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Adam Sandler and Carey Mulligan Kept it Fun Shooting Spaceman


Summary

  • Sandler & Mulligan shine in Spaceman, a drama exploring modern marriage with a sci-fi twist.
  • Mulligan was pregnant during filming, adding authenticity to her role as Sandler’s fed-up wife.
  • Sandler recalls past work, joking with Mulligan about his films, while they shared fun off-camera moments.



Fresh off her Oscar-nominated turn in Maestro, Carey Mulligan continues her Netflix hot streak with Spaceman, which drops on the streaming giant this week. It’s a captivating turn by the reliably superb actress, who plays the pregnant wife in distress opposite the film’s eponymous character, who is played by another Netflix regular: Adam Sandler. The celebrated comedian and performer is fresh off his own honor these days, a.k.a. the People’s Icon award as awards season winds down.

The pair just cannot be stopped, and their new joint effort from director Johan Renck (known for directing all episodes of HBO’s Chernobyl) is technically science-fiction but ultimately becomes a contemplative study on modern marriage and the human condition. It’s a project that is lightyears away from Sandler classics like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, but don’t let that deter his plethora of fans out there…


On that note, we recently caught up with Sandler and Mulligan in an in-person interview in Los Angeles. They joked about Sandler’s extensive filmography and revealed enlightening behind-the-scenes facts about putting together Spaceman. It’s a genre-bending, impactful new Netflix offering that will surely be dissected by film buffs for years to come — especially in regard to the inquisitive alien voiced by Paul Dano.


‘Weeks of Preparation’ and Mulligan’s Real-Life Pregnancy

Spaceman

Release Date
March 1, 2024

Director
Johan Renck

Runtime
1hr 47min

Writers
Jaroslav Kalfar , Colby Day


Sandler has voiced in the recent past how challenging it was to play Jakub, a Czech astrophysicist who is aboard a solo mission to the outskirts of our solar system. To achieve the floating look in Spaceman, Sandler was rigged to wires that suspended him in mid-air, so we were curious if he went through any sort of training leading up to production. “A couple of weeks of preparation, getting used to trying to look like I’m floating,” Sandler told MovieWeb. “I have a clumsy body. It wasn’t easy for me.”

“I’d be great,” replied Mulling in entertaining the idea of pulling off these astronaut stunts. “I do Pilates. I’d relish the opportunity.”

Instead, Mulligan plays the very pregnant wife of Sandler’s Jakub. As Lenka, Mulligan is marvelous as a wife in distress who is simply fed up with the fact that her husband is off-planet while she’s on the verge of giving birth. “I was pregnant for some of it and fake pregnant for some of it,” Mulligan told us. “When you see my stomach, and I’m lying on the bed with my mother [in the movie], that’s my real eight-month baby in there. So yeah, I did channel a lot of motherly stuff.”


Speaking of channeling, a true Adam Sandler fan might make the “spaceman” connection to his throwback comedy Mr. Deeds, which is shockingly more than 20 years old at this point. “I sang on a plane, ‘Ground control to Major Tom,'” Sandler reminded Mulligan during our interview when we shed light on the Mr. Deeds moment where the eponymous persona belts out David Bowie’s classic song “Space Oddity.”

Mulligan has told the media about how she went about seeing all of Sandler’s films before jumping into Spaceman. “She hates them all,” Sandler joked, to which Mulligan added, “But he’s a nice guy, and he tried. The effort is really rewarding.”


Related

Spaceman Review: Adam Sandler Floats Lazily in Space for Contemplative Sci-Fi Drama

The reliably superb Carey Mulligan plays Sandler’s pregnant wife in distress, while the sublime Paul Dano voices a lovable extraterrestrial.

‘Kate Winslet, Eat Your Heart Out’

Those who have already seen Spaceman know it’s very much a drama, with numerous emotionally intense scenes between Sandler and Mulligan’s characters. We were curious if the pair did anything fun off-camera to keep the mood light between takes. “Celine Dion, late at night, when Carey had to dive into a cold pool,” said Sandler, in reference to a memorable scene involving Mulligan’s Lenka plunging underwater.


“It was cold, it was a little crazy… I didn’t love it,” Mulligan replied. “Johan wanted me to disappear… run and jump and then dive and then just try and stay under as long as you can… It actually was one of my proudest moments as an actor, staying underwater… Kate Winslet, eat your heart out! How long was it in Avatar? Nine minutes?”

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Anger Management Flipped the Adam Sandler Movie Formula

Although Anger Management is one of Adam Sandler’s less-acclaimed movies, it stands out among the pack for this reason.

Despite its incorporation of other film genres, Spaceman remains an exciting new addition to the science-fiction realm of cinema. To that end, we asked if Sandler and Mulligan had any favorite sci-fi films from years and decades past. “My dad and I watched Attack of the 50 Foot Woman,” said Sandler. “She was a giant lady, and she was fun. My dad liked her.”


Independence Day, loved it,” Mulligan replied, though she wasn’t sure if the hit Will Smith film was technically sci-fi or perhaps an action film. “Ex Machina was cool. Alex Garland is a genius,” she continued.

Spaceman is now playing in select theaters and starts streaming on Netflix March 1.



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