Adam Sandlers & Cast Interview, Bedtime Stories

Posted by: Sheila Roberts

What if the stories you told came to life? We found out when MoviesOnline sat down with Adam Sandler, Russell Brand and Keri Russell to talk about their wild and crazy new movie, “Bedtime Stories,” directed by Adam Shankman from a screenplay written by Matt Lopez and Tim Herlihy.

Sandler stars in this adventure comedy about a hotel handyman, Skeeter Bronson, whose life is changed forever when the bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to mysteriously come true. When he tries to help his family by telling one outlandish tale after another, it’s the kids’ unexpected contributions that turn all of their lives upside down.

British comedian Russell Brand plays Skeeter’s friend and sidekick, Mickey. Courtney Cox is Skeeter’s sister, Wendy, who calls on the handyman to look after her two children while she heads off on a job hunt. Keri Russell plays Jill, Wendy’s responsible friend, who ends up in all the crazy adventures that Skeeter creates with the kids.

Adam Sandler, Russell Brand and Keri Russell are super funny and we really appreciated their time. Here’s what they had to tell us:
 
MoviesOnline: THIS IS THE PERFECT MOVIE FOR THE HOLIDAYS AND CHRISTMAS. WHAT ARE YOUR HOLIDAY PLANS? PARTICULARLY IN THIS ECONOMY WHAT SORT OF GIFTS ARE YOU GIVING THE KIDS?

SANDLER: My baby, Sunny, is one month, so I got her a BB gun. I have another kid. I have to get her something. Maybe a German helmet?

BRAND: What am I going to get people for Christmas? Well, me mum, I don't know what I'll get her. A house maybe? I'll maybe get her a house because at the moment she's homeless and I'm feeling guilty about that. She obviously raised me and let me live in her womb for those nine months, so I'd like to really give something back to her. So I'll probably either get her a womb or a house for my mother.

KERI: We’re having all the parents at my house this Christmas and we told the grandparents, “No one go crazy. One gift for the kid,” which translates to like five. They don’t understand that. My gift is being home. It’s been so nice to be in our house in Brooklyn.
 
MoviesOnline: ADAM, BECAUSE YOU'RE A DAD, IS ‘BEDTIME STORIES’ A PERSONAL MOVIE? WAS IT INSPIRED BY WANTING TO TELL YOUR KIDS STORIES ON THE BIG SCREEN? ALSO, YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO BE PLAYING THE UNDERDOG, VERY SUCCESSFULLY. IS THAT A ROLE YOU ARE REALLY COMFORTABLE WITH? YOU'RE NOT AN UNDERDOG IN REAL LIFE, OBVIOUSLY.

SANDLER: I am, too. You should see breakfast at my house. (Matt) Lopez wrote a great script. I read it and I must say that the thing that stood out the most was the gumball scene. I do have kids now. I've always wanted to do a family movie. I loved that, every Sunday night, we'd watch a Disney movie with Kurt Russell. I was a big fan of Kurt Russell growing up. I always wanted to be the modern day Kurt Russell.

KERI: You are. You’re so alike.

SANDLER: I live in his old house. I have his old muscles. And, he has a very Semitic look, just like me. No. But, I loved Lopez's script. I thought it was sweet. And, I knew [Adam] Shankman was there to bring a great visual and creative look. He has great style. He's a great man. A lot of times my movies, the kids end up seeing them anyways, but some of their mothers yell at me and tell me I have corrupted their child and  influenced them to pee on walls, so I wanted to make sure that I did one movie in my career that mothers hug me for. This could be it.

MoviesOnline: WHICH GENRE OF THE FANTASIES DID YOU MOST ENJOY DOING? DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE A COWBOY, A SPACEMAN OR GLADIATOR?

SANDLER: I look great in the cowboy hat. I think I was fantastic in the leather pants in the space scene. I really look good in the Gladiator costume. I'm just guessing I look good from the two reactions. Keri Russell would always go, “Oh, my God!” And, Shankman would always go, “Oh, my God!”   
 
