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AICN Legends: Capone talks GOONIES, LOST BOYS, GREMLINS, STAND BY ME, and Haim with '80s icon Corey Feldman!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

Corey Feldman turns 40 this summer, which sounds pretty young until you realize the guy has been in the acting game for about 37 years, booking his first TV job on "Eight Is Enough" when he was 3 years old. Five years after his first film role in TIME AFTER TIME, he began getting larger and larger parts in movies, beginning with the fourth FRIDAY THE 13TH movie, THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984), which was hardly accurately titled, since Feldman came back in the next Jason installment, A NEW BEGINNING, the following year. His highlight of his television career was playing Regi Tower in "The Bad News Bears" television series, which lasted a single season.

Feldman and I are close to the same age, so I grew up knowing his face, and eventually his name, thanks to unforgettable roles in quintessential '80s films like GREMLINS, STAND BY ME, THE GOONIES, THE LOST BOYS, THE 'BURBS, LICENSE TO DRIVE, and DREAM A LITTLE DREAM. He also provided the voice of Donatello in the original TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLE movie. Feldman and his best friend and partner in crime, Corey Haim, were something of an unstoppable force for a decade, and then they just kind of vanished. Sure, Feldman popped up in such works as BORDELLO OF BLOOD or LOADED WEAPON 1, which actually made it to the big screen, but largely he was demoted to T&A comedies or horror films that you usually caught on cable movie channels late at night.

Every so often, I'd hear him on Howard Stern's radio show talking about his "music career" or promoting some appearance or another. I actually loved watching the video interviews of Feldman and his fellow GOONIES cast members at reunions staged for the original DVD's commentary track and for Empire magazine's Spielberg-edited issue in 2009. His train-wreck reality show with the drug-addicted Haim, "The Two Coreys" was a modest success that almost cost the pair their friendship. When Haim died last March, Feldman stepped up and spoke in defense of his friend whom the media all but declared had died from a drug overdose, which turned out not to be the case.

The truth of the matter is, I've always kind of rooted for Feldman, who has made the most of parents that pushed him into acting far too early. He has a lot to say about child actors who have the rug pulled out from under them by Hollywood when they get too old to appeal to a certain demographic. The guy never stops working, and the recent pair of LOST BOYS sequels actually did far better than anyone thought they would. More than anything or most anybody of his generation, he embraces the fans that love the movies he made as a kid. This past weekend, Feldman came to Chicago for the premiere of his new film OPERATION BELVIS BASH and screen a few of his classics as well, including THE GOONIES, THE LOST BOYS, and STAND BY ME, all taking place at the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville.

We were only supposed to talk for 20 minutes, but I kind of stole 35 with his kind assistance, so we were able to talk in detail about his reaction to Haim's passing. But we covered a lot of ground in our short time together, and I found Feldman beyond cool and willing to talk about anything. Yes, he is the king of his own self-promotion, but he's also brutally honest and aware of his station in the present and as an '80s icon. Please enjoy my talk with Corey Feldman…

Capone: Hi Corey, it’s good to meet you. It sounds like a whirlwind kind of a day for you.

Corey Feldman: Oh my god, yes.

Capone: What I'm hoping we can do is more of a career-spanning interview and talk about your place in the iconography of film.

CF: I don’t know if I have one. [Laughs]

Capone: I would disagree. I think we’re about the same age, so I think I can vouch for at people that read our site, who would definitely say you do. First of all, what are you doing in Chicago this weekend?

CF: Well, it’s basically this wonderful theater company who runs Hollywood Palms Theaters, they basically called me up and said “Look, we want to do kind of a retrospective overview of your career. Kind of a film festival of sorts just playing your films.” And they said “We want to play a bunch of the older ones and then maybe one or two of the newer ones.” So I could have gone with like THE BIRTHDAY, which is one of my favorites and one that the fans really kind of want to see, because it never got a proper release in America. It got great reviews. It did well oversees in Europe, but never got it’s spot in the light here in America, which was always very troubling to me, because it’s one of my favorites. I had the option between that or showing the new LOST BOYS and then I thought, “You know what? Let’s do something really special and give them the opportunity to have a world premiere here in Chicago of a film that’s never been seen by anybody.”

So that’s what we are doing. We are showing a movie called OPERATION BELVIS BASH, which we literally just finished editing like a month ago and we haven’t even sent it out for distribution yet. So literally you guys are the first audience that’s going to see this film, which is very exciting for me, mostly because of the fact that it’s such a different movie. It’s so out there. It’s so bizarre. Your readers are going to go crazy for it, because it’s kind of got a cast of pop-culture phenomenons in and of itself. You’ve got everybody from Mark Metcalf form ANIMAL HOUSE and Twister Sister videos to Frank Stallone to Iron Sheik, who I did the THE GOONIES video with with Cyndi Lauper. Daniel Baldwin is in it. It’s just like this really weird, eclectic cast.

