“Happy Gilmore”: “Everyone loves to hate the bad guy,” says Shooter McGavin


Twenty-five years since Adam Sandler propelled golf into cinematic fashion with his role as a neurotic hockey player who discovers he has a talent for the game, stars like Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth have been pay homage at the 1996 comedy.

“I would be lying if I said we knew right away that it would be this success. It’s always a crazy thing when that happens,” Christopher McDonald, who plays Shooter McGavin – Gilmore’s nemesis – told CNN Living. in the movie. Shane O’Donoghue of golf.

The film enjoyed moderate success in its opening weekend, ranking No. 2 at the U.S. box office and grossing $ 8.5 million in revenue.

Now, the popularity of reruns billed as nostalgia has rekindled intergenerational enthusiasm for the film, which McDonald’s says is a testament to good writing and timeless comedy.

“When it came out it was a modest success, but when it was on TV I couldn’t walk the streets,” he told New York Magazine.
Will Zalatoris greets fans during the 2021 Masters final.

He’s not wrong. The colorful characters of “Happy Gilmore” carry on through a new generation of golfers.

Earlier this year, Adam Sandler wished Masters hopeful Will Zalatoris good luck, whose shiny blonde hair and youthfulness mean he looks suspiciously like Gilmore’s caddy at the Waterbury Open, played by actor Jared Van Snellenberg. .

In a video posted by golf maker Titleist, Zalatoris showed he has a quote from the movie scene with his lookalike stamped on his lob wedge.

Likewise, professional long hitter and former junior hockey player Jamie Sadlowski has been nicknamed the “Happy Gilmore” in real life, as he is able to travel 450 yards with a blistering swing speed of 95 mph.

The great white shark

Just as iconic as Gilmore is Shooter McGavin, a seasoned professional country club who becomes his nemesis.

Known for his ostentatious display of fame and ego-driven ambition, McDonald’s says he modeled McGavin after Greg Norman, one of his favorite golfers at the time. “Norman is also one of those guys who just sort of behaved,” he told CNN.

Two-time Open champion Greg Norman inspired Shooter McGavin.
The former world No.1 was nicknamed “The Great White Shark” for his dynamic and powerful style during the 1980s and 1990s. He won 20 times in total on the PGA Tour and was a two-time champion of the Open.

While McGavin is obviously far less successful than Norman in his golf endeavors, both players are also known for their second place finish, of which the Australian golfer had 31.

“Everyone likes to hate the bad guy”

Getting the chance to play a comedic villain was what initially drew McDonald’s into the role. “All of your creativity and your synapses are working all the time… because you can get away with murder,” he says.

Despite being considered the villain, over the years the McDonald’s character has gained immense popularity.

He recently relaunched the role of promoting a new PGA video game and created a online presence which has more than 390,000 followers on Twitter. Shooter McGavin has even made appearances on the Cameo website, where users can ask celebrities to speak to them directly for a varying fee.

McDonald says bringing smiles to fans’ faces has been especially gratifying during the pandemic. “If you can change a person’s day, you have accomplished something.”

He manages to generate excitement for the film wherever he goes, especially gaining attention at popular sporting events where fans ask him to recreate McGavin’s indelible gun celebration.

“It made the character iconic, which is fantastic,” he says. “Everyone likes to hate the bad guy.”

A Ryder Cup themed sequel

Before being cast for the role, McDonald had just finished the sci-fi thriller “Unforgettable” starring Ray Liotta.

“I was away from my children who were very small at the time, and I was ready to go home,” he says. “But after reading the script he didn’t need to be convinced, saying he knew he would be ‘a fool to refuse this’.

Christopher McDonald (left) says once he read the role of Shooter McGavin he knew he
McDonald and Sandler seem just as eager as fans to reprise their on-screen roles. The two actors dusted off their clubs earlier this year to mark the film’s anniversary, relaying vulgar prose on Twitter to re-enact the infamous rival duo.

During an appearance on The Golf Channel’s “The Dan Patrick Show” in February, they were asked about the possibility of a “Happy Gilmore” sequel. “It would be so amazing,” Sandler told Patrick, his co-star approvingly.

Proudly honoring its Irish heritage, McDonald’s suggests to CNN the possibility of recreating a Ryder Cup-themed sequel at the Belfry. “It would be really funny, I hope they write it down,” he says.

“An actor gets five great roles in his life, unless you’re Tom Cruise,” he adds. “I dropped one at the top because of ‘Happy Gilmore’, because it was a crucial and fulfilling experience for me.”



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