Corey Haim is gone at the age of 38. We can’t pretend that we’ve all followed his career in recent years, but when someone touches your life when you’re young — as Haim did with Lucas, which taught us that the strongest kids in school are the ones who walk down that hallway knowing they’ll be teased — you’ll always have a fondness for them. I interviewed Haim twice in the last five years. The first time was in 2005, when License to Drive hit DVD. He was 33, but I remember him pausing our phone chat to ask his mother for a SunnyD. When I brought up the regret he expressed in his DVD interview over his trademark smirk, he asked his mother if he still does it. He sounded like a child, even in his earnestness. I told him that the director of the film referred to him as “one of the best-driving actors I’ve ever worked with.” His response: “I’ve always had a knack for hitting the mark perfectly. Even when I’m walking or running, I’m very good at not having to look down. And I’ve done everything, including snowboarding [in 1996’s Snowboard Academy]. That was the hardest to hit my mark on.”
In 2007, I spoke with Haim and Corey Feldman before the premiere of their A&E reality series The Two Coreys. Early in the conversation, Haim made a raspberry noise, but later, the tone turned serious. “I really feel like I’m absorbing a lot more than I ever have,” he said. “I really feel like I’m taking life more seriously than I ever have, hence the three months of filming, and A&E, our second chance, not showing up late, and hearing that the editors are not sick of looking at our faces and they’re pausing it and cracking up at us all the time. It’s a nice thing because I think work is a very, very, very tricky thing [for me], and I know I’ve passed the point of being Corey the Bad Kid to being Corey the Responsible Man to the best I can. So I think this is my best work because it’s very honest…. Basically, I think it was the most I’ve ever been in control of myself.”
“He was very present,” Feldman said.
“Exactly, thank you, kid. I was searching for that one word.”
I got the impression that Haim was competitive with Feldman (who noted that Haim had only recently been able to appreciate the work Feldman had done without him), but that he also felt the most comfortable whenever he was around. Haim told me he’d bought Feldman and himself matching Tiffany rings “for Hanukkah, for Christmas, for our show, for life, for everything.” Feldman pointed out that Haim had already lost his, but when Haim asked if Feldman was still wearing his ring, he was. “We’ll be best brothers forever and ever, and past the grave,” Haim said.
“I love Corey regardless of what life choices he makes and what direction his life goes,” Feldman said. “Whatever he does, as long as he’s happy. And as long as he’s….”
“Clean,” Haim said.
“And proud of himself and what he’s doing,” Feldman finished.
We ended the conversation talking about Haim’s love of painting.
FELDMAN: I’ll just say this: I’ve got two paintings from Mr. Haim in my home. Which I display.
HAIM: He actually does, they’re up.
FELDMAN: One of them was from many years ago, when he was in a darker place. And it’s interesting because that one’s in darker colors, whereas the one that he did on the show is a bit brighter in nature. So it’s interesting, the artist’s perspective on that.
HAIM: You know what, man, I hadn’t even thought about that, dude. That’s a great point. The one I did for Core [before], was something I was calling anger art, taking the brush and just whipping the paint. Red and black colors. This [recent] one, it’s colorful. It just shows when you’re different in your head, how things work. I get what you’re saying, kid, that’s very smart.
FELDMAN: It’s just an observation.
HAIM: It’s a good observation.
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