Brad Pitt and Adam Sandler have never appeared in a movie together (this Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and That’s My Boy mashup is unfortunately (?) not real), but they almost did. The Uncut Gems star was the original choice to play the Bear Jew in Inglourious Basterds, but he had to pass because he was busy shooting Funny People (the part went to Eli Roth). The what-could-have-been was never discussed during Sandler and Pitt’s sit-down as part of Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” series, but we did learn that “Cliff Booth” has a favorite Sandman story, and it involves some very bad advice.
“This is my favorite Adam Sandler story that I heard from Bennett Miller,” Pitt told Sandler, referring to the director of Capote and Moneyball. “It was that you were at NYU, and it was an acting coach, I believe.” Sandler corrected him: “Acting professor.” Pitt continued, “And he said to you, ‘I want to take you out for a beer.’ This is what I’m told. You guys went to a bar, and he kindly said to you: ‘Think about something else. You have to choose another path.’ Truth?” Truth, Sandler confirmed, but Pitt wasn’t finished:
“There’s a second part to this story. This is why it’s my favorite Adam Sandler story, and I think it says a lot about you. That you ran into him at your height, when you’re getting the ultimate payday, and you’re with a bunch of friends, out at a bar. Anyone would think that’s the opportunity where you rub it in his face. And reportedly, what you did was you introduced him to your friends, and you said: ‘This is the only teacher to ever buy me a beer.’ True? (Via)
Sandler could have taunted the guy who said he didn’t have the chops to make it as an actor. But he let it go. That, or he’s waiting until February 9, 2020, when he wins Best Actor at the Oscars, to let him have it. Sandler is the smartest man alive, after all.