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"Though I hadn't seen him in over twenty years, I knew I'd miss him forever"
March 28, 2011 4:46 AM   Subscribe

"Most actors will go their entire careers without doing a movie like Stand By Me, or working with a director like Rob Reiner. I got to do both when I was 12. For a long, long time, I felt like I needed to top or equal that, and it wasn’t until I was in my early 30s that I accepted that it’s unlikely to happen -- movies like Stand By Me come along once in a generation."
The cast of Stand By Me(link has autoplaying sound,) recently recorded some interviews to promote the re-release of the movie on Blu-Ray. Wil Wheaton has blogged about reuniting with the cast and missing River Phoenix. (Via)
posted by zarq (50 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's interesting that, with his writing, Wil Wheaton has become the man Gordie Lachance became in the film...except he doesn't look as much like Richard Dreyfuss.
posted by inturnaround at 5:00 AM on March 28, 2011 [25 favorites]


I enjoyed reading this. Thank you for posting it.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:56 AM on March 28, 2011


You think Feldman was sharing his drugs with the rest on the set? I bet he was.
posted by jonmc at 6:10 AM on March 28, 2011


except he doesn't look as much like Richard Dreyfuss.

Not many people do.
posted by blucevalo at 6:28 AM on March 28, 2011


I actually like the last line of the movie better than the one he used for the title:

"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:35 AM on March 28, 2011 [14 favorites]


No film manages to consistently bring a flood of childhood memories to me like this one. Although I never encountered a dead body in the woods, this film captured the feeling of being that age perfectly.
posted by secondhand pho at 6:37 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


25th Anniversary makes kuanes feel old.

But I'm still going to buy the Blu-Ray.
posted by kuanes at 6:40 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, since I'm having trouble parsing, does the "doing both" refer to the single event being in a movie ALSO directed by Rob Reiner ? The phrasing made it seem like they are two separate things he did ..
posted by k5.user at 7:00 AM on March 28, 2011


I saw the movie with my son when he was 12 or 13. He was really impressed at how exactly the movie captured that age.

I really liked the movie, and then when I later read the novella, I thought this was the movie most like the book that I've ever seen. (It was even better because Reiner dropped the second story-within-the-story, which was a downer and a distraction. The first one about Lardass was perfect.)
posted by MtDewd at 7:04 AM on March 28, 2011


It's interesting that, with his writing, Wil Wheaton has become the man Gordie Lachance became in the film..

And it's interesting that the fat kid got all the chicks.

And good looks. Damn, Jerry O'Connell is hot *swoon*
posted by Melismata at 7:08 AM on March 28, 2011


And it's interesting that the fat kid got all the chicks.

Yeah, you'd never guess his secret identity.
posted by inturnaround at 7:15 AM on March 28, 2011 [16 favorites]


The phrasing made it seem like they are two separate things he did ..

They're two separate things he at the same time, ie he was in a movie like Stand By Me, and he got to work with Rob Reiner. Both are amazing opportunities, and did them both at once.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:15 AM on March 28, 2011


I loved this novella so much, and loved the movie as well. That blog entry by Wil Wheaton was quite touching -- thanks. It was such a great piece of writing. I wish they'd kept it in Maine, but otherwise was surprised by how well it was done and how well Stephen King can do something that's not horror but is tinged with it in places and around the edges.
posted by theredpen at 7:18 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like this. (Although I thought it was really weird that Jerry didn't recognize Wil.)
posted by Mavri at 7:23 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I like Wil Wheaton much more as a blogger than an acting ensign.
posted by HumanComplex at 7:25 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've never watched Star Trek, so I only had a vague notion of that Wil Wheaton had a role in it and was also the kid in Stand By Me. Over the years though, as he's gone from Wil Wheaton The Child Actor to Wil Wheaton Secretary Of Geek Affairs I've become a total fan. It's nice to see a former child star turn out to be so well adjusted and it's obvious from his blog and Twitter feed that he loves his life. He seems like such a down-to-earth guy and he has a good sense of humor about his past and current celebrity status.