On top of that to make it even more fun, Frank Stallone did some music for it. I did the title track, which plays at the end of the film. And it’s a musical, which has a bunch of music that’s featured by [Alexander Lvovsky], who produced, wrote, and stars in the film. He wrote the music for the part that he does. So it’s a musical, it’s a comedy, it’s a political film, and it’s the most bizarre, outlandish, out-there character I’ve ever played in the history of my work.

So for all of those reasons, we thought “What better way to introduce this festival than to kick it off with the world premiere of a movie that nobody has ever seen?”

Capone: So that’s tonight?

CF: And the reception was so warm and welcome and exciting when we announced we were doing this. Within 24 hours, not only did they sell out, but they sold out two theaters. So we actually had to do two screenings for the opening night of this film, which is really cool.

Capone: So what else are they playing as part of the festival?

CF: I think tonight, it’s just that. Tonight it’s just all bout that, and then the rest of the weekend I know they are playing LOST BOYS, GOONIES, LICENSE TO DRIVE, and STAND BY ME. So four of the classics and then I think if the movie is received as well as I’m hoping tonight, we may try and sneak in one more screening somewhere throughout the weekend, if possible.

Capone: You started out doing a lot of television when you were younger, was there ever a time when acting became something just to do that was fun as opposed to something that was work?

CF: I think it went from something to do to something that was work.

Capone: When was that in your youth?

CF: Or maybe it was the other way around. It started out as work…

Capone: …and became fun as you got older?

CF: Exactly.

Capone: I’ve got you.

CF: The thing was this, I was thrown into it obviously before I knew my own name. So when people say “What was your childhood like?” or “When did you start acting?” Those questions mean nothing to me.

Capone: You don’t have a memory of that.

CF: They are superfluous, because at the end of the day I was famous before I knew my own name. I have no memory of any life or existence before being in the entertainment industry. That is my life. That has always been my life. They say, “You choose your own fate. You choose your own path.” That’s bullshit. I can tell you personally in my existence that doesn’t happen. For me, my fate was predetermined. My life was decided for me. My path was created for me before I ever had a say in the matter. So, I can’t look back and reflect and say, “Well my childhood was this or that.” I was working, I didn’t have a childhood. I didn’t get to do sleepovers or play with toys or any of that stuff that normal kids do. I couldn’t join a baseball team or do little league or any of that kind of stuff. Instead, it was I left school early most days so I could go on auditions, and that was when I went to school, and then the rest of the time I was on the set. I was being tutored by a set teacher.

My parents were very protective of what I did outside of work, because they wanted me to stay focused. So, I was basically like a pageant girl. That was my life; I was groomed to be this my whole life. I'm not saying that I think that’s a proper choice, as a matter of fact I think it’s a very inappropriate choice and I think it’s not a very well thought out plan on the parents’ behalf, because I think every individual on this earth should have the right and freedom of choice to be able to determine what they want their life to be. Not to say that fate is what fate is and not to say that either way I wouldn’t have chosen or decided to become what I became and that I may not of decided this as my calling in life, but I didn’t have the opportunity to make that choice and I think that’s the wrong part. I have a big issue with parents putting their kids in the industry and predetermining their fate.

Let’s face it, say I turned 18 and I decided that I wanted to be a stockbroker or I wanted to work at Wal-Mart; I didn’t have that choice, because once everybody knows who you are and you walk down the street and you need security everywhere you go and all of this kind of stuff that I grew up with, you can’t just go get a regular 9-to-5 job, because nobody is going to take you seriously, and you have to deal with embarrassment and harassment and all of those kinds of things for the rest of my life. At a certain point, I had to make a decision that like “Hey, I’m stuck in this now. This is what I do, so I’ve got to be the best at it.” That’s when it became the decision between “This is what I do, because that’s all I know" to "This is what I choose to do and I choose to be the best I can be.”

Capone: I think it was Sam Rockwell who told me, “I don’t think anyone should be famous before they are 30, because they can’t handle it. Whoever they are, they will not be able to handle it.” What do you think about that?

CF: I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that. What I do think is the younger that you start off in a career, especially a career like this where you are under a microscope and in the spotlight, I think the better off you are. If you choose at 18 to become an actor and you get that success at a gradual pace, and by the time you're 30, you’ve reached stardom or super stardom, then that’s excellent, because you have been around it long enough and you have had a gradual kind of success so that you get to the point where you realize “Hey, I’ve succeeded at something and I can be proud of myself, but not have a huge ego.” The problem is these kids who start at 12, 13 years old and they get this overnight success and they are a he star and then all of a sudden it dwindles and fades away. Now suddenly, nobody cares anymore or they are insulted or they are made fun of. Those people have to suffer the most.

