Adam Sandler and director Dennis Dugan have a long history together that includes teaming up on money-making screwball comedies like “Happy Gilmore,” “Big Daddy” and “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan.” Their big-screen antics continue this fall with the November release of “Jack and Jill,” a family comedy that has Sandler playing the role of Jack — and that of his sister Jill — alongside Katie Holmes and Al Pacino, who plays himself.
If that sounds like a recipe for ridiculousness, check out what Dugan had to say recently about the hilarity that ensued during production, including what Sandler is like in drag and just how funny Pacino really is.
MTV: How is Adam as a woman?
Dennis Dugan: Wonderful. He plays this absolutely [straight]; [Jill is] essentially his identical twin sister, so not a centerfold, if I can be diplomatic.
MTV: Does she think she’s a centerfold?
Dugan: She’s this Bronx spinster, all that that entails in a single, 40-ish woman from the Bronx. She’s a really powerful personality that could be translated as a pain in the ass, depending on who you are, but has a really, really, really nice heart. She just doesn’t understand how annoying she is.
MTV: What kind of Adam Sandler movie is this? How does it compare to your other offerings?
Dugan: It’s very funny. It’s got a lot of heart. It’s PG and it’s a Thanksgiving/Christmas type of movie and, so far, in tests it appeals all the way across the board. And so if you were saying it was different from a normal Adam Sandler movie, it has a wide appeal to both — to women and boys too. So it plays out pretty equally among all the quadrants, where usually [our movies] are a tiny bit more focused on younger males.
MTV: How was working with Al Pacino?
Dugan: It was just absolutely wonderful when he said yes. We were delighted and then we were scared. He’s an artist, he wants to be as great as he can possibly be and he doesn’t care what project it is. I saw him on Broadway in “Merchant of Venice” and he has the exact commitment to playing the part of Al Pacino in the movie as he did Shylock.
MTV: Would you say that Pacino or Katie Holmes is the more pleasant surprise in the film?
Dugan: I wouldn’t say one or the other was more pleasant but it was just delightful. [Katie] is just the nicest human being and the most flexible in terms of working. She had a lot to do with most characters; Pacino had a little less to do in terms of split screens and all of the effects and green screens and all of that stuff. But Katie just has that smile on her face and it’s genuine. And then Al, like I said, we were kind of scared because we didn’t know what his process was but he just dives in, completely commits to everything. Every crazy thing we threw at him, he did, and did it with gusto, and that was nice because he’s delightful and happy and brave and I couldn’t have had a better time.
From “Abduction” to “Muppets, “Moneyball” to “Breaking Dawn,” the MTV Movies team is delving into the hottest upcoming flicks in our 2011 Fall Movie Preview. Check back daily for exclusive clips, photos and interviews with the films’ biggest stars.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Jack and Jill.”
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