Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (NEW YORK) — “…This is a whole new feeling,” says Adam Sandler of collecting kudos for his dramatic turn in his latest movie, Uncut Gems. The movie has a 96% positive rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and Sandler is experiencing a rarity in his career: Oscar buzz.

Sandler stars as Howard Ratner, a charismatic New York City diamond dealer with a serious gambling addiction, itching for his next big score.  He told ABC’s Robin Roberts that the fast-paced, tense movie was a stretch, even for him.

“I was a nervous wreck because there were so many things I had to do in the movie — be upset, be not too nice to my family,” Sandler said of the first time he read the script. “There were scenes where unfortunately my clothes were off. Everything was disgusting thinking about me doing it.”

But “I knew it was great,” Sandler said. “I knew the filmmakers were great. And I talked to my wife and she said, ‘you have to do this.’ I just committed.”

Sandler says the shoot, “was…a gritty process. We were working…deep into the night sometimes,” adding that it paid off because they “knew we were making something different.”

The longtime funnyman has already garnered a best actor award from the National Board of Review for the film.

“This is a shocker for many, many Americans,” the actor said with a laugh. “I don’t know what to even think.”

Sandler added, “I never thought of this stuff in my life….I didn’t say, ‘I wanna get an Oscar one day.’ I just wanted to make movies. I wanted to do what Eddie Murphy was doing,” he explained. “And this is a whole new feeling. And it’s fun.”

Uncut Gems is in theaters nationwide December 13.

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