Kevin Garnett has been to jewelry stores like the ones Adam Sandler runs in “Uncut Gems,” and he’s been witness to some of the more chaotic and strange circumstances that take place there as seen in the film from Josh and Ben Safdie.
It explains how Garnett managed such a head-turning performance in “Uncut Gems” despite little acting experience. It also helps that he still looks as good as he did in his prime.
“How is it the fact that it’s set in 2012, and Kevin Garnett looks exactly the same? You did alright there KG,” Sandler joked to Garnett when TheWrap’s Steve Pond spoke to the cast and crew at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“It’s amazing what happens when you shave the beard off,” Garnett responded.
“Uncut Gems” stars Sandler as a charming but always manic jewelry store salesman in New York who hopes to pay off his many debts and gambling woes with the aid of an expensive rock loaded with diamonds that comes into his possession. But in addition to an eclectic cast that includes Lakeith Stanfield, Idina Menzel and Julia Fox, it also stars The Weeknd and Garnett playing slightly fictionalized versions of themselves.
Garnett said it was a challenge, but he felt completely comfortable working with the Safdie Brothers and with the cast.
“I don’t know but I figured it out. I’d like to think that the energy around the set was very conforming, it wasn’t anything that was strenuous. Nothing felt hard, nothing felt difficult. I’d like to think that with everybody up here just raised the level of everything,” Garnett said. “Adam was very patient with some of the scenes and just felt like real conversation. I felt the part. I felt like I wasn’t doing anything other than having a conversation.”
The Safdies said they selected the cast in part because of how they could draw from their real world experiences, and Garnett knew this world very well.
“I’ve been in the jewelry store before. I bought jewelry, I’ve come through with the crew. It felt like something I’d been through before,” Garnett said. “Believe it or not I’ve been in there when there’s been some ruckus in the jewelry store, Lakeith felt like one of the homies that I would come here. It just all felt second nature, and it didn’t feel like I was doing anything other than being myself, so I really resonated with it.”
Sandler too said he resonated very closely with the script and jumped at the chance to work with the Safdie Brothers after the strength of their previous films “Heaven Knows What” and “Good Time.”
“I couldn’t believe what I saw. Every one of them, the soul of their movies was deep, fresh, and it feels like it means a lot to them, the stories they tell,” Sandler said. “Just getting to be this Howard, who in their eyes was almost a superhero.”
Check out TheWrap’s interview with the cast and directors of “Uncut Gems” above.
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