Then there’s the other side of the coin, which is say the kids who are in the new TWILIGHT movies or HARRY POTTER, where maybe they are 15 and 16 years old, but they get success overnight and their egos swell out of control in a very disproportionate level to where suddenly they are being waited on hand and foot, and that’s when they can’t control it. That’s when their egos get so big--and not to say that any of those kids are that way, I don’t know them personally, I’m just saying as a general statement--that it can be very damaging, because you will find--and I’m sure as a journalist you’ve probably noticed this in interviewing quite a few people--that the longer somebody has been around, the more of a legend that they are, the more of an icon that they are, the nicer person they are. They are not trying to impress anyone. They don’t care. They are not impressed with themselves at that point. They are like “Yeah, you know what? I change my underwear just like everybody else. When I leave a bathroom, it smells…” [Laughs]

That’s the bottom line. We are all human beings, and I think that unfortunately a lot of these kids get the success so quickly at such a turbulent speed, and they don’t even have time to really appreciate it before their heads are swollen up to the size of watermelons and they think that they deserve everything that’s coming to them, so when it gets pulled away from them, they're lost. With me, I feel very fortunate in one area, which is that I’ve had my whole life to realize that I’m pretty insignificant. [laughs]

Capone: Would you consider yourself guilty of that when you were a teenager?

CF: No, because again I started at three years old, so it was all I knew. It wasn’t like, “You have this overnight success.” It was a building process that started when I was three, and then the first peak of my success in my career was really around 13 years old, and that peak went on for about five years, and then I had a few down years and then another peak and then some more. My life has been a rollercoaster. Somehow, I’ve been fortunate and lucky enough to sustain to the next level and to continue moving forward and rising up, but there are very few, very few and far between that actually can do that. A lot of them fall by the wayside, unfortunately, and those are the ones that I feel bad for, because I was almost there. I know what it’s like to be at that crossroad and go “Maybe I should just give up on it all, because I’m never going to be what people expect me to be or what people want me to be.” Then finally I got to a point where I was like “You know what? I don’t care anymore. I’m just going to do what I do, because I love doing it and I’ll do the best work I can do, and hopefully people get it and hopefully people enjoy it and hopefully I get lucky enough to continue working.” So far, after 35 years in a career, I can say I have been fortunate enough to keep working. I still do an average of two to three films a year. I have my music career as well and I tour. I stay very busy and I do a lot of stuff and the best part is I feel like I’m so young, I could be doing this for another 50 years. I feel like I’m just getting started. The crazy part about that is that most people who have had a career as long as I have are ready for retirement right now and shouldn’t have to work another day in their life, whereas I’ve been working for 35 years and feel like I’m just getting started and I don’t see myself retiring for a very long time.

Capone: I want to get a little bit about your history in horror films, because that seems to be something you were always returning to. Obviously the newer LOST BOYS movies seem like they are doing well. The most recent one came out last year, correct?

CF: The third one just came out two months ago.

Capone: That’s right. Is that a genre you grew up liking, or is that just something you kind of got tossed into and people kind of identify you with?

CF: I did like horror films as an early teenager, but the irony is, I’m a big hippie, so I’m all about peace and love and I’m really not the gore kind of guy. As a matter of fact, anything to do with morbid death, gore, and all of that kind of stuff kind of creeps me out a little bit. So I really try and stay away from that kind of stuff, especially now that I have a child. I have a six-year-old child who lives with me, so we stay very far away from watching horror movies and blood and guts.

Capone: None of your FRIDAY THE 13TH movies?

CF: None of that. Now as a kid, I loved like the HALLOWEEN movies… I liked a couple of the FRIDAY movies, but I didn’t even learn what those were until after I got the job, and then it was like “Oh, is it that guy with the mask? Michael Myers?” And they were like “No, no, it’s the other one. The hockey mask…” I’m like “Hockey mask? What are you talking about?” So, I had to do my research and learn what those movies even were. The irony, as I said, as I got older I got more into comedy, more into drama, more into music, and further away from horror movies. I like thrillers. I like suspense. I guess that’s why HALLOWEEN has always been my favorite horror movie, because even though it’s a slasher film, it’s more of a suspense film than it is an actual like blood and guts type of thing. That’s what I enjoy. I enjoy something that makes you work for it that makes you think as an audience member.