MoviesOnline: WHICH WAS THE MOST FUN?

SANDLER: I had my broken ankle the whole time. (for two months of the shoot)
 
MoviesOnline: HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

SANDLER: I was playing basketball with my nephew and I broke my ankle. That was on a Sunday, and Shankman got the call that night and wasn't happy.
 
MoviesOnline: THERE WAS NO THOUGHT OF DOING IT WITH THE CRUTCHES?

SANDLER: No, I can handle pain. A lot of times, when I would finish a scene and Shankman would scream “Cut,” I would, in exhaustion, fall into Russell's arms.
 
MoviesOnline: ADAM, DID YOU WRITE IN THE OTHER 'HAPPY MADISON' GUYS, LIKE ALLEN COVERT AND ROB SCHNEIDER?

SANDLER: Yeah. I think Schneider always wanted to make a family movie. Covert has kids now. All my friends all have kids now. We were excited to be in something that we could play in the house and feel comfortable with our kids seeing it. Anybody who had a kid was welcome to be in the movie.
 
MoviesOnline: RUSSELL AND ADAM, WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH EACH OTHER? DID IT COME NATURALLY? WAS IT EASY? DO YOU CRACK EACH OTHER UP? AFTER A REALLY STRESSFUL DAY, ME AND MY 10-YEAR-OLD WATCHED THIS FILM AND COULDN'T STOP LAUGHING.

BRAND: Why is your 10-year-old having stressful days? There are labor laws. Children must not work. We had chimney sweeps, but even that’s been banned now. We have the dirtiest flues in Europe. I loved working with Adam. It was an education for me, in how to do film acting. I hadn’t done many films before now. I learned loads of stuff, like controlling things, how to improvise within sensible perimeters, how to not swear. It was difficult, of course. It was a wonderful education and I laughed a lot. Also, sometimes I would gaze yearningly at him, longing for the moment when eventually his crutches would break and he would fall again into my arms. Lovely. It was a bit like 'Treasure Island,' in a way, with all the piracy and crutches. I found it a comedic and cinematic education. I learned an awful lot, over the whole process.

SANDLER: He did. And, people love Russell in the movie. I gotta say, I met Russell five years ago, right?

BRAND: (To Adam) You've got no concept of time.

SANDLER: It’s been three years? Ten years ago?

BRAND: It was like two, I think.

SANDLER: You're hair got long.

BRAND: Judge by the size of your children.

SANDLER: I didn’t have a child when I met you. It’s at least four years, I swear to God.

BRAND: How long ago was it? Four years ago? We're behind on our career route then.

SANDLER: Anyways, when I met the young Russell Brand, I thought the guy was hilarious. I was on his MTV show. I went over to England with four or five of my friends, and we all talked about Russell after. We were like, “That kid was incredible. He’s so funny. He’s so smart.” I was a guest on the show. I didn't have to say much. Russell did most of the talking. He was very cordial. He would ask me a  question. I wouldn't come up with anything too funny, and Russell would button it with a huge laugh. The girls would gasp at how great he was, and that was it. I told Russell that two times this happened. I was on a show with 'NSync one time and no one looked at me, and I was on a show with Russell in England and no one looked at me. It was just girls, staring at Russell going, “My God, I want that man.”

So, we had this great part here, for the room service guy who was kind of my best friend. He was loose with the kids. He was more comfortable with the children than me. We mentioned Russell doing it. We got excited, and Russell was cool enough to say yes. And then, when we screened the movie the first time, to my dismay, they do those scores at the end of the movie and they asked, “Who was your favorite character?” I looked at Skeeter Bronson and I was like, “What did I get? Oooh, a 91. I'll take that.” Then, I looked and old Russell's got a 96? How dare this man!”
 
MoviesOnline: KERI, THIS IS YOUR RETURN TO DISNEY, SINCE HAVING BEEN A MOUSEKETEER. HOW WAS THAT? DID YOU EARN YOUR EARS BACK?

