They’re back – Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade re-team for summer fun in Grown Ups 2.
After moving his family back to his hometown to be with his friends and their kids, Lenny (Adam Sandler), finds out that between old bullies, new bullies, schizo bus drivers, drunk cops on skis, and 400 costumed party crashers sometimes crazy follows you.
Sandler’s most successful comedy in his long career, the 2010 film Grown Ups took the box office by storm as audiences laughed their way to more than $260 million worldwide. Remarkably for a comedy star, Sandler has proven equally popular at home and abroad – the film took in over $100 million overseas.
So, after more than ten years of blockbuster comedies, Sandler is doing something he’s never done before: a sequel. Director Dennis Dugan, who helms his eighth Sandler film with Grown Ups 2, says that there are several reasons why the time is right. “It was just exciting to bring everybody back together,” he says. “All the characters and relationships were so rich and funny, we knew there were lots more stories to be told. It’s like visiting old friends.”
For Chris Rock, re-teaming with his fellow funnymen meant the chance to be an especially funny movie. “It’s a playful competition,” he says. “I wanted to be funnier than Spade, Spade wants to be funnier than Kevin, and Kevin wants to be funnier than Adam. You just can’t help it, if you’re a comedian. But the positive side is that I think we really do make each other funnier.”
ADAM SANDLER returns as Lenny Feder. Once a Hollywood big-shot, his most recent trip back to his hometown – allowing him to reconnect with his old friends – opened his eyes to what’s really important in life. It’s a lesson he didn’t forget. “Lenny has quit his job as a Hollywood agent and moved the family back to his hometown,” Dugan explains. “He wants the kids to grow up in a normal place, rather than the craziness of Hollywood.”
KEVIN JAMES plays Eric Lamonsoff, who has to face his ultimate fear in the movie. “One of the things the movie is about is these guys re-living their youth a bit, and now that they’re grown up, they’re facing up to the things they never dealt with when they were young,” says James. “My guy is the one guy who never jumped off the huge cliff at the quarry back in the day. Lenny and the guys don’t let me live it down… so when the challenge is put in front of me, I am forced to conquer the fears of my youth… or go to a diner, either one.”
CHRIS ROCK returns as Kurt McKenzie. A househusband in the first film, he’s gone back to work in Grown Ups 2 – not that you’d know it. “He’s supposed to be a cable repairman, but – like all cable repairmen – he’s figured out how to do as little real work as possible,” Rock explains. “He gives you the window – ‘I’ll be there between noon and four’ – and then he waits for that one moment when you can’t answer the door. Knock, no answer, and boom – he leaves the note, reschedule.”
DAVID SPADE’s character, Marcus Higgins, gets a bit of a comeuppance in Grown Ups 2. “In the first movie, he discovered that the life he thought he wanted, single and free, wasn’t as fulfilling as his friends’, even though they were tied down with wives and kids,” says Spade. “Well, in the sequel, he finds out that the free-and-easy life wasn’t as free or easy as he thought – he has a son that he never knew about, and he’s coming up to the town to spend some time with the father he never knew. Oh, and the kid is about 18 and enormous and knows how to hold a grudge.”
NICK SWARDSON brings the laughs as Nick. “I was psyched to work with so many great people on this movie,” he says. “People I never thought I’d work with. This movie is really fun and crazy and I am glad I was a part of it.”
SALMA HAYEK plays Lenny’s wife, Roxanne. This very fashion-conscious woman leaves LA for the small-town, east-coast life. “She’s the only fish out of water,” says Hayek. “The rest of the characters grew up together. So it takes her some time to find her place in her new home town.”
For Hayek, the chance to re-team with the cast of Grown Ups was the only invitation she needed. “I was so excited to get back together with these wonderful actors and comedians,” she says. “We’ve stayed in touch and I love to work with them – they are so good. I especially love the girls, Maria and Maya – we really bonded last time and we’re more relaxed this time. Maya is one of the best comediennes in America, and she actually gets better, year by year. And Maria just brings it – she was fierce.”
Hayek says that being on the set is an inspiration for all of the actors to do their best comedic work. “I was really impressed by how funny everyone was – even actors that you wouldn’t expect. Shaquille O’Neal was a revelation to me – he’s hilarious, and in this one, he’s the funniest he’s ever been.”
MAYA RUDOLPH plays Deanne McKenzie, the wife of the character played by Chris Rock. She says, “Chris is hands down one of the smartest, funniest people alive so getting to work with him is always a dream. He can seriously talk to you about anything and I guarantee it will be the most insightful, intelligent, most hilarious take on an issue that you’ve ever heard. He could read me the Chili’s menu and I’d be happy.”
MARIA BELLO plays Sally Lamonsoff. She says that a working on an Adam Sandler production is unlike any other. “You have so much freedom,” she says. “Adam and the guys expect you to make improvisational choices with your character. Not every choice you make will make it into the movie, but that’s OK – some will, and they’ll be some of the biggest laughs you get.”
“This time, when I got the call, I knew what to expect – I was going back to summer camp,” she continues. “Adam and Happy Madison create that atmosphere for all of us in Marblehead and Swampscott. It’s a really fun production – I was thrilled.”
Columbia Pictures presents a Happy Madison production
A film by Dennis Dugan
Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello, and Nick Swardson.
Directed by Dennis Dugan.
Produced by Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo.
Written by Fred Wolf & Adam Sandler & Tim Herlihy.
Executive Producers are Barry Bernardi and Allen Covert.
Director of Photography is Theo Van de Sande, ASC.
Production Designer is Aaron Osborne.
Editor is Tom Costain.
Costume Designer is Ellen Lutter.
Music by Rupert Gregson-Williams.
Music Supervision by Michael Dilbeck, Brooks Arthur, and Kevin Grady.