Jackie Titone was a model with ambitions to be a movie star. It was a happy coincidence that he landed a tiny part in a comedy called Big Daddy.
It starred Adam Sandler, a far cry from the comedy star he is today but on a clear path to upward mobility after Billy Madison and The Waterboy. In “Big Daddy,” Sandler dared to mix comedy with drama, playing a college student who ends up adopting a child to impress his girlfriend.
For his part, Titone was just happy to be able to take the first step in his career. In the script, she got the role of a bartender who visits Sandler with her adopted son. “22 years ago today, our eyes met and we fell in love,” the 55-year-old actor recalled in 2020.
The couple met during the recording and started a relationship. It was also an opportunity for Titone to hop from comedy to comedy, side-starring with Sandler in films like Little Nicky or 50 First Dates, always in supporting roles but also in films directed by Kevin James and Rob Schneider.
Five years after their first date, the 47-year-old actress switched religion for Sandler. Christian, converted to Judaism and married in 2003, in a marriage that, contrary to Hollywood tradition, remains firm.
Less solid was her acting career which, despite being promoted to more prominent roles more recently, has never made her a recognized actress in the industry. However, the behind-the-scenes role is more than just passive, as Sandler explains.
Jackie in “Big Daddy”
Regularly teaming up with Drew Barrymore in romantic scenes, he makes sure they never feel intimidated, even when Jackie is just a few feet away behind the camera. On the other hand.
“My wife is so fond of Drew that she always encourages me. There is no jealousy. Tell me go to her,” he revealed in an interview with Ellen Degeneres.
Barrymore and Sandler made love in “50 First Dates,” and in one of the scenes, Jackie revealed what she was up to. “We had a romantic date in Africa, I thought I’d be fine trying to be as romantic as possible. The scene was over, I walked by thinking I got away with it and saw Jackie shake his head. ‘Please, on behalf of all women, go back there and pretend you’re a little more alive,’ he said to me.”
The woman’s enticements returned to the subject in 2019 after Sandler had to star in romantic scenes with Jennifer Aniston in Murder Mystery — a film in which Jackie returns to a small role as a flight attendant. “The strangest part [de partilhar o set com ela] is to have them there [nas cenas românticas] screaming: “Come on, tighter. Kiss her harder.’”
On the secret to keeping the relationship stable, Sandler reveals, “When I feel that ‘I can’t take you anymore Adam’ energy, I invite you somewhere to eat and talk. And I listen to everything she has to say,” he explains. The couple have two children, 15-year-old Sadie and 13-year-old Sunny.
“Now I understand what my parents meant when they advised me to ‘be good and safe’ and ‘make sure the whole family is safe’. That’s the most important thing, making sure everyone’s okay. If the family has problems, you have problems.”
Despite Adam having the family monopoly on filmmaking, he makes sure almost everything goes through Jackie’s hands. Especially the recent transformation.
Often associated with humorous and nonsensical roles, Sandler’s talent has often been criticized by critics. However, glimpses of his skills stand out in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love or Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories.
We had to wait until 2019 for Sandler’s critics to finally capitulate. In the Safdie brothers’ “Uncut Gems,” Sandler is the unlikely protagonist of a drama/thriller in which he plays Howard Ratner, a gambling addict who constantly gets into trouble. As soon as he gets his hands on a precious gem, uncontrollable greed pulls him into a spiral of trouble.
In an absolutely stunning (and stressful) film, Sandler takes great care of himself. So much so that critics have undoubtedly voted it the best performance of the actor’s career. And while that may not be high praise given the context, “Uncut Gems” snagged a spot on most of the year’s best movie lists — and there was even talk of Oscar nominations, which ultimately didn’t make it.
Interestingly, not even Sandler believed in his ability to shine in the lead role. “I read the script, I loved the film, but I was scared,” he said, explaining the fear of not being able to do justice to the dramatic role.
“I talked to Jackie about it, she read it and convinced me,” he says. “We always do this together. We discuss what I’m going to do and she gives me courage and strength to keep going. She was the one who told me I had to do this film.”