Why did Corey Haim sign on for A&E’s 2007-08 series The Two Coreys — a reality show — when his greatest desire was to be acknowledged as an actor? Maybe because he felt that before for he could get acting roles, he had to prove that he deserved another chance. “I think that what he probably wanted everyone to see was that he was still capable, that he was still reliable, that he was still talented and had the ability to still perform,” Troy Searer, an executive producer on the second and final season of the show, tells EW. “I think in many ways, he was given a second and third chance. The guy was an immense talent. Could he have become a Robert Downey Jr. or someone of that ilk? Possibly. Possibly. I don’t know. The guy had that talent, he just could not shake his demons.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: During the series, Haim was shown having a meltdown on the Lost Boys 2 set, presumably fueled by prescription drugs. Did the show have the effect he wanted it to? In the end, what kind of effect did the show have on him?

TROY SEARER: I think the show actually had a positive effect on him. I don’t think Corey was willing to go into therapy. I don’t think he was willing to talk to someone in-depth about his problems. We gave him that opportunity with the show. Dr. Nicki Monti is a very accomplished therapist in the world of addiction. I think his time with her was invaluable to him. From speaking to him off-camera, I know it had a profound effect.

Was there anything he was afraid we, the audience, would see?

I think he was guarded. I’ve never seen Corey do drugs. But I sensed different behavior patterns…. Some days he would be very clear, and other days not so much, more scattered. But one thing about him, the guy was a pro. He was first to set every day. He never complained about anything.

How do you think that he saw the place he’d gotten to in his career when you were working with him?

I think he was disappointed. He’s an innocent, in so many ways. [When he was young], he had a lot of money and a lot of fame. I think he wasn’t wired in a way to handle it. And I think that probably led to some of what happened.

Can you describe the best and worst you ever saw him?

The best was how he treated his mom and how he treated all of us. To understand him is to understand that he is, I think, at his core, a beautiful guy. He really has an amazing heart and an amazing compassion. The problematic side was when the demons took over, and you could see a change in his personality and change in behavior. It was sad to see, because you were kind of used to seeing the very coherent, very real, big-hearted guy.

Did it ever get so bad you couldn’t film him?

No. That’s what I said: I mean it genuinely, he came to play all the time. He was a pro. He would definitely change behavior, but he never put the show or production in any sort of jeopardy.

So you genuinely think he could’ve made a comeback.

I do. I suppose he doubted himself, but he showed me nothing but the desire to make a comeback. That was a driving force in him, to get back into A-list films. He was a great actor at his core. It showed up so many moments when you’d look at him and see a young James Dean potentially. Then you think about our society, and how we’re so willing to give a second chance and let a Robert Downy Jr. situation happen. But in the time that he was with us, he didn’t have the strength or ability to get beyond that, to shake his demons long enough.

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