I wish there were more stories of good people like him enjoying life and fewer stories about Charlie Sheen train wrecks. More of us need to follow Wheaton's Law.
posted by bondcliff at 7:25 AM on March 28, 2011 [29 favorites]


Funniest Tweet I've seen in the last week was from Shaun Crocker/@Koudan "The official cereal of the film Stand By Me!" (click the link)
Twitter: Come for the one-liners, stay for the one-liners.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:34 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


For a big dose of Wil Wheaton having fun, the podcasts of him playing D&D with the Penny Arcade guys are surprisingly entertaining (mostly because Chris Perkins is such an amazing DM).

(Skip Series 1 & 4 unless you're a big fan of the Penny Arcade guys. Wheaton appears in Series 2 & 3, and don't miss the video of them playing the finale of their campaign before a live studio audience at PAX.)
posted by straight at 8:13 AM on March 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


straight: "For a big dose of Wil Wheaton having fun, the podcasts of him playing D&D with the Penny Arcade guys are surprisingly entertaining (mostly because Chris Perkins is such an amazing DM)."

Oh, that looks cool. Thanks!
posted by zarq at 8:16 AM on March 28, 2011


Melismata - yeah, my boyfriend watched Sliders in HS and had a crush on him. I'm pretty pop-culture illiterate, so the one day he was trying to describe who this hot guy was to me, he eventually got to mentioning the chubby kid in Stand By Me and I was all "...really?"

In some ways it makes me a little sad, because he was what, like 19 or 20 when Sliders started? And he had a pretty intense 6-pack. He must have been spending way more time in the gym than a teenager should really have to.
posted by kavasa at 8:44 AM on March 28, 2011


I want to know what Wil actually did at NuTek, Wikipedia says that he "helped develop" the video toaster 4000, but I'm really curious what his day was like leaving Star Trek and going into hardware development.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:46 AM on March 28, 2011


to Wil Wheaton Secretary Of Geek Affairs I've become a total fan.

Wheaton is an extraordinarily nice guy who makes time for his fans. I first met ("met") him at PAX 08 when he was signing autographs in Band Land. He was sick, but he was still there several hours each day, signing away, posing for pictures, chatting with fans, all of which for free. The next year I asked him if he had ever ascended in Nethack, it having been mentioned the day before during a panel he was on. He had not, and I was pleased that he seemed surprised (in a good way) by the question. Both times during my brief interactions, the guy was patient and kind. Of course, now I can't remember which story he wrote that outlined the reasons why he spends so much time signing autographs. It does have to do with Star Trek conventions, though.

For a big dose of Wil Wheaton having fun, the podcasts of him playing D&D with the Penny Arcade guys are surprisingly entertaining (mostly because Chris Perkins is such an amazing DM).

(Skip Series 1 & 4 unless you're a big fan of the Penny Arcade guys. Wheaton appears in Series 2 & 3


Quoted for truth on both accounts. God, it pains me the recent developments the PA guys have shown up in, because those two podcasts are amazing, and they make D&D sound like so much fun. I just can't enjoy most things Penny Arcade anymore without feeling dirty. Also, Chris Perkins is an amazing DM. Wheaton brings a certain calibre to their gaming that, in the second podcast, they are clearly wary of, but by the end of the third podcast they clearly are better for it (except the ones who are dead).
posted by gc at 9:08 AM on March 28, 2011


Stand By Me was the first movie I went to see twice in the theatre not because it was so cool (viz. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ghostbusters, The Cat from Outer Space) but because it was so resonant. I was thirteen the year it came out; there was simply nothing else I encountered on the big or small screen (until Degrassi Junior High came out the following year) that so candidly and truthfully depicted the lives of kids my age.

I was a big King fan by that time already, and I read Different Seasons in anticipation of the movie's release or between viewings or something. Damn, that truly is one of his finest moments as a writer. Aside from his absolute best horror novels - Salem's Lot, The Shining, The Stand, the first 2/3 of It - it might be his strongest work. Definitely some of his most fully evolved and affecting characters. And it has undoubtedly produced two of the three best movie adaptations: Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption. And even Apt Pupil is better than the King-movie norm.

(The third in the Top Three is The Shining, of course. And no, I don't want to hear your arguments about miscasting or insufficient descent prior to madness or any of that. It's fucking Kubrick. He was trying to do what he wanted to do with the story, and he did it.)
posted by gompa at 9:16 AM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


it might be his strongest work

I am a huge fan of not only Different Seasons but The Bachman Books. I can still pick them up and read them, I can't even read The Shining anymore.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:33 AM on March 28, 2011


Wheaton is a lot of fun in The Guild.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:25 AM on March 28, 2011


While we're linking up Wheaton goodness, don't miss this Nerdist podcast recorded live. Turns out Chris Hardwick and Wil Wheaton were roommates for a number of years, so the conversation is more reminiscing and telling old stories than an interview. They also go into a lot of detail on what happened when Wil left Hollywood to go be a tech geek for a few years.
posted by Errant at 10:26 AM on March 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wheaton is a lot of fun in The Guild.

