Bedtime Stories marked London’s third major premiere in as many days, so Disney delivered the stars of the film - Adam Sandler, Keri Russell and Russell Brand - to Odeon Kensington, instead of the usual Leicester Square. With chilly night air to add to the winter wonder of a faux-snow flurry up above, many icicled onlookers wished they could be tucked up in the invitingly plush golden bed which was rolled along the red carpet. Along with the stars were a band of fantasy characters drawn from the stories, including a knight in full armour and a rather sorry looking ancient Greek warrior, visibly shivering in his toga and sandals.
Following Skeeter Bronson (Sandler), a handyman left in charge of his niece and nephew, Bedtime Stories is - you’ve guessed it - the tale of bedtime stories which miraculously come true, but with a few little changes made by the kids along the way.
Director Adam Shankman felt very pleased with his cast: “When Adam said yes, my jaw hit the floor, because he doesn’t say yes to very many people. I have never made a movie with him before, and this is a family movie that was so outside of what he’s done. What begets Adam, begets Keri. And then when Guy Pearce said yes, I really thought my head was going to fall off. He usually does such intense character work, but I think he just needed a break and to do something fun and light. Russell too was major get: he is huge in the States right now.”
Adam Sandler was quick to sing Brand’s praises too (although the crazily-coiffeured one wafted past and didn’t stop to talk), saying: “Working with Russell was great. He’s a sweet kid and an amazingly funny guy. People in America are getting to know him and he is unable to walk down the street without having young ladies scream things at him.”
Sandler of course made his own mark on the cast, although Shankman admitted that it was sometimes ruinous for filming: “The kids adored him. It wasn’t until about two and a half months in that we could stop them from laughing at everything. Take after take after take was ruined because he was making them laugh so much!”
But it was the magical scenes which Shankman found the most fun to shoot: “My favourite was Ancient Greece. Adam in a chariot and a toga was one of the funniest things I had ever seen in my life.” Sandler said that the best part of making the film was not donning a toga, but instead, “getting to know that little guinea pig - we’re great friends now.”
Up next in Funny People, which he is currently filming with Judd Apatow, Sandler confessed that although he is still very much in comedy mode, that film is “a little bit serious” too.
And so the stars went on, to toast their frost-bitten fingers by the popcorn machine and snuggle up in the roll-along bed for a little bedtime story of their own. Bedtime Stories is out on Boxing Day.