So yeah, I never have been a huge fan of horror and I find it very uncanny and very ironic that my career, if you look at it as an overview, a big portion of my body of work as a total is based in horror. The FRIDAY THE 13TH movies, the LOST BOYS movies, GREMLINS. Ironically I just did this thing with Roger Corman and Joe Dante for Netflix last year called "Splatter," which was based on kind of an offshoot of me as a persona playing this kind of estranged rockstar who lives in a castle and then decides to kill all of his friends, which I can’t say I haven’t been there before. It's been close. [laughs]

Capone: With THE LOST BOYS movies, in particular, have you really thought about what it is about that first film that has such staying power? Clearly in light of the vampire scene now, that movie was so ahead of its time. Had you really thought about or considered what the appeal was there?

CF: I think it was that we used less glitter in our eye shadow than they do these days. [laughs] That current TWINKLE movie, or whatever it's called, they don't even have teeth. We did have the mullets going for us. I think that’s what it was. I think the mullets sold the movie really more than anything. No, it was hip, it was sexy, it was cool, and the thing about LOST BOYS, and I think the thing that still makes this franchise work so well today and the reason why every one that we put out is so wildly successful, is the fact that it is an earmark on pop-culture society in the time and place from which it exists. Meaning, the first one was set in the 80’s and you can clearly see by watching it today that it represented everything that was hip and trendy and cool in the '80s. It really was. It was an earmark and a time capsule for that period and it kind of set the standard.

I think even though THE TRIBE wasn’t the greatest movie ever made, it did continue the legacy in the aspect of when you watch the movie, we talk about YouTube and we talk about GIRLS GONE WILD and we talk about cell phones, people running around with video cameras and vampires that are into extreme sports and kind of capturing on film events as they happens. That is what we were three years ago, so it fits, whereas the new LOST BOYS, now it’s about designer drugs and raves and the lighting and all of the cool stuff that you see at the raves and how underground they are and how this could really be an underground culture that’s basically developing and creating new vampires for a new generation. So that’s the thing, keeping up with what’s happening, what’s hip, what’s current in pop-culture and kind of engraining that into the film, and that establishes it’s look and feel. So, I think that really is a big part of what keeps that movie alive and viable as a franchise, the fact that each time we do one we evolve the storyline and the surrounding subtext with whatever is happening in pop-culture and the time.

Capone: It was kind of fun watching the two big reunions for THE GOONIES. There was the commentary track reunion, and then there was the one just a couple of years ago, right, that Empire magazine did?

CF: Right.

Capone: I saw some video of that.

CF: We’ve done a couple since.

Capone: Have you? With that big a group?

CF: Well not with the entire cast, but yeah we did THE GOONIES 25TH Anniversary Concert in Astoria, which was a four day festival event. Literally the town of Astoria had I think it was 25,000 people flooding into this small fishing town over the summer so that we could… They built a museum using actual props from the movie. They did a guided tour of all of the locations we shot. They had constant continuous screenings of the movie and a new documentary that was made by some fans, and we did a big concert for 2,500 people at this stadium there where my band Truth Movement performed and not only did we do our one hour normal concert, but we also did a whole hour encore of basically our favorite '80s tunes, which included a tribute to Michael Jackson and Pink Floyd, and then we actually did the Cyndi Lauper song “Goonies Are Good Enough.”

And at that event, I had the support and the love graciously of Richard Donner, Sean Astin, Joey Pantoliano, Jeff Coen. They all flew in to be a part of it with me, which was really nice and really exciting and sweet. And then six months later, we released THE GOONIES Blu ray edition for the 25th anniversary, and it’s a beautiful box set with a board game. For that, we did a big screening on the Warner Bros. lot. We had a treasure hunt where we brought in fans from, I think it was from all over the United States who competed for a treasure hunt and kind of scavenger hunt, where the winner won $5,000 from Warner Bros.

That was one where we had Ke Quan at that one, Jeff Cohen again… We had both the Fratelli brothers [Pantoliano and Robert Davi], Lupe Ontiveros who played the maid in the movie. So again it’s different groupings, but we keep having these kind of reunions where we all get together, and it’s very nostalgic for us, and we were really all like a big family, so every time we get together, and as long as Richard Donner is there, it feels legitimate.

Capone: I’ve heard people say that part of the reason that movie really works even today and is almost as popular as it was at the time, maybe a little more so, is that it feels like the film was made by a kid, and not a film made by adults talking down to kids. Do you remember it feeling like that?

CF: Well, it was made by a bunch of kids. Let’s face it, it was Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner, and then the seven of us kids. When you went to Richard Donner’s office, he had video games in his office and a bunch of toys. You went to Spielberg’s office at Amblin and they had a video game room with just video games. So I mean, those are both big kids, especially in those days. You’re going back 25 years ago, Donner was in his late 40’s or early 50’s [Donner was actually 54-55]; Spielberg was probably even younger than that. I think he was probably 30 or 35 [actually 39], and they were really just kids themselves and they were having a great time.

