Brendan Fraser Shocked To Discover Adam Sandler Threatened To Quit A Movie For Him

Sandler revealed to “The Whale” star that he had to fight a director — and Pauly Shore — to get Fraser one of his earliest roles.
Brendan Fraser and Adam Sandler.
Brendan Fraser and Adam Sandler.
Karwai Tang via Getty Images/Steve Granitz via Getty Images

Adam Sandler knew early on in Brendan Fraser’s career that he was a rockstar.

The two actors interviewed each other for Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series in a video published Tuesday. Early on in their conversation, Fraser was completely surprised by a story Sandler told him about their 1994 film “Airheads,” in which both play members of a metal band who hold a radio station hostage to play their demo tape.

At the time, Fraser was best known for his role as a caveman named Link in the goofy 1992 movie “Encino Man.” Sandler was mostly only known as a cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” but used what little clout he had to get Fraser the lead role in “Airheads.”

“[The director] Michael Lehmann was very against you,” Sandler told a shocked Fraser. “He was like, ‘I don’t get it. I don’t see the caveman being in this movie.’ And I just said, ‘He can do other shit, man.’”

“I eventually went to his house, like 4 in the morning, woke him up … I said … ‘Just know Adam Sandler ain’t going to be in ‘Airheads’ unless old Fraser is in it.’ So he changed his little tune,” Sandler said.

“He flew out to Chicago to meet me!” Fraser said, still in disbelief, noting that Lehmann “sang a different tune” when they initially met about the role.

Sandler also revealed that the director wasn’t the only obstacle in Fraser’s eventual casting. The “Hustle” star said that Pauly Shore, who co-starred with Fraser in “Encino Man,” asked Sandler not to push for Fraser for a pretty opportunistic reason.

“He kept saying, ‘Just in case we do ‘Encino 2,’ I don’t want him doing other shit,’” Sandler recalled. “And I said, ‘Don’t do that to him.’”

“That’s Pauly,” Fraser admitted.

Fortunately, there was never an “Encino Man 2.” But Fraser did appear as Link the caveman in Shore’s 1994 movie “In the Army Now” and referenced a line he had in “Encino Man.”

During Sandler and Fraser’s chat they also spoke about how Shore lobbied for a role in “Airheads” that he didn’t get. To find out what it was, check out the video above.

Go To Homepage

Before You Go

Popular in the Community