Adam Sandler collected The National Board of Review's best actor award for Uncut Gems on Wednesday

By Dana Rose Falcone and Mary Park
January 09, 2020 11:38 AM

Drew Barrymore loves her longtime costar Adam Sandler just as much as fans do.

The pair, who worked together on The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates and Blended, reunited on Wednesday night at The National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala in New York City, where Barrymore presented Sandler with the best actor honor for his role in Uncut Gems.

“I love this man so much and I have always believed in him,” the actress, 55, said at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. “This moment could honestly could [not] be more deserved. I know that everyone is rooting for you because you have earned everyone’s respect. You deserve the best, you give the best and you are the best. I love you very much.”

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler at The National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City on Jan. 8.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty

The former child star praised 53-year-old Sandler’s ability to bring comedy to audiences. “To make people laugh is really the most healing thing we can do on this earth and that is Adam Sandler in a nutshell to me,” Barrymore said.

Sandler’s iconic career is why Barrymore wanted to first meet him over two decades ago.

“It was in a coffee shop and I showed up and I had big purple hair and a vintage leopard coat and Adam was in what Adam wears every day, a giant baggy t-shirt and baggy, knee-length shorts,” she recalled of their first meeting. “And it did not look like a match visually but the reason why we were there is because I, like everyone, was crazy about him in everything he did and all the iconic things he accomplished on Saturday Night Live. He was making Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore but I just, I don’t know what it was, it was an instinct, a foresight, my heart that I couldn’t control.

“But I told him, I know that we are destined to work together. I know we are a match and I believe you in so much. I want to be like [Audrey] Hepburn and [Spencer] Tracy even though we don’t look like them, but I just I want to be in this partnership with you.”

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Adam Sandler accepting his award from Drew Barrymore on Jan. 8 in N.Y.C.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Sandler’s latest film Uncut Gems — a dramatic thriller in which he plays a New York City jeweler with debts to repay and a penchant for gambling — has beat box office odds and gained Oscar buzz that could land the Saturday Night Live alum to his first nomination.

While accepting his award, Sandler credited his wife of over 16 years, Jackie, with encouraging him to take the racy role.

“My badass wife, she gave me the balls to take the part,” Sandler said. “I was scared and she said, “Go f—ng do that and you can do that s— and we rehearsed together all the time.’”

Uncut Gems is now playing in theaters.