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Adam Sandler's performance in new Netflix movie has ‘nothing to do’ with the actor we all know
Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Adam Sandler's performance in new Netflix movie has ‘nothing to do’ with the actor we all know

Sandler puts on an out-of-this-world performance for his latest project

"Everything that begins must end."

That's what we learn in Adam Sandler's latest project with Netflix; but this film doesn't mark an end to Sandler as we know him - it just presents a side that's new to us.

The iconic star has shown off his incredible talent over the years, presenting himself both as a the hilarious goofball in titles like Big Daddy and Grown Ups, as well as an actor capable of the intensity that's so key to movies like Hustle and Uncut Gems.

But Spaceman isn't about comedy, or endless high-intensity moments. It's about what it means to be human, to be lonely, to be self-reliant.

UNILAD sat down with Sandler and co-star Paul Dano to discuss the new title, and even Sandler himself admitted that when he first read the script, he wished he could see someone else in the starring role.

"The script was really cool." he said. "Believe me, when I read a great script the first thing I think is, 'Boy, I wish I could watch this movie with somebody else'."

Sandler spends much of his time alone on screen.

But Sandler was offered the job and agreed to take it on, with director Johan Renck telling Tudum he wanted a 'performance from him that had nothing to do with the Adam Sandler we all know'.

So no pressure, then?

Discussing Renck's hopes for Sandler's performance, the star pointed out that there was 'only so many ways' his face can look.

"You can tell it's me," he continued, but he added that he 'thinks [he] did' deliver on Renck's vision.

He joked: "If I ever did anything that seemed like I might have done it in another movie, Johan came screaming out there: 'No, no, none of that!' And I said, 'Alright, man, calm down'."

It's clear the comedian part of Sandler runs through his veins, but he succeeds in putting that to the side to explore the introspective, desperate character of Jakub, whose relationship is crumbling away on Earth while he's six months into a solo mission in space.

Adam Sandler stars as Jakub in Spaceman.

Knowing the role would be something different, Sandler recalled his approach: "Let me try to see if I can handle it as good as possible."

The project offered something new for Dano as well - never before has he played an ancient, spider-like creature tasked with being a 'spirit guide'.

I told you this movie was different.

Dano explained: "I was pretty much in on the logline itself, before even reading the script and knowing Adam was in it. And then [I] read it and yes, [I] sort of loved this little spirit guide, doula-spider, who was full of wisdom and kindness and something zen like."

Dano admitted he's been a 'really big fan' of Sandler's since he was young, making their work together on the movie a 'dream pairing'.

Paul Dano stars opposite Sandler as a spirit guide-like creature.

With Spaceman available to stream on Netflix from March 1, the stars each have things they want viewers to take from Jakub's journey and his encounter with Dano's character, Hanus.

Dano explained: "I suppose for me it was seeing Jakub, who is worried too much about what he has to prove. And maybe that comes from his past... Sometimes your life starts to go by, and you lose track of what's important or what's in front of you. And so I think that's the thing that I get from it."

Above all, though, Dano is hopeful that viewers just 'enjoy the movie' and 'find a piece of themselves in there'.

Sandler agreed, while also adding his own takeaway: "There's loneliness everywhere. And sometimes you kind of make it happen yourself. You create this wall from everybody, [but] it might feel good to kick them down and let people in."

Following the release of Spaceman, Sandler is no doubt hoping to bring people together with a new comedy special he has coming up, and both he and Dano are hoping to work together once again.

"We have plenty of time to get to that, don't you think?," Sandler, 57, asked 39-year-old Dano.

Unable to resist returning to his comedic roots, he added: "I got about three years left. You got about 30. Let's do it."

SPACEMAN is available to watch in select theatres from 23 February, and on Netflix from March 1.

Topics: Adam Sandler, Netflix, Film and TV