Corey Haim remembered at premiere of his final film, 'Decisions'
Over the weekend, Corey Haim’s friends and family paid tribute to the actor at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, Calif., during the premiere of what would ultimately be his last film, Decisions. Before his untimely passing, Haim, who died on March 10, 2010 at the age of 38 from “damage to the air sacs in his lungs, pneumonia and a hardening of his heart muscle with plaque build-up within the blood vessels,” filmed a small role in the low-budget indie about a group of neighborhood friends that grew up together in a rough-and-tumble section of Los Angeles. In the crime drama, the former ’80s heartthrob plays a corrupt and violent cop.
While Haim’s on-screen time may be short in the film (he was only on set for five days of the 18-day shoot), which is anticipated to get a wide release in an estimated 1,100 theaters on May 13, his presence was largely felt at the premiere on Sunday, thanks to those who shared fond memories of him. Amongst the famous faces who attended were Sally Field, who starred with Haim in the 1985 comedy Murphy’s Romance, Alyssa Milano, whom he dated in the late ’80s, and one of his Lost Boys co-stars, Jamison Newlander, who told EW, “He was a great guy. I was new to the business and he always made me feel so welcome. Even when I didn’t see him for a few years he was always the same, very nice. We would do autograph events for the fans. The fans would love him.”
Even those who had just gotten to know Haim in his final days were left with a good impression of him and his work in the movie. Zenon Kesik, an executive producer on Decisions, said, “I think this would have really been a comeback for him.”
But, it was the words from Haim’s longtime pal and collaborator Corey Feldman and his mother Judy Haim that truly resonated and ensured the evening played as a stirring tribute to him. Feldman, who wore a black jacket Haim had given him, acted as the evening’s MC and told EW he felt the ceremony was a “very bittersweet” occasion. “I’m thrilled to be here to celebrate this momentous occasion and thrilled with the turn out — it’s jam-packed. This is what I have been dreaming of for a year. I think it’s great that this is a memorial tonight as well as a film premiere,” he said. Feldman also talked about Haim’s snub from both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Screen Actors Guild, both of which left Haim out of their “In Memoriam” tributes. “I think it was something that was long overlooked,” Feldman said. “Hollywood ignored him and I thank the Writers Guild, who stepped up to the plate and giving a memorial that his friends and fans have wanted.”
Haim’s mother Judy, who broke down in tears when she arrived at the premiere and saw the poster for Decisions that prominently features her son, echoed the same sentiment. “I feel that they shunned him for sure. He gave everybody 41 films and worked since the age of 11. The SAG and the Oscars did not acknowledge him,” she said, adding, “His fans were really upset. I think he deserves a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to show that he mattered.”
During his on-stage tribute before the movie screened, Feldman openly shared his feelings on how Haim was treated in Hollywood. He thought Haim should have won an Oscar for the classic tear-jerker Lucas, and went on to tell the audience, “It is so hard to lose someone, especially in a world of piranhas. We are in an industry were everyone loves you when they want to love you and when they decide you are not cool anymore, they walk away and turn their backs. Corey and I were there through the highs and lows to hold each other up to make it through another stretch and I’m missing that. He was my friend and my brother.”
He continued, “We sent out a lot of invitations for tonight. If we did this memorial a year ago when it was a really big news story, we would have gotten much bigger names, but the people who are here tonight are the ones that matter. ”
Haim’s mother Judy, who received a standing ovation, told the crowd, “There are old faces and new faces, and [it’s] so great to see everyone. I know Corey was very proud of his work in the film. I know a lot of people in this industry shunned my kid, but the most important people are here this evening. Please remember my son for an eternity.”
(Reporting by Katherine Tulich)