“The Director Was Against You,” How Adam Sandler Silently Opened a Hollywood Door for Brendan Fraser
Adam Sandler shared an interesting story during a recent interview with Brendan Fraser. While discussing their 1994 film Airheads, in which they both played members of a rock band, Sandler mentioned how he used his influence to get Fraser the lead role in the movie. Read on to find out how Sandler altered our beloved actor’s career.
Turns out, the director was against hiring Fraser.
During an interview, Adam Sandler left Brendan Fraser in shock as he revealed how he fought for him to get the lead role in their 1994 film Airheads. Sandler disclosed that director Michael Lehmann was initially against casting Fraser and couldn’t see him as a fit for the movie.
However, Sandler persisted and even went to Lehmann’s house at 4 in the morning to convince him. “Just know Adam Sandler ain’t going to be in Airheads unless old Fraser is in it,” he said. Ultimately, Lehmann changed his mind and even flew out to Chicago to meet Fraser. Given their previous conversation about the role, Fraser was amazed that Lehmann had a change of heart.
But the interview had more surprises in store.
While discussing Fraser’s breakthrough role in Airheads, Sandler revealed that there were other challenges to getting Fraser cast in the film besides director Michael Lehmann’s initial hesitation. In fact, Sandler disclosed that fellow actor Pauly Shore, who co-starred with Fraser in the 1992 film Encino Man, tried to dissuade Sandler from pushing for Fraser’s casting.
“He kept saying, ‘Just in case we do ‘Encino 2,’ I don’t want him doing other things,’” Sandler remembered. “And I said, ‘Don’t do that to him.’” The revelation left Fraser stunned, and he reflected on the irony of Shore’s actions given how actors often support one another in the industry. Fraser, however, remained gracious and appreciative of Sandler’s support, emphasizing that Sandler had taken a chance on him and believed in him when others did not.
Fortunately, the world was spared an Encino Man 2, but Brendan Fraser did reprise his role as Link the caveman in Pauly Shore’s 1994 film, In the Army Now. During their conversation, Sandler and Fraser also discussed Shore’s attempt to land a role in Airheads. Although Shore didn’t end up getting the part, the 2 actors didn’t reveal which role he had been hoping for.
The interview showed that despite challenges and obstacles, Fraser was able to overcome them and carve out a successful career. It also highlighted the importance of having supportive colleagues and allies in the industry who are willing to fight for you and believe in your talent.
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