Brendan Fraser and Adam Sandler first jammed together in the 1994 comedy “Airheads,” playing two members of a band so desperate to make it big that they hijack a radio station. The musically inept Lone Rangers — Steve Buscemi was the bassist — would soon be in high demand in Hollywood, but Sandler reveals in our conversation that he had to fight to get Fraser cast as singer Chazz Darby. 

Back then, Fraser was best known for playing an unfrozen caveman in “Encino Man,” opposite Pauly Shore. Soon enough, his career exploded, with studio vehicles including “The Mummy,” “George of the Jungle” and “Bedazzled.” And to this day, Sandler, who’s at the top of his game as an NBA coach in Netflix’s “Hustle,” is still rooting for Fraser. “You crushed me,” says Sandler of Fraser’s comeback role as a 600-pound English teacher in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale.” Since the film premiered at Venice, audiences have felt a special connection to Fraser, who’s not shy about letting his emotions play across his face. Most of Fraser’s fans will likely relate when Sandler says the movie “made me cry a lot, because you’re my buddy.”

Adam Sandler: Brendan, you were in a movie called “Airheads.” Remember when I discovered you? You were just a kid. I stole you from Pauly and said, “Get over here.”

Brendan Fraser: Is that how it shook out? Get out of here.

Sandler: I was like, this guy shouldn’t just be a caveman — he should be in a band. 

Fraser: And then what?

Sandler: The director, Michael Lehmann, was very against you. He was like, “I don’t get it. I don’t see the caveman being in the movie.” And I just said, “He can do other shit, man.” 

Fraser: Are you pulling my chain right now?

Read the full conversation here as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors, presented by Amazon Studios