Hubie Halloween, now on Netflix, sees Adam Sandler back in his element. His character, Hubie Dubois, has a mumbly voice and is the butt of joke after joke about poop and pee as he attempts to save the town of Salem from an apparent serial killer.
In the lead-up to the film’s release, Polygon sat down (virtually) with Sandler — who, at the beginning of the interview, was strumming a guitar — to talk about the movie, including how he got Steve Buscemi to agree to an outrageous role, working with his children, and how similar he is to his extremely easily spooked character.
Polygon: What song are you playing?
Adam Sandler: I just got a little guitar here. Do you play?
[laughs] I’ve been playing very badly for many years now.
That’s not true! I’ve seen your comedy specials, you’re very good!
Not bad, not bad. My kid’s getting good! My little daughter, she’s been practicing and finally starting to cook a little bit.
Both of your daughters appear in this movie. Do you have to convince them to act, or do they want to be in your movies?
They both want to do it until we’re doing it. It’s always like [mumbling], “Can I do this?” Then I’m like, “Yeah, great, man.” And then we get there, and it’s like, “How long we have to do this?” What the hell happened? You were so excited about it last night.
I think this is the 16th time that you’ve worked with Steve Buscemi—
—and he’s playing such a crazy character. I’m curious how you pitched it to him, and if you had to convince him to play a werewolf.
[laughs] It’s very easy. You just say, “Would you like to get some fur on your forearms and all over?” And he’s like, “Yeah!” No, the Boosh … I think I told the Boosh about it maybe a year before we shot it. I said, “I’ve got a kind of funny character. We’re thinking of doing a Halloween movie, and we got a funny character for you, being my neighbor.” And he’s like, “You just tell me when.” And then we did it, and he is the best.
With regards to your character, where does the Hubie Dubois voice come from?
It came from when I was young, I think, I used to do that voice. It’s basically a guy who gets picked on a lot and he tries to stand up for himself but he doesn’t really say his comebacks too loud, he mutters them. So he feels like he’s being bold, but he’s kind of saying it low enough that he doesn’t get in big trouble.
Hubie is obviously a very easy person to scare. Are you?
In real life, I get scared pretty easy. When I come home and the lights are off, I’m not excited, I don’t like that. [laughs] I’ll push my wife in there, I go, “What’s going on? Come on, come on, check out the kitchen.” It’s pathetic.