Four of the five stars - and director Dennis Dugan - teamed up for an LA press conference to promote the Columbia Pictures comedy, and the fact they're friends off-screen showed in the way they played off each other while handling questions.
Adam Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock and Dennis Dugan Grown Ups Press ConferenceAs a father yourself, was this movie a way to maybe exorcise the fear that you might have that you are raising elitist, Beverly Hills children that turn out terribly? Secondly, as the writer, did you write with all of these guys in mind?
Adam Sandler: "Yes, the second part of the question, I did. Me and Fred Wolf wrote the movie. The whole idea was about putting together old friends that get to hang out for a weekend. These guys are my old friends, so it made total sense. I’m glad they said yes to it. "
"The idea of my kids being spoiled, I go to sleep thinking about it. I wake up thinking about. I’m trying to do the right thing. With the amount of money I have, it’s difficult to raise children the way I was raised. But I took away the west and north wing of the house for those guys. So, they’re not allowed in there."
David Spade: "It’s hard to pretend you’re broke. They figure it out after a while."
Chris Rock: "My kids don’t have a trust fund, they have a debt fund. Oh my God, they’re $4 million in the hole."
Adam, what drives you to succeed?
Adam Sandler: "I don’t know what drives me to succeed. I know I want to always do the best I can. I never was like that as a kid. I guess I was maybe in little league baseball as far as I wanted to be good at that. But school, I certainly wasn’t the best at that. But this comedy thing and making movies and stuff, I love it so much that I do get driven to push myself as hard as I can."
Do you guys feel like grown ups and when did it actually dawn on you that you’re actually a grown up? Or do you even feel like one yet?
David Spade: "I have problems with it. I’m probably the most little kid still out of this group. But I am clinging. It’s not cute anymore. I think when I bought a house, that’s when I thought I felt like that’s a grown up thing to do."
Kevin James: "I think I’m playing grown up because I have kids now. But I don’t feel grown up yet."
Chris Rock: "I felt it when I lost a house."
Adam Sandler: "When you’re around the kids you feel like you act the most grown up, just because you’re supposed to lead."
Kevin James: "Feel like you’re playing your father, right?"
Adam Sandler: "Yes, yes, exactly. I say things, like every other parent, that reminds you of your own parents. One thing I do know about being a parent, you understand why your father was in a bad mood a lot."
Can you talk a little about the basketball angle in the movie?
Adam Sandler: "I grew up playing church league basketball, it was a big part of my town. I thought that instead of doing a movie about high school, I just thought it would be easier if we made it church league basketball kids who, when you see them in the past, it’s easier to buy little kids as us instead of high school kids who don’t. It would look a little closer to who we were if they were little. I thought like sixth grade was a big time, in my childhood, of hoops and friendship and coming up with funny things. That’s kind of what the movie is. Our kids are that age in the movie. We thought that that’s when it starts. You see the contrast of childhood now compared to what we were like as kids. So, that’s why I picked that, the 12-year-old basketball kind of thing. That was a big part of my life. These guys all play a little bit of ball. We just thought that would be interesting."
In a couple of words, how would you describe yourselves at age 12?
Chris Rock: "Gay."
No really, what were you like?
David Spade: "Nerdy, reserved, awkward."
Kevin James: "Athletic, beating the nerds up. No. I was fit, believe it or not. Fit…go with fit."
Adam Sandler: "Oh yes, look at the pictures."
Kevin James: "I was fit."
Adam Sandler: "He was in good shape."
Kevin James: "For then."
Adam Sandler: "From 11-14…no, how old?"
Kevin James: "Until stand-up comedy. Stand-up ruined me."
Chris Rock: "And then the late night comedy."
Kevin James: "Yes, late-night in diners and drinking late and waking up at 3:00 and then doing it again the next night can ruin a body."
Can you all say what some of your favorite things are that you like to collect or what your hobbies are?
David Spade: "I was a coin collector. Rock says he didn’t have the luxury of collecting money as a child, but I had coins. I didn’t know I was nerdy at the time until I felt my 16-D Mercury Dime that was in uncirculated condition might be a panty dropper, and it turned out not to be. Surprisingly, the Benjamin Franklin Halves Mint set did some damage. Yeah, I did that. Then I stumbled into skateboarding, which kind of was cooler. But I wasn’t aware of what was cool. My dad wasn’t around so he couldn’t shake me and say, 'Drop the coin collecting bit. It’s not where you want to go.' So, that and the spelling bee and the chess, I think I had it figured out for myself."
What do you like now?
David Spade: "Nothing. No, I still like some of the stuff, skateboarding. I golf now. Just stupid things. But I think I was more interesting back then because I was trying a bunch of different hobbies and collections. You know what I mean? I did rocks, all this dumb stuff. But now it’s just trying to stay afloat and just get through the days."
Adam Sandler: "His hobbies now apparently are monologues."
David Spade: "My hobbies are run-on sentences."
Adam Sandler: "Last night I couldn’t sleep. It was like 2:00 in the morning. I was thinking, 'What can I do?' I’m watching TV. I’m like, 'Let me do something else.' I’m not going to fall asleep for a few hours. What are my hobbies? There was the masturbation option. I skipped that because just knowing my kids are down the hall I felt psychotic. So, I went with watching more TV. I couldn’t come up with anything. I was going, 'God, read a book.' Then I was like this, 'Where do I keep the books?' I’ve got nothing to do but watch TV."
Chris Rock: "You’ve got to get the iPad."
Adam Sandler: "I know."
Chris Rock: "We’ve got the iPad."
Adam Sandler: "So what do you do?"
Chris Rock: "They got a bunch of books in there."
David Spade: "You watch TV on it."
Kevin James: "I think this might shock a lot of people but I like food. I’m a connoisseur of food - but bad food. I like bad food. Not high-end."
Adam Sandler: "Double cheese and onion soup last night."
Kevin James: "You brought me to a fancy restaurant and I don’t love fancy restaurants. I like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese out of a box. You know that type of stuff. And making it and doctoring it up myself."
Adam Sandler: "Yeah. You were mad at the macaroni and cheese last night."
Kevin James: "Where did I want to go last night?"
Adam Sandler: "Carl’s Jr."
Kevin James: "I wanted to go to Carl’s Jr."
Adam Sandler: "I talked him out of Carl’s Jr. and brought him to a nice place and he was so angry."
Kevin James: "I was angry. I’m not a fancy food guy. I don’t want three carrots on a plate. That pisses me off."