Adam Sandler received a crash course in jewelry making during his time filming Uncut Gems.
As he tells it to Lynn Hirschberg in this episode of Screen Tests, Sandler prepared for his role as Howard Ratner by joining directors Josh and Benny Safdie on several missions to New York City’s diamond district in Times Square.
“The Safdie brothers knew the world of 47th Street—the ins and outs of it—and in order for me to get comfortable and be the best I could be as the character, we went there a lot,” Sandler says. “Got to know so many guys who owned shops, who work in shops, spend days with ’em and watch them do their thing.”
Being surrounded by bevies of jewels sparked an idea in Sandler’s mind: he’d offer some baubles to his wife, Jackie, and his daughters, Sadie and Sunny. Although the kids declined, Jackie Sandler ended up receiving a necklace that would travel with her to all the Uncut Gems screenings, premieres and film festivals.
“I kept calling ’em saying, ‘You guys want, they have this, this and that. You guys want me to…?’ They’re like, ‘Nah, that’s okay, you don’t have to.’ I got a great gift,” Sandler says. “I got a nice diamond necklace with a big ‘Howard’ on it and my wife wears it every Uncut Gems thing we’ve done yet. My wife’s always got the Howard necklace on.”
When discussing his on-screen romance scenes, Sandler takes a pragmatic approach: “I get it done,” he says. Jackie Sandler, on the other hand, is more gung-ho on the romantic side of things. “My wife loves the women I work with,” Sandler explains, “So she’s very, like, ‘Come on, make sure you give, you know, the best you can and give it up.’”