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Happy Gilmore star Christopher McDonald initially turned down iconic Shooter McGavin role

Happy Gilmore star Christopher McDonald initially turned down iconic Shooter McGavin role

Thankfully, Adam Sandler changed his mind

Actor Christopher McDonald is probably best known for playing Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore - but he was dangerously close to missing out on the role.

You'll remember Shooter as the main antagonist in the hit Adam Sandler flick - a talented but snobby golfer who winds up being Happy Gilmore's main opponent.

The iconic character was nearly played by someone else, though, after McDonald actually turned the part down.

Christopher McDonald played Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore.
Universal Pictures

It wasn't until a while later, when McDonald decided to sit down with Adam Sandler to discuss the movie, that he suddenly changed his mind.

Chris, 68, spoke about it with comedian Michael Rapaport on his podcast, while singing Sandler's praises.

"He's smart. You don't think he's smart because he plays all these doofuses, but the man is smart," Chris said of Sandler.

"I turned down that movie [Happy Gilmore] and I thought, 'What am I doing? I just won this golf tournament, I gotta sit down with Adam. Maybe that role's still available.'"

So, Chris phoned up Adam and asked him for a meeting.

"For 25 minutes I laughed my ass off and I thought this guy... he's just got it," Chris recalled.

"He was so funny and so self effacing, and so 'I'm the underdog', and you see there's a big depth to him."

And the rest was history for Chris McDonald, who is now so well known for the role of Shooter McGavin, that it might as well be his stage name.

Chris spoke about his chat with Adam Sandler on the podcast.
I Am Rapaport Podcast

In fact, earlier in that same podcast, Chris 'stormed' off the set because host Michael Rapaport introduced him as Shooter McGavin.

“Well, my name is Chris McDonald, but I’ll answer to Shooter McGavin I guess…" he said, sounding a little p***ed off.

Michael continued: "Shooter, I am so glad to have you…"

But McDonald interrupted: "Micheal - really great to be here - just call me Chris, it’ll be fine.

"Or Christopher or Mr McDonald, or something.

"Because I get that every day and I’m glad you’re a fan of the movie, that makes my heart sing, but enough, OK?

"We could talk about other stuff, we’re both actors, we’ve played these parts, so lets…"

The podcast host asked him: "So you’re saying I can’t call you Shooter?"

Chris almost turned down the role of Shooter.
Universal Pictures

Eventually it escalated to McDonald getting up and walking out of the studio.

Of course, the whole exchange was a joke between McDonald and Rapaport, because how could they not refer to his most iconic character?

Whether he likes it or not, thanks to that 25 minute chat with Adam Sandler, Chris McDonald is stuck with Shooter McGavin forever.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok / @michaelrapaport / Happy Gilmore

Topics: Celebrity, TV and Film, Adam Sandler