What happened when Adam Sandler visited Woodward

Adam Sandler pic: First day of filming in Southborough
Adam Sandler on the set of "Grown Ups" in Southborough

If you read the comments in this post, you might be wondering what really happened when Adam Sandler stopped by Woodward on Monday afternoon to shoot some hoops. Here’s what I found out.

As part of the agreement with the school, Sandler gets to use the gym. Apparently he loves to play basketball. When he stopped by on Monday, there was a group of third graders in the gym for recess.

Sandler stuck around and entertained the kids for a while until either recess was over or the kids went outside for the remainder of recess — this point isn’t entirely clear to me.

But what is clear is that all parties agree the kids weren’t “kicked out” of the gym.

“Adam didn’t kick them out. He would never do that. He loves kids,” Tammy Sandler (no relation), a publicist for the movie, told me. “This whole cast loves kids.”

In an email, Superintendent Charles Gobron said, “Adam did use the gym, but, as far as we know, no one was inconvenienced. No kids missed gym or recess!”

The mother of a third grader who was in the gym at the time told me her son was “thrilled” because he got to give Adam Sandler a high-five.

Woodward Principal Jim Randell said that while there have been some traffic issues, “Everything has run very smoothly given all that’s going on in our parking lot.”

The school will get a donation from Columbia Pictures for use of the facility. Randell declined to disclose the amount, but Town Administrator Jean Kitchen said at last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting that it was somewhere around $10K.

For the latest coverage on the Adam Sandler movie, click here.

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14 years ago

Nice to hear. I didn’t believe the original post anyway. Why do some people feel the need to turn everything into crap? Very sad.

Matthew Brownell
14 years ago

Oh, yes. exactly. “Crap” when you don’t agree it, or want to be inconvenienced by investigating the facts . . right “Mimi22” ?

Jon Smith
14 years ago

Do you know how long the movie crew will stay in town?
I heard that they should be done by the end of the week.

14 years ago


Love the site and my first-ever post here. I know you’re not a reporter, and I appreciate all the work you put in. There is a bigger issue here–what is the cost/benefit to the community of having such a production in town?

Student pickups have been delayed, traffic has been miserable…what is the actual financial benefit? How much is Woodward getting? All well and good that Adam Sandler drops in, high fives a few students, and then gets the gym to himself…but what about the rest of the Woodward students? Have they been given any sort of “insider view” of making a movie?

The students are quite inconvenienced, and it seems reasonable to expect a rep from the movie to do a presentation about what’s involved, or a tour of trailerland…something to make the kids feel special instead of put upon.

No public access to shoots…as I go around town, no small business benefit for Southborough…so why are we allowing this? Lots of individual benefit, I guess–plenty of overtime for fire/police, some folks hired for “extra” work, and a coat of paint on a church…and of course some checks cut here and there…still, it seems the Woodward kids (and townspeople at large) get the short end of what ought to be a teachable experience.

My quick thoughts, anyhow.

14 years ago

Dear Mark,
I was wondering who told you that the students at the Woodward school were being inconvenienced? I haven’t heard from anyone that their child was upset or inconvenienced…In fact, I have heard just the opposite. I heard that when he stopped in on Monday, the students that he saw that were getting ready in the gym to go outside for GYM class (this has been widely mis-reported), he talked to them, shook their hands and had some laughs with them. From what I heard, the students were quite happy and still talking about it! When he stopped in on Tuesday, it was after school. I don’t know if he stopped in today or not. From what I hear, the school has not been “put-out” in the least. Yes, the pick up process in the afternoon has been altered, but the parents that I have talked to actually think the new system is working out quite well.

I guess I just want to be the positive voice on this site. Unfortunately, the positive voice is often not heard.

P.S. I’m a glass half-full girl!