I was just about to post that.

This thread makes me happy. I read one of Wheaton's books (Just a Geek, I think it was) and when he discussed criticism he specifically mentions Metafilter and what dicks people were to him. And while he sounds like he got over it, I hope over the years he's figured out that we're not all total asshats here.
posted by bondcliff at 10:34 AM on March 28, 2011


when he discussed criticism he specifically mentions Metafilter and what dicks people were to him

This came up in one of the previous threads, and eventually someone linked to the supposedly really mean thread; anyone remember which one it was?
posted by inigo2 at 10:50 AM on March 28, 2011


This one.
posted by zarq at 10:54 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want to know what Wil actually did at NuTek, Wikipedia says that he "helped develop" the video toaster 4000, but I'm really curious what his day was like leaving Star Trek and going into hardware development.

Chris Hardwick's Nerdist podcast went into that a little bit. Was a fascinating episode.
posted by inturnaround at 11:14 AM on March 28, 2011


This could probably be an entire post in and of itself, but from the end of 2006 through the beginning of 2007, Wheaton did behind the scenes recaps of a few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It appears he was working his way through Season One when the project ended.
Behind the Scenes Memory:
I don't recall much about working on this particular episode, but I can clearly and painfully recall something that happened right around the time we filmed it: D.C. Fontana, who wrote this episode and is presumably responsible for all the lame dialogue I had to deliver in it, was part of a panel at a convention in 1987 called "Solving the Wesley Problem." The whole thing was focused on attacking me and my character, and lamenting the fact that there was a damn kid on the Enterprise. Patrick Stewart called me from the show and encouraged me to come to the convention and speak on my own behalf, which I did with some success. That panel and the audience's comments really hurt me when I was a 15 year-old kid, but while I watched this episode as a 34 year-old man, I had this crazy idea: Maybe instead of sitting on this panel and trashing me, D.C Fontana could have written intelligent dialogue for me and helped solve the "Wesley problem" herself. I don't know, maybe she tried to do that and didn't get a lot of support from the rest of the producers and writing staff, but even I know of Dr. Channing's theory of not writing cliched dialogue for kids in science fiction, and then blaming the actor who is forced to deliver it.
It seems to have subsequently morphed into the "Memories of the Futurecast" project.
posted by zarq at 11:23 AM on March 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


This one.

That was a dick move by the OP, unless he was being ironical, seeing as August 24, 2001 was pre death of irony.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:35 AM on March 28, 2011


when he discussed criticism he specifically mentions Metafilter and what dicks people were to him

The 2001 post zarq links to is fairly adoring (poster's opinion aside).
posted by mrgrimm at 11:40 AM on March 28, 2011


The 2001 post zarq links to is fairly adoring (poster's opinion aside).

True, but like most other threads, even when they're outnumbered 99 to 1 the mean comments stand out like a fart in church. Plus, I think the tone of the post "Ha, look at this lame site by that lame actor!" didn't help.

Honestly I think there should be a statute of limitations on all internet posts where after a couple years they're wiped from the record as people learn and grow and figure out what is actually more mean than funny and everyone is forgiven for being a dick.

I hope in five or ten years there is a post about what an awesome person Rebecca Black has become.
posted by bondcliff at 11:48 AM on March 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


When Gene Roddenberry was inducted posthumously into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame (I was there to see Gene Wolfe inducted), Wil Wheaton presented the award which was accepted by Roddenberry's son. He said some nice stuff about Roddenberry and Star Trek, but then he also did this:

"Now that I have you on stage, I have something personal I'd like to add to this celebration tonight."

"When Wesley was field-promoted to a real ensign at the end of season 3, Gene wanted to commemorate the occasion. He came to the bridge set one afternoon, gathered the cast and crew together, kicked out the set photographer, and shut down production for a few minutes to present me with the bars he'd received when he was field-promoted to ensign in the real military."