It was their imagination, their vision, Chris Columbus obviously who wrote it, who is another big kid. All of the people that were behind it from a production standpoint were big kids. All of the cast were really kids, and even the Fratelli brothers who looked like they were old, because Joey Pants had his hairpiece that kept flying off. He just balded early; he was actually pretty much a kid himself too at that time. So everybody was young and vital and fun, and the producers and the filmmakers were young and fun, and it was a big kind of fantasy adventure for all of us.

Capone: Have you ever been asked to do an event at the Alamo Drafthouse? You would seem like a natural fit for that venue.

CF: I just did an event for them like six months ago as a matter of fact, or maybe it was even less. Yeah, we did an opening of their new theater in San Antonio. I went down there and we did a GOONIES screening and I believe a STAND BY ME screening and actually were talking about doing something with them around my new movie OPERATION BELVIS BASH, as well. Hopefully I’ll be back down there very soon.

Capone: You mentioned Chris Columbus, and obviously you were a part of some very early successes of his as a writer, with GREMLINS, which also felt like it was made by kids.

CF: I think the constant that you will find in all of my horror movies outside of FRIDAY THE 13TH, which is the only one in my entire repertoire that would be considered a true slasher film, but really my body of work in the horror realm is based on horror-comedy. None of them can be taken seriously, kind of like me as a person. You look at movies like THE LOST BOYS, all three of them have a very comedic undertone. That’s kind of the driving force. That’s what keeps people coming back, I think, is the comedy aspect. "Splatter," which I did with Joe Dante and Roger Corman, dark comedy, THE ‘BURBS…


CF: There you go, with Dennis Miller... Another one. Produced by Richard Donner, Robert Zemeckis, Walter Hill, and Joel Silver, of course. And then the director was Gil Adler. So there were those and then there was one more. Yeah, PUPPET MASTER VS. DEMONIC TOYS. Did you ever see that one?

Capone: No.

CF: You’ve got to see that one. That is probably the funniest….

Capone: Is it part of the PUPPET MASTER series?

CF: It is and it isn’t. Basically I saw those b-movies as a kid when they were coming out, and I was like “This is the worst schlock… The most terrible movies of all time,” and it was a movie that I would have never ever in my wildest dreams imagined engaging as being a part of. But what happened was I got an offer to do it and I read the script and was like “This is just awful. It’s terrible.” At the time, my ex-wife was pregnant with my soon-to-be child and we were about to give birth, and I was like “You know what? I need to do this for my kid,” because you know obviously you want to build up as much of a surplus in the account that you can to make sure that your child is born into a comfortable lifestyle, and it was a great opportunity at the moment, and the movie was being shot in Bulgaria of all places.

So, I was like “I guess I could go off and do this movie in Bulgaria. But if I’m going to do it, because of what it is and how cheesy and schlocky and ridiculous it is,” the only way I could do it was to rewrite the script and make it a black comedy, to really make fun of itself for what it is. So, I kind of did this really off-the-wall, off-centered, ridiculous character, and if somebody watches the movie and they try to take it at face value and think that I’m playing it straight, then they are going to get it totally wrong and they are going to be like, “This is terrible. It’s the worst thing ever.” But if they get what it is that we are doing--and Vanessa Angel did a great job as well playing this off-beat thing--but we did this kind of movie that was subtly making fun of itself without a big neon sign saying “This isn’t to be taken seriously.” It’s really, really funny. It’s so off beat and it’s so out there. I think it’s actually one of the funniest performances I ever did. That’s what a lot of fans say. I mean they really enjoy it, so there you go.

Capone: You mentioned that most of these films felt like they were made by kids. With STAND BY ME, that’s an adult story that just happens to have kids in it.

CF: Correct.

Capone: It’s got lots of humor in it, but when you were making that were you kind of thinking like “I’ve got to step up my game as an actor to do this movie.”

CF: Yeah, I think so. I think at the time Rob Reiner, he took himself more seriously as a director than I would say the other directors did. Obviously, Spielberg and his body of work is incomparable, as with Richard Donner’s, but both of their legacies are really based on fantasy films, action films, and those types of things, where Rob Reiner, at the time had done THE SURE THING and SPINAL TAP. Obviously SPINAL TAP was a balls out comedy for anybody who got what it was about and realized that it was in fact not a documentary, but a comedy. THE SURE THING was one of those cute little romantic stories, movies that he became so well known for like THE PRINCESS BRIDE. At the time, he wasn’t that well known as a director, he was more-well known as an actor/comedian and he really wanted to step out of his father’s shadow by making a name for himself and doing something a little more serious with a little bit more heart and soul and a little more organic genuineness to it. I think that his experiment worked very well and obviously set him up for a legendary career doing that sort of thing. Fortunately, Rob and I just had the opportunity to reconvene for the first time in many years working on the Blu-ray release of STAND BY ME, which will be out in March [22], I believe.