KERI: I hope so. I don’t know. Yeah, it’s fun. It’s a Disney movie, but what’s cool about this one is that it’s what Disney does best, but it has the Sandler factor in it, which keeps it a current, modern Disney movie. That’s what’s great about it.
 
MoviesOnline: HOW OLD WERE YOU, WHEN YOU WERE A MOUSEKETEER?

KERI: I was 15 to 17.
 
MoviesOnline: ADAM, WHAT KINDS OF STORIES DO YOU TELL YOUR KIDS? DO YOU MAKE THEM UP? DO YOU READ BOOKS TO THEM?

SANDLER: I read in the morning a lot to little Sadie. I'm not great at the bedtime stories. The bedtime stories are supposed to put the kid to sleep. My kid gets riled up and crazy. My wife has to come in and go, “Alright, get out of the room!” In most of my stories, it's similar to the movie. She gives me a subject and we go from there. Every subject she brings up has to do with food. It’s always like, “Waffles.” “Okay, there was a giant waffle.” “Pancake.” “And he met a blanket made out of pancakes.” “Syrup.” “And then, they had to cross the river made of syrup.” I swear to God, that’s how every story is. And then, at the end of every story, she's like, “Cookies.”
 
MoviesOnline: IS MATZO BALL IN THE MOVIE?

SANDLER: That’s not Matzo Ball. Poor Matzo Ball passed away. This is a bad thing. I have a new dog now named Babu. I showed the movie to Sadie, who is 2 ½ . I brought home a copy on DVD, and she watched an hour of 'Bedtime Stories' and it was going well, and then she started saying “Later, later.” And, I said, “Oh, come on, let's finish it. Let’s finish this thing.” She said, “Later, later.” And, I said, “Come on, we’re almost done.” And she said, “Babu eat Daddy's movie.” I was like, “Oh, alright.” That’s not a good review.
 
MoviesOnline: ADAM, WAS THERE A FAVORITE BEDTIME STORY FOR YOU, GROWING UP?

SANDLER: Yeah, the “I think I can!” story was big in my life. My sister was going to dental school when I was into that story, and I used to say that to her all the time. She would be crying at how much studying she had, so my parents would put me on the phone with my older sister and I would be talking about “The Little Engine that Could” and saying, “I think I can, I think I can,” and she said that helped her at least smile, going through that stuff. So, see all the joy I've been bringing people, for so many years? How about a big hand for me?
 
MoviesOnline: KERI, DID YOU DO ANY OF YOUR OWN STUNTS IN THE MOVIE?

KERI: Yes, we did do some stunts. We horseback rode a little. I would not do the kissing scene. I drew the line. I did some of the stuff. And, I did do my own roller blading. I did a lot of that stuff. I actually turned into a crow. That’s one of my many, many talents. There were a lot of physical things, but it was mostly me and Adam wearing crazy helmets. He was like, “Get on the back and just scream a lot.” I was like, “What are we doing? Aaah!”
 
MoviesOnline: ADAM, YOU TALKED ABOUT MAKING ONE FAMILY STYLE FILM, BUT DO YOU SEE DOING MORE OF THESE FILMS?

SANDLER: Absolutely! I loved it. I had a great time. Me and Keri are both new parents. It's bizarre. When the kids are laughing in the audience, I tear up. I'm so happy I did a nice thing. I think I did a good thing. I'm so happy to make the kids laugh, and so happy that it gives the parents a place for parents to take the kids. I keep thinking about grandmas because of my mother. My mother will sometimes take my kids to a movie and I'm like, “Oh, that's going to be cool. Grandma or Grandpa will have a nice time with grandkids.” I did have a great time doing it and I would love doing it again.
 
MoviesOnline: RUSSELL, HOW DID THIS FILM COME TO YOU? ARE YOU GOING TO BE DOING SOME MORE AMERICAN FILMS?

