Bedtime Stories: Interview with Adam Sandler

You have an incredible success rate – is there pressure that every movie matches the success of the movie that went before?

I don’t even know what my movies have done [at the box office] – I am that cool! (jokes) I make my movies and then I walk away. Then people come up to me and say…Wow, what a big hit…and I go, I don’t want to hear. I don’t want to know if they did good or bad, I just want to make movies. So there is no pressure. I have always been that guy and I always will be that guy.

Which bedtime stories that you were told were your favorites? And did you ever imagine that this would be where you are now?

No, I didn’t think about that when I was a little kid. I knew I was destined for greatness, I just didn’t know what. (jokes) I was always very good at chess and for a while I thought would be it. No…Bedtime stories were definitely a big part of my life because I was just so excited that my father was talking to me (jokes). I was like…longer father, stay in the room with me (jokes) can I get a hug also? No, just the story.

Which bedtime stories were you told?

The Little Engine That Could…that was a big one in my house. I have been reading it to my kid, I don’t love it as much as an adult (jokes). My kid is two and a half and she says it though…I think I can…It is very sweet when she says it, I like it when she says it. I don’t necessarily love reading it very day, but I do. What else did I like as a kid? I liked Willie Wonka…just the movie, no-one ever read that to me. I would ask my father and he’d say…the movie’s coming on in three months. (jokes) Help me out with more stories I might have heard as a kid? Little Red Riding Hood? Yeah, I know that, it’s a great one.

I tell my two and a half year old the Little Engine story. We do free-styling where I just improvise a story. I ask what she wants to hear and she right now is obsessed with food so she will say…waffles! So I say there was a giant waffle…and then she says pancakes!…and I say and the waffle got into a fight with a big pancake…then she says syrup!…and I continue- and there was a river made of syrup…butter!…and of course the mountain of butter was there…cookies!…No, I want a cookie! No more story!

How did you enjoy making a film that really was a return to the age of innocence?

It was great! It did feel good to bypass your first instinct and come up with something sweeter. I have hung out with kids in my life and I always tried to make them feel comfortable, so I thought of them. I felt good coming home at night; for the first time in a while. Usually I feel I am going to get yelled at for that, my mother is going to be humiliated and blah blah blah. Honest to God, just for the record…I said this when I was walking down the red carpet at the London premiere. We did test screenings in America and I got a high score and I was high five-ing my friends…I was screaming over and over…They love me, the children think I am wonderful! Then I saw Russell’s score and got some giant 95 or 96 and I got a 91. After I got past being hurt (jokes) I was very happy for Russell. The children of America have embraced the long and lean and handsome Russell Brand.

What is your aim with an Adam Sandler movie?

We always try to put a lot of jokes in our movies. We wanted Bedtime Stories to be as funny as a kids’ movie could be. When it was being written we talked about how we wanted it to be as funny as possible. That is usually our goal in our movies…funny and there is usually a message in there. Also we try to shoot me so that you don’t see the triple chin (jokes). We try to make the girl seem like she likes me. (jokes)
What else? We try to make it like I am stronger than most people. We try not to hoot me from behind too much and stay off the ass (jokes).

Was there any pressure from Disney regarding the tone of the film?

Disney was incredibly cool. In fact when we were putting it together they said they liked the Happy Madison style of humour. We have a PG movie so we tried to keep it where everybody would be comfortable with what we were saying. We came up with jokes that we thought would be funny and not offensive at all. It is a little different from the average Disney movie but we feel it is respectful enough to be in the category.

Do you still prefer making comedies?

I do enjoy making movies and I try to test myself on occasion with some stuff. I did always dream of making a family movie and then having kids helped make that more exciting for me. I can eventually show it to them and maybe my daughter will have a sleep-over party in a few years and I’ll say…hey come and watch Daddy’s movie and then all those kids can like Russell more than me and I’ll be fine with that. I enjoy doing all different types of movies. But I am most comfortable with comedy and trying to make jokes. Actually I had a great time on this movie trying to think of friendlier jokes.

When were you aware of the fact that you are funny and of the power of comedy?

I always had to be funny. My family always told jokes round the dinner table, that sort of stuff. That was my way of getting attention in class. If it was quiet I would like to make a joke and if it worked I was so excited all day long. I would be talking about it at lunch. The only reason I got into stand-up was because my brother told me to. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I was 17 and my brother went to a comedy club and he said – you can do that. And I said ok, that’s what I’ll do and that’s the only reason that I got into it. But I did not feel confident about it until I was 22 or 23. It took about five years to start being ok with my friends showing up and watching me.

What does your daughter think Daddy does for a living?

She is pretty funny about that. She always pretends that she has to go to work. I have an office at Sony and she starts packing up and when I ask where she’s going she says…work. And when I ask where she is working today, she says…Sony. When I ask what she’s doing, she says…making a movie. So she knows I make movies. In fact the other day she visited me on a movie set and I asked if she wanted to go to dinner and she started screaming…Trailer food! Like ever other rich ass I have a cook and he is in my trailer making food all the time, so she keeps going…Trailer food, not pancakes!

Which of the mini movies in Bedtime Stories would you like to develop into a full feature?

I don’t like being on a horse, that’s the only negative in a western. I like the whole get-up, I look great in a hat. But I get tense around horses. But maybe we could work around that? If they could get a big, calm horse for me then I would like to make a western. I’d also like to do a gladiator movie. I am uncomfortable in the wig but I would do it.