For Adam Sandler, putting together the cast of Grown Ups was something of a no-brainer.
The film follows five childhood friends (Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin James and Rob Schneider) who reunite as adults for a Fourth of July weekend.
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“The whole idea was about putting together old friends who get to hang out together for a weekend,” Sandler says. “And these guys are my old friends, so that made total sense. I’m glad they said yes to it.”
He’s quick to admit, though, that the pals and comedy veterans were hardly long-lost friends.
“In real life it ain’t much of a reunion. We see each other enough,” he explains. “So it’s not like this gang hasn’t seen each other in 30 years. We see each other a lot. In fact, I see my friends from growing up a lot. There’s no reunions in my life. I see everybody too much.”
Getting a group of comic actors like that together obviously meant a decent amount of improvisation.
Director Dennis Dugan admits he didn’t have as much to do as on other films.
“I had the easiest job in the entire world,” Dugan says. “My job basically was to say, ‘Action,’ and they’d talk sometimes for 40 minutes. And then I’d say, ‘Cut’ because we ran out of tape. And we’d put new tape in and I’d say, ‘Action,’ and later on when they ran out of really funny stuff to say, I’d say, ‘Cut.’”
Dugan also says the atmosphere on set was one of mutual appreciation, not the competition usually seen when comedians get together. Sandler agrees, and is quick to heap praise on his co-stars.
“I tell you, Spade is incredibly funny. He drops the most destruction bombs on you. He’s quick as hell,” Sandler says. “And Rock is one of the funniest guys I’ve ever seen in my life with just summing up something and just having a different slant on it. His comedy’s just genius.”