The Knockturnal was on the red carpet for the New York Film Festival premiere of “Uncut Gems” at Alice Tully Hall.
Notables in attendance included: Josh Safdie (Writer/Director), Benny Safdie (Writer/Director/Editor), Adam Sandler (Actor), Mike Francesa (Actor), Julia Fox (Actor), Kevin Garnett (Actor), Judd Hirsch (Actor), Eric Bogosian (Actor) and more. In the films, Adam Sandler plays Howard, a diamond dealer whose life is reaching a crescendo of manic desperation: his relationship with his wife (Idina Menzel) is imploding; he owes a hefty chunk of money to angry racketeers; and he’s getting in over his head in an ever-escalating scheme to make a fortune by selling an Ethiopian diamond to Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett (playing himself).
The Knockturnal: What do you admire about the Safdie Brothers?
Adam Sandler: Just their focus, dedication, history of movies. They love so much stuff from the past, and they’re just very passionate. Very passionate. Every movie I’ve seen that they’ve made just has a different feel to them. It’s their own style. It’s pretty hard to do, come up with your own style when there’s that many people making movies.
The Knockturnal: I saw the movie last night and it was extremely intense. What was your reaction when seeing it?
Adam Sandler: It’s just like you. It’s intense. And the music is amazing, and there’s so many great performances in it, but it is a gritty, strong movie.
The Knockturnal: What’s easier for you, comedy or drama?
Adam Sandler: I have no idea. I like them both. I put my heart and soul into everything I commit to. Comedies, when I commit to it. It’s a different vibe. It’s fun. You’ll get to laugh a lot more. When I did a movie like Uncut Gems, it’s not as much laughing, but you find yourself in similar situations where you’re connecting and having a good time, and saying, “I just want to make sure, day to day, you’re doing a good job.”
The Knockturnal: We saw the video of your daughters singing. Are you encouraging them to sing?
Adam Sandler: Well, both my daughters come on stage and sing sometimes when I’m on the road, because they’re with me all the time, and then they like to sing, and they’re my family, and they see daddy up there and they’re like, “Can I try that out?” And I say, “Get on up there.”
The Knockturnal: How’d you get involved with the movie?
Trinidad James: Actually just being a fan of the [Safdie] brothers; being a fan of the directors, Ben and Josh. They’re good guys and they pay attention to, in my personal opinion, what’s really going on in the world, in the universe. They’re very aware, they know more than they look like they know. They reached out and I was definitely down because Good Time was the shit.
The Knockturnal: How was working with Lakeith [Stanfield]?
Trinidad James: Lakeith is a G. It’s my first time getting to work with him. It was brief but he’s just the weirdest person to ever have a good time with.
The Knockturnal: What was a highlight from set?
Trinidad James: I think honestly being given a chance to work with Adam [Sandler], Lakeith, and The Weeknd all at the same time. I had some other my friends there on the set. It was just dope, to be in 1 OAK where I already party at in New York. So I don’t know it was just good.
The Knockturnal: I was surprised actually; the Weeknd has a bigger roll than I thought.
Trinidad James: He’s the man so that makes sense.
The Knockturnal: What’s your favorite Weeknd song?
Trinidad James: Well my favorite Weeknd album is The Hills but probably the ballad is my favorite one, from 50 Shades of Grey. That’s my favorite. I love it.
The Knockturnal: Are there any upcoming projects you want to share?
Trinidad James: Make sure that you check out my new single that’s out right now. It’s called “Playlist.” I’m getting ready to drop another short film on Halloween. And ComplexCon is coming up; make sure you check out Full Size Run. It’s a great thing, great time.
A24 will release the film on December 13th in select cities and nationwide on Christmas Day.