Adam Sandler Discusses Whether He Prefers Doing Dramas Over Comedies At This Stage Of His Career

Adam Sandler in Hustle
(Image credit: Netflix)

Adam Sandler has been making audiences laugh since his early days on SNL. His comedy films like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore have become classics, and he continues to put out crowd-pleasing comedy films with his Netflix partnership. But Sandler also delivers dramatic performances now and then, and following the release of his critically-acclaimed basketball movie Hustle, the actor has reflected on how this has impacted the kinds of films he wants to make in the future. 

In a recent interview with AARP, Sandler discussed how he handles negative reviews and was asked if he prefers to make dramas or comedies at this stage in his career. Sandler expressed his love for both and how all of his projects have presented a new challenge, saying:

I’ve done both for a long time. When I went to NYU, I did a lot of scenes that were just dramatic, not funny. Punch-Drunk Love was 20 years ago. That was different and exciting. I like giving myself over to a new challenge. Sometimes I feel like I’m tapped out with new thoughts, and then all of a sudden, something new comes up and I go, “OK, how can I make this happen?” It was cool as hell pushing myself in new ways like I did on Uncut Gems. Running around the Diamond District in New York, the intensity of that amazing character, or in Hustle, being around the greatest NBA players and not worrying about laughs as much as what each character is going through and pulling for. But I do love comedy more than anything.

Clearly the Uncut Gems star is always open to a new project that is creatively fulfilling, and likes tapping into his NYU days when it comes to more of his dramatic work. Critically lauded filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson and the Safdie Brothers saw serious dramatic performances in the comedy actor and put him in positions to succeed. Sandler’s acting chops earned him an Independent Spirit Award for his work in Uncut Gems, and he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Punch Drunk Love.

I’m glad Sandler is interested in new projects that let him explore his range as an actor, and as a result is taking lots of different roles. He proves this as he ventures into another serious role alongside Paul Dano and Carey Mulligan in Spaceman. He will play Jakub, a Czech orphan who defies all odds to become his country’s first astronaut. The film is currently in post-production and is expected to be released in 2023. The cast and premise sound super interesting, and this may be one of Adam Sandler’s best projects yet. 

However, this doesn’t mean Sandler is leaving his comedy career behind. That is Adam Sandler’s first love, and he plans to remain a slap-stick staple. He will be working with longtime pal Jennifer Anistion again in Murder Mystery 2, and recently wrapped production on You Are SO Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah! Both films will be available for Netflix subscribers in the near future. 

You can catch Adam Sandler in Hustle currently streaming on Netflix, along with other Happy Madison Productions projects like Hubie Halloween and The Do Over. Spaceman is also set to be helmed by Netflix, and will be available sometime next year. To stay up to date on more films coming to theaters and streaming next year, check out our 2023 movie release schedule.

Caroline Young

Writer, podcaster, CinemaBlend contributor, film and television nerd, enthusiastic person. Hoping to bring undying passion for storytelling to CinemaBlend.