New Again: Andy Samberg

By and
Photography Todd Oldham

Published June 13, 2012

In New Again, we highlight a piece from Interview’s past that resonates with the present.

When Andy Samberg announced he would be leaving Saturday Night Live this summer, it didn’t come as a major surprise. Rumors of his retirement from the show had been circulating for months; his other film-star castmate Kristen Wiig bid the show farewell last month (Jason Sudeikis would soon follow), and later this week, That’s My Boy will open in theaters, with Samberg starring alongside leading man Adam Sandler (also an SNL vet). The film is Samberg’s first leading role in a major motion picture since The Lonely Island tried (and failed) to transition to the big screen with Hot Rod back in 2007. For Samberg, the chance to work with Sandler may be just the break he needs to follow the likes of post-SNL successes Eddie Murphy and Jimmy Fallon.

Then again, the past year hasn’t been a particularly good one for Adam Sandler. His 2011 comedy Jack and Jill was the first film nominated for every Razzie Award for worst performances of the year; starring as both Jack and Jill, Sandler was named 2011’s Worst Actor and Worst Actress.

Back in 2007, before Jack and Jill earned a 3% on Rotten Tomatoes and Hot Rod grossed only $14 million over its two months in theaters, Adam Sandler spoke with Samberg, a soon-to-be Emmy winner for his “Dick in a Box” short with Justin Timberlake, about filming Samberg’s new movie, dealing with Jewish hair, and handling onset romance and internet fame.

Andy SambergBy Adam Sandler

ADAM SANDLER: How’d you like seeing Styx play the other night?

ANDY SAMBERG: They ruled.

SANDLER: “Renegade” and “Blue Collar Men”—they tore the house down.

SAMBERG: They played hard, man.

SANDLER: Where are you?

SAMBERG: I am in New York City. We’re at the editing office finishing up Hot Rod.

SANDLER: Oh, you’re all over this thing.

SAMBERG: Yeah, we’re involved.

SANDLER: You fall right into the trap of being the young Sandler.

SAMBERG: If they use the bad takes, then I’m done.

SANDLER: You went to NYU film school—did you learn anything besides how to make crack out of Drano and baba ghanoush?

SAMBERG: I did learn that. I also learned how to get my parents to spend a lot of money.

SANDLER: So, Hot Rod, I love the trailer and that crazy-ass stunt. The guy on the bike got hurt?

SAMBERG: Yeah, he did. On the mail-truck jump, the dude definitely took a bit of a pain spill.

SANDLER: When you were a kid, could you pop a wheelie and pedal for a while?

SAMBERG: No. The irony of this movie is that I was terrible with anything involving wheels. All my friends were really sick skateboarders, and I kept trying to learn, which culminated with me doing ollies in my bedroom, splitting my mouth wide open, and getting 50 stitches. I couldn’t laugh for a month. It was pretty embarrassing. I did learn how to ride a moped for Hot Rod, though. It kind of exorcized some demons for me—”See, wheels, I can control you.”

SANDLER: The reason I was bad at popping a wheelie or riding bikes was that I never knew where to put the balls. The banana seat—every type of seat—hurt Sandler’s balls.

SAMBERG: So wait—you could do a wheelie?

SANDLER: I could ride a wheelie okay. But there were kids in my school who could pop wheelies and ride around the whole playground.

SAMBERG: You don’t want to be too good at wheelies, though, because at a certain point, you cross that threshold into unicycle. Then you’ve got to start wearing a fedora.

SANDLER: Okay. If Justin Timberlake said that *NSYNC was going to get back together, but they needed another guy, would you join?

 

SAMBERG: Absolutely—I mean, if they would have me, I could probably sing as good as the worst singer in *NSYNC, right? Nobody really knows how good the peripheral guys are. I could probably get the dance moves down.

SANDLER: Your hair moves nice when you dance. I’ve noticed.

SAMBERG: My hair has a lot of spirit.

SANDLER: That’s probably the only thing you’ve got on the Sandman—cooler hair.

SAMBERG: Your hair is more universal, though.

SANDLER: Well, in temple, yeah.

SAMBERG: I can’t hold a yarmulke on for shit.

SANDLER: So Sissy Spacek is in Hot Rod. I’m sure this isn’t true, but people have said that after every take, she threw blood on you.

SAMBERG: I mean, yeah. I probably shouldn’t say, just because she really appreciates her privacy, but it’s sort of her ritual. She does it with her mind, just like Carrie [1976]. She likes getting it on herself, too.

SANDLER: See, no one talks about that, because they’re always trying to make it look like she’s about hurting other people. But that’s what’s cool about her. She wants to see what it feels like herself, too.

SAMBERG: You know, we had a little on-set romance. No big deal.

SANDLER: Oh, yeah? How long did that last?

SAMBERG: About 35 seconds, but that was mostly my fault.

SANDLER: She is a pretty lady. What is she playing in the movie? Your mother?

SAMBERG: She plays my mom, yeah.

SANDLER: Did you let Sissy be funny?

SAMBERG: We did our best. We were surprised she did the movie to start with.

SANDLER: There’s nothing better than getting that call. When Kathy Bates agreed to do Water Boy [1998], I was like, “Really? She’s going to do it?”

SAMBERG: Exactly. We could not believe it. But we were obviously super happy because she’s ridiculously good.

SANDLER: Because of all the videos and stuff that you and your boys have done, you guys are gigantic on the Internet. I myself never have turned on my computer, because I’m afraid of getting sucked in and having to live inside there. So how did you cope with that fear initially?

SAMBERG: I mean, it has to just happen a few times to get it out of the way. It’s like your first car accident. You’re like, “All right. Now I’m comfortable driving, because I got my accident out of the way.” Once you get sucked in, it’s not that bad. You remember that movie The Lawnmower Man [1992]? It’s a lot like that, except you’re less evil.

SANDLER: So you were inside the computer twice before?

SAMBERG: Yeah, two or three times. You consume a lot of knowledge at a very alarming rate, and then you’ve got to find your way out. Sometimes you pop out of a computer across the world.

SANDLER: Where did you come out the first time?

SAMBERG: Australia, which was cool because I know some people down there, so I made a day of it. The second time, I actually went back in and came out in my neighbors’ house.

SANDLER: The odds are against that—you coming out in the right place. It wasn’t your home, but walking distance is huge.

SAMBERG: Yes, it was very lucky. It wasn’t lucky that I popped out while my neighbors were boning, though. But that happens. Now they’re always nice to me, because they know I’ll tell people that they looked really gross.

THIS INTERVIEW INITIALLY APPEARED IN THE AUGUST 2007 ISSUE OF INTERVIEW.

For more New Again click here.