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05th Oct 2023

People are only just discovering why the same people appear in Adam Sandler’s movies


‘I swear he just makes work for his friends’

You could be forgiven for thinking a lot of Adam Sandler’s movies seem just the same.

After all, the actor’s production company, Happy Madison Productions, has made many of his classic comedies.

The company, he formed with Jack Giarraputo in 1999, has made hits such as Big Daddy, Grown Ups, Murder Mystery and Bedtime Stories. And many of the flicks feature a lot of the same people.

Grown Ups is a fine example. The movie is inspired by Sandler’s mates who also make up the cast, including David Spade, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, Chris Rock and Steve Buscemi.

Sandler previously told Collider: “Me and Fred Wolf wrote the movie. The whole idea was about putting together old friends that get to hang out for a weekend.

“These guys are my old friends, so it made total sense. I’m glad they said yes to it.”

Spade has also previously addressed Sandler’s inclusion of his friends in many of his movies, joking to Rob Lowe on his podcast he’s “only been in about 40”.

“He assembled a team like the Golden State Warriors,” Spade said of Sandler.

“Get guys that have their own movies and we’ll all be in one when there’s a lot of competition. It was a good trick. And when we shot it, he spread out the jokes, so we all got to score.”

Sandler’s short list of re-occurring actors includes Spade, Rob Schneider, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, and longtime friends Kevin Nealon, Peter Dante, and Nick Swardson, Screen Rant noted.

Sandler and Schneider are said to have costarred, or least had cameos in, about 18 movies together.

The Things noted in January that Buscemi, who first met Sandler on the set of 1994’s Airheads, has been in about sixteen, including: Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer and Big Daddy.

In more recent times, Sandler – who broke into the entertainment industry after appearing on Saturday Night Live in 1990 – has taken on more serious roles in movies such as Hustle, and Uncut Gems, breaking from comedy in a 60-plus-movie career, and he’s even roped in his family. His daughters, Sunny and Sadie, and wife, Jacqueline, star alongside him in You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzva.

He also used to be roommates with another comedy icon, Judd Apatow who directed The 40-year-old Virgin, Knocked Uo, This is 40, Funny People… the list goes on. When Sandler got his SNL break and moved to New York, he even kept paying rent. Sandler and Apatow reminisce about it here.

Fans of the filmmaker have spoken of their admiration for keeping his mates around, with some only realising recently that his movies have a revolving-door-cast.

One Instagram user wrote: “I realised this when I kept seeing David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin James in like 90 per cent of his movies. Figured they were friends in real life.”

A second person added: “Awesome all of his friends are always amazing in the movies so No complaints.

“We all need a friend like Adam Sandler,” as another simply said: “He’s a walking W.” And a final resolved: “And that’s what you call a real one,” a third wrote.

Related links:

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Adam Sandler was only cast after his daughters were in new record-breaking Netflix movie

Adam Sandler given highly prestigious lifetime achievement award for comedy