"I was too young and immature to fully absorb the magnitude of the gesture, but I remember that Gene shook my hand, pulled me into him for a big hug, and told me that, in many ways, Wesley Crusher was as close as he had come to writing himself into Star Trek as a character, so it seemed only fitting."

"To commemorate this occasion, therefore, I would like to present Eugene Roddenberry with his father's ensign's bars, because he has done more to earn these bars than I ever could have. More than anyone else today, he continues to honor the legacy his father created, and I know that Gene would want him to have them."
posted by straight at 12:31 PM on March 28, 2011 [234 favorites]


straight: I literally just clapped a little. That is fantastic.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:35 PM on March 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


when he discussed criticism he specifically mentions Metafilter and what dicks people were to him

I don't know if it's any consolation, but the majority of links posted here get a bunch of people discussing how lame/disappointing/unworthy the link is.

Strangely, those usually end up being my favorite links on mefi.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 1:59 PM on March 28, 2011


Wesley was the only character Gene named after himself.
posted by inturnaround at 2:11 PM on March 28, 2011


Wil posted a really lovely tribute to Patrick Stewart on Stewart's 70th Birthday.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:16 PM on March 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I love both the movie and the novella but some of King's self-regard bugs me. It feels like he's telling his Secret Origin, and the 'look, I'm a successful writer now' bit at the end is a bit much. That said I kinda like it for the same reason. And the novella's loving tribute to 'Darkness at the Edge of Town', which I coincidently listened to as I read it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:43 PM on March 28, 2011


I am a huge fan of not only Different Seasons but The Bachman Books. I can still pick them up and read them, I can't even read The Shining anymore.

Still waiting for a movie adaption of The Long Walk. My absolute favorite story by Stephen King.
posted by Redfield at 4:49 PM on March 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's great that Wil Wheaton has found a fulfilling (hopefully?) career after being a "child star" who didn't transition into a star or even a regular in Hollywood/cable TV.

--
Wow, zarq, thanks for the link to a 9-10 year old thread.

Somewhat offtopic, but skimming it - I recall a lot of those posters and thought to myself, "Wow, lots of turnover at metafilter... haven't seen a *lot* of them in a long time."

I wondered how many of the posters in that thread are now under different usernames, but after going through it... coldchef, celldivide, delmoi, hincandenza, dhartung, brownpau, and maybe a couple more (sorry if I misspelled any of them, and if I missed you) are still current posters so maybe my thesis is for naught. The general tone has changed - or maybe Wil Wheaton has.
posted by porpoise at 9:17 PM on March 28, 2011


This was one of my favorite movies back in the day. Loved Wil Wheaton's blog post about the reunion.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:21 PM on March 28, 2011


Just watched this one yesterday morning, in fact. Great flick, one of my favorites, I've had it on DVD for years, and I'm still gonna buy the Blu-Ray.
posted by spirit72 at 5:56 AM on March 29, 2011


Here's Wil's full write-up of Gene Roddenbery's induction to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. [NSFW - written for his now-defunct Geek in Review column at Suicide Girls]

The "ensign bars" presentation is described toward the end of the article.
posted by m@f at 11:48 AM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


My wife makes fun of me constantly because of my man-crush on Wil Wheaton. I can't help it. I'm actually *finally* getting a chance to read "Just a Geek", on my Kindle, because I could never justify paying for shipping to get it online and no local bookstores every had it in stock. The stories about his wife and kids are my favourites, because he so obviously loves the HELL out of all of them. I just hope I end up with the kind of relationship with my kid(s) that he has with his.
posted by antifuse at 12:04 PM on March 29, 2011


I'm having trouble putting myself in the right mental frame, but maybe the internet was nicer in 2001? I kinda doubt it, but in today's context, that thread is pretty damn positive. ESPECIALLY since that was the beginning, at best, of the "nerds are cool" trend of the oughts.
posted by maryr at 9:17 AM on March 30, 2011


maybe the internet was nicer in 2001?

Metafilter was definitely nicer in 2001. Mostly cuz it was much smaller.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:53 AM on March 30, 2011


We were all much smaller, then.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:23 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wil Wheaton is also hilarious as the evil version of himself who's Sheldon's arch-enemy on The Big Bang Theory. (Yes, I watch the Big Bang Theory and enjoy it.)
posted by Zed at 11:08 AM on April 1, 2011


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