The morning after losing to Adam Driver at the Gotham Awards, Sandler appeared on The Howard Stern Show to promote his dramatic turn in Uncut Gems, an adrenaline-filled thriller from directors Josh and Benny Safdie. In the film, the comic stars as Howard Ratner, a gambling addict trying to dig himself out of a massive hole. The performance is drawing rave reviews, to which Sandler joked to Stern, “That’s shocking, right?”
During the interview, Stern pushed for the usually media-shy Sandler to step up his campaigning in pursuit of an Oscar nomination. The actor has already done more promotion than usual, including a rare profile in The New York Times. “I did like an asshole,” declared Sandler when Stern brought it up. “The Safdie Brothers and everybody worked so hard on the movie that I didn’t want to do what I usually do and just go, ‘Eh, I can’t help you out there.'”
Sandler admits that it would be a “funny big thing” if he scores his first Oscar nomination, saying that he’d be “there to win,” hence why he’d even ditch his famous casual look for a Nike tuxedo. But maybe more likely to get him that coveted trophy isn’t his performance or any interviews, but rather a threat.
“If I don’t get it, I’m going to f—ing come back and do one again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay,” he jokes of his next movie. “That’s how I get them.”
It might already be working, as after the Stern interview it was announced Sandler was named Best Actor by the National Board of Review, giving him a leg up in the Oscar race.
Meanwhile, Rob Schneider and David Spade are waiting on standby, just in case.
Uncut Gems has a limited release on Dec. 13, and then hits theaters nationwide on Dec. 25.