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Interview: Corey Feldman

By age 14 he had worked with big name directors Richard Donner and Joe Dante and considered Michael Jackson a close friend.  By 17 he had fallen victim to a childhood spent in the limelight.  Cut to 2010 and as he prepares for the release of The Lost Boys: The Thirst, Corey Feldman couldn’t be happier…

At just three years of age, Corey Feldman took his first steps in front of a television camera.  Little did the fresh-faced toddler know that this McDonalds commercial would be the beginning of a relationship with fame that would come to define his entire adult life.  During the 1980’s Feldman’s career sky rocketed – after brief appearances on TV’s top shows Mork and Mindy and Cheers, he went on to star in a string of hit movies including Gremlins (1983), The Goonies (1985) and Stand By Me (1986). Working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood – Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner and the late River Phoenix just to name a few, he quickly became the face of 80’s movie culture and helped to define a generation on screen.  However it wasn’t until his pairing with fellow teen star Corey Haim in 1987’s Vamp flick The Lost Boys that he became a teen superstar.  Quickly labelled The Two Coreys, the duo starred in a string of hits including Licence to drive (1988) and Dream a Little Dream (1989) before the pressures of success began to take their toll.    What followed was a period of excess and indulgence, forcing the brightest stars of the 80’s to hold on tight and ride out the chaotic experiences that came hand in hand with sudden success. That was over a decade ago and since then many things have changed to say the least, one thing however has remained consistent – the lasting appeal he has held in the hearts and minds of all those who grew up idolising the escapism movies of the 80’s.

When Ireviewtoo catches up with Feldman, he’s just returned from the San Diego Comic-con – a showcase for all of the latest movie and comic book releases and geek Mecca. A raucous crowd have just witnessed an exclusive early screening of The Lost Boys 3: The Thirst and fan reactions are starting to pour in. A nostalgia drenched sequel to a poorly received second outing, The Thirst reunites Feldman with his original Lost Boys co-star Jamison Newlander, reforming Santa Carla’s Vampire killing duo Edgar and Allan Frog, AKA The Frog Brothers, for the first time in over twenty years. With many fans attending the screening wearing red headbands in tribute to Feldman’s on-screen alter ego Edgar Frog, there’s no denying the cult status of the original film and in particular, Feldman’s character. This time around, he’s sure that it’s third time lucky for the franchise:  “I’m super impressed and I’m very excited with the reception that it got, it was very positive so we’re all very excited” explains Feldman, however the road to revisiting the franchise was by no means smooth.  “It’s one of those movies that we’d all talked about doing a sequel to for some time,” he recalls, “And everybody had different versions of what they thought a good sequel would be, from Joel Schumacher to Kiefer Sutherland to myself and Corey Haim.”  Ultimately Warner Brothers had the final say and decided upon The Tribe, a series reboot featuring a whole new cast and a cameo appearance for Feldman, an idea he wasn’t too keen on.  “To do a movie that’s completely disassociated with the original, to me, is always a let down to the fans,” says Feldman, “so I pretty much said the only way I’d be involved is if you get the whole group back…you know, Corey Haim and Jamison Newlander and I actually put it in my contract that if I was going to be in the film then I want those two guys in it,” he explains.

Despite entering into the movie with the best intentions, complications involving the story soon surfaced as well as trouble with Corey Haim, who at the time was still battling addiction.  As a result, Newlander and Haim’s scenes ended up as post credit cameos leaving fans reaction to the film divided, Feldman reflects on the experience: “there were some people who really liked it and some people who couldn’t stand it, it was pretty much right in the middle of the road, but the one thing that people seemed to enjoy unanimously was the Edgar Frog character coming back.”

When talk surfaced about a possible third feature, he saw an opportunity to make amends: “it was kind of like, well now we have this opportunity to do it right, we can give the fans the movie that they’ve been waiting for,” explains Feldman of the situation, “and of course, for me the biggest part of that was bringing back the Frog Brothers.”  Released in October 2010, The Lost Boys: The Thirst sends Vampire hunter Edgar Frog on a rescue mission to save a youngster from an army of neck-biters who are using a new drug – a mixture of ecstasy and Vampire blood to boost their numbers.  Edgar’s only chance of survival is to reunite with his estranged brother Allen and become the undead fighting duo once more.   “It was exciting, it was fun and it was very rewarding to get to work with Jamison again, to be side by side and to bring back that nostalgia and to reintroduce it in a new way” describes Feldman, “and I think it works, I think it’s fun and the fans will be really excited to see that.”  Early screenings of the film have received very positive reviews, when Ireviewtoo asks if there are plans to continue with the series, Feldman is optimistic but realistic, “we certainly have laid out an overview of what we would like to see happen, should the franchise continue,” says Feldman tentatively, “but that said it’s all really supply and demand and it really boils down to how well the fans react.

