Adam Sandler may be one of the last actors you think of in the same sentence as “retired.” The actor is 56, but he often plays high-spirited, younger-than-his age characters, boys in a man’s body. So what’s he doing on the cover of AARP magazine, the publication of the nonprofit group that was formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons?
Yep, Sandler is the latest surprising cover boy for AARP, following in the footsteps of the late Luke Perry, who was 50 when he graced the cover in 2016, and Michael J. Fox, who shocked his movie mom, Lea Thompson, when he was the cover boy in 2021 at age 60.
Perry and Fox were both Gen X heartthrobs, but seeing Sandler on AARP might be even more jolting, thanks to his usually youthful screen persona.
The cover story refers to Sandler as “the ultimate man-child,” but also addresses how he’s taking on more mature, thoughtful roles. In an interview, Sandler talks about needing a hip replacement, and directly addresses his cover boy role.
“I’m getting older,” he admits. “That doesn’t mean I feel old. I mean, I do when I’m on the basketball court and an 18-year-old kid hears I’m 56 and says, ‘Wow! I thought you were younger than that!'”
As with Perry and Fox when they made the AARP cover, some fans just can’t believe how old this news makes them feel.
“Oof. Hit me right in the sciatica,” one person tweeted.
Some pointed out that the same issue of AARP is wishing rapper Eminem a happy 50th birthday on Oct. 17, writing, “Adam Sandler and Eminem on AARP magazine. (We’re old).”
Maybe the fans should take a tip from Sandler himself, who says in the AARP interview, “I like my age, and it’s fun to play my age. It’s freeing. I don’t have to be true to anything other than what I look like and what I think and what I do in life.”