Having spent the entirety of his life in the spotlight, Corey Feldman is instantly recognizable from his roles in “Gremlins,” “The Goonies,” “Stand By Me,” “Dream A Little Dream” and “The Lost Boys,” Entertaining movie going audiences worldwide for the better part of three decades, he has become ingrained in the fabric of the pop culture landscape. His meteoric rise in Hollywood would lead him to dizzying heights as a teen idol. It was a journey on which he would experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows on the overwhelming roller coaster ride of fame. As the years flew by, his larger than life persona easy target for the media to exploit and rumors, misinformation, speculation and outright lies began to run rampant. Now, Feldman stands ready to clear the air with a remarkably gripping memoir — ‘Coreyography.’ The autobiography is a revealing look at what his life was like behind the scenes: a past that included physical, drug, and sexual abuse, a dysfunctional family from which he was emancipated at age fifteen, three high-profile arrests for drug possession, a nine-month stint in rehab, and a long, slow crawl back to the top of the box office. ‘Coreyography’ is his surprising and inspiring account of survival and redemption in Hollywood.
Entertaining the masses for over three decades, Feldman shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, to hear him tell it, this is only the first chapter in an already epic tale. Jason Price of Icon vs. Icon caught up with Corey Feldman deep in the heart of a whirlwind press tour on the eve of the memoir’s release to discuss a few of our burning questions. In the interview, Corey discusses what made now the time to tell his story, his feelings on the reactions of those looking to quickly dismiss his account of his life’s events and what lessons can be learned from his story. It doesn’t stop there as there! Feldman gives us the scoop on the evolution of his upcoming highly anticipated solo album, tentatively titled ‘Angelic to the Core’, along with all of the other projects he has in store in the months to come!
What made now the time for you to write an autobiography, which not only outlines the highlights of your life so far but also the darker times?
The problem has always been that the press likes to misconstrue my words and the media has twisted the perception of me to the masses. I have always spoken from an honest place. I have always tried to get the stories told but never in the clear, concise way that I would have wished. Therefore, now is the time because I have finally gotten enough people to believe in it and want to hear the truth. I think it is more of a testament to the public standing and them calling and crying for the truth to be heard, than it is a testament to me of finally accomplishing getting it done.
When you go into this process, did you have any reservations about telling your story?
Of course I was very trepidatious about it. It is not one of those shocking, tell-all books where I am out there blasting people. It is not like that at all, as a matter of fact! You won’t find anything negative about anybody in the book, other than the wrongdoers. Those people will obviously be ashamed or embarrassed by it, but they deserve to because they have done wrong. People who might have done something controversial or less than glamorous are not going to be put on blast because that is not what it is. I am not trying to do that. I felt that if I could be as forthright as possible and bring about the topics that I think the public most need to know the answer to, that was the most important thing for me to accomplish. It is a two-fold thing. Number one, it is setting the record straight and clearing the air of some great misconceptions about myself and some of my friends. Number two, it is speaking up for Corey Haim, who doesn’t have a voice to do so. The thing I find interesting is the backlash of people, which is mostly coming from within his family and close friends. They are saying I am doing it for money, I am trying to make him look bad, and that I am trying to diminish his name or worth – which it is exactly the opposite. That is the stark opposite of the truth, which only leads me to the conclusion that they feel some part of responsibility or shame in themselves. The point of the book is not to make Haim look bad, shameful, or anything like that. At the end of the day, the mission is to show everybody that not only was he a great and talented actor, an amazing person, and my best friend in the world, but to let everybody know that he was unrightfully shamed, thrown under the bus and swept under the carpet as a result of the things that were done wrong to him in the first place. The bottom line or big message of this whole story is that it was a convenient side-step for them to make us look like freaks, losers and weirdoes, as opposed to recognizing us for our talent or our craft. They disregarded us and said we were over with and swept us under the carpet because it was so much easier to be able to dismiss whatever stories might come out.
