Though A24’s “Uncut Gems” features retired Celtics player Kevin Garnett in his acting debut, avid basketball fan and star Adam Sandler said he never actually had the chance to shoot hoops with the famed center during filming.
“But he taught me two good tips and I’m not going to tell you what they are, but I hope I see you out on the court and I’m going to destroy you,” Sandler cracked to Variety on Wednesday night at the film’s Los Angeles premiere at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.
Basketball - Role - Film - Story - Development
Basketball played a central role in the both the film’s story and development; Sandler’s first meeting with the writer/director brother duo Josh and Benny Safdie took place on the court. “We played a lot of basketball during this shoot,“ Sandler said. “Josh has long arms. He lucked out and blocked me one time. Blocked my shot. That doesn’t happen very often because I tend to push off and make room, but old Josh blocked me and Jake Hoffman, who was also playing basketball, took a picture of that very moment. So, he passes out the picture of Josh’s hand on my basketball blocking me and he showed me that shot throughout the whole shoot and I hated it. Just one good moment to get Adam.”
Set in Manhattan’s Diamond District in 2012, “Uncut Gems” follows Sander’s Howard Ratner — a jeweler and gambling addict — as he careens from one bad decision to another in a desperate gambit to fend off his encroaching circle of enemies. Sandler’s performance has been hailed as one of his best (the star was named best actor by the National Board of Review), though he has yet to garner any major awards recognition. Despite that, Sandler appears to be in the middle of a career renaissance, especially considering...
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