Listen: Adam Sandler Wore $400,000 Worth of Diamonds and Gold in ‘Uncut Gems’

Adam Sandler may not have received a Golden Globe or SAG Awards nomination for his work in “Uncut Gems,” but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a shot at the Oscars.

It will be a tough road to get there, but despite some snubs, the National Board of Review named Sandler the year’s best actor and he’s also up for an Independent Spirit Award.

I sat down with Sandler and “Uncut Gems” co-directors and writers Benny and Josh Safdie for “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, shortly after the movie began picking up buzz at Telluride and the Toronto Film Festival.

Here are some of the highlights:

Sandler says he knows “a lot of men” like Howard, his character in “Uncut Gems.” He also drew inspiration from his childhood. “My uncle also worked in the Garment District, so when we were shooting around there, that area I was very familiar with and I grew up being in that neighborhood and being around a lot of guys like that,” Sandler said.

Sandler admits he was “scared of Howard” when he first read the script, but by “day three,” everyone on set loved the guy. “We prepared so much,” the actor said. “We got to know so much of who Howard should be and the way he reacts and thinks and just diving into the scenes day-to-day, and discussing stuff before and after. We were living that movie. We lived the movie day in and day out, before we shot, during the shoot, after the shoot. We never left each other.”

Popular on Variety

Yes, the diamonds and gold Sandler wore in the movie were real. At one point, he was wearing about $400,000 worth of jewelry. His Cartier eyeglasses alone cost $7,000. His Star of David pinky ring was custom-made by one of the jewelers in the Diamond District. “We were like, ‘We got to get that Jewish star pinky ring,’” Sandler recalled. “And then one of the guys goes, ‘Let me get that done for you on the block.’”

As for the Oscar buzz, Sandler insists he can’t think about it, but then Benny piped in, “You should have won one for ‘Wedding Singer’ [and] ‘Big Daddy.'”

Sandler smiled: “The boys like my stuff.”

You can listen to the entire interview below. You can also find “The Big Ticket” at iHeartRadio or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

More Film

  • Kathy Valentine, Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin,

    The Go-Go's on Sundance Doc: Neither 'America's Sweethearts' Nor 'Drug-Crazed Demons'

    Some people might come to a Go-Go’s documentary wanting a purely fun, bubbly experience, based on the effervescence the group projected at its breakthrough peak in the early ’80s. Others might want a sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll tell-all, if they’re aware of the tensions and bad habits that led the all-female band to [...]

  • 'The Dissident' Review: Powerful Look at

    'The Dissident': Film Review

    It’s become common, if not cliché, for a critic reviewing a documentary about a turbulent real-world event to write something like, “It exerts the power of a true-life thriller!” Well, make no mistake: “The Dissident” does. Directed by Bryan Fogel, who in 2017 made the Oscar-winning “Icarus” (about the Russian doping of Olympic athletes), the [...]

  • Cathy Yan, Chris Messina, Mary Elizabeth

    Margot Robbie, 'Birds of Prey' Co-Stars Justify the Movie’s R-Rating, Violence and Cussing

    Following the success of “Joker” last year, DC Films is continuing its gritty streak with “Birds of Prey,” a slam-bang adventure about Harley Quinn. Though DC Film’s 2016 tentpole “Suicide Squad” took a critical bashing at the time, filmgoers quickly took a liking to Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. “Birds of Prey” gives the [...]

  • Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) has

    Film News Roundup: 'The Irishman,' 'Marriage Story' Added to Criterion Collection

    In today’s film news roundup, four Netflix titles have been added to the Criterion Collection, Slamdance and ArcLight are partnering, Steven Grayhm is starring in and directing a paranormal drama, and The Mammoth Film Festival sets its lineup. CRITERION COLLECTION Four Netflix titles will be released on Blu-ray through the Criterion Collection — Martin Scorsese’s [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho 'Parasite' Director

    Listen: Who Will Take Home the Oscars for Best Director and Picture?

    The Oscars are just two weeks away, so it’s time to start making final predictions about who is going to win. On this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast, I invited the magazine’s deputy awards and features editor (and my “Pick of the Week” co-host) Jenelle Riley onto the show [...]

  • Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

    'Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets': Film Review

    “Smile for the camera, motherf—ers,” warns the graffiti outside the Roaring Twenties, a Las Vegas dive bar where spirits are high because the end is nigh. The boozers who’ve braved this dim red cave, in Bill and Turner Ross’ bitterly funny docufiction film “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets,” have signed on to play themselves in an [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content