Adam Sandler says he’s come to terms with critics “hating” his movies

Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler has shared how he came to terms with critics “hating” his movies.

The actor has starred in a number of critical flops over his career, including Grown Ups, Jack And Jill, Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds and others.

Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Sandler explained how Kathy Bates helped him handle negative reviews when they starred together in 1998’s The Waterboy.

“I remember Kathy Bates in Waterboy, and I loved her and I loved everything she did,” Sandler said. “I remember telling her when somebody brought up critics that I was like, ‘They’re probably not gonna like it. They’re probably gonna say bad stuff, maybe don’t read it.’ And she said, ‘Well, I like it, so that’s all that matters,’ or something like that. She was cool.”

The Waterboy
Kathy Bates and Adam Sandler in ‘The Waterboy’ CREDIT: Alamy

Speaking about how he came to terms with negative press, Sandler said: “When the critics started hating me, I just felt bad for my family and I just felt bad for the people who worked really hard on the movies. I mean, I had so many great actors in the movies.

“When we would get done shooting it, they would say to me, ‘I think the critics are really going to like this one.’ And I’d say, ‘Oh no, they’re going to say bad things, and they’re probably going to say bad things about you being in it.’”

During a recent interview for his Netflix film Hustle (via Deadline), Sandler reflected on the reviews for the first film he ever co-wrote with Tim Herlihy, 1995’s Billy Madison.

“When I was 17 and I got into this, I didn’t think about critics… I didn’t even realise that stuff was coming,” Sandler said. “I just thought you made movies, people go see it. When Billy Madison came out, me and my friend 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.’”

The actor said he’s since learned to deal with the criticism, adding: “It’s great, everything has turned out excellent. And it’s OK, 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.”

Despite negative reviews, many of Sandler’s films have been successful at the box office. His 2010 comedy Grown Ups, which was panned by critics, grossed $271million (£221million) and received a sequel in 2013.

Sandler has received positive reviews for a number of films too, notably in Punch-Drunk Love from director Paul Thomas Anderson and 2019’s Uncut Gems.

The actor accepted a Performer Tribute award at The Gotham Awards last month, where he delivered a speech supposedly written by his daughters.

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