Adam Sandler Doesn't Listen to Any Critic Besides Kathy Bates

Bates told Sandler on the set of 'Waterboy' that only one opinion mattered -- her own
Adam Sandler Doesn't Listen to Any Critic Besides Kathy Bates

Adam Sandler may be in the middle of a surprisingly strong Oscars campaign for his performance in the sports drama Hustle, but he is all-too-aware of the fact that, for most of his career, the tastemakers who have already started to add prestigious accolades to his trophy case are historically not Sandler stans – not even close.

Despite the way that film critics have changed their tune on Sandler since the release of Hustle, The Sandman has made it clear that he hasn’t cared about what commentators think of him in a long, long time. On a recent episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Sandler told the story of how he tried to warn Kathy Bates of how his films are likely to be received when they were co-starring in The Waterboy, but the Oscar-winning actress taught him the important lesson that only one person’s opinion matters – hers.

Said Sandler of Mama Boucher, “I loved her and I loved everything she did,” before recalling a conversation they shared during the production of Waterboy wherein Sandler warned him of the typical reception to his projects. Sandler said, “I remember telling her when somebody brought up critics that I was like, ‘They’re probably not gonna like it. They’re probably gonna say bad stuff, maybe don’t read it.’”

But Bates was not phased by the expected response of film critics who would eventually award  Waterboy a 33 percent RottenTomatoes score. Reported Sandler of the woman who also taught him about the ornery nature of alligators, “(Bates) said, ‘Well, I like it, so that’s all that matters,’ or something like that. She was cool.”

Sandler clarified that, while the intensely negative criticism he’s received during the majority of his film career doesn’t affect his personal views his work, it does upset him to know that it might have an impact on those around him. Sandler said of the effect the constant critical panning had on his circle, “I just felt bad for my family and I just felt bad for the people who worked really hard on the movies.” He continued, “I had so many great actors in the movies. When we would get done shooting it, they would say to me ‘I think the critics are really going to like this one.’ And I’d say ‘Oh no, they’re going to say bad things, and they’re probably going to say bad things about you being in it.’

Clearly, Bates did not care for his cautions – all that mattered to her was how she felt about the film. Plus, despite what is said about Sandler’s projects in newspapers and magazines, he rarely makes a financial flop – Waterboy grossed a whopping $190 million at the box office. You can’t buy mansions with RottenTomatoes scores.

Someone should ask Al Pacino what he thinks about Jack and Jill. Or, better yet, ask Dunkaccino.

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