Geographical distances don’t mean anything when you have a chance to meet your idol. That was especially the case for 28-year-old Keira Williams who travelled over 30 hours to meet Adam Sandler.
Remember his movie, “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan?” More like, “You Don’t Mess With This Superfan.”
If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars to meet one person across the globe, you better plan it out right.
And oh boy, did she ever.
How An Aussie Superfan Planned a 30-Hour Trip to Meet Adam Sandler
Williams is from a small country town in New South Wales, roughly four hours outside of Sydney, Australia. She says the “50 First Dates” star is her favorite actor and was prepared to meet him, regardless of the time or money spent.
She bought tickets to Sandler’s UBS Arena comedy show in New York City and was seated in the front row (obviously).
After Sandler got on stage, he quickly spotted her thanks to her custom-made tee shirt with the message, “I travelled from Australia just to be here for the Sandman.”
The 56-year-old comedian and actor said into the microphone, “thanks for travelling!” and the young fan burst into tears.
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Before her cross-world trek, Williams says her first stop after seeing Sandler was touring was to buy a ticket to the show. “Before I even booked a flat, before I booked anything, I booked my front-row ticket,” she said. “And then I kind of just booked my trip around that. So, my whole entire purpose for being over here was for Adam Sandler.”
And while her in-show shoutout was pretty memorable, it wasn’t really the interaction Williams was looking for.
If you’re going to travel for more than a full day across 10,000 miles, you better snap a picture.
The Moment of Truth
After the show ended, Williams went outside the arena and hoped to get a glimpse of the “Big Daddy” star as he was leaving, crowded by a dozen other fans.
She says her phone only had about 6% battery left and she wasn’t going to risk missing meeting Sandler by trying to charge it — even if that meant not knowing how to get back to her hotel.
“My main priority was getting a photo with him and meeting him,” Williams said. “My main priority was not how I was going to get back to my hotel in a different country. I had no idea how the public transport systems worked, so I was going to have to guess. But, yeah, I was willing to risk it.”
A few minutes later, Sandler’s SUV pulled out of the arena’s underground parking lot and he waved to his crowd of supporters.
But then, he made a more concentrated effort.
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The SUV came to a full stop after the actor recognized the fan in the crowd he had acknowledged on stage. He got out of the car and walked toward Keira and her newfound friend, Krystal — a New York native who held up signs during the show.
One was Krystal Delgado from Queens, who held a sign during the show begging Sandler to take a picture with her. The other was Williams.
“When he walked up to us, I was shaking, so I handed him my phone to take a selfie because I would not have been able to do it on my own,” Williams said. “But I just kind of took the moment, looked him in the eyes and I told him how much I loved him and appreciated him. …He looked at me and he once again said, ‘Thank you for travelling.’ And I just said, ‘I love you.’ And he said, ‘I love you, too.’”
A shoutout, a picture, and he says “I love you?” How’s that for 30-plus hours of travelling?
What Makes Keira the Ultimate Adam Sandler Superfan
Williams says she first became an Adam Sandler fan after watching movies like “50 First Dates” and “The Wedding Singer” when she was young.
The Aussie said she would watch Sandler movies on repeat with her mother.
Williams says she works in disability support in Australia and admits her love for Sandler never wavered over the years.
“I’m behind all my friends,” she said. “They’re all married and having babies and I’m just out here single and chasing after Adam Sandler.”
She says she has a lifesize cardboard cutout of the actor that is in the middle of her living room.
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She said three of her friends back home helped her cement the front-row tickets for Sandler’s 22-city tour. “It didn’t matter where I went,” she said. “I just needed to be front row.”
In total, Williams estimates she spent about US$2,500 to be able to meet Sandler.
She says her personal hang time with Sandler and the in-show shoutout was in large part to her shirt.
After the Sandler meet, she says she called her mother back home and began “crying uncontrollably.” She admits that even if she gave birth, meeting Sandler would still be “top of my list of the best days of my life forever, no matter what happens.”
Imagine what would happen if Sandler ever did a show in Australia…