Five things you need to know about… Adam Sandler’s shape- shifting comedy drama
I t Started With A Saying
1 Everything from books to boardgames have inspired Hollywood movies, but writer/ director Thomas McCarthy’s starting point for The Cobbler was an old adage. “I was wondering the origins of the expression ‘ not really knowing a man until you walk a mile in his shoes’, and then I started thinking about it as an idea and how simple it was and that I’d never seen it on screen before,” McCarthy tells Red Alert. “Also, I actually lived above a cobbler at the time, so a couple of events were the seed of the idea for this film.”
Adam Sandler Plays I t Straight
2 Sandler stars as Max, a fourth generation Jewish cobbler who discovers a magical sewing machine that allows him to take on a person’s appearance while wearing their shoes. But with McCarthy at the helm don’t expect to see Sandler’s usual slap- shtick. “I think because of Adam’s casual nature in a lot of his movies, which is a persona, people don’t realise how hard he works and how seriously he takes things,” McCarthy says. “He immediately found a cobbler in LA and would send me video clips of himself sanding a leg or using a sewing machine. He got pretty good at it.”
It’s a Superhero Story. Sort of
3 Naturally, Max’s mundane existence is turned upside down by his new power. “We were always trying to see it through the lens of: ‘ What would this guy do?’” McCarthy explains. “He would probably try and meet a beautiful lady for a meal. Maybe he would go for a spin in a guy’s car. Max has had a straightforward life and suddenly he has the opportunity to step out of it. We didn’t know what this movie was when we started out. As we got closer to the end a fable- like quality was emerging and we realised Max was a neighbourhood superhero of sorts.”
Top Of The Hoffs
4 The film has a strong supporting cast, including rapper- turned- actor Method Man, rising star Dan Stevens and Hollywood legend Dustin Hoffman, who plays Max’s mysteriously absent father. “Dustin plays a guy who did exactly what Max does – discover this sewing machine, abuse it, get in over his head and arrive at a place where the best thing for him to do is disappear,” McCarthy says. “It felt like we were doing black box theatre, we had all these wonderful actors from different backgrounds.”
A Di rector Of Ice And Fi re
5 McCarthy directed the unaired pilot for Game Of Thrones and is partly to thank for casting Peter Dinklage after the pair worked together on The Station Agent. “Pete was our first choice,” McCarthy says. “[ David Benioff and DB Weiss] approached him and asked if I would talk to him. It seems like a no- brainer now, but at the time I think Pete was looking at it and wasn’t sure – and obviously he made the right choice. It was pretty obvious early on, even from the pilot, that he was the perfect fit.”
The Cobbler is released on Friday 22 May.
Dustin Hoffman plays the father who has
a long- kept secret. Adam Sandler’s thinking, “They might be uncomfortable but I’ll look stunning!” sci- fact! Thomas McCarthy co- wrote Pixar’s Up and was Oscarnominated for his efforts.