David Spade, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Chris Rock and Kevin James in ‘Grown Ups.’
© Columbia Pictures
David Spade, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Chris Rock and Kevin James in ‘Grown Ups.’
© Columbia Pictures
Four of the five stars – and director Dennis Dugan – teamed up for an LA press conference to promote the Columbia Pictures comedy, and the fact they’re friends off-screen showed in the way they played off each other while handling questions.
As a father yourself, was this movie a way to maybe exorcise the fear that you might have that you are raising elitist, Beverly Hills children that turn out terribly? Secondly, as the writer, did you write with all of these guys in mind?Adam Sandler: “Yes, the second part of the question, I did. 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. “
“The idea of my kids being spoiled, I go to sleep thinking about it. I wake up thinking about. I’m trying to do the right thing. With the amount of money I have, it’s difficult to raise children the way I was raised. But I took away the west and north wing of the house for those guys. So, they’re not allowed in there.”
David Spade: “It’s hard to pretend you’re broke. They figure it out after a while.”
Chris Rock: “My kids don’t have a trust fund, they have a debt fund. Oh my God, they’re $4 million in the hole.”
Adam, what drives you to succeed?
Adam Sandler: “I don’t know what drives me to succeed. I know I want to always do the best I can. I never was like that as a kid. I guess I was maybe in little league baseball as far as I wanted to be good at that. But school, I certainly wasn’t the best at that. But this comedy thing and making movies and stuff, I love it so much that I do get driven to push myself as hard as I can.”
Do you guys feel like grown ups and when did it actually dawn on you that you’re actually a grown up? Or do you even feel like one yet?
David Spade: “I have problems with it. I’m probably the most little kid still out of this group. But I am clinging. It’s not cute anymore. I think when I bought a house, that’s when I thought I felt like that’s a grown up thing to do.”
Kevin James: “I think I’m playing grown up because I have kids now. But I don’t feel grown up yet.”
Chris Rock: “I felt it when I lost a house.”
Adam Sandler: “When you’re around the kids you feel like you act the most grown up, just because you’re supposed to lead.”
Kevin James: “Feel like you’re playing your father, right?”
Adam Sandler: “Yes, yes, exactly. I say things, like every other parent, that reminds you of your own parents. One thing I do know about being a parent, you understand why your father was in a bad mood a lot.”
Can you talk a little about the basketball angle in the movie?
Adam Sandler: “I grew up playing church league basketball, it was a big part of my town. I thought that instead of doing a movie about high school, I just thought it would be easier if we made it church league basketball kids who, when you see them in the past, it’s easier to buy little kids as us instead of high school kids who don’t. It would look a little closer to who we were if they were little. I thought like sixth grade was a big time, in my childhood, of hoops and friendship and coming up with funny things. That’s kind of what the movie is. Our kids are that age in the movie. We thought that that’s when it starts. You see the contrast of childhood now compared to what we were like as kids. So, that’s why I picked that, the 12-year-old basketball kind of thing. That was a big part of my life. These guys all play a little bit of ball. We just thought that would be interesting.”
In a couple of words, how would you describe yourselves at age 12?
Chris Rock: “Gay.”
No really, what were you like?
David Spade: “Nerdy, reserved, awkward.”
Kevin James: “Athletic, beating the nerds up. No. I was fit, believe it or not. Fit…go with fit.”
Adam Sandler: “Oh yes, look at the pictures.”
Kevin James: “I was fit.”
Adam Sandler: “He was in good shape.”
Kevin James: “For then.”
Adam Sandler: “From 11-14…no, how old?”
Kevin James: “Until stand-up comedy. Stand-up ruined me.”
Chris Rock: “And then the late night comedy.”
Kevin James: “Yes, late-night in diners and drinking late and waking up at 3:00 and then doing it again the next night can ruin a body.”
Can you all say what some of your favorite things are that you like to collect or what your hobbies are?
David Spade: “I was a coin collector. Rock says he didn’t have the luxury of collecting money as a child, but I had coins. I didn’t know I was nerdy at the time until I felt my 16-D Mercury Dime that was in uncirculated condition might be a panty dropper, and it turned out not to be. Surprisingly, the Benjamin Franklin Halves Mint set did some damage. Yeah, I did that. Then I stumbled into skateboarding, which kind of was cooler. But I wasn’t aware of what was cool. My dad wasn’t around so he couldn’t shake me and say, ‘Drop the coin collecting bit. It’s not where you want to go.’ So, that and the spelling bee and the chess, I think I had it figured out for myself.”
