Rob's college roommate was Ivan Raimi, brother of his future business partner, Sam Raimi.
Rob and his business partner Sam Raimi were asked to do a remake of the John Woo film The Killer. Believing that they couldn't make a better version of the film, they decided to make one with John Woo instead. Hard Target was released in 1993 and starred Jean-Claude Van Damme, Yancy Butler, Arnold Vosloo, and Lance Henriksen.
When briefing the writer Missy Good Rob said that they should bury Gabrielle up to the neck and knock her head off playing polo. A few minutes later Rob told Missy that one thing Lucy hated was to get wet and Renee hated to be buried in sand. Missy said, "But you just said that's what we're going to do!" Rob replied, "Yeah, and you'll get blamed."
Rob and his partner Sam Raimi have formed Ghost House Productions to produce horror films. Their first two were The Grudge and Boogeyman. They also have a remake of their own cult film The Evil Dead in the pipeline.
Rob is a huge sci-fi fan, so he decided he wanted to make a sci-fi show. But he didn't want to do anything that took itself too seriously (like Earth: Final Conflict) and he didn't want to do Outer Space. So he went underground with Cleopatra 2525!
De Beers Jewelers bought a bunch of advertizing during an episode of Xena and the studio promised them that the show would feature a gemstone. When he was told of this deal, Rob asked, "Will it work if Gabrielle gives Xena a wedding ring?" The studio responded with an emphatic "No!"
One of the reasons Rob got a story credit for the Xena episode "Sins of the Past" was because he added the character Gabrielle, knowing that she (always in his own mind played by Renee O'Connor) was just what the show needed to be a success.
Rob told the studio that he didn't want to do a show about Hercules, he wanted to do Conan. But he was told that the rights to that franchise were too entangled. So Rob made the five Hercules movies, never thinking that they were going to be the piots for a tv show.
One of the things that the studio told Rob he couldn't do on his show was kill a mother in the teaser. Rob's response? "Sure I can", and proved it in the Hercules episode "Outcast". Another thing they told him he couldn't do was kill a child. So in the Xena episode "Callisto" Rob put a shot of a boy "hiding" with his eyes open- or was he dead?!
Rob and his partner Sam Raimi did the two hour pilot for the tv show M.A.N.T.I.S. and then got pushed off the project because they had difficulties with the people from the "feature" side of the studio. They cast Gina Torres and Bobby Hosea for the main roles, but they were recast after they left. But Rob used them both again on Xena and other shows.
The ship which Rob insisted on building for Xena was called Rob's Folly, and it had holes in the side so that one could fish from it.
Rob does all of the cooking in his household, since he's an excellent cook and Lucy isn't.
Rob is spoofed in the Hercules episodes "Yes Virginia, There Is a Hercules" and "For Those of You Just Joining Us". He is played by his old friend Bruce Campbell and his love of fishing is lampooned as well.
Rob changed the ending in the director's cut for the DDV release of the final Xena episode in response to fans' outrage that Gabrielle was shown in the last shot alone. He says that if he knew how upset that would make the fans he never would have done it that way in the first place.
Rob said in an interview before the final episode of Xena aired that he wasn't going to kill the characters. He hated to lie, but he was afraid the inevitable uproar would ruin the show's ending.
Rob Tapert: (On why and how he picked Xena's weapon) I had a book of ancient weapons and I saw this weird discus called the chakram and I said let's give her this because it can return and we'll never have another character use it. John Schulian [series writer] said he hated it and said we should cut around it. I told him 'that weapon is the coolest thing I'd ever seen' - it's her signature piece.
Rob Tapert: (On how he'd like Xena to be remembered) I'd like Xena: Warrior Princess to be remembered as a show that entertained people during a portion of the last decade of this millennium, and that the people who watched it took whatever they wanted from it and used it in a positive and useful way in their lives.
Rob Tapert: (On Cleopatra 2525) I was a huge fan of science fiction. In my warped little mind, I saw a chance to spin sci-fi differently than it had been done before, which was to take it in an irreverent direction. And hopefully, in making it irreverent, but supporting it production-wise, it wouldn't just be junk.
Rob: (On Kevin Sorbo appearing in the Xena episode God Fearing Child) I'm really glad he did the episode. I can't tell you how much I think of him for coming back to do that episode. It wasn't all that hard. He also wanted the chance to be a part of that story.
Rob: (On the exact nature of Xena and Gabrielle's relationship) Xena and Gabrielle are the best of mates, and whether they have a sexual relationship is kind of their own business. But they do certainly love one another. They would die for one another.
Rob: To have any amount of creative freedom in television or in movies is a unique position, and very few people enjoy it. For me, it's what made me love television: I had that freedom that you don't enjoy in the movie business.
Rob: (On his inspiration for "Xena") She was based upon characters from Hong Kong movies - conflicted villainesses who had some good elements and some bad elements.
Rob: (On being married to Lucy Lawless) Besides the fact that I'm married to the greatest woman that I could ever have imagined in my entire life, our life is like everybody else's. We come home, we make dinner - she doesn't like to cook, I like to cook. She gets up early and goes to work, I get up after her but I work at night. So, it has all the same ups and downs of any other relationship.
Rob: (on Lucy's frustration waiting for a Xena movie to be funded) Her will is being wilted away quickly, because she feels it's something she could do again and do justice to, because she knows how many people would love to see it. I don't know what's going to happen.
Rob: (when asked if Lucy was the first choice to play Xena) She was always our top choice. MCA wanted to cast someone else.
Rob: (on the "subtext") The studio was concerned, but we said we're not even worried about it.
Rob: (on the possibility of a Xena movie) If I was a betting man, I'd say something's going to happen.
Rob: (when asked if he planned to do tv after Xena) I pitched a show to Renee (O'Connor) and Ted (Raimi) about them as a couple. A silly comedy. And they laughed, but that was more of an off-the-cuff thing.
Rob: (on ending Xena after 6 years) Why couldn't it go into another year after that? Because I think Lucy and Renee would kill somebody. I think they really enjoy doing it, but that will take them to 134 episodes, and physically, it's hard.
Rob: (On the subtext on Xena and Buffy) Joss Whedon did the right thing. He's got his relationships with his C and D characters. I'll be interested to see if Tara and Willow end up on a happy or a sad note ultimately.
Rob: (regarding the studio's reaction to the decision to kill off Xena) They got the first draft of the script and I got a call from the head of syndication asking me about whether this was a good idea and if it would affect the reruns. I told him we've killed Xena five times and Gabrielle three times, Iolaus eight times and Herc a couple of times. My feeling is it sets up the franchise in such a way that there'll be a "want to see" as to what happened after this. I think it's opening a door as well as closing one. He agreed and we moved on.