Adam Sandler is looking back with new perspective.
The 56-year-old Hustle actor tells AARP The Magazine for the publication's October/November 2022 cover story about how he has "gotten much better at life as I've gotten older."
"I'm calmer than I used to be," says Sandler. "I used to go nuts. I had a quick temper, quick reactions. I made a lot of dumb mistakes and said a lot of stupid things. Looking back on relationships, I could be an ass. I was selfish. I was competitive with other comedians and stuff."
"My father would say, 'That guy's funny,' and I would say, 'Hey, I'm funny, blah, blah,' and he'd be, like, 'Why can't you both be funny?' Because I was hungry, I didn't always see clearly then," he continues.
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Sandler, who shares daughters Sunny, 13, and Sadie, 16, with wife Jackie, 47, explains how therapy has been essential to his personal growth.
"I talk to a shrink sometimes. He's given me a plan. Sometimes just holding in a sentence, taking a beat for a minute before saying something stupid," says Sandler. "When I do that, I realize it wasn't that important to say it in the first place, and I don't spend two hours making everyone around me feel weirdness for no reason."
He adds, "I'm also better at appreciation. I appreciate other people's talent now rather than competing with it — in every field, in every sport, every part of showbiz. A lot of young comedians, a lot of the new cast on SNL, they just make me laugh now. I'll watch somebody and say, 'Man, they're great. I never would have thought of that joke or that approach.' Or my kids will throw on some fresh song or podcast and I'll go, 'That's so cool.' "
Phillip Faraone/Getty Adam Sandler and wife Jackie Sandler
The actor also shares his secret to his relationship with wife Jackie, whom he wed in 2003.
"Nobody wants to hear about Adam Sandler's secret to marriage, but I guess here's the secret: Jackie and I like spending time with each other," says Sandler. "We try to make each other laugh, try to listen, try to include each other, try to support each other. We try our best — that's all. And we don't ever think of not being together. We always talk about our future together."
His latest film Hustle is streaming now on Netflix.