NEW YORK – No one was more surprised than congenial crooner Tony Orlando at being asked to appear in the new Adam Sandler movie “That’s My Boy” — and as a rude and crude character, at that. Now he says he’s caught the acting bug.

The 68-year-old Orlando says the idea to cast him in the film, which opens Friday, came about after he ran into Sandler at a birthday party for a mutual friend. Two days later, Sandler called him to ask if he’d want to appear in his next film.

“‘I think you’d be a great character in this movie,'” Orlando recalled Sandler saying. “So I’m thinking he’s just being nice. He said, ‘In my opinion, you have the part.'” Orlando was sent the script and asked to go in and read. The next thing he knew he got “a call from the wardrobe department asking my size.”

In “That’s My Boy,” Sandler is a slacker who fathered a son as a teen and named him Han Solo. He raised the boy until he was 18. Now, years later, he’s looking to reconnect with his grown son, played by Andy Samberg. Orlando is Samberg’s boss in the movie.

“I’m not too nice of a guy,” Orlando admitted in a recent interview. “(Sandler) has me playing this kind of very wealthy, self-indulgent, overweight billionaire who thinks the world revolves around him.”

Not only is he a shady character, but his dialogue was filled with obscenities, which the G-rated Orlando had initial reservations about.

“I’ve never used the F-word in my life onstage,” he admitted. Sandler told him, “If you say that, you’re gonna get the biggest laugh of your life.” Turns out, he was right.

“I went to the premiere the other night and I’m thinking, ‘What’s this audience gonna do?’ The laughter was explosive. I walked up to Sandler afterward and said, ‘How’d you know?’ He said, ‘Tony boy, I told you it was gonna work.'”

Orlando believes Sandler has an eye for finding interesting people to appear in his movies who will strike a chord with viewers. “He used Bob Barker in a fight scene in ‘Happy Gilmore,”‘ Orlando noted. “Vanilla Ice and Todd Bridges are in ‘That’s My Boy.’ He just has a way of taking people who are nostalgic, fitting them into the story and making them work.”

Child actor in ‘Vader’ car ad has heart surgery

LOS ANGELES – The 7-year-old actor known as the boy behind the Darth Vader mask in a popular TV car ad has had open-heart surgery.

Dr. Vaughn Starnes said the surgery to replace Max Page’s pulmonary valve went without incident Thursday. The operation was done at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he is recovering in the cardiac intensive care unit. He is expected to be released in about five days and then faces six to eight weeks of recovery.

Max also appears as the character Reed on the top-rated CBS soap opera “The Young and the Restless.”

His mother, Jennifer Page, says there’s been an outpouring of support and that Max and the family welcome “prayers and encouragement.”

Hip-hop stars reportedly in bloody brawl

NEW YORK – Police were investigating a report of a bar brawl early Thursday involving hip-hop stars Drake and Chris Brown and their entourages in which bottles flew and five people were injured.

Brown tweeted a photo of himself with a cut chin, then later removed it, as well as other messages about the fight, including epithets and taunts. A representative later released a statement saying Brown, his girlfriend and friends were the victims of a “brutal attack.”

At least five people were injured during the fight at the club W.i.P. (Work in Progress) in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood early Thursday, police said. A 25-year-old man suffered a serious cut to the head, and two other men and two women suffered minor cuts. At least three were hospitalized.

Police were looking at surveillance footage and talking to patrons who witnessed the melee. No arrests have been made and no complaints filed.

It’s not clear what prompted the fight. Both Brown and Drake at one time dated singer Rihanna.