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The Beloved Adam Sandler Comedy Philip Seymour Hoffman Turned Down

Philip Seymour Hoffman's acting range was legendarily broad. Of course, there were his breathtaking dramatic roles — such as his chilling portrayal of Lancaster Dodd in "The Master" and his Oscar-winning turn in "Capote" — but anyone who has seen enough of his films can attest to his ability to invoke laughter too.

That said, the comedic roles Hoffman took over the course of his twenty-plus year film career were far from zany. In fact, most seemed to be quite grounded. Think, for example, of his turns in "The Big Lebowski" or "Almost Famous." Whether it's Brandt's deep-seated need to please his arrogant millionaire boss or famed rock critic Lester Bangs' cynicism over the state of rock and roll, the comedic substance emerges more from honesty in an incredible situation rather than wacky behaviors.

However, there's always a "what if" in the career of versatile actors. As it turns out, Hoffman was offered a role in one of the more outlandish screwball comedies of the past few decades. Had he taken the part, it would have seen him acting across from none other than Adam Sandler.

Philip Seymour Hoffman turned down a role in Billy Madison

Appearing recently on Dana Carvey and David Spade's "Fly on the Wall" podcast, Adam Sandler told the hosts that Philip Seymour Hoffman auditioned to join the cast of the 1995 comedy "Billy Madison" (via ComicBook.com). In this classic comedy, Sandler famously played a grown man who has to repeat every grade from first grade through senior year.

"I was in Toronto getting ready to make the movie and it wasn't cast yet and I saw Philip Seymour Hoffman [audition] and I was laughing my a** off," Sandler told Carvey and Spade. Sandler was apparently so impressed that he lobbied hard for Universal Pictures to cast Hoffman. The role in question? That of the antagonist, Eric Gordon, which ultimately went to Bradley Whitford.

However, by the time the studio got back to Sandler, Hoffman had changed his mind. Sandler was informed that Hoffman had turned down the role, which prompted Sandler to phone him up and practically beg him to take it. According to Sandler, the exchange went like this: "'So, do you want to do it?' And he goes, 'Aww, I can't.' And I go, 'Oh, why not?' And he goes, 'Awww ... I just don't want to.'" Bummer. Sandler did get a chance to act alongside Hoffman seven years later in Paul Thomas Anderson's 2002 romantic comedy-drama "Punch-Drunk Love."