What do you like now?
David Spade: “Nothing. No, I still like some of the stuff, skateboarding. I golf now. Just stupid things. But I think I was more interesting back then because I was trying a bunch of different hobbies and collections. You know what I mean? I did rocks, all this dumb stuff. But now it’s just trying to stay afloat and just get through the days.”
Adam Sandler: “His hobbies now apparently are monologues.”
David Spade: “My hobbies are run-on sentences.”
Adam Sandler: “Last night I couldn’t sleep. It was like 2:00 in the morning. I was thinking, ‘What can I do?’ I’m watching TV. I’m like, ‘Let me do something else.’ I’m not going to fall asleep for a few hours. What are my hobbies? There was the masturbation option. I skipped that because just knowing my kids are down the hall I felt psychotic. So, I went with watching more TV. I couldn’t come up with anything. I was going, ‘God, read a book.’ Then I was like this, ‘Where do I keep the books?’ I’ve got nothing to do but watch TV.”
Chris Rock: “You’ve got to get the iPad.”
Adam Sandler: “I know.”
Chris Rock: “We’ve got the iPad.”
Adam Sandler: “So what do you do?”
Chris Rock: “They got a bunch of books in there.”
David Spade: “You watch TV on it.”
Kevin James: “I think this might shock a lot of people but I like food. I’m a connoisseur of food – but bad food. I like bad food. Not high-end.”
Adam Sandler: “Double cheese and onion soup last night.”
Kevin James: “You brought me to a fancy restaurant and I don’t love fancy restaurants. I like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese out of a box. You know that type of stuff. And making it and doctoring it up myself.”
Adam Sandler: “Yeah. You were mad at the macaroni and cheese last night.”
Kevin James: “Where did I want to go last night?”
Adam Sandler: “Carl’s Jr.”
Kevin James: “I wanted to go to Carl’s Jr.”
Adam Sandler: “I talked him out of Carl’s Jr. and brought him to a nice place and he was so angry.”
Kevin James: “I was angry. I’m not a fancy food guy. I don’t want three carrots on a plate. That pisses me off.”
David Spade, Kevin James, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock in the comedy movie Grown Ups.
Dennis, do you want to talk about the ad-libbing that went on while you guys were shooting?
Dennis Dugan: “The whole idea was that when Sandler first sat down and said, ‘Let’s do this movie. We’ll all go to a lake, and we’ll do a movie about a bunch of people at a lake,’ and it’s all these guys. So, my job basically was to say action. They’d talk, sometimes for 40 minutes. Then I’d say cut because we ran out of tape. We’d put a new tape in and I’d say action and then later on when they ran out of really funny stuff to say I’d say cut. That was the easiest job in the entire world.”
Adam Sandler: “That’s not entirely true. We worked hard. We did a lot of helping out and it brought us into the right place and focused us.”
Kevin James: “And rowed to work every day.”
Adam Sandler: “Oh yes. Dennis lived across the lake, on the other side of the lake. Every morning he would row to work.”
This is a question for both Adam and Dennis. You two are working, yet again, on a movie called Jack and Jill. Can you tell us about that film?
Chris Rock: “I’m not in it.”
Adam Sandler: “Not yet. You might be, by the way. I might call in a favor soon. But Jack and Jill, I play me and I play my twin sister. The man version of me is doing okay. He’s got a family out in LA and the twin sister of me is in the Bronx and comes out to LA for Thanksgiving and then refuses to leave and is spoiling the man version of my family’s life a little bit.”
Did your kids see you as Jill?
Adam Sandler: “There’s a mocked up picture of me in my house that we made. My daughter, Sadie, loves it. Every time I talk about Grown Ups is coming out, ‘Jack and Jill?’ ‘I have to do Grown Ups first.’ ‘And then Jack and Jill?’ ‘Well no, I’m doing one with [Jennifer] Aniston, that’s going to be good.’ ‘Jack and Jill?’ We’ll get to Jack and Jill. She’s excited about it.”
Adam, how was writing Born to be a Star, which you didn’t star in, and are you and Chris producing a film on Richard Pryor?
Adam Sandler: “Yeah, yeah we are doing that movie. Marlon Wayans is going to play Pryor. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens. It hasn’t really got rolling yet, just talking about it right now. But I enjoyed writing it.”