Capone: That’s cool. I didn’t know that.

CF: And it was the first chance that we have had to kind of sit together and reflect and kind of catch up on a lot of those stories and what we were both thinking during the process of making the film. It’s true, he will actually reiterate that himself, which is “I was really trying to step out from my father’s image and create a name for myself as a serious director.” And it worked. The bottom line is, yeah, the subtext is a bunch of kids kind of making goofy kid jokes, but the storyline and plot and subject matter is really about coming of age. It’s about maturity. It’s about coming into your own as an adolescent. I think it was beautifully portrayed because of his vision and because of the heart and soul that he put into it.

Capone: I did want to ask just before we get out of here, we are coming up on a year since Corey Haim passed away, and it was really interesting seeing you kind of step up and become almost a spokesperson for just telling people to chill out with rumors and reports that were based in nothing and just say, “Can we just wait before we start saying this is what killed him, or this is what happened?” What was your thought process in doing that?

CF: Thanks, and I did very few, for the record. I only did two actually. I did Larry King and I did one for CBS Morning News, and that was it.

Capone: Those are the ones I watched yesterday.

CF: They may have cut those up and put them all over the world, but it was just that. It wasn’t thought out. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t thinking at all; I was literally running on fumes and based on strict emotion, because the moment of his death, in actuality, he was supposed to have an appointment at my dentist which I had set up for him, because it was my dentist appointment, which he was coming to substitute, because he had a tooth that had fallen out. I was going to get some cavity work done. He had a tooth that had fallen out and he called me and said, “Hey, I really need to get into your dentist. Is there any chance I can get an appointment?" They had told him it was going to be like two weeks, and I said, “It’s all right, you can have my appointment, because yours is an emergency situation. Go ahead and get in there.” So that morning I was expecting my assistant to go pick him up from his home with his mom, take him to my dentist for his appointment, and instead I was woken up by a knock on the door from my brother and sister announcing to me that he had passed.

I literally didn’t even have the time to rub the sleep out of my eyes before making my way downstairs to find a barrage of press camped out on my front door step and a meeting of my publicist, my manager, my family, everybody waiting for me in my living room, and I turned on the news and I’m watching what’s happening, and it was just all going too fast. The publicist is like “We need a statement. I’ve got to go out and I’ve got to talk to the press. I’ve got to address this. What do you want to say? What are you going to write on your blog?” It was just like “Whoa, everybody hold the fuck on for a minute, my best friend just died. Let’s get back to reality. I’m a human being with emotions and I just lost my brother and that’s what’s going on here.”

And as I was watching the false reports come out one after another… You can say whatever you want, I was with him two days ago. I know that he’s not out of his mind on drugs, I’m watching the guy. I was with him. I know what he was taking and what he wasn’t taking, and I know that he had really done a lot of work in the last six months to shape himself up. So the very first thing I did that night was I kind of put a stop to everything by saying “Look, I’m not going to do a million interviews. I’m not going to face the press.” They were chasing me with helicopters. My street was blocked off. I had to escape with a double. My brother had to dress like me and take my car out one way so I could got out in another.

At the end of the day, I went and I did that one live interview with Larry and I said “Larry, look. Let’s just stop everything for a minute and stop character assassinating and assuming that we know the answer until the autopsy reports come back. I’m sure that everybody will be quite surprised when the results come back.” And Larry said to me, “Don’t worry, Corey, as soon as the results come back I would love to put you back on the show and give you the opportunity to talk about it at that time, and then we can further discuss in detail exactly what happened.” Well, sorry to say that in fact did not happen. When the autopsy results came out, they just covered it right up. It was the top story for two weeks on every news channel, every news program, every entertainment channel, and news program, they instead put it on like page five in a small little column “The autopsy report came back, and he didn’t die from drugs.”

That really pissed me off, so the only retribution at that point was to turn my publicity tour for LOST BOYS: THE THIRST and the announcement of my LOST BOYS Ball, which we created for the live experience and into an opportunity to campaign about the reason why Corey actually died. So, luckily I got that opportunity to clear the air by doing things like going on "The Today Show" in front of millions of Americans and saying, “Guess what, the autopsy results came out and he didn’t die from drugs.” It’s very important to me that everybody gets that. I think it did a lot. I think it did, in fact, change history in the perception of how he is perceived and his legacy, and that is very important to me, because at the end of the day he’s a guy that had a lot of problems, very publicly known, and his mom was very sick, she had cancer, she was very ill. And he put his own stuff aside and very selflessly took care of her in his final days. That’s what he was dedicated to, being there for his mom.

He was a good kid and he had gotten it together and he had learned a lot of lessons in life, and I wanted the public to know that, so that the memory of him wasn’t distorted and was very clearly, “Look, he made his efforts and he accomplished something before it was too late.” That’s a very important reminder I think for people who are struggling today with their own addictions.

