Adam Sandler Says He Fought To Get Brendan Fraser His Fan-Favorite Part

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

brendan fraser

Adam Sandler and Brendan Fraser are great friends, going back to the first film they did together, the 1994 comedy Airheads. In a conversation shared by Variety, the two actors reminisce on their time filming the cult classic, how impressive Fraser looked in George of the Jungle, and how Sandler loved seeing his friend in The Whale. During one exchange, Sandler explained how he got Fraser his role as the lead singer of The Lone Rangers, which was new information to The Mummy star.

As Adam Sandler explained to Brendan Fraser, “The director, Michael Lehmann, was very against you. He was like, “I don’t get it. I don’t see the caveman being in the movie. I eventually went to his house at like 4 in the morning, woke him up, and I said, “Just know Adam Sandler ain’t going to be in Airheads unless old Fraser is in it.”

After Adam Sandler’s explanation, Brendan Fraser remarked on his experience with Michael Lehmann, “He flew out to Chicago to meet me. He sang a different tune then.” Sandler finishes up, explaining that “He’s a filthy liar. He didn’t want you. I did, and the rest is pretty good. You had a good life because of me.” Touched by this story of how he got the role, Fraser thanked Sandler.

Adam Sandler, Brendan Fraser, and Steve Buscemi in Airheads.

Adam Sandler and Brendan Fraser filmed Airheads, also starring Steve Buscemi, Chris Farley, and David Arquette, in the same studio used to film Die Hard, which amused the whole cast. Sandler referred to it as “one of the best shoots of my life,” while Fraser was just impressed watching the future Happy Gilmore star improvise on camera. Fraser said that it was thrilling to watch the improvisation, which was timed to take up the remainder of a film reel, saying that actors now take it for granted with everything on digital.

As Adam Sandler and Brendan Fraser talked, the star of Billy Madison expressed how deeply he was moved watching his friend perform during a screening of The Whale. Fraser explained how he found his character’s motivation, faced with only a few days left to live, to get up, move, and reconnect with his daughter, played by Sadie Sink. Playing a character with eating issues reminded Fraser of his time on the George of the Jungle set, where he had to eat right for months in order to make the loincloth look good.

Adam Sandler, jokingly, says that Brendan Fraser made them look bad going from Airheads to George of the Jungle. For his part, Fraser says that the shoot demanded so much of him, he got delirious from hunger, forgot his own ATM PIN code, and went hungry for a night. Fraser brought his own history with food, from his George of the Jungle physique to his later weight gain, in order to produce the award-nominated performance he puts on in The Whale. The two actors, nearly 30 years after Airheads, remain good friends. Adam Sandler can be seen in the new movie Hustle, while Brendan Fraser’s “Brenaissance” continues with the release of The Whale this weekend.