As we mentioned last year, Adam Sandler can do no wrong when he tries his hand at drama. His 2019 effort, the anxiety-riddled thriller Uncut Gems, was his best performance yet — even though, as Kathy Bates will tell you, he was robbed of an Oscar nomination.
Big Broad Comedy, though, has always been the Saturday Night Live alum’s bread and butter, and he’s right back in his comfort zone ducking flying objects and screaming on toilets in his latest Netflix joint, Hubie Halloween. The star-studded horror-infused comedy has Sandler playing a stunted good Samaritan attempting to protect his hometown of Salem, Mass., from a killer on the loose.
“I don’t even think about it as much as you think I should,” Sandler told us in a recent virtual interview about balancing genres (watch above). “I like comedies, I like making ‘em. When I make these other movies, man, I dive in deep and I love it. And I’ve got young kids, and I like when they watch movies at home and laugh, so I like trying make stuff like that, too.
“I work my a** off trying to make sure we’re putting enough jokes in there and having the story make sense.”
Hubie, as you might imagine, provided a less stressful filmmaking experience for the 54-year-old actor than Gems, in which he delivered an agonizing turn as the desperate New York City jeweler and gambling addict Howard Ratner.
“When you’re hanging out in the trailer before a take on Hubie Halloween, you’re not quite as nervous and in as deep thought as much as Howard Ratner,” Sandler said.
Costarring the likes of Julie Bowen, Maya Rudolph, Tim Meadows, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi and June Squibb, Hubie Halloween is dedicated to the memory of Cameron Boyce, the beloved Jessie and Descendants actor who died at the age of 20 in July 2019, after complications related to epilepsy.
Boyce, who had previously played Sandler’s spoiled son Keith in Grown Ups (2010) and Grown Ups 2 (2013), had originally been cast in the film as a young deli worker who antagonizes Hubie. After Boyce’s death, his part was recast with his close friend Karan Brar.
“He was supposed to come to do the movie maybe two days after [he died]. He was getting on a plane to come shoot our movie,” Sandler says. “That was devastating news for his family and for all of us. He was just a nice kid. When he was in Grown-Ups as a kid, he was just carefree, happy, funny, all the other kids loved him. All the comedians would walk away like, ‘Man, that kid said a funny line earlier.’ He was just sharp.”
The whole Sandler family were fans of Boyce, especially Adam’s daughters Sadie and Sunny, who both also appear in Hubie Halloween.
“My kids loved him. He was always great to my family. Cameron came to my daughter’s bat mitzvah three months before he passed away and every one of my daughter’s friends was coming up to him, and he took the time and talked to everybody, and signed autographs and took pictures with them. He was just a great kid, and everybody misses him.”
Hubie Halloween is now streaming on Netflix.
Watch the trailer:
-Video produced by Jen Kucsak
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