Uncut Gems Movie Poster

Trivia for Uncut Gems

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  • The Safdie Brothers wanted to make this film since 2009 and prior to Good Time (2017), but couldn't get the project off the ground due to lack of financing. During that waiting period Robert Pattinson contacted the brothers via e-mail and said he was interested to work with them after he randomly discovered the poster of actress Arielle Holmes covered in pink neon light from their previous film Heaven Knows What (2014) on the Internet. After they met with Pattinson, liking him and being inspired by his energy, the Safdies spontaneously started to write Good Time (2017) with him in mind. After the film's premiere in Cannes and the following critical success, the brothers found themselves getting calls from Hollywood executives with offers including a big-budget superhero movie, which they declined and instead secured financing for Uncut Gems.
  • The film had its world premiere at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival.
  • The film was inspired by the Safdie Brothers' father's time working as a salesman/runner for a man also named Howard in the Manhattan Diamond District. The Safdie Brothers and their father are also Jewish and avid basketball fans.
  • Kevin Garnett's and The Weeknd's feature film debut.
  • Adam Sandler's first live action role in a theatrical film since Pixels (2015). All of his other live action film roles went straight to Netflix.
  • The character Arno is an Armenian-American who married into Howard's Jewish family. He is named after Arno Babadzhanyan, the great Armenian-Soviet composer.
  • Howard Ratner's jewelry store was a set built entirely for the movie.
  • The house used for the exterior of Howard Ratner's home is the same house used as Freddie Mercury's home in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).
  • Howard tells his son that his neighbour acted in "Good Times" and "Coming To America." When they knock on the door of the neighbor, it is answered by John Amos, who was indeed the father on Good Times and the father of Eddie Murphy's love interest in Coming to America.
  • Adam Sandler wore false teeth and a fake dark mole on his right cheek for the role.
  • Initial drafts of the script included a version of the character Nick Nikas. This character would go on to be portrayed by Benny Safdie in the film Good Time (2017).
  • Yussi is played by a real-life jeweler, Maksud Agadjani, who was embroiled in a social media spat with rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine in 2018 over a $25,000 bracelet he said he lent the performer and was never paid for. The situation was covered by several hip hop media news outlets.
  • Adam Sandler and Idina Menzel, who play husband and wife, are both Jewish.
  • Tilda Swinton makes a cameo in the film as the voice of the auction manager on the phone.
  • The story is set in 2012.
  • One of indie production company A24's biggest grossing films.
  • Cinematographer Darius Khondji shot this on 35mm film.
  • This is socialite Julia Fox's first film role. She was approached by the Safdie brothers based on her high profile New York City social life.
  • It was Julia Fox's idea for her character to have Howard's name tattooed on her ass.
  • Adam Sandler's wife convinced him to take on the role after reading the screenplay and watching Good Time (2017).
  • Daniel Day-Lewis praised Adam Sandler's performance in this film. Sandler said that is one of the highlights of his career.
  • The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Tilda Swinton; and two Oscar nominees: Judd Hirsch and The Weeknd.
  • The film features a rare acting appearance for Mike Francesa, whose filmography includes Undefeated (2003). In a further sports connection, he is considered a pioneer of sports talk radio beginning as the co-host of Mike and the Mad Dog with Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo on WFAN in New York.
  • Leonardo Dicaprio was considered to play Howard Ratner but had scheduled conflicts in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood(2019).
  • Former Celtics coach Doc Rivers recorded a voice-over for the film. His halftime speech revolving around a "roaches" line was based on a real speech he gave his current team the LA Clippers during a playoff game against the Golden State Warriors.
  • The Safdie Brothers are diehard New York Knicks fans and actually had Amar'e Stoudemire in mind as the original choice for the film's basketball protagonist. Stoudemire was a member of the Knicks from 2010 - 2015.


  • The opening and closing sequence, floating through the opal, was inspired by the work of photomicrographers Danny J. Sánchez and Eduard Gübelin.
  • The basketball series shown in the film was the 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Semi Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. Boston won that series and moved on to the next round. There they lost to the eventual champions, the Miami Heat.
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