Jerry O’Connell admits he experienced his first pangs of professional jealousy at a young age.
In the latest edition of The Jess Cagle Interview with PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly’s Editorial Director Jess Cagle, the former child actor opens up about being envious of his Stand by Me costar Corey Feldman after they wrapped the 1986 coming-of-age film.
“It was really funny — after Stand by Me, Corey Feldman, River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton lived in Hollywood,” says the actor, 42. “They were working actors. I was in public school here in New York. I remember going to see Lost Boys, which was a film Corey was in after Stand by Me. It was a big hit movie. I saw it with all of my friends. I remember my friends that I saw it with saying, ‘Hey, you know that guy from Stand by Me? I went, ‘Yeah, I know him. Corey Feldman.’”
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“They said, ‘Why weren’t you in Lost Boys?’ I remember feeling jealousy for the first time — career jealousy, like, ‘Yeah, why wasn’t I in Lost Boys? I’m just as good as them. I was in Stand by Me. I should’ve been in Lost Boys too.’ I don’t know why I wasn’t. Looking back, I’m not in a showbiz family. My parents had no clue what to do. Right after Stand by Me, River Phoenix’s mom was kind enough to call my mother and say, ‘Listen, this movie’s a hit. He’s got to get a legit agent. This is a big deal.'”
In the 31 years since filming Stand by Me, O’Connell and Feldman have occasionally kept in touch. Most recently, O’Connell publicly praised Feldman after he performed a song from his new album on the Today show in September 2016. The performance received an overwhelming amount of backlash.
“Proud of you @Corey_Feldman,” O’Connell wrote in a tweet with a link to the performance.