Adam Sandler gets why the director of his new Netflix sci-fi wanted his character to have "zero Adam Sandler" in it

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix’s new weird and wonderful sci-fi movie Spaceman features Adam Sandler’s most dramatic role yet, playing a lonely astronaut sent to the far reaches of space. 

However, it's no accident that the movie shows a new side to the comedian. In an interview with Total Film earlier this year, director Johan Renck shared that he wanted Sandler’s character to have "zero Adam Sandler" in it. 

It's an approach that Sandler himself said he was all behind when GamesRadar+ and the Inside Total Film podcast asks him about it. "Offended, I was wondering what the hell his problem was," he laughs, adding: "No, I understood it would be nice to just be this person that you haven't seen before, and try to fall away from stuff you've seen me do in other movies. And I was 100% in and I said, 'If you see me repeat myself, make sure you tap me on the shoulder' and he tapped me on the shoulder maybe 50 times a day."

Spaceman follows astronaut Jakub Procházka (Sandler) as he’s sent to the far reaches of the solar system to collect ancient dust. As his marriage on earth to Carey Mulligan’s Lenka begins to fall apart, he finds solace in a spider-like alien lurking in the shadows of his ship. Voiced by Paul Dano, the creature from the beginning of time makes Jakub question all aspects of his life as he begins to wonder what’s real and what isn’t.

Not only is a more dramatic role than Sandler has done before, but the actor also shares that it was a physically demanding one. In order to convey zero gravity, he was attached to wires and rigs for many hours a day, which is a process he admits was tough.

"I never 100% was comfortable," he explains. "I definitely was in positions that my body was not meant for. Most people probably could have done better than me but from action to cut I did the best I could with floating around and feeling like I was in no gravity and trying to act and feel the pain I needed to feel. And my goodness, it was always a tough day, but a great day."

Spaceman arrives on Netflix on March 1. For our full chat with Sandler and his co-star Dano, listen to the Inside Total Film podcast, out this week.

We also have a list of the best Netflix movies and the best sci-fi movies to stream now.

Fay Watson
Deputy Entertainment Editor

I’m the Deputy Entertainment Editor here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for the Total Film and SFX sections online. I previously worked as a Senior Showbiz Reporter and SEO TV reporter at Express Online for three years. I've also written for The Resident magazines and Amateur Photographer, before specializing in entertainment.