BRAND: Yeah, I'm doing some more U.S. films. I wanted to do this with Adam. He said, “Do you want to do this film?,” so I said, “Yeah, alright!” I thought I'd learn some stuff and it would be a laugh. Then, as I spent more time learning about it, I had to meet up with people and Adam Shankman was involved, I found out that all his movies make loads of money. Now, if people associate you with the idea of loads of money, they in turn will give some of that money to you. For example, you see how they're only allowed to buy their family one Christmas present, I used to be poor and have loads of money now, so my family is getting loads of things for Christmas. I'm giving the stuff away! I'm buying things for people that I don't even know. I'm like Willy Wonka, but more manipulative. Imagine if Willy Wonka had a devious goal.
 
MoviesOnline: ADAM, NOW THAT YOU ARE A FATHER OF TWO, WHAT INFLUENCE WILL IT HAVE ON YOUR MOVIE DIRECTION?

SANDLER: I thought it would affect my decision making in the future. When I was shooting it, I was like, “This feels good. I come home at night, see my kids, and feel like I'm a good person.” Then, Judd Apatow, who's a long-time friend of mine, wrote a movie and asked me to be in it, and I was like, “Okay!” And, I've been shooting it, and I come home feeling so filthy and so sad. I can't meet eyes with my kids sometimes. No, I'm not making every decision due to my children and I hope they never see these other movies I'm doing. But, I do want to do more family friendly movies. I do feel good doing them. But, it's not going to be my way of life. I'm a comedian and that's it.
 
MoviesOnline: ADAM, YOU’RE A FATHER, ACTOR, PRODUCER, MUSICIAN AND WRITER. WHICH IS EASIEST AND WHICH HARDER FOR YOU?

SANDLER: None of them are difficult. I have fun doing them all. It’s not like I'm a producer who goes over a budget every day and I have numbers to run. I just produce, hang out, and help try to get the best stuff on the screen. That’s all I do. When I write, I just sit with my friends and come up with ideas. When I act, it's the same thing. We kind of do it as a team. Everybody is helping everybody and nothing is too tough.
 
MoviesOnline: KERI, WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO SAY YES TO THIS MOVIE?

KERI: I’m still trying to figure that out. No. I was very pregnant, at the time, and Adam Sandler called me and said, “I have a kid now and I want to make a movie my kid can see, and you’re having a kid, so I think it would be fun. You should come do it.” And, I was like, “Okay!”

SANDLER: But, I called you and told you that you were great in 'Waitress' first. Me and my wife saw 'Waitress' and we were blown away by old Keri.

RUSSELL: It was really Jackie who cast me.

SANDLER: When Jackie says to me, “I like that girl.” I'm like, “Oh good, I can use her!”

KERI: And, it just sounded like fine. I’m so glad I said yes because it was so fun. It was so great. There were kids all around.

SANDLER: You were like the mother on the set. She was nice to the two kids, the whole time. I run out of stuff to say. I try to make the kids laugh and then they are staring at me for more, and I'm like “Really? Talk to Keri Russell over there. That's the way to go.”
 
MoviesOnline: THE CHEMISTRY IS SO GOOD BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU. WAS THERE IMPROVISATION?

SANDLER: Yeah, we did a little bit, but we felt comfortable with each other. I swear to God. Her husband is cool as hell. She is cool with my wife. And, that makes like light and fun. I think Keri is funny and I like hanging out with her. We felt comfortable with each other.

KERI: It was good. I had a good time.

MoviesOnline: THIS FEELS LIKE A VERY COMFORTABLE ROLE FOR YOU. YOU SEEM VERY RELAXED IN IT. NOW THAT YOU’VE BEEN ACTING FOR AWHILE, WHAT MAKES YOU NERVOUS AND SCARED WHEN YOU GO TO THE SET? ARE THOSE THINGS YOU SEEK OUT, OR DO YOU SHY AWAY FROM THAT?

SANDLER: Apatow's movie is scaring me.
 
MoviesOnline: WHAT'S IT CALLED?

