Adam Sandler is one of the greatest actors alive. Even if he doesn't know it.
Every year we wait to see what Adam Sandler brings us. Will it be an Uncut Gems year or will we celebrate with a Hubie Halloween? Either way, you know Sandler will go all out in the role. He has been since he broke into the mainstream.
Like it or not, Sandler is one of our greatest actors. He straddles the world between indie and mainstream, waiting for the role he's called to...or ones he thinks would be a blast.
Our first glimpse of this came in Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch Drunk Love, where Sandler showed his range and vision as a guy who loves a good airline deal.
But few people know the story about how Sandler found that role.
Sandler got into the entire process of making Punch-Drunk Love on the SmartLess podcast, explaining it began with Tom Cruise. “I met Tom Cruise when Nicole Kidman did SNL,” began Sandler. “Cruise had a Yankee cap dipped down low, and he looked up, and I was, like, in love with him. Tom 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?'”
He continued, saying, “Paul was very nice, and he says, ‘Hey, I loved Billy Madison.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, thanks,’ but I didn’t know who he was.” Undeterred, Anderson asked Sandler, bluntly, “‘Is it okay if I write you a movie?'”
What an amazing offer; Paul Thomas Anderson writing a movie for Sandler to crush.
The story continues, “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.’ It was sold out, and I was in the front row, and I was looking up at it, and I was fucking terrified, and I was going, ‘Oh this guy is fucking better than me. I don’t want to be in this. I’m going to ruin his movie! Holy shit!'”
There's a lesson in confidence here. Although I remember seeing Magnolia and worrying that I should ever even try to write. Because it was so beautiful and wonderful.
Yet Sandler did not succumb to this fear. I think that's a big lesson for all of us. He actually rose to the occasion and became the actor he didn't know he could be.
Great movies and hard work shouldn't scare us. they should inspire us to be the best we can be.
Let me know how you get inspired in the comments.