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Adam Sandler plays a New York-based jeweler and compulsive gambler who gets in over his head in the Safdie brothers’ crime thriller Uncut Gems.
He joined the Actor Roundtable to discuss his research process for the role of Howard Ratner, saying, “I spent a lot of time on 47th Street. I gamble in the movie a lot, so I spent a lot of time with a lot of gamblers who had bad problems and lost a lot of things and lost their lives because of it.”
“The Safdie brothers, the guys who did the movie, they did the research and met a lot of the guys who were willing to sit down with me and talk,” he continued. “It’s just their lives get thrown away and their family lives get thrown away. It’s about where they are right now, and they discussed what the highs and lows were and why they couldn’t stop and that kind of feeling.”
Sandler also had the opportunity to step into the world of a jeweler, saying, “All these guys on the block let me in their shops, and I got to sit with them and watch them. They taught me about the jewelry and about selling, and I watched them all day long. It was a lot of fun.”
“It’s good to learn something,” he added. “I walked away thinking I knew everything. Right now, it’s a year later, and I forgot so much. I wish I didn’t.”
Sandler was previously nominated for a Golden Globe for his leading role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love.
The full Actor Roundtable is set to air Jan. 19 on SundanceTV. Sandler appears on the panel along with Robert De Niro (The Irishman), Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy), Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy) and Adam Driver (Marriage Story).
Follow all the Oscar-season roundtables at THR.com/Roundtables.
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