“I had this idea for this Born to be a Star. I’m about 15 years too old for it. So, Nick Swardson, I think is a funny kid. So, we wrote the movie for him.”
Is it a different kind of creative satisfaction for you?
Adam Sandler: “Same stuff, same stuff. I like sitting and writing with my buddies. That movie was great because I helped write it with Covert and Swardson. Then they went and shot it, and I had nothing to do with that. Then I got to watch it and laugh. That’s actually a nice thing.”
Is there a consensus among the four of you of who is actually the funniest?
Adam Sandler: “Everybody’s got their own thing. I’ll tell you, Spade is incredibly funny. He drops the most destruction bombs on you.”
David Spade: “No, the fun thing about this was everybody, I think more for the audience, that if you like even two out of the five of us you’ll do fine in this movie.”
I’m not even talking about this movie.
David Spade: “Oh, hanging out…”
Adam Sandler: “Everybody’s got their moments. KJ is incredibly funny. He has different ways of being funny in conversation. How’s this, when KJ texts me I laugh like a buffoon for like five minutes alone. I don’t write that LOL because I’m a comedian and I think other comedians would go, ‘Are you f**king kidding me? LOL?’ So I just write, ‘Good one.'”
David Spade: “It is hard to fall in an LOL. I’ve been fighting it for a while.”
Adam Sandler: “I haven’t said it yet, I don’t think. Rock is one of the funniest guys I’ve ever seen in my life with just summing up something and just having a different slant on it. You’re just like, ‘That is amazingly accurate and I can’t believe I’ve never said that out loud. I never even thought that.’ He like makes you think straight. His comedy’s just genius.”
Kevin James: “Some of the hardest laughs I’ve had in my entire life are from the Sand-Man. Honestly, just crying. As a comedian you get used to it. So, a lot of times you’ll think something’s funny and you just kind of [nod], that’s what your laughter comes to. That’s what it’s down to now.”
David Spade: “It’s turned into a nod.”
Kevin James: “Because when you do it constantly…right, exactly.”
David Spade: “Yes you go, ‘That’s good. That’s good.'”
Kevin James: “And it is good. But he makes me laugh out loud. I mean, crying. “
Chris Rock: “Sandler in Chuck and Larry is about as hard as I’ve ever laughed.”
Dennis Dugan: “The nice thing about being in with these guys is generally when comics are together they’re kind of competitive and don’t really respect each other. These guys just like making each other laugh. There’s no overt egos there. They just enjoy whoever’s making the other three laugh. They’re all happy.”
Adam Sandler: “For the record Schneider is…”
Kevin James: “Schneider’s very funny as well.”
Adam Sandler: “One of the funniest guys.”
David Spade: “Schneider’s a great cook.”
Adam Sandler: “He is ridiculously fast and funny. We miss him here right now.”
Can you tell us about casting the part for Salma Hayek?
Adam Sandler: “We talked about doing a movie for a long time. Salma was available. She almost was in the Zohan, she almost was in a bunch of movies, and it didn’t time out right. This one timed out great. It was fun being married to Salma in the movie. She’s a great girl.”
Kevin, are you doing a sequel for Paul Blart Mall Cop?
Kevin James: “Not now. Not yet.”
What are you doing next?
Kevin James: “I’m in Chicago working on movie right now with Ron Howard and Vince Vaughn.”
And you’re playing?
Kevin James: “I play Vince Vaughn’s, we’re buddies and I’m married to Winona Ryder and she cheats on me and he spots it. So, he’s got to tell me.”
Is this a tragedy?
Kevin James: “No, no, it’s comedy. But it’s also got some heavy moments. It’s good. So it’s cool.”
Chris, news came recently that you’re going to be working on a remake of Kurosawa’sHigh and Low. Where is that? Do you know?
Chris Rock: “Me, Mike Nichols and what’s his name, Scott Rudin, are talking a lot right now. It’s just a lot of talk right now and getting the notes together.”
Do you know what the tone of the film’s going to be? Similar to Kurosawa, in San Francisco?
Chris Rock: “In New York. That’s all I’ll give you. It’ll be in New York.”
David Spade: “Because that’s all you have.”
Chris Rock: “That’s all I have.”
Adam Sandler: “If you want more information, just call What’s-His-Name.”
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