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Questions and Answers From Tribeca: Rob Dyrdek

Rob Dyrdek Getty Images

Well, there's no other way to put it: Rob Dyrdek is a busy guy.

The skateboarding icon became a reality TV star with his hit MTV shows "Rob & Big" and "Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory"; since then he's done everything from being featured in video games to having his own body spray scent, and most recently he's gotten into clip hosting with his current show "Ridiculousness" (also on MTV).

But as you'll see in the Tribeca Film Festival entry "The Motivation," he hasn't forgotten where he's come from as the film highlights his passion project: Street League Skateboarding.

In the film, which premieres at the fest on April 25, we follow a handful of the greatest skateboarders in the world as they prepare to compete in Dyrdek's SLS, which is devised of competitions on a one-of-a-kind skate course that tests these skilled pros to the breaking point.

We had the chance to chat with Dyrdek as he was scrambling around L.A. before jumping on a plane to Brazil for the next installment of SLS, learning everything from his craziest fan proposition to what kind of film festival he'd create … if he had the time.

It seems from the movie that Street League Skateboarding is all about if your skills are top-notch that day, not what you’ve done in past heats or competitions. Was that your intention?
Without a doubt. I think there's a lot of X factors, but not only is it built to always be dramatic —w e refined the format to ensure that it comes down to those last couple of tricks — it really boils down to who can land these moves when it matters. That’s what makes it different from most sports events.

The Motivation Tribeca Film Festival

I can see "The Motivation" being an inspiration for a lot of aspiring professional skateboarders. Was there a skateboarding movie you and the guys you grew up with watched a lot?
I don't think so. When we were young the inspiration came from the skate video. It wasn't anything that made it to a major feature film; those that tried were super corny in the '80s and '90s.

Do you ever get to skate any more?
I mean, if you would have asked me a month ago I would have told you hardly at all, but I've been on this skate bender lately where I've been literally skating every single day. It comes and goes in waves. I've been skating so much I want to skate the course in Brazil and just mess around and have some fun, but it takes me really skating a ton to even feel comfortable out on a course.

And the Brazil course layout will be different than the one we see in the movie?
Yeah. Every layout is completely different. Because when you get down to the intricacies, I make sure we get a different type of skating each contest.

You famously spent an episode of "Rob & Big" breaking world records. Is there one that's closest to your heart?
I mean they're all kind of fake. They were so easy to do. When I was shooting "Rob & Big" I was like, "Man, there's no world record I can do." And I looked at the book and I was like, "What? These are so easy." I did 27 of them in one day. I don't think I can go out and say any of those are near and dear to my heart. I see it more as a hustle, like given an opportunity I was able to get 27 world record plaques that no one can take away from me even through any skate kid could go break any of those records. But if there was one, it would be the world's biggest skateboard. You have to have a lot of money to surpass that one.

I thought I read someone made a larger one.
No, the same guy who made mine did another one that is just a bit smaller.

Rob Dyrdek Getty Images

What's your favorite thing about New York?
It depends of course on what particular ebb and flow of my life I'm in. If I was to go there right now it would be the dining. It's the best restaurants in the world. And one time there I was even caught in a restaurant where they fly in chicks with bottles like they're Superman.

What?!
Man, that crazy ass club; it's not a club, it's a restaurant, but you order a bottle of Champagne, they turn on the "Superman" theme music, a guy walks out with dry ice, sprays clouds across the restaurant and then they carry a chick with the bottle as if she's Superman to your table. The place is called Bagatelle. That's it.

And they brought the bottle out for me and accidentally flew it to the wrong table, and they were like, "Oh, we messed up, here's your bottle." And I was like, "No way, go back to the kitchen and fly to my table." You can't do a fly-by and just think you're going to drop the bottle off. Interesting night, to say the least.

Is there a least favorite thing about NYC?
I guess it would be that I can get lost easily. People always say, "Oh, it's so easy." But my sense of direction in New York is terrible.

If you were like Robert De Niro and started a film festival of your own, what would yours be like?
Man, that's putting me on the spot. When I think about it I think about a festival of the most random stuff. It could only be like a documentary about someone who lives with an elephant, you know what I mean? Stuff that's super bizarre, and it would take place in the desert somewhere in giant tents. If I were to go that route. But I wouldn't be on some skate s**t, it would be some weird stuff, like dressing dogs in pantyhose. That would be the opening movie.

The Motivation Tribeca Film Festival

In "The Motivation" a fan shows you that she has a tattoo of your face on her stomach. Have you ever had a fan experience crazier than that?
I don't know if I can necessarily top a face tat. That's pretty far out there. And the funny thing is I signed the autograph, "No more tattoos." [Laughs] I was like, what? But you know what I get every day is business proposals from different people from all over the world and some of them are so absolutely amazing. They are the most random, crazy ideas and the craziest requests. I got a FedEx of a bottle with a note in it from a 15-year-old kid asking for a million dollars and if I gave him the million dollars I would have a lifelong friend and someone who was committed to being there for me and listening to any of my problems. I thought that was pretty amazing. I just like the audacity. It's the layers. You could have just sent a letter, but you FedEx a bottle with a letter inside the bottle? You got me! I have to read this.

What is your porn name (first pet/street you grew up on)?
I've been through this exercise so many times. It is Sweet Pea Fremont. It always makes me so happy that my porn name is Sweet Pea and I'm so glad that this game worked out because if it was my second pet it would be Friday and it would be less fun.

I thought you were just about to put me on the spot and get creative and in my brain I went straight to Duke Chapter for some reason. That's the first name that came to my head.

Well, now I'm imaging Sweat Pea Fremont and Duke Chapter are a team and they have a series of porn adventures.
See, now you've just taken it too far.

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