14 years ago

I couldn’t agree more with Lucy and I have to be honest Mark, I have not heard a single complaint from anyone. The kids at woodward are thrilled and anxious for more visits. The teachers I have spoken to are also excited about the stars. Its the biggest excitment this town has seen in my lifetime and I have lived here for 40 years.

As for pick-up and inconvenience…My daughter is at Woodward and it is no big deal for pick-ups. The staff has done an exceptional job making everything work. Just park at the medical building and walk down the path. It will take two minutes. You might even see a star while you are there. Maybe you just need to loosen up a bit and allow yourself a chance to have a little fun.

This is a great experience for the towns people – old and young alike.

Matthew Brownell
14 years ago

Mark doesn’t need to “loosen up”, and he’s certainly not being negative. Rather, he’s brought some very creative thought on making lemonade from lemons.

There is probably $30 million worth of movie production equipment and trailers on site, along with several dozen highly trained production specialists, including gaffers, gofers, carpenters, lighting crews, riser mechanics, heavy equipment operators, script readers, makeup artists, accountants, security, wardrobe, drivers, food & beverage teams, etc . It’s a complete mobile, micro company

The very best education the Woodward students can get this week is available right outside the school entrance . And, yes, forget the autographs, it would be phenomenal if a movie rep, generous SAG member, union crew chief, or (Adam Sandler’s PR handler) could belly-up-to the bar, and show a few groups of school kids what the business is all about, and especially – what is required to work as a team

It would sure beat the usual day field trips to the aquarium or MOS

Papa Rosa
14 years ago

Mark and Matthew: For crying out loud, fellas, lighten up. Also, give my regards to Luke.

14 years ago

Matt, who was it who didn’t “want to be inconvenienced by investigating the facts?” I think that was you. You were the one who posted a completely false and mean-spirited “story” about what happened at the Woodward gym. Your story has been proven wrong by someone who DID “investigate the facts” (thankyou Susan) and by many who were actually present in the gym that day.

As for this “Mimi22” business, posting your real name on a public message board is just foolish. Southborough may be a small town but the internet is not.

As for the other suggestions as to how the movie crew could be interacting with the community, they all sound like good ideas. The production team came before the Board of Selectmen on no less than three occasions to discuss the terms of their contract for filming in Southborough. I am sure that if these suggestions were brought up at one of the meetings, the Selectmen would have discussed the ideas and perhaps made additional requests of the crew.

Board of Selectmen meetings are always open to the residents of Southborough and agendas for the meetings are posted in advance on the town web site. Attending and bringing up ideas like these is the way to make things happen.

Matthew Brownell
14 years ago

Dear “Papa”. Perhaps you , and a few of the other mystery writers on this board could post your names, instead of cowering behind irresponsible pseudonyms. It’s ridiculous, really.

Matthew Brownell
14 years ago

Mimi – “A false and mean spirited story”? How is that? The children in the gymnasium, including my own son, were most certainly moved outside once Mr. Sandler appeared at the Woodward Gym to play his personal game of hoops. That is ***FACT***.

Was our School Superintendent (to whom “Susan” went to verify this) on site at Woodward to witness this? The answer is no (not that I would expect him to perform or be responsible for this function).

If you feel (and apparently you do) that commercial and private use of public school facilities during the middle of the school day is ok, then I assure you, we have PLENTY of room for additional discussion on this board, and this conversation does not in any way need to be mean spirited.

BTW – I couldn’t disagree with you more about using pseudonyms on boards. Why would you post anything on a local board that you are not willing to represent, stand behind, be associated with, or be responsible for – beyond Southborough borders? The issue I’m raising with you here is one of leadership and integrity. Simply put, it’s troubling, cowardly, and symptomatic of a sick society to post under pseudonyms. Moreover, its tough to make progress on anything when we use pseudonyms, False Witness posts , and single-author posts under multiple names.

Papa Rosa
14 years ago

Lighten up, Francis.

