Just because Andy Samberg plays Adam Sandler's son in "That's My Boy" doesn't mean the latest graduate of "Saturday Night Live" is following in the Happy Madison hero's footsteps. The 33-year-old is definitely forging his own funnyguy path.
For starters, Samberg left the NBC mainstay of his own, albeit quiet, accord, opting to say farewell to the show after seven years with simply a pair of digital shorts. Secondly, he's keeping one foot on the small screen. Following promotions for "That's My Boy," he's heading to the U.K. to work on a show for the BBC.
Still, working on a film with Sandler – the first of three, with "Hotel Transylvania" and "Grown Ups 2" to come – feels like a strong start to a solid film career. Could an "SNL" spin-off flick like "Shy Ronnie" be far behind?
Adam Sandler has done so many movies and you guys both started in "Saturday Night Live." Did this feel like some sort of metaphoric passing of the baton?
No, it felt more like a "you can hold onto the baton for this one and I will handily take it back and keep moving." But he was very nice and inviting and welcomed me into the Sandler fold.
I've definitely admired him forever, since I was in seventh grade listening to his albums and watching him on "SNL." His movie career is obviously very enviable. He's made a crapload of money making comedies. So some version of that I would definitely aspire to. You can only hope.
What do you think the appeal of Sandler movies is, especially in recent years where so many of his movies have been panned but still make bank?
I think it's because he's one of the few people left that's going for hard jokes. There's a lot of stuff that I really enjoy, but I don't consider hard comedy that gets a lot of good reviews and everything, whereas I think Sandler's still making movies for the people that like the stupidest thing you can think of, which I always appreciate. I have a great love for "stupid" comedy.
I think a lot of critics and stuff take it personally when a comedy is really dumb or raunchy or whatever, but there's no quantifying comedy. It's just taste, just like any other art form. There's obviously a big audience for things that are immature and I certainly wouldn't have a job if there wasn't.
I hope that's not true, but have you thought at all about making that more dramatic turn?
I did a slightly more seriously movie that was at Sundance this year that's coming out in August with Rashida Jones called "Celeste & Jesse Forever." That's definitely the most serious work I've done in terms of actually acting. I'm open to anything as long as I just like the script or the project or the people involved. Comedy is what I think I do best, but it was fun. It was a challenge to do that other style of acting where it wasn't just kind of crazy.
You just referred to that as "actually acting." What do you call what you're doing in "That's My Boy?"
Doing comedy and more dramatic acting are like different muscles to me. I feel like I don't need to convince myself that I'm actually happy or sad to do comedy – I feel that's just more who I am naturally as a person.
Also Check Out: Watch "That's My Boy" Red-Band Trailer
Did you have to pull some former "Motherlover" strings to get Susan Sarandon to do this movie?
No, that was just a happy coincidence that she ended up on this project, but I was really psyched. Susan's the best. She's so funny in the movie, too. To me, it was such a cool idea to have a mother/daughter (Eva Amurri) play the same character … They're both hot ladies.
Your character in this movie has a big New Kids on the Block tattoo. Do you have any tattoos? If you were going to get a tattoo of a boy band, which would it be?
I don't. You think I'm going to say *NSYNC. I might go New Kids. I've also said New Edition. New Edition meant a lot more to me probably than any other boy band. I mean, unless you count The Beatles, am I right?
Why the delay in the decision not to return to "SNL?"
I hadn't had a chance to talk to Lorne [Michaels] officially. I was very busy working on the shorts for the show and it was just a chaotic final run into the end of the season, so I felt like it was better to wait until the smoke had cleared to really talk to him and make sure it was really what I wanted to do. Obviously, I had a sense that that was the direction it was heading based on the last two shorts. I kind of built it in there that way so it was like a nice bookend. But I didn't want to announce in the middle of all the mayhem of the end of the season – I didn't want to distract from that – and I wanted to make sure I talked to Lorne. I owe him everything and I wanted to do proper diligence and respect.
Do you wish you could go back and have a proper send-off like Kristen Wiig got?
I think Kristen got the send-off that was right for her. I had a little bit more of an under-the-radar send-off for myself in the digital shorts, in "Lazy Sunday," and that was befitting my time there. It felt right. It felt good to me.
Would you ever turn any of your "Saturday Night Live" characters into a movie or expand any of the digital shorts?
I don't know. Not that I can think of. If we made a movie at some point that had some musical element to it, you could argue that that's born of the digital shorts and the albums we've made. But I don't think anyone's banging the door down to see the "Shy Ronnie" movie.
Also Check Out: Samberg, Wiig and Sudeikis: Life After "SNL"
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