How Fatherhood Changed Adam Sandler as an Actor
Actors and actresses choose which roles they play and decline offers that don't appeal to them. Starting out, they usually take whatever is offered to them so they can build their resume and get noticed. However, once actors and actresses are established, they have more freedom to turn down undesirable roles, since they know that better ones are likely to come along. Once actors reach this point in their careers, the roles they choose often reflect the events of their personal lives. This trend has proven true for Adam Sandler. The biggest change in Sandler's role choices occurred after he became a father.
Sandler started acting in the late 1980s. He set himself apart as a comedic actor as a cast member on the sketch comedy show, "Saturday Night Live." He continued to act in comedic roles and gained popularity from acting in films like "Happy Gilmore" and "Billy Madison" in the mid to late 1990s. In these movies, Sandler usually played the role of an immature young man who is forced to grow up due to unplanned life events. The humor and themes of these movies appeal to young men in their late teens and early twenties. With the exception of his character in "Big Daddy," Sandler never played the role of the mature father figure. Even in "Big Daddy," the fatherly attributes of the main character are not developed until the end of the film.
Adam Sandler married Jackie, the future mother of his children, in 2003. After this, he started to take more mature roles, often with a romantic touch. One example of this is "50 First Dates," in which Sandler plays a man who learns about true love as he dates a woman with amnesia. These movies still have a comedic edge, but it is less pronounced than in his previous films. Sandler's roles in movies like these show that he was starting to think about his real-life role as a husband and possibly a future father.
When Adam Sandler became a father in 2006, his acting career took another turn. He immediately began taking roles in films with family-centered messages. The first of these movies was "Click," in which Sandler's character gets tired of family life and decides to fast forward through the dull parts, only to find that he has missed tender moments with his wife and children.
In "Grown Ups," Sandler plays the role of a father again. This time, his character wishes to relive the days of his youth, only to realize that his children are the people in his life that matter the most. "Jack and Jill," starring Sandler in both title roles, is another movie about the importance of family. Perhaps the most family-friendly film Sandler has made is "Bedtime Stories." In this movie, Sandler plays the imaginative and fun-loving uncle, rather than the father. All of these films still have the comedic value that everyone expects from Adam Sandler, but the comedy is often gentler and mixed with higher morals and values than his previous films were.
Interspersed throughout his family-centered films, Sandler has acted in a few films that did not meet this mold. However, these films are few and are just goofy fun. His roles in these films aren't the same as his less mature comedy roles he had before his children were born.
Through the years, it is apparent that Adam Sandler has grown and evolved as an actor. The types of roles he accepts and the themes of the movies he's in have changed. These changes in his career have obviously coincided with major life changes, such as his marriage and the birth of his children. This may be because he wanted to make movies that his children would watch someday so he could teach them valuable life lessons through his films. His shift in film role choices may also be simply because becoming a father changed the way he views his life. He no longer finds value in less mature roles and wants to be a part of films with valuable messages.
Regardless of the specific reasons for the change, Adam Sandler has come to be regarded as a more respected actor since he became a father. Before, his roles were purely comedic and he seemed to play the same character in every one of his films. After the birth of his children, his acting has more depth and the characters he plays seem vastly different. Becoming a father appears to have changed Adam Sandler's acting career for the better.