14 years ago

Dear Mr. Brownell,
Ahh, you never cease to disappoint! Since you have identified your son as the one who was “moved outside”, (and your informant), was he the one that said it was for recess? If my memory serves me correctly, I was told that the class was getting ready to go outside for phys ed class, and the students were waiting for the teacher to collect her things, and that was when Mr. Sandler came in. But enough about this. I’m more interested in your eagerness to “put down” the school as a whole. Your obvious dislike for selected field trips, and how to work as a team. If you dislike the fact that the movie company is using the school for selected reasons, why would you think it a phenomenal idea for the crew to come show the students how the business of a movie runs? I don’t think you can have it both ways. I’m not understanding why you cannot find any good in any of this like so many others.
Oh, and by the way – I can assure you that my name is Lucy, I am proudly named after my Grandmother, and I am not hiding behind anything.
Keep writing…I enjoy the banter!

Matthew Brownell
14 years ago

Lucy, you’re wading a little too far into the weeds, here, and choking yourself in the process. How, in your somewhat over-the-top commentary, do you arrive at your accusation that I’m eager to ” put down” the [Woodward] school as a whole?? Really? Please enlighten me. Please show me how I’m ” putting down a school” that I’ve personally supported financially, worked with volunteer labor hours, lobbied for with my voice at Town Hall meetings, and of course, continue to fund with my property tax dollars. (???)

Did you even take the time to **READ** the posts you’re criticizing?? Where, in the Wide World of Hallucinogenic pastimes – do you come up with a statement like “Your obvious dislike for selected {Woodward] field trips, and how to work as a team”. (???) Utter nonsense, and embarrassingly disingenuous on your part – especially when, once again, you post from the convenient, cowardly, and creepy cloak and dagger of pseudonyms.

Lucy, I recommended in a post above that [the movie company] show “a few groups of school kids what the business is all about, and especially – what is required to work as a team”. How exactly , from your perspective, does this show on my part an “obvious dislike” for working as a team? The point being, the kids could receive a fabulous education from a short tour on one of the more interesting trades – all from experienced tradesmen and specialists sitting 60 ft out from Woodward’s front door. The nature of film-making is such that most days are filled with interim ( and sometimes long) periods of downtime for the cast, crew, and back-office personnel.

If your name is “Lucy”, I guess we’ll take you at your word. Or is it “Mimi22”? Gosh, really hard to say, here. Perhaps you could come up with similarly vacuous and anonymous ghost names for all of us. ( “The Senator” ?? “Deep Throat” ?? “Thought Police 4U”? ) Why not create a few dozen that are dynamically assigned at log-on . . so that people such as yourself can make multiple posts, and create the faux impression of consensus on your agenda?? (God only knows what THAT is!)

Papa Rosa
14 years ago

Susan’s right. For my part, I apologize for being a wise-acre in this particular thread.

Matthew, I am indeed a Southborough resident – been here more than 10 years, kids in the school system, etc. I assume that as a man of goodwill you will take my word for that – as Mimi22 pointed out, there are plenty of good reasons to keep one’s full name out of a public forum like this one.

My substantive response to you and Mark is this: It seems you’re trying to make something big and heavy and portentious out of what ought to be viewed as a lark. Hey, Hollywood has come to town! Southborough and the church each got a nice little cash infusion, and we all got a break in our routine. In a year, you can go see the flick, munch popcorn, and point out a few of your friends and neighbors as extras.

This is called fun! It needn’t be more than that. It needn’t be a “teachable moment” for kids, it needn’t be seen as part of the decline & fall of western civ, and it needn’t jack up anybody’s blood pressure.

14 years ago

Ah, forums always bring our the best in people don’t they ? They can have the same drawbacks as email.. Some people like to throw out the zingers without the consequences of face to face interaction. …To the truly rude amongst you:(and you know who you are) can you see what you are all in a twist about ???

14 years ago

Wowza! Just returned to this site and found a bit of a hornet’s nest had been stirred. Sorry all!

