These days, it’s no secret that Adam Sandler is a fine dramatic actor thanks to his acclaimed performance in “Uncut Gems”.
Back in the early 2000s, however, some were skeptical when Sandler was cast in “Punch-Drunk Love”, his first dramatic role — including Sandler himself.
In an interview with the “SmartLess” podcast, Sandler reveals how he wound up starring in the film, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson of “Magnolia” and “There Will Be Blood” fame.
“I met Tom Cruise when Nicole Kidman did ‘SNL’,” Sandler said. “Cruise had a Yankee cap dipped down low, and he looked up, and I was, like, in love with him.”
According to Sandler, Cruise “called me up, and he says, ‘I’m doing a movie with my friend Paul, and he’s interested in doing a movie with you. Can I put him on the phone?’”
Anderson told Sandler he was in the midst of writing a film that he wanted him to star in, and Sandler agreed.
Sandler had second thoughts, however, when he went to the theatre to see the movie that Cruise and Anderson had made.
“But then, honest to God, it was like 11 in the morning, and I had nothing to do, and ‘Magnolia’ just came out, and I said, ‘I think this is that kid’s movie. I’m going to go see that,’” Sander explained.
“It was sold out, and I was in the front row, and I was looking up at it, and I was f**king terrified, and I was going, ‘Oh this guy is f**king better than me. I don’t want to be in this. I’m going to ruin his movie! Holy s**t!’”
Sandler got in touch with Anderson and shared his fears, begging him to cast someone else. Anderson, however, would not be swayed.
“[He] talked me through it, and he made me comfortable,” Sandler said.