Adam Sandler had to force himself to look away from “harsh” reviews about “Billy Madison” in order to save his sanity, the actor revealed.
“When I was 17 and I got into this, I didn’t think about critics,” he said during a Netflix conversation about his film “Hustle,” Entertainment Weekly reported.
The 56-year-old comedian’s 1995 film was his screenwriting debut, and the first feature he wrote with his now-ever-present collaborator Tim Herlihy.
“I didn’t even realize that stuff was coming. I just thought you made movies, people go see it,” Sandler added.
“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,’” the “Grown Ups” star mused.
Sandler confessed that the negative reviews “stung” him, but mainly because “you know your grandmother’s reading it.”
The “Saturday Night Live” alum explained that he panicked about his family possibly having to defend him against the trolls, so he opted not “to 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 of the haters’ comments. “People would call us up, ‘Can you believe they said this about you?’ I’d be like, ‘I didn’t read it, man.’”
Despite the bad reviews from his past, Sandler has learned to brush them off and move on.
“It’s great, everything has turned out excellent,” the “Uncut Gems” actor concluded about his career so far. “And it’s OK, 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.”
Elsewhere in the conversation, Sandler praised his “Airheads” co-star Brendan Fraser and his newest film “The Whale.”
Their 1994 comedy starred the two and Steve Buscemi as a wannabe rock band who try to seize a radio station.
Sandler called the “Mummy” actor “a smart, such a deep guy” who’s “such a loving sweetheart.”
“His performance — I saw [‘The Whale’] — is ridiculous,” the “Longest Yard” star said. “We’ve been talking a lot lately and I couldn’t be happier for him.”