Julie Bowen Reveals Story Behind 'Insane' Happy Gilmore Poster Nolan Gould Gifted Her as Movie Turns 25
"My kids think Happy Gilmore is a horror movie," Julie Bowen says of the poster
25 years ago today, audiences got to experience Adam Sandler's Happy Gilmore for the first time.
The beloved hit sports comedy, about an aspiring ice hockey player (Sandler) who discovers a talent for golf, also introduced audiences to up-and-coming actress Julie Bowen, who played Gilmore's love interest Virginia Venit, long before her Emmy-winning run on Modern Family.
Looking back on the film, which marked one of her first film roles Bowen, 50, says she had a wonderful time playing the character and being on a Sandler film set.
"I cherish and I love that it has become this weird, internationally beloved thing," she tells PEOPLE. "Doing an Adam movie isn't pressure, it's fun and it's like going home. He puts everybody's comfort and ease first and foremost, and wants everybody to be happy to be there. There's no stress, no yelling and screaming, it's just a really pleasant place to be."
Bowen says that while she's not one to hold onto or display mementos from her many film and TV roles, Happy Gilmore is on prominent display in her home, thanks to a unique gift from her TV son, Nolan Gould.
"I haven't seen Happy Gilmore in years and years and years, probably since it came out, however, Nolan Gould gave me a movie poster from Ghana and it's painted on flour sacks," Bowen reveals.
Gould commissioned the poster from the Deadly Prey Gallery, which partners with and benefits artists in Ghana, and led him to doing some extra research about the film.
"I got her that painting before I actually went back and watched Happy Gilmore.," Gould, 22, explains. "I had to ask some of my friends who are fans of the movie what were the big scenes. Like, 'Did Julie have a big scene in it?' I didn't know! And they said, 'Yeah dude, she has this whole Adam Sandler dream sequence, where she's scantily clad, holding giant beers.' And I was like 'Okay, well that has to go on the painting.'
"My brother told me about Deadly Prey, so, I reached out to them," Gould continues. "I was like, 'Hey my friend is Julie Bowen, do you think we could make a custom Happy Gilmore piece?' And so, yeah, they worked with the artists in Ghana, who created this really cool painting on the back of a flour sack. And it's awesome, because most of the proceeds of these paintings go to the actual artists themselves."
Bowen proudly admits that Gould's gift is her "constant Happy Gilmore reminder."
"It's insane," she says with a laugh. "They've added blood and gore, zombies and crocodiles. It's total insanity, there's lizards and there's a dead person. And there I am with Beyoncé booty. So when you say, 'What do I think of when I think of Happy Gilmore?' There it is, every day. My kids think it's a horror movie, they've never seen it. They're like, 'Mom, is it scary?' And I'm like, 'Oh God, no. The only thing scary is how weird I look right here.'"
Gould was happy to hear that Bowen actually put up his gift.
"I didn't know for sure whether or not it was hanging. So the news it's hanging is good," he says. "I'm glad its not like a placemat somewhere."
The actor also finally watched his TV mom in Happy Gilmore and "absolutely loved it."
"That old school Adam Sandler style humor, I just love it. It was great seeing her in that," says Gould. "It was really cool to watch your TV mom do these movies. Because I just know her as Julie. I hadn't seen her on Boston Legal, I hadn't seen her in Happy Gilmore, so it was cool to see her outside of [Modern Family].
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