SANDLER: 'Funny People.' At times, I'm scared. I'm very sick in the movie. I find out I'm dying in the movie, and I have to do a lot of stuff. I come to work going, “Oh, man, this is going to be a rough day.” I have to think about stuff I don't like to think about. But, I swear to God, doing 'Bedtime Stories' was my dream when I was young and I became a comedian. I didn't come out here to do that other stuff. I can't believe I got to do 'Reign Over Me,' but that wasn't on my mind, as a kid, going “I want to be a movie star.” I wanted to be Eddie Murphy, and that's all I wanted to do. And then, I get these other opportunities to do stuff and I just try my best at that. I'm very comfortable. With 'Bedtime Stories,' I showed up on set and I was as happy as can be. I felt good there.
 
MoviesOnline: IT SEEMS YOUR GIBBERISH HAS IMPROVED SINCE BILLY MADISON. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT GROWING YOUR GIBBERISH SKILLS?

SANDLER: There is much more confidence in it now. Back then I was like, “What are they going to think about that?” Now, I’m like, “You know what? They’ll think what they think. I'm doing it.”
 
MoviesOnline: ADAM, DID YOU FIND IT HARDER TO WORK CLEAN?

SANDLER: It wasn't that bad. It felt good. I swear to you. (To Brand) Did you feel it was difficult?

BRAND: No. It's a laugh. It's alright. Sometimes I think the perimeters create better work because that way you have go-to places, comedically. When you're not using that kind of facility, you do different stuff. Plus, it's not that mad because, of course, in the real world, I have friends that have kids and stuff, and if I'm hanging out with my friends who've got kids, I'm like, “I'll blow their minds with some copperphilia jokes,” or do stuff that's appropriate. A lot of children do eat poo.
 
MoviesOnline: KERI, HAVING A NEWBORN, WAS IT DIFFICULT TO EMBARK ON A BIG BUDGET MOVIE?

KERI: One of the cool things about this movie was that Adam had kids, Covert had kids, Jack had kids. Everyone had kids there, so it was really fun. One of the babies would stop by, and everyone would stop and play with the kids. It was really like that. It made it really nice.

SANDLER: If you were with us three years before that, you would have hated us. We would have been like, “Put the baby down, we’re shooting!”

KERI: It really was like that. Elephants would be on the set one day, and everyone brought the kids and took pictures with the elephants. Or, I was dressed as a mermaid one day, and all the kids took pictures with me as the mermaid. It was just that kind of set. It was really fun.

BRAND: I have a picture with the mermaid as well.

KERI: It’s a very special photo.

BRAND: I had very different motivations.
 
MoviesOnline: ADAM, EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT HOW MUCH YOUR COMEDY STYLE CHANGED TO DO A KIDS MOVIE, BUT IT REALLY IS KIND OF THE SAME THING BECAUSE WHAT WORKS FOR FRAT GUYS, WORKS FOR 8-YEAR-OLDS, DON’T YOU THINK?

SANDLER: I'm with you on that, thank you. We wanted to do that. We wanted to make sure that the guys who show up to my movies have a good time. The only thing different is I don’t swear or hit anybody.

KERI: And, there’s some lovely ladies in there for the frat guys, like the lovely Teresa Palmer.

SANDLER: And, Keri Russell ain't so bad. Keri Russell thinks Teresa's body is pretty spectacular.

KERI: Come on! Why not?

SANDLER: I haven't seen it yet. I don't look that way. Russell?

BRAND: There’s a fire. We should all definitely go!
 
MoviesOnline: WHAT DO YOU WANT THE AUDIENCE TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS FILM WHEN THEY LEAVE THE THEATER?

BRAND: Their litter.
 
MoviesOnline: ADAM, HOW WAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CHILDREN?

SANDLER: They were great kids. They were focused, funny, nice, sweet kids. They liked me, and then they fell in love with Russell. I was the go-to guy for a while, and then Russell's part started off a month into the shoot, and they slowly left me and fell in love with Russell.

KERI: It happens.

“Bedtime Stories” opens in theaters on December 25th

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