Move over Scuba Steve. Adam Sandler’s comedies are often filled with eccentric characters — but none stand out as much as whoever Rob Schneider is playing. The longtime friends have starred in several movies together, most notably The Waterboy (1998), Big Daddy (1999) and 50 First Dates (2004).
“Big Daddy was a lot of fun because he wasn’t a gigantic star at that moment. But you had the feeling that it was going to happen. It was also fun to be there that night in his apartment in New York when The Waterboy returns were coming in and it was like the biggest movie ever opening in a non-holiday time. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, it’s all happening,’” Schneider, 54, recalls exclusively to Us Weekly.
“But I think the most fun movie that we did together — I think its a beautiful movie — is 50 First Dates,” he adds. “That’s the one that fifty years from now it will still be playing. I think that one still plays somewhere in the world every day.”
Schneider and Sandler, 51, first collaborated back on Saturday Night Live. Naturally, they take advantage when they reunite on movie sets.
“We get to really hangout more when we’re working on a movie set because we can literally have an hour conversation without anyone interrupting us. No kids,” the Real Rob star tells Us. “There’s 30 years of history there. There’s a trust. He knows that if he’s stuck in a scene that we’ll figure out how to get out of it without even having to talk about it. He knows I’ll come up with something or he’ll come up with something. Then I’ll follow and vice versa. Comedy is tough. There is no net.”
As part of our Now and Then series, Schneider looks back at three of his most iconic roles — and reveals where he thinks they would be today.
The Waterboy – Townie
“I think he would have drowned by now trying to catch catfish. Because he’s one of those guys who would be hunting for catfish with his bare hands. Adam knew I was going to get tortured with that character for many years. And I didn’t know at the time but he called me two weeks before the movie came out. ‘In two weeks The Waterboy is going to come out and you’re not going to be able to go anywhere without hearing, ‘You can do it!’ Then I got a cold chill and I was like, ‘Maybe he’s right.’ And that lasted for about 15 years.”
Big Daddy – Delivery Guy
“Still very angry that younger people are making more money than him. I just remember trying to figure out that character because in the script it was portrayed as a Chinese guy. And I said, ‘I think I should play him as a Russian.’ Because there was a guy that I knew who would just say hello to you and make you feel terrible. Make you feel awful. And I thought, ‘That’s a fun take.’ When you’re trying to find a character put on the outfit and walk around a little bit. So I put on this greasy delivery outfit and grew out my greasy mustache and people in New York wouldn’t even acknowledge me or make eye contact with me. And I thought, ‘Well, that would make him angry.’ And then he’s delivering to these guys who have more money than him and a nicer apartment. So it just gave me an edge and an anger. And that was used. Most of that movie was ad-libbed by Adam and myself — at least in my role. Because it wasn’t on the page.”
50 First Dates – Ula
“They asked me to do an Ula movie, but it was so much makeup that three hours of makeup a day I just couldn’t do it. It was a lot. And then one time I had to put surgical glue on my eyebrows because I had to go underwater with dolphins. They gave me a swimmer suit and it was freezing. The dolphins were not friendly to me. They were hitting me everywhere they could. And I remember when they took off the surgical glue I lost some of my eyebrow, which I never grew back. Don’t put surgical glue on your eyebrows! But I had to do that for the under water scene. They could have done CGI dolphins now but back then it was just cheaper to dive into a tank. It was a nice scene with Drew Barrymore and Adam. It’s a nice movie. Now I think he would be a Hawaii senator just getting kicked out of office.”