Adam Sandler’s movies have raked nearly $2 billion at the box office, despite those films receiving reviews that are often scathing.
During a recent Netflix conversation for his basketball drama “Hustle”, Sandler explained why he stopped reading reviews fairly early in his movie career.
“When I was 17 and I got into this, I didn’t think about critics … I didn’t even realize that stuff was coming,” he explained, via Entertainment Weekly.
“I just thought you made movies, people go see it,” Sandler continued. “When ‘Billy Madison’ came out, me and my friend [Tim Herlihy] who wrote it, we were just like, ‘Oh yeah, they’re going to write about this in New York!’ We grew up reading the papers, we were going to NYU. And then we read the first one and we were like, ‘Oh my god, what happened? They hate us.’ And then we were like, ‘It must have been this paper,’ but then 90 per cent of the papers are going ‘This is garbage.’”
Sandler admitted that all those negative reviews “stung,” mainly because “you know your grandmother’s reading it.”
Eventually, Sandler and Herlihy made the decision that “maybe we shouldn’t read this stuff because it’s so harsh.”
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Added Sandler, “I say the first two or three, ‘Happy Gilmore’, ‘The Wedding Singer’, we would still kinda hear about it. People would call us up, ‘Can you believe they said this about you?’ I’d be like, ‘I didn’t read it, man.’”
Despite being excoriated by critics, Sandler said he bears no ill will toward those who write negative reviews of his movies.
“It’s great, everything has turned out excellent,” Sandler said. “And it’s okay, I get it. Critics aren’t going to connect with certain stuff and what they want to see. I understand that it’s not clicking with them.”
However, when the critics do like something he’s done, which has been the case with “Hustle”, he’s happy to be recognized.
“I’m glad I’m getting praise, I’ll take it, but everybody worked hard on the movie,” he said, “I had a great part and I did the best I could with it.”