| Adam Sandler has been edging his way into more and more serious films, from Punch Drunk Love to the last 20 minutes of Click. But Reign Over Me is a full on drama with Sandler starring as a 9/11 widower suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Adam Sandler on Reign Over Me
"I prepared for a long time and I tried to stay as focused as I can be," said Sandler. "It was painful to do. I know it was very important the part and to feel as much as I could so I tried to just be prepared for everyday. It wasn’t like movies I’ve done in the past where I’m laughing and having a great time on the set. It was definitely heavier."
The community of survivors actually opened themselves up to Sandler, allowing him into their private healing moments to help him tell their story. "I met a lot of people, yeah. Through therapy sessions and what people were going through. I did that, just one on one stuff. It’s actually post traumatic stress disorder or something that these people were going through, they wanted it to get out into the public more so they it wasn’t easy for them. I would only come inside if they were okay with it and if they needed me to leave, I would leave, but normally they would just let me sit with them and listen. They just wanted to get the word out about what they were going through."
Reign Over Me
Reign Over Me
Sandler may have been an unusual choice for such a role, and he admits the part terrified him, but something kept pulling him towards it. "I read the script a while ago. The first time I read it, I thought it was a pretty incredible movie, but I was afraid of it so I just put it away. I told my guys, ‘Tell that guy thank you, but I can’t do it.’ I was kind of scared of it. Then one night like a month later it was next to my bed and I read it again. It was very moving to me and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to challenge myself so I talked to my guys and said, ‘Can you ask Mike Binder if he’s still interested in doing it?’ I can’t articulate why I like it so much, but it hurt my heart when I read it so much. It also made me laugh. I just wanted to accept the challenge of doing that role."
Even with his previous dramatic work, Reign Over Me took him to uncharted territory. "I think I had to just create a guy and I wasn’t sure I could do it. I was pretty sure on Punch Drunk Love I could do it. When PTA gave me that script and he was telling me about it, it was, ‘Oh, okay, I can do that.' This movie, every time Mike would tell me, ‘Hey, you can do it. You can do it,' in my head I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do it. I hope I can do it. I sure want to. I don’t want to let you down. I don’t want to let anybody down who has been through this tragedy.' So, I put a lot of pressure on myself and I think maybe that is what I was afraid of. But, I committed to it eventually."
Reign Over Me opens to theatres on March 23rd.
For more movie info, go to the Reign Over Me Movie Page.
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