Carl Weathers almost wasn't cast in Happy Gilmore

Carl Weathers almost wasn't cast in 'Happy Gilmore' as director Dennis Dugan and star Adam Sandler were unsure about his suitability for the role of mentor Derick 'Chubbs' Peterson.

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Carl Weathers almost wasn't cast in Happy Gilmore
Carl Weathers almost wasn't cast in Happy Gilmore

Carl Weathers almost wasn't cast in 'Happy Gilmore'.

The 76-year-old 'Rocky' actor - who died "peacefully in his sleep" at his Los Angeles home earlier this week - won a host of new fans in his 1996 role as Derick 'Chubbs' Peterson, the mentor to Adam Sandler's Happy Gilmore, a highly-strung former hockey player who discovers a unique talent for golf.

However, he almost didn't get the part as both director Dennis Dugan and star Sandler were unsure about the casting.

Dugan told The Hollywood Reporter: "[His agent said] '‘I have a client, Carl Weathers, and he’d love to read for this' And I said, ‘Isn’t he a football player guy?’ He said, ‘Yeah, but he really wants to read for it.’

"Adam goes, ‘Oh, man, I don’t know. I didn’t picture that'. [But] he comes in — charming, wonderful, sweet, nice guy — and killed it, and got the part right there."

Dugan was also impressed by Weathers' down-to-earth attitude when, due to a mix-up, he was sent to wait with the extras on set.

He said: "He was sitting having breakfast with the background actors. And it wasn’t like, ‘Do you know who I am?’ But that’s who he is. He was just this really sweet, nice, terrific guy.”

Adam paid tribute to Carl, writing on X (formerly Twitter): "A true great man. Great dad. Great actor. Great athlete. So much fun to be around always. Smart as hell. Loyal as hell. Funny as hell. Loved his sons more than anything. What a guy!!"

And, the Directors Guild of America shared a statement, saying: "The world may have seen Carl as an iconic actor, but here at the DGA we knew him as an accomplished television director on series like 'The Mandalorian', 'Chicago Med' and 'Law Order', but more importantly to us, as an exceptionally dedicated leader of the Guild for the past 20 years, always seeking to improve the lives of his fellow members.”

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