Capone: All right man, thank you. I appreciate your time. Have fun tonight.

CF: Cool. Thank you.

-- Capone
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Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 18, 2011, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Also the voice of young Copper in The Fox & The Hound

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 4:49 p.m. CST


    by UGG

    Corey is our newest/youngest living legend.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 4:53 p.m. CST

    can I recommend...

    by emeraldboy

    Helen Slater as an 80's icon.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 5:03 p.m. CST

    one of my fav b-actors.great interview btw.

    by KilliK

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 5:12 p.m. CST

    "The Thirst" was far superior than "The Tribe."

    by Mike_D

    The acting blew but I enjoyed it a lot better than the previous installment.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Excellent interview, thanks

    by MattmanReturns

    Also just caught "The Thirst" on Netflix streaming and it was surprisingly entertaining.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Great interview...

    by TommyGavinsEgo

    ... and a great guy. Huge respect for the much-cherished moments he was involved in, in some of the most loved movies of my youth (which are still untouchable). And again, huge respect for actually being self-aware and humble after being in showbusiness from when he could walk. And even more for showing genuine loyalty to his pal before and after his death. It's refreshing and heartening to realise he knows his place in the movie world, and seems genuinely grateful for his fanbase. Really enjoyable read. Humility seems in shorter and shorter supply in Hollywood these days, at least someone - however "B-movie" - is flying the flag for it.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST

    And actually, the third Lost Boys...

    by TommyGavinsEgo

    ... was a pretty entertaining DTV flick, in a goofy way. No one can expect the accidental, made-up-on-the-fly, lightning-in-a-bottle genius of the original Lost Boys. If a true sequel were to be made, it should've been in the early '90s with Donner, Schumacher and the whole cast. Unfortunately we're getting DTV cash-ins, but Feldman seems genuine in wanting them to be as good as possible. "The Tribe" was terrible - a lame, rehashed retread of the original, with none of the charm, and only bearable when Feldman himself was on screen. "The Thirst", however hokey some of the acting and FX, wasn't a complete write-off. Great to see the Frog Brothers back together again - and it actually contained a quite lovely nod to Haim as well.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Corey does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    When it comes to the 'younglings' Hollywood chews em up and spits them out.<p> Some of them land in a heap of slime, traumatised in the foetal position, and some of them land on their feet shouting Woo Hoo like they've just surfed a wave.<p> I think Feldman had fun! Well done with what you achieved and good luck with the rest of your life, don't dwell on the past - the future is far more funky!...

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 5:41 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    ...and if you ever bump into Ralph Macchio give him a crane kick from me!

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Guy is still so much more talented than the work he gets...

    by SK229

    not be condescending, because like he says, at least he IS working, but I think he could really use a great part that make people (and film and casting directors) see him differently. I know he could pull off something amazing with the right script, just sad that he doesn't get that opportunity. Maybe he's working his way up to that, I don't know, but it'd be great to see him make a left turn and have what would be, at this point, a fourth stage to his career.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 5:58 p.m. CST

    I have nothing but respect for Feldman

    by Billy_D_Williams

    one of the most level headed, humble and decent celebs out there. he really cared about haim, and has no delusions about his own career and place in hollywood...he's not one of those b-celebs who tries desperately to act like an a-lister.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Great Interview

    by Phil

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 6:51 p.m. CST

    I used to think Corey Feldman was the kid from The Shining

    by Orionsangels

  • I wish there was a way I could be able to compile a list of all upcoming entertainment film/appearances/events that are happening. Still, it was a good interview. For some reason, I got on a 'Lost Boys' kick for the last 2 weeks and have been really enamored with the first film. Sure it's corny at times, but there's something about it much like 'Goonies' and 'Back to the Future,' where the performances actually feel genuine. Netflix actually had Thirst and Tribe on streaming. Both can't live up to the first, but of the two, there seemed to be a better effort put into 'Thirst.' 'Tribe' felt like an unapologetic carbon-copy of the first film, mingled in with flecks of fanfiction about 'Lost Girls' and 'Surfer Vampires.'