“Once we see that we can gauge how strong the pulse still is for the Lost Boys franchise, and if it makes sense doing more then we will.” The Lost Boys isn’t the only film in Feldman’s back catalogue that holds a special place in the hearts of his fans and talk of a sequel to Richard Donner’s The Goonies has been bouncing around Hollywood for years with cast and crew occasionally dropping hints and adding fuel to the rumour fire. Regretfully, Feldman has some bad news for fans of One Eyed Willie.  “I just don’t see the reality of it fleshing out, unfortunately,” he says, “there are just so many political elements involved,” he pauses for a second before continuing, “But then again if I ever got a script on my desk and they said ‘Yeah let’s do it’ everybody’s behind it Spielberg, Donner, the whole gang”

On set: Key Huey Quan, Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman and Jeff Cohen in 1985

Like The Lost Boys franchise, returning to The Goonies is something that, if was to be done, would have to be handled with care, “it’s certainly not something that could be cheapened by doing something like a direct to DVD sequel or even a remake for that matter would ruin it,” says Feldman, “I think the only way that you could do it properly would be a proper sequel 25 years later with all the original cast playing the same roles, other than that I feel people would be disappointed and feel let down.”  However as the group’s motto goes: Goonies never say die and Feldman lets ireviewtoo in on early plans to transport the movie from the big screen to the stage “on a more positive not on that franchise – they have a pretty strong idea to do a musical and they’re pretty serious about taking it to Broadway.” Whatever incarnation the next instalment of The Goonies takes Feldman feels positive that the franchise is in good hands, “I have faith in Richard Donner and if he’s planning it, it’ll be great. I can only imagine what they’re planning on doing with it but I’m sure excited and anxious to see what he’s got up his sleeve…”

Goonies never say die: The cast reunited in 2009

Actor, musician – Feldman doesn’t feel that he should be labelled as either, “they are two different things, but I’m happy with all of it, people always pigeon hole you in one or the other,” he sighs. Nevertheless he enjoys the perks offered by each, in particular the chance to collaborate with Storm Thorgerson, the artist who designed the iconic album artwork for Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. “It was kind of one of those amazing moments of realisation of how lucky you are when you open an email and you see 11 new pieces of artwork from one of the most legendary artists in music history and you realise it’s for your album.  It’s pretty staggering,” says Feldman. However there has been a bittersweet aspect to Feldman’s latest successes due to the deaths of two of his closest friends – Michael Jackson in 2009 and more recently Corey Haim, something that he’s still coming to terms with.  “It’s been a tough year struggle obviously; there’s been a lot of change,” he admits, “You have to realise that through the past year I’ve lost many of the people who were closest to me, many of the people who helped shape and influence both my personal life and my professional career,” explains Feldman.

Corey at Michael Jackson's funeral 2009

Corey Haim, who died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs in March of this year aged just 38, had long battled addiction, in response to his death, the planned Santa Cruz screening of The Lost Boys which featured a performance from The Truth Movement became an unofficial tribute to Feldman’s late co star. “My only disappointment with all of that was that we never got to do the Hollywood style memorial with all the people he’s worked with through the years come out and recognise him” says Feldman, but with helicopters and an endless stream of press hounding his every move, Feldman and Haim’s mother Judy chose to grieve in private.  “There’s never anything that’s really suited or fitting for that kind of scenario because at the end of the day, whatever you want to blow it up to with smoke and mirrors and Hollywood glitz and glamour, the reality of it is – I lost my best friend,” says Feldman honestly, “when I’m alone at night and I think of something funny I sometimes reach for the phone so I can share it with him and I have to wake myself up and realise that he’s no longer there.

Feldman and Haim in 2007

“I’ve never been able to share my life with somebody the way that I shared it with him, most people will probably never understand what that was about or what that was like, but most people can relate to the fact that they have their own best friend. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish he was still amongst us.”  In the past Feldman has battled his own demons, a side effect from teenage success which still echoes in the lifestyles of many of today’s young stars, “My life was very…inappropriate for a child;” he says delicately, “my first memory was working and I have no memory of anything that existed before that and although I don’t regret where my life is today or who I’ve become, it would have been nice to have the opportunity to make the decision for myself,” confesses Feldman.

Having endured an extremely tough few months, work seems to have been his refuge and as a result Feldman is overwhelmingly positive, “I’m happy, I’m pleased, I’ve got no complaints! You never know what the future holds,” he laughs “I’m not planning on retiring anytime soon.  I think there’s a future for The Lost Boys franchise and certainly there’ll be more music,” he says before pausing for a second “and who knows? Maybe I’ll even write a book one day.”  It’s clear that contrary to his on screen persona, Feldman is no longer a lost boy.

The Lost Boys: The Thirst is released October 2010for more information head over to Coreyfeldman.net

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