Corey Feldman surprises a lot of people. You might expect the ‘80s film icon to be an unruly, pompous star, but talking to him, he’s a reasonable, down-to-earth guy. The star of The Goonies and Stand by Me is now a star and creator of the new A&E “reality” series, The Two Coreys, a partially-scripted reality show about fellow kid actor Corey Haim moving in with Feldman and his wife. Feldman was responsible for bringing this show to the screen, from creation to production.
The Two Coreys premiered last night and airs every Sunday at 10pm on A&E. Along with his wife and now co-star Susie, Feldman talked with BuddyTV last week about the new show and their thoughts on another reality show they appeared on, The Surreal Life.
Below you will find a partial transcript of the interview as well as the complete mp3 audio file.
Hi, this is John from Buddy TV, and today we’re talking with Corey Feldman and his wife Susie about their upcoming A&E series, The Two Coreys. Hi there!
Corey: Hi there!
Hi. So, why don’t you start by telling us and our readers a little bit about your new show?
OK, well, basically it’s a science-fiction, crazy, big-budget production show with lots of lasers and aliens! Yes, it’s crazy, it’s wacky.
That sounds promising… in actuality, I’m pretty sure it’s a reality show, though! Is it, though? Is it a reality show, is it scripted, or partially scripted?
Well, it’s all in your definition of what reality is. You see, reality is quite different in the perspective of each person, I suppose. So for us, not really, but for you it might be. It’s something different. What we’re trying to do is really create something different. We’re trying to basically cross the threshold between what people might expect from a reality show, and what people might expect from a sitcom.
I think what we’re trying to do is create a new brand of entertainment, which kind of loosely paces the line between the differential of the two on a very tight threshold. So it’s like somehow immense, it’s very realistic, and the emotions are very honest and very real. Whereas a lot of the scenarios and the setups are all scripted, and the situations, but that said it rides a very delicate balance.
It definitely sounds like something different and new. I just want to ask you, the two of you actually got married on a different reality show, on VH1’s The Surreal Life. I’m wondering what brought you back to a form of reality television?
That was an actual reality show, one which we would never do again, because something like The Surreal Life is very contrived and very set up by the producers. 90% of what you saw on that show was not real at all, and it’s interesting because the brand as it were, reality show, is very far from that.
It’s basically, the producers sit down, they manipulate the situation, they contrive what they feel that the outlook of the show should be and what the aspect of your characters should be. They basically put blinders on to the different personality traits that one might have. So they’ll pick one trait out of your personality and say, “This is the character for the show, and this is what we want.” And it’s unbeknownst to you.
So you’re living your life, doing things with a camera following you around and all this, and you see the show, and it has nothing to do with what actually happened. Such is the case with our wedding, where when we started the show, we were engaged and we’d been planning on getting married months later. We’d already been going out for about two years, and I guess the way it was posed on the show was tha Susie and I kind of, or I came up with this idea. While I was in the house I was, “Hey, let’s get married on TV!” And I called her up and like, “Hey, let’s get married!” And she says, “Oh yes, great!”
And it looks like we just got engaged right there, and we put the whole wedding together in seven days or whatever, it’s very far from the truth. In actuality the producers had asked me, “Would you get married on the show?” It was something I was very against, and I had to fight kind of that battle for several days, before eventually I said, “OK, OK!”
They threw a ton of money at us, they said, “We’ll spend $100,000 on your wedding, please do this, it’ll be television history!” Blah, blah, blah, and eventually we decided to do it. But as I said it, was all set up by them, and it was nothing that we’d really even thought about. And so you bring that into the fold of where the show is today, and what we’re doing now, and nothing like that will happen.
Another good example of the unreality of that show is they do this thing where they sit down, and they have these interviews with you, and they read you a question, say “Blah blah blah,” and you reply and they say, “No, no, we need you to actually answer the question by repeating the question before the answer!” And so you do that, and then they don’t actually use your answer, they only use the question.
Such was the case in the incident of the opening tagline for the show, where they had me sitting down saying, they said something to me in regards to like, “Everybody considers you an icon, and you’re an entire industry, and you’re all these things. How do you feel about that?” And I was like, “Well, I don’t know if I consider myself that way. I mean, I’m just an actor and an entertainer. I hope people enjoy what I do.”
And they’re, “No, no, could you repeat the question?” And with clever editing, they basically turned the whole thing around into what now has become the infamous quote of mine, which was, “I am an icon, I am an industry, I’m more than whatever.” It was some stupid, ridiculous line that’s actually become the tagline. If you look on the internet, it’s all over the place as a famous quote for me, and it’s actually something I would never say!
But the way they edited it, it appears as that it was my own thought. So you won’t find anything like that on our show, and in that sense our show is more real than anything that’s out there. Because what we say and what we do is really coming from our brains and it’s really our own emotions. However, we write a story, so it’s got a beginning, and a middle, and an end. Every episode actually goes somewhere, and hopefully leaves you with a positive message.
But at least in your show, I guess the difference would be that you’re willing participants in the creation of the story. Whereas on something like The Surreal Life, you’re kind of just a pawn to the whim of the producers.
And not only are we willing participants, but I was an executive producer as well with Haim. So not only are we participants but we’re creatively sitting there in every meeting and writing out the show ideas, and coming up with concepts, and trying to develop storylines and all that stuff, like a regular TV sitcom.
OK, I guess I have a question for Susie now. Are you there, Susie?
Hi! So, Corey was talking about the image of himself being an icon, or what they forced him to say. I’m just wondering, what are the differences that you can see from being his wife, between the image most people have of who Corey Feldman is, and who you actually see him as?
Susie: Well, I happen to know him pretty good, and sometimes I know him better than himself…
Corey: Or at least she thinks so.
Susie: (laughter) Or at least I think so. It’s really interesting, and this happened so many times since we’ve been together. I’ve had people come to me privately when we go on tour with his band, and he performs and I was the tour manager. I’m dealing with the club owners and they’re paying us out at the end of the night.
On many occasions they would talk to me privately and say, “Wow, I have to just be honest, I really thought he was gonna come in here with an ego, and he was gonna be a jerk, and he was just real a-hole. That’s just what I expected from him, and I have to say it was none of those things!” He’s actually a really nice guy, very down-to-earth, and that happened to me several times with people.
Perception of him changes when they actually meet him and talk to him in person, because if you get the opportunity to, he’s very down to earth and he’s very normal and just very likeable. Part of my attraction to him is that he’s not an egomaniac, and he’s not a jerk, and if he was, I couldn’t personally be with someone like that.
He’s very generous and honest and sweet and romantic. I mean, like every relationship we have our squabbles, but it’s never anything, it’s no dealbreaker. It’s never anything like that. He’s a very genuine human being, and he stands up for things he believes in. He stands up against adversity, and he wakes up everyday and goes to work no matter what kind of negative press or stuff that’s out there, or these misconceptions, he wakes up and does it anyway. He works hard, and he’s a great father, and a pretty damn good husband. I am his little cheerleader, and I’m happy to be!
-Interview conducted by John Kubicek
(Image courtesy of A&E)