“Hot Rod” cast members in Cloverdale during the movie shoot in the summer of 2006, in a photo by Paul Orazietti, executive director of Cloveradale Business Improvement Association. (submitted photo)

“Hot Rod” cast members in Cloverdale during the movie shoot in the summer of 2006, in a photo by Paul Orazietti, executive director of Cloveradale Business Improvement Association. (submitted photo)

SURREY NOW & THEN: ‘Hot Rod’ comedy helped put Cloverdale on movie/TV map

Film backer says Surrey needs to publicize such site highlights, with ‘Smallville’ and more

Depending who’s asked, “Hot Rod” is either the greatest comedy ever or the worst piece of movie trash in the history of Hollywood.

However, one thing is not debatable: Cloverdale is a star of the show, a lovably goofy 2007 flick that finds Andy Samberg as amateur stuntman Rod Kimble, a delusional hero who jumps his sputtering moped from home-built ramps around town.

Arguably more popular movies and TV shows have been shot in and around Cloverdale, but “Hot Rod” might feature more of the neighbourhood than any of them. Recognizable sites include the town centre, rodeo fairgrounds, a house on 57A Avenue and, for one hilarious dance scene, a convenience-store parking lot.

“We have a lot of filming going on here, and ‘Hot Rod’ is part of our storied history,” confirmed Paul Orazietti, executive director of Cloverdale Business Improvement Association.

(Story continues below scene from “Hot Rod”)

A self-described “film guy,” Orazietti often spotlights Cloverdale-filmed productions on Twitter.com/Paradeguy, and has been pushing Surrey tourism officials to create an online map showing such movie/TV sites.

Vancouver has done it, an interactive map showing where different productions were filmed,” Orazietti said. “It could include behind-the-scene shots, things like that. Right now I have a good inventory of stories and photographs for a project like that, and ‘Hot Rod’ would definitely be on the map” – as would “Smallville,” “Supernatural,” “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” and other shoot sites, along with recent productions of “Peacemaker” (a “Suicide Squad” spinoff starring John Cena) and “Superman & Lois.”

For the latter, the “Smallville” backlot now constructed on the rodeo fairgrounds is located where the big bike-jump scene was filmed for “Hot Rod” in the summer of 2006, with Samberg, Isla Fisher, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Will Arnett and other actors.

“They were not well known at the time, but it’s one those things where the show is kind of farcical, so it was a lot of fun,” recalled Orazietti, who was there for the filming. “It was all very colourful stuff, just the nature of what was happening in the film.”

One memorable scene saw hundreds of people march determinedly in Cloverdale’s town centre before a riot breaks out, out of nowhere, to a soundtrack of John Farnham’s uplifting “You’re The Voice.”

“The dancing, the bike jumps, all of it was good fun,” Orazietti continued. “That was a fairly short production and they’d moved around sort of the Cloverdale town centre, and the main house, where Rod lived, was probably three blocks from the downtown.”

(Story continues below photo of Rod’s house, as it appears on Google Street View)

The website filming.90210locations.info reveals some “Hot Rod” shoot locations, with links to Google Street View, of Rod’s house, Dave’s house on Shannon Place, the Food Folks store and Greenaway Park, where the “Parkdale Public Pool Jump” happened.

In her mid-teens at the time, Brittany Tiplady’s single scene in “Hot Rod” was filmed not far from where she lived in Cloverdale. She plays Maggie, the girl who offers beverages to the gang just as Rod is submerged in a backyard pool, as a test of his lung capacity.

“People really remember that scene, which is really funny,” Tiplady recalled.

For her, comedic acting was something a bit different than the more dramatic roles that kept her busy as a child actor. She auditioned for “Hot Rod” but didn’t hear back “for a really long time” — until not long before it was time to film.

“I was excited about it because it was being filmed in Cloverdale, and we’d usually have to go to Vancouver (for film work),” Tiplady said. “I grew up in Cloverdale and went to Tweedsmuir, so it was literally a stone’s throw from my house, and it was the only time I filmed so close to home.”

(Story continues below videos of “Hot Rod” scenes in Cloverdale)

Tiplady wasn’t at the fairgrounds for the film’s climactic bike-jump scenes, but remembers people saying how exciting it was.

“The people in that film were just wonderful, and every time I watch Andy Samberg or Bill Hader now, I always remember how kind and real and normal they were, and I really think it was a great experience for everyone involved,” Tiplady said.

“Their humour, I feel, was very niche at the time,” she continued. “There was a lot of improvising and a lot of things as a dramatic actor that were pretty new to me. The vibe was great, but I had no idea how the movie was going to be received. I remember when it came out, I was still in high school and I went to see it with a bunch of friends, and the theatre was just howling. That was something new to me, where I was in a theatre with people laughing at a movie I had acted in.

“It’s something I still get messages about – you know, ‘Oh my God, were you in ‘Hot Rod’?!” added Tiplady, who now runs Loose Lips Media with longtime friend Kristi Alexandra. “The film, I don’t think it’s something I expected to be quite the cult classic it is now, and I don’t mean that negatively at all.”

(Story continues below tweets)

Orazietti says he gets some calls and messages about “Hot Rod” and other Cloverdale-area shoots, but the TV show “Smallville” still generates the most interest, from his standpoint.

“People from Kenya have called, Australia, and I had a preacher from Utah who came and interviewed everybody involved with it, so I started putting those sites on my social media, my eclectic Twitter handle,” Orazietti said. “Now those ‘Smallville’ fans are finding out about ‘Superman & Lois’ being done here. Having filming here like that really has a profound impact on the community, because of the rent money paid to the rodeo, things like that. And we’re seeing money spent locally. All the wood in ‘Smallville’ (on the backlot) is locally sourced.

“I have business people who are doing really well from the film industry,” he added. “Filming is a bright light locally, and we’ve really had some magic moments. And we want to let more people know that, where it’s happening locally here in Cloverdale.”

Surrey Now & Then is a weekly look back at Surrey-area landmark sites and events, and how they evolved over the years. Email story ideas and tips to tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com. We thank Surrey Archives for assistance with this series.

CLICK HERE to read more Surrey Now & Then stories in this series, or see some below:

VIDEO: Inside the Whalley building that’s been vacant for two decades.

‘Spy house’ now a pub, a dream project of man who didn’t live to see it open.

Rickshaw sign stands as a reminder of Jung family’s restaurant days.

Peace Arch monument turns 100, but party plans paused.

‘Pachinko’ filming now the focus of former newspaper press building.


Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

historyMovies & TV

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey-White Rock MLA Trevor Halford and Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux. (Contributed photos)
BC NDP ‘chose to create a system of chaos’ by holding back COVID-19 data: Cadieux

South Surrey MLAs criticize provincial government after BCCDC documents leak

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

Surrey woman a face of World Ovarian Cancer Day campaign in London, New York

‘It’s so important we find better treatments,’ Catherine Eiswerth says

The map shows the number of COVID-19 cases for the week of April 25 to May 1. The darkest areas indicate communities with a daily average of more than 20 cases per 100,000 population. (BC Centre of Disease Control)
Surrey and Abbotsford battle for top COVID hotspot in Fraser Health

Two communities are among areas across province showing highest transmission

Ocean Athletics’ Roy Jiang – a senior at Southridge School – will study, run track and play clarinet at the California Institute of Technology beginning this fall. (Gordon Kalisch/Fast Track Sports Photography)
‘Triple-threat’ Southridge School student runs toward CalTech

Roy Jiang will compete on track team, play in the university’s symphony and study bioengineering

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

Most Read