It all originated with Corey [Haim] asking me to do this. It is not, at all, that I am taking my own liberties. It stemmed from a conversation we had about a year before his death, which was the end of the second season of “The Two Coreys.” We had a very private discussion in my bathroom after a photo shoot that we had done to promote the show. I had already said publicly that we were done for awhile and we couldn’t be friends for awhile. We knew we weren’t going to work together again for awhile. Again, that was at the end of the second season. We had to do some promo work where we were forced to be together. At the end of it, he buttered me up and said, “I am sorry about the way things went down but could we at least have dinner to clear the air before we have this sabbatical?” That is what we did. He came over to my house. It was him and his Mom, Susie, and I. We made dinner for them. Corey and I went alone together into my bathroom and he said to me, “I just want you to know I did all of this for a reason. I want the truth to be told.” I said to him, “Then why don’t you tell your story?” He said “I would love to, but how?” I said, “Well you write a book.” He said he couldn’t do that and I asked why. He said “Because if I do that, all those people will come after me. I still have to function. I need a career. I can’t just give up my career like that.” I said, “I understand that but the truth needs to be told and people need to be brought to justice.” He said, “I can’t do it. I am too afraid, but you could do it for me.” I said to him, “I can’t do that. It is not my story to tell.” He said, “You can tell my story. I want you to tell my story. Please.” I told him I couldn’t do that now; if maybe one day I was around and he was gone, that was another story, but not while he was here on this Earth. He said, “I have a feeling I am not going to be here much longer.” He always knew he wasn’t going to live very long. He said, “I know I am not going to be here too much longer but after I am gone, I would appreciate if you got that taken care of for me and told the real story.” I said, “Ok. Let me see what I can do.”
That was kind of where things were left. We didn’t speak for a year and then after that we did rekindle our friendship. We became very close; in fact, we were closer than we had ever been before. We got back together when he called me one day and said, “I know that you have lost a lot of close people in your life recently. I know you are going through a lot of emotional changes and turbulence and my Mom has cancer. We both have some real life issues going on. I know we have had some problems in the past but let’s put all of that behind us and just be there for each other. Let’s forget about the show and everything else, let’s just be there for each other.” I said to him, “You know, you are right.” I came over to his house. I saw him and his Mom and the condition she was in and where they were living. That is when they were living at The Oakwoods. From that time on, we bonded. We were like brothers again. We were together pretty much every day until right before he died. The day he died, he was supposed to have a dentist appointment with the dentist I got him. I had been taking his Mom to chemotherapy treatments because they didn’t have a car to get around. They try to downplay it and say we weren’t even that close and we drifted apart. It is public record anyway! You can go on public record and see the last few interviews he gave in his life were in two different locations and I was there with him both times. Obviously, we were close and we were together. You have all these people crawling out of the woodwork saying “Feldman is just doing it to benefit from him. They weren’t even really close or great friends. Corey hated him.” Its like, “What are you talking about?” It is all backpedaling. At the end of the day, there were adult responsible parties in Corey’s life who need to claim responsibility for the life that he took. They don’t want to take that responsibility, so they are trying to throw it back on me. Let’s be honest, where is my place in his life and where are the parents? I wasn’t there when he was eleven years old. It wasn’t my responsibility.
Obviously, the book doesn’t just focus on your relationship with Corey Haim. It focuses on your highs, your lows and everything in between.
That’s right. That is why I find it so insulting that they are trying to minimize it to that because as you say, it covers the gamut. It covers a plethora of topics in my life, Corey being one of them.
What can you tell us about the process of putting the book together? I imagine looking back on your life and trying to encapsulate it on a few hundred pages is no easy task.
