On Tuesday, Variety published its Actors on Actors conversation between Fraser and Sandler, who star in the 2022 films The Whale and Hustle, respectively, as they reminisced about making the 1994 comedy directed by Michael Lehmann (Heathers).
“Remember when I discovered you? You were just a kid,” Sandler, 56, jokingly told Fraser, 54. “I stole you from Pauly [Shore] and said, ‘Get over here.’ ”
“Is that how it shook out? Get out of here,” Fraser responded.
“I was like, this guy shouldn’t just be a caveman — he should be in a band,” Sandler told Fraser, referencing the actor’s breakout role in 1992’s Encino Man, in which he played a caveman named Link.
During the conversation, Sandler claimed that director Lehmann “was very against” casting Fraser in the movie — to the point that Sandler stepped in to ensure Fraser would be in Airheads.
“He was like, ‘I don’t get it. I don’t see the caveman being in the movie,’ ” Sandler said. “And I just said, ‘He can do other s—, man.’ ”
“I eventually went to [Lehmann’s] house at like 4 in the morning, woke him up, and I said, ‘Just know Adam Sandler ain’t going to be in Airheads unless old Fraser is in it,’ ” he recalled. “So he changed his little tune.”
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
When Fraser noted that Lehmann “sang a different tune” when he flew to Chicago to meet with Fraser about the film, Sandler joked that the director lied to him.
“He didn’t want you. I did, and the rest is pretty good,” Sandler said. “You had a good life because of me!”
Fraser recalled finding a physical cassette from their time on the movie with the demo song “Degenerated” that he, Sandler and Steve Buscemi created for their fictional rock band The Lone Rangers in the movie.
“I took myself very seriously in those days,” Fraser said. “I remember watching you actually improvising while on film, which was a big deal. Lehmann would go, ‘Just go — go.’ And Mitch Dubin shot it: ‘How much you have left in the magazine?’ ‘We got 90 seconds. Okay, Adam, go!’ It was thrilling to watch because we take that for granted now that things are digital.”
The star of The Whale also recalled hating his long, flowy wig for Airheads because “it took about an hour and a half to do.”
“I got my head shellacked right underneath a wig, and then this thing screwed on, and then pins crossed over,” the actor said about getting the hairpiece fitted. “It was a form of torture.”
Hustle is now streaming on Netflix. The Whale is in theaters Friday.