Adam Sandler doesn’t do many interviews. He’s completely sworn off print media (“I used to be misquoted all the time”) and appears on-camera only sparingly. I’ve been doing this job for over 14 years, and have never once interviewed the man. He’s traditionally been one of the few actors who didn’t need to talk to the press, and considering his questionable relationship with critics, likely didn’t walk to talk to them either. But, recently in New York, Sandler did agree to an on-camera interview to talk with us about his latest movie, Pixels, and to address the controversy surrounding his upcoming Netflix movie The Ridiculous Six.

It was Sandler’s last interview of the day, which put me in an interesting position. On the one hand, Sandler appeared visibly tired. He doesn’t do much press, so an afternoon of talking to reporters had clearly taken its toll. I was curious, for someone who rarely talks to online press, what his overall mood would be. But, when I told him I was his final interview, he immediately perked up. He was so excited, he looked like he wanted to give me a hug.

He was surprisingly open about some difficult subjects — we addressed the Native American controversy that has surrounded his first film for Netflix, as well as his ongoing reluctance to host Saturday Night Live — in the short amount of time we were allotted. Sandler might not be everyone’s favorite comedic actor and there is certainly a vocal group of critics (both amateur and professional) who downright hate his contributions to pop culture. But, as one of the very few A-list comedic actors, he’s inherently fascinating to talk to, and it left me hoping Sandler, as he gets older, eventually lets his guard down to talk more about his movies and his career in the future.

Pixels opens in theaters this Friday.

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