Adam Sandler has learned how to deal with haters.
During a recent conversation on his Netflix show Hustle, Sandler touched on the reviews for Billy Madison, the first film he cowrote with longtime collaborator Tim Herlihy.
“When I was 17 and I got into this, I didn’t think about critics … I didn’t even realize that stuff was coming. I just thought you made movies, people go see it,” Sandler said. “When Billy Madison came out, me and my friend who wrote it, we were just like, ‘Oh yeah, they’re going to write about this in New York!’ We grew up reading the papers, we were going to NYU. And then we read the first one and we were like, ‘Oh my god, what happened? They hate us.’ And then we were like, ‘It must have been this paper,’ but then 90% of the papers are going, ‘This is garbage.’”
Naturally, the sour reaction hurt personally. But Sandler was more worried because “you know your grandmother’s reading it.” After some thought, Sandler said he and Herlihy decided to preserve their mental health. “Maybe we shouldn’t read this stuff because it’s so harsh.”
“I say the first two or three, Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, we would still kinda hear about it,” Sandler said. “People would call us up, “Can you believe they said this about you?’ I’d be like, ‘I didn’t read it, man.’”
Sandler has since learned to live with the criticism.
“It’s great, everything has turned out excellent,” Sandler said. “And it’s okay, I get it. Critics aren’t going to connect with certain stuff and what they want to see. I understand that it’s not clicking with them.”