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Feldman sings

    by schadenfreudian

    http://www. watch?v=Y5f0ZbJiF7w You're welcome/I apologize.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Could have had a great career if he'd stayed nerdy

    by Crimson Dynamo

    he could have been the go-to guy for those bookworm kind of roles, like a modern day wally cox. instead he ditched the glasses and tried to play against type, and came off as greasey and unlikeable instead. funny how some people play against type, like jimmy walker, and fade into oblivion

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 9:11 p.m. CST


    by SebastianHaff

    I edited the trailer for a gay porno called Eight is Enough. I'm sure you can guess what eight was enough of. <br><p> For the record, I quit that job a long time ago.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 9:17 p.m. CST

    I met Corey on Sunday

    by Davidhessstation

    I got a chance to meet Corey on Sunday and he was very polite and quiet. He had really long black hair and had shades on, smoking a cigarette. It looked like maybe he had a long Saturday night. But he was really kind and signed my Stand By Me DVD to my wife and myself and even said, 'Say hi to your wife for me." Pretty cool.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 9:32 p.m. CST

    great that he's found his niche on the retro circuit

    by justmyluck

    I have to admit that the last thing I saw him in was the original THE LOST BOYS (and THE GOONIES' video reunion/commentary), but that was a fine interview – with honesty and clarity for the same press which gives him a short shrift.

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Gutted I missed the Goonies event in Astoria.

    by moonlightdrive

    Sounded awesome!!

  • Jan. 18, 2011, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Words that rhyme with Corey

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Glory, story...allegory...montessori...

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 6:11 a.m. CST

    Early days

    by hst666

    I'm old enough (I turned 40 last summer) to remember Feldman from his pre-famous years. He was an "oh, it's that kid" type guy. he was on at least one episode of Mork and Mindy and would often show up if a kid or kids were guest-starring in the late 70's and 80's. It was interesting to see him actually become famous.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 7:24 a.m. CST

    Ha, Quint the professional gets Ernest Borgnine

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    for his AICN Legends interview, and Capone gets Corey Feldman. Maybe Capone should have asked Feldman about the "dead space" in his movies. Now in all seriousness Feldman has been in some legendary movies to be sure. However, he never carried a movie by himself. Oh, and Dream a Little Dream sucked. My future brother-in-law picked that one for all of us to see. Afterwards he was the one saying he was an idiot for picking that bomb.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Speaking of great movies though, and again being part

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    of an ensemble, The Burbs was a surprisingly funny flick.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 7:44 a.m. CST

    I miss Cory Haim..

    by 1st and only

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 8:02 a.m. CST

    Whether it be drugs or something else nearly every

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    Hollywood star has a vice that brings them down. Clint is lucky. His drug was women. I read his biography. It's good stuff. He's lucky he didn't get taken down by the broads.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys

    by djbmike81

    I caught "Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys" on Syfy late one night and loved it. It's exactly the way he described it, as a schlocky B-movie, that's surprisingly funny. Then again, I love those types of B-movies. The type that I would watch every Friday and Saturday on USA's "Up All Night" with Rhonda Shear and Gilbert Gotfried as a kid. The movie definitely isn't for everyone, but if you enjoy bad campy films, then I think you'd love it.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Proper Legend.

    by billyhitchcock1

    Corey was a huge part of my youth and I wish so much that he could find his way into the mainstream again. he doesn't deserve b-movie exile.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Corey Feldman is cool

    by CrusherBuddyRevell

    The dude is very likeable and he was awesome in License To Drive. Too bad he doesn't get a lot of opportunities. I'd rather see him in a movie than most of those so-called actors of today. Feldman and Haim could have been a great comedy couple these days. Kind of like Cheech & Chong, Jackie Chan & Chris Tucker, Riggs & Murtaugh, and Jay & Silent Bob. I will probably forget a few.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 4:08 p.m. CST

    The secret to Mr. Feldman's success:

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    Mr. Feldman is just a regular guy whose parents got him into movies. He wasn't some gifted performer who leveraged his great looks or great talents into a career - he was just dropped off out of the back door of a family station wagon and handed 8 pages of dialogue to memorize before the day's shoot. He could have been you, or me, or any one of us. And because of that, we can identify with him - there but for the grace of God and all that. And through it all, he's remained grounded. He knows he's just a fluke of "right time / right place" mechanics, and he's cool with it. He embraces that and doesn't appear to be ashamed of it. He's kinda like John Kruk, who, if you recall, was a top notch 1st basement for the Phillies, but looked like a guy who showed up for a summer fantasy camp and managed to never actually leave. I wish him great success - but mostly I wish we can get a Goonies: The Next Generation movie going. Yes, it risks being another Tron:Legacy kind of letdown (yes. it was.), but I look at my own daughter and I wonder: "where are the Corey Feldman movies for her generation? 25 years from now, is she going to take HER children to see a Twilight festival? A Harry Potter screening? Id bet against it. The good news is that the best of Mr. Feldman's work - STAND BY ME, LOST BOYS, GOONIES - these are films that still work today. That I as a parent can introduce to my daughter and we can enjoy them just as much as I did when they were on the big screen. So thanks Mr. Feldman - thanks for giving me something to share with my daughter. Im sure its not quite the level of self-affirmation you've grown accustomed to in your life, but for what it is worth, I offer it. cordially, a goonie