As to not hearing complaints? I’ve spoken with lots of folks who are a bit aggravated over the traffic–pickups have taken much longer, bus routes are much later…haven’t heard complaints so much as hints of disappointment from the kids, my own included. I asked my daughter if she had seen any of the movie stars…”No, but I saw their trailers.”

I’ve been around other movie shoots that were more accessible for the public, where you could actually walk around and see the equipment set up, and even stand by the sidelines and watch. Perhaps these scenes just didn’t lend themselves to that openness, or perhaps it’s a production company thing.

And I honestly have been asking the local sandwich shops, stores, etc., if they’ve seen an uptick in business, and “no” is the answer I’ve been hearing.

As to the Selectmen’s meetings, and for that matter those of the School Committee, I’ll take the hit for not attending and tossing out an idea or two…on the other hand, it would’ve been great if some nonmonetary compensation mechanisms had been tossed out by the Selectmen themselves.

It hasn’t been THAT inconvenient for me–a week without a Library visit won’t kill me, and I know the town well enough to avoid the traffic hotspots. But it’s not a Lark to me, either.

It’ll be fun to see the Southborough scenes in the movie…and my big point was really the loss of a teachable moment.

Matthew Brownell
14 years ago

Papa Rosa, for the most part, I completely agree with you.

My original commentary was not to make something big and heavy and portentious”, but to cast some well-deserved thought on the decision to transform the grounds of a children’s elementary school and the main center of Southborough into Camp Hollywood. . . a decision that, quite frankly – I question more aggressively as Rt 30 traffic backs up all the way past Sears Rd., where the use of a children’s public school gymnasium is blocked-out for the private use of Hollywood glitterati, schoolbus routes and drop-off/pickup are delayed, and where one teenage girl flanked the sidewalk outside Pilgrim Church last Tuesday evening with her mostly exposed breasts lettered in black marker boldface “I love you, David!! [Spade].

Swell. Excelsior. Tell me again. Why are we doing this? And WHAT exactly are getting out of it?

No, it is not heavy, or a Big MaGilla. Just understand that thousands have chosen to live in Southborough as an oasis and refuge from this type of commercial blather.

14 years ago

wow!~i just happened onto this site trying to find a memorial day parade to take my daughter to. i live in Hopkinton, so my point of view is totally objective.
for pete’s sake, don’t get your panties in a wad: all this excitement, inconvenience or however you view it will be over and everything will be back to normal soon enough. as far as the school thing, i bet all those kids (and parents) get a kick out of having someone famous in their midst,” their touch with greatness,” however remote the contact. so what if the kids had to leave the gym, which i don’t believe they did for a second, but so what if they really did? it was probably the biggest thrill of their life to see Adam Sandler, star of all those dumb movies that most of those very kids have probably seen and love! if your big concern is for the children, then be happy for them. they probably can’t get enough of it.
papa rosa said it so well: lighten up, francis.

14 years ago

Ok, it can be an inconvenience, but it’s fun and kind of exciting – even if I don’t keep up with what’s going in Hollywood. I go to the Pilgrim Church, my son’s boy scout troop has been displaced, but my youngest is wishing he was still at Woodward this year… lighten up folks, the church and the town are getting compensated, and hopefully the businesses will get something out of it as well, but the kids are having a ball watching this event. My family has lived in town since 1959, and I personally don’t remember anything very exciting around here when I was growing up!

Let’s let the actors do their jobs, and we’ll have fun seeing how long the Southborough scenes are going to be in the finished product. I do wish that the actors could visit the schools in town, but that’s probably a bit much to ask.

I wish they could permanently close the road between the church and the old cemetary, it looks gorgeous. And I hear that the gazebo is supposed to be auctioned off for the ladder truck, though I don’t know for sure if that’s true…?

14 years ago

will the crew be shooting on wednesday as well?

14 years ago

This should be cool!

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