‘BachelorMan’ comes home: A marriage-minded comedian who left Aurora for Hollywood says he’d rather make movies here

Bachelorman interview

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
September 23, 2004

Born and raised in Aurora, Rodney Lee Conover was 18 when he left the western suburbs for Los Angeles. He worked as a stand-up comic. He had bit parts on TV and in films. But like many entertainers — both struggling and otherwise — what he really wanted to do was make his own films.

His romantic comedy “BachelorMan” marks not only Conover’s first foray into filmmaking, but his return to the area.

“The best thing about the movie is it allowed me to come back to Chicago,” says Conover. “It took a long time for me to get some success, but I got to ride [the momentum of] ‘BachelorMan’ back home.”

Since graduating from West Aurora High School in 1977, Conover hasn’t been back except to visit friends and family. Now, he has a place in downtown Chicago and is enjoying the city’s fine night life.

He dates, but doesn’t have a steady girlfriend. And he’s not afraid to admit he looks forward to the day when he can look back fondly on his years as a single man. “I would give up my bachelor days in a second if I met the right woman,” says Conover. “I am always looking for Ms. Right, and when I find her, I’m going to give up all this nonsense. I’m looking for a woman who I think would be a good mommy and someone who wants to go on a really wild adventure ride for the rest of their life.”

Laughing, he adds, “With me, I mean.”

“BachelorMan” was shot in three weeks in Los Angeles last year, but Conover said he toyed with the idea of shooting it in Chicago. Since he was living in Los Angeles at the time, it made fiscal sense to keep it on the West Coast.

“A lot of people assume it was shot in Chicago because they know I’m such a strong supporter of the city,” he says. “I wish it could’ve happened. But it’s funny how things work out because I had to leave Chicago to get my career started. But hopefully that won’t be the case for other local filmmakers here.

“Ideally, movies can be made here not just because [they’re] set in Chicago, but because it’s an attractive place to make a film. I’d like to show the world this is where it can happen.”

You can help that, he says, by flocking to theaters this weekend. Not Monday or Tuesday, but Friday and Saturday.

“If the opening box office weekend is big enough, it’ll help ‘make’ this film,” Conover says. “And if that happens, I promise I’ll just keep making more movies for you right here in Chicago. We don’t need no stinking L.A.”

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