Have I ever told you the Corey Feldman story?
When I was in my early teens I was a child actor. A handful of commercials, a small walk-on role in a movie, nothing major — but I auditioned for a few different roles that probably would have sent my life in a very different direction. I tried out for the part of Tom Hanks’ best friend in Big, and I auditioned for Stand by Me for the part of Teddy, which wound up going to Corey Feldman.
The weirdest one was the day I got a call for a movie called The Lost Boys, and instead of going to a casting agency, I was told to report to Warner Bros. HQ in NYC. That was really unusual, because you would normally go to a little office with a video camera and a rotating parade of kids who were there to read a scene or the commercial script and then go — revolving door stuff. But going to the Warner building? I asked my agent and she said, “I have no idea, but it must be good news or they wouldn’t call you to HQ, so let me know what happens.”
So I go there, up this giant elevator several floors, into this executive’s office. I sit in this giant leather chair, and this exec says, “Well, we cast you in this movie just from your headshot — you have the look we want. But the role calls for twins, and we found a natural set of twins that look enough like you that we don’t need you. Thanks, but sorry.”
My reaction was “Okay, I understand” but I didn’t. I had not auditioned for this part, and I didn’t know I had been cast in anything; neither did my agent or manager. I guess WB thought someone told me and they needed to manage the awkward situation directly. So I got called to WB HQ to be fired from a job I didn’t know I’d gotten — or maybe just un-hired?
Later, I went to see the movie and there were no twins…but there were the Frog Brothers from the comic book shop, and they were about my age. And who was one of those brothers? That’s right — Corey Feldman.
For years I had this grudge against him for stealing parts that should have been mine; my friends would then send me news stories about his various dramas in the press and say “See, that could have been you!” In retrospect, I’m glad it wasn’t.
I have no idea how my life would have turned out had I been a Frog brother. Maybe the same — there are tons of people who do one or two roles and then go back to a normal, obscure life. But I still think The Lost Boys is a fun film, and I still crank the radio whenever I hear “Good Times” by INXS & Jimmy Barnes.