched jokes for the movie, was involved in casting and post-production choices — the song used for the end credits was Peart’s idea.
Peart particularly liked being on set for filming because he enjoyed talking to the actors and watching how the movie came together.
“There was a scene that I enjoyed making in Sky Zone. I was able to see how it all unfolded,” said Peart. “It was a dodgeball scene, and I was able to see the stunt doubles and how they made it happen, as well as the mixing and matching behind the scenes to make it look like De Niro was doing flips.”
Peart still has an interest in making films and is currently taking a film class at his high school. Peart hopes that families who see “The War with Grandpa” will embrace their family and the little moments that can bring you together.
“I’d say look at it from a first-person view as if you’re the character,” said Peart. “You should be able to have fun with your family and enjoy each other’s company at the end of the day because no matter what arguments you have, you’re family.”
“The War With Grandpa” premieres on Oct. 9.
This article first appeared on our sister site, amny.com