Adam Sandler has had a prickly relationship with the press, who haven’t exactly loved all his movies, but he was charming and low key at the press conference Saturday afternoon to promote “The Cobbler,” a Jewish fable written and directed by Tom McCarthy. Sandler plays a fourth-generation Lower East Side cobbler who can step into the lives of his customers after he repairs their shoes.
Along with Sandler and McCarthy, co-stars Steve Buscemi, Method Man and Ellen Barkin, also participated in the panel discussion.
When asked about what shoes he wore, Sandler said, “I don’t wear them a lot.” He lives in sneakers he said but when he does wear real shoes, he told the media he felt like “my vocabulary goes up. I feel more like my father, like I’m worthy of having children. When I’m in my sneakers and my kids ask me a question, I say, ‘Ask your mother.”
He added he was going to be wearing shoes and a tuxedo for the “SNL 40” celebration the following night. “I bought a tux, oh, no, they gave me a tux, whatever,” Sandler said, “but they gave me shoes too. That was the first thing I asked. ‘Do I get shoes?’ I don’t have any good shoes. I got some nice tux shoes, everybody,” he told journalists.
Sandler and Buscemi and Barkin were asked what Saturday Night Live meant to their careers.
Barkin reminisced that when the show first aired she was a waitress in the Village where SNL cast members John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd hung out. “I still have the first-year shirt,” she said.
Sandler added, “It affected all of us as kids. It was the thing you talked about, he said. “Everything about the show rocked you because your parents, it was just cool enough that your parents weren’t sure if you should be watching it and it made you more excited like to get in there. And you had to stay up late for it so that was a big deal and just over the years, that it’s still there is comforting,” Sandler said. “It’s exciting every time. You know it’s happening live. And it’s an amazing thing. 40 years of meaning something. Everybody talks about it, a show is good or bad or whatever. Even if a show falls flat it’s still exciting to see.”
Buscemi recalled he hosted the show twice. “I still can’t believe I hosted at all. It was one of the most amazing, scary and fun experiences.” The “Boardwalk Empire” star said that the first time he appeared on the show was in 1994, pegged to his film “Airheads,” that also starred Sandler. John Travolta hosted the show. “We did a ‘Welcome Back Kotter Episode,’ as directed by Quentin Tarantino,” Buscemi said. “I remember during rehearsal I came in and I had one line and I blew it. I came in late. I blew the line. Spade gave me shit for it. I can’t believe it.” Buscemi said it rattled him and he worried, “How can I do this? How am I going to host if I blew this one line?” And “Tomorrow night we’re going to the thing and I’m so excited,” Buscemi said.
“Yeah, to be in the room with everybody, it’s going to be neat. It is cool,” Sandler agreed, “and the best part will be Ellen bringing us all drinks.”
After the press conference I asked Buscemi what he thought of the “50 Shades of Grey” parody trailer that imagines him as Christian Grey. “It’s funny,” he told me, “and very weird.”