Adam Sandler Ignored the Only Good Acting Advice He'd Ever Had: Do 'Something Else'

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It’s hard to imagine what the world would be like without the acting prowess of Adam Sandler. What would we be, as a society, without Billy Madison? Who could exist in a universe without, uh, Mr. Deeds? How could we function at all, had we never been exposed to You Don’t Mess With the Zohan’s inexplicably accented titular character?

Indeed, Sandler’s gifted us with so many incredibly stupid and pointless characters over the course of his oft-incredibly stupid and pointless career (I will concede that Big Daddy was quite poignant, and Punch Drunk Love was pretty good, but please do not forget about You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, a movie about an Israeli Mossad agent who wanted to move to New York to do hair, fuck horny older ladies, and fight terrorists with hummus all while managing to make peace in the Middle East. This movie exists, and it is currently streaming on Netflix, if you like pain).

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But we came so very close to losing out on all those beautiful portrayals, or at least we would have, had Sandler listened to his NYU acting professor and quit acting. Sandler and Brad Pitt discussed this very incident during a “Variety Studios: Actors on Actors” interview this week:

Pitt explained the story he first heard from director Bennett Miller: “You were at NYU, and it was your acting coach, or acting professor, I believe. He took you out for a beer and he kindly said to you, ‘Think about something else. Listen, you got heart, but you don’t have it. Choose another path.’”

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I can only imagine this particular professor saw Sandler’s early take on The Waterboy when he deemed him an unfitting thespian. But Sandler didn’t take his advice and instead went on to become a rich and famous actor, much to the non-benefit of my elementary and middle school movie-viewing experience. He actually ended up running into that professor post-fame, apparently, and to his credit, he was reportedly quite gracious about it:

“There’s a second part to this story.” Pitt continued. “This is why it’s my favorite Adam Sandler story and I think it says a lot about you. You ran into him when you were getting the ultimate payday, you were with a bunch of friends. Anyone would think, that’s the opportunity to rub it in his face. Reportedly, what you did was, you said hi and you introduced him to your friends and you said, ‘This is the only teacher to ever buy me a beer.’ That’s the guy I know, and I think that’s why you’re here after all these years.”

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That’s nice, I guess, but I still want back the two hours I spent watching You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. [Variety]


Selena Gomez has not yet heeded my request for matching tattoo best friendship, but she did get tattoos with a different best friend, i.e., Julia Michaels, not that I’m jealous or anything!!!!

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Page Six reports that the two singers got tiny thumb tattoos backstage at Michaels’s concert in Los Angeles over the weekend. Still not jealous!!!!

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OK, fine, I’m a little jealous. [Page Six]


  • Daniel J. Watts has some...uh...thoughts about Ike Turner. [NY Post]
  • Renée Zellweger said it was nice to be briefly retired. [Page Six]
  • Congratulations to Prince Charles, who is now on Instagram for some reason. [E! Online]

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