MOVIES

Spaceman Director Reveals The Unusual Adam Sandler Movie That Inspired His Casting

In “Punch-Drunk Love,” Adam Sandler plays Barry Egan, a lonesome entrepreneur who suffers from bouts of social anxiety. In “Spaceman,” the actor suits up as famed Czech cosmonaut Jakub Procházka, whose loneliness coupled with his personal demons takes a heavy toll on his psyche.

“It was [about] this kind of awkwardness, this awkward guy trying to function, trying to make himself understood without really being able to do that in the face of the world, and so on and so forth,” Johan Renck explained. “So, to me, it’s his character from ‘Punch-Drunk Love’ [20] years later — that version of it to some extent.”

While Renck entered the production of “Spaceman” knowing that Sandler had the wherewithal to bring Jakub to life, the director admitted that the actor brought some subtle attributes to the character that shocked him with delight.”I got to say that I knew he’s a great actor and all that, but the nuances of his eyes — this is very detailed now — is something that I just found myself putting the camera closer and closer to him because I wanted those subtle, the nuances of the reaction aspects of his eyes,” Renck told Looper. “I couldn’t stop watching that, and I said to him, “How the f*** do you even do that?” and he said, ‘I don’t know, man. I just do my stuff.'”

Whatever Sandler’s stuff was, Renck said he couldn’t get enough of it. “I was so compelled by it. I could not stop watching that and looking out for the subtleties in somebody like that,” the filmmaker recalled. “I’ve never seen anything like it. And he is incredible. He really is.”

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