It is funny you say that because I actually say that in the beginning of the book. The very first chapter starts off with the moment of Corey Haim’s death. Then I say, “This is what my life has become. This is what I have gone through. This is where I am today. How did I get here? Let’s go back to the beginning.” To me, it has always been very obvious that if you are going to tell a story, you have to start at the beginning. However, when I first conceived writing this book, which was about ten years ago, the initial thought was that I was going to start in my darkest hour. It was going to start with my own personal darkest hour, which was the night of my drug arrest. So much has happened in the past ten years. There have a great number of different highs and a great number of lows that have toppled those thoughts. The thing about life and the writing a memoir at an early age such as mine is that I have only experienced a fraction of what I may experience in my life, if I am lucky to live as old as I’d like to live. I plan to live to one hundred and twenty-two; that is my goal. I believe I can do that because I believe science and technology will have advanced by the time I am that age, and the potential of a life span such as that is a real possibility. Provided God allows us to stay on this Earth long enough, I believe science will allow us to maintain life, if we can. With that said, there are a lot of different ways you could approach a memoir. What I felt was most important was to be linear, to give chronology, and also to highlight the things I felt most people wanted to hear about. The thing you have to understand is that my life is a many feathered bird. I have so many stories to tell. I have so many different ideas and thought processes that are not even introduced in this book. We couldn’t even engage and open those doors because of the fact that if you go on one journey and then start diverting yourself on all of these different avenues, it is going to lose the reader’s attention. That is what happens when there is too much diversity, too many options, or too many roads to choose. Since no one could fully understand the scope of my life, the only way to start the discussion is with the first sign. The first sign is what I will consider “Coreyography: Book One”. That is not to say there won’t be a book two, three or four. Honestly, in my writing this book, I feel I am merely skimming the top. I literally feel that way — skimming the milk, as it were, of my life. There literally are so many different avenues which need to be explored and discussed that I feel are relevant and important in mainstream society needs to be educated on. Will there be a sequel? I would say more than likely! [laughs]
The scope of the project is pretty impressive. What do you feel you learned about yourself as a person in document your life in this form?
I certainly learned that my integrity is intact, my virtue remains seamless and my morality is in good standing. I think if anything, this book is going to be a great opportunity for the reader to discover that. Because of all the misconceptions and unwarranted shapes my career path or my persona has taken through the years, it is very, very hard to be able to read between the lines and see what is truth and what is fiction. For me to be able to start that discussion and introduce those topics into the conversation is an amazing reward in and of itself.
With that said, what do you feel is the biggest lesson to be learned from the life and times of Corey Feldman?
Positivity. Positivity can get you through anything. A belief and a faith system is something we all must have integrated inside of us. As it stands today, the big thing that makes the dark side win is people playing on each other’s fears. Let’s face it. How are we controlled in this society? We are controlled by them manipulating us through our fear. Terrorism, politics, the forcing of things like Marshall Law, the recent government closures and all of these sorts of things play on our fears. We must be individuals and free thinkers who believe in our own integrity. We must believe in our own thought process. We must have faith in a higher power and a higher energy. Not even just God but our own morality. I know the only thing that has made me able to survive all of these things I have been through, all of these terrible things, is the knowledge that if I let it all roll off my back and focus on the positive then I can slide through and keep moving forward. I can stay focused and positive. That is really the goal for every human being on this Earth. People have a tendency to get weighed down from the fear. We all have negatives and positives every day. The choice is ours to focus on the negatives, making them the focal point of our day or to let them roll off our backs and move forward. I believe what you put out there is what you get back. If you put out positive, you get back positive and vice versa. If we chose to focus on the positive and have a divine belief in whatever we are trying to achieve and visualize it becoming a reality, it does in fact become reality. If anybody in the world can honestly prove that point, it is me! Everybody knows I was kicked to the curb. Everybody knows I was long since categorized as a memory. It was as if I was washed away. Instead, here I am, strong, exuberant, happy and excited to share my magic solution, which is realizing your dreams, believing in yourself and staying positive. If you can walk away with that, then I have really achieved something.
I admire your positivity and the way you put yourself out there to do so. Speaking of positivity and moving forward, what can you tell us about the status of your upcoming album? I am curious to hear how it has evolved since we spoke a few months back. (Check out our previous interview with Corey Feldman from July 2013 – Click Here!)
It has been an amazing journey! One of my great new friends is a guy by the name of Brandon Howard. He has been going through the journey with me right now and being very supportive. He happens to be an amazingly talented singer, songwriter, and producer. He is famous in his own right, but a lot of people don’t know him well just yet. He is also connected to The Jackson Family and has worked with them a lot through the years. He is a really amazingly talented kid. I’ve got him on the album now. We have created a big finale for the album called “Mercy.” I am really excited about that! We are going to be making a dynamic video together for the song. The music itself is beautiful. It is a beautiful sentiment! We have a huge choir about it! I can’t tell you enough about it! The music will speak for itself. The point I am trying to make is that this came along as an afterthought to what was already proving to be my greatest achievement musically. Secondly, there is the duet with Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit. At the start of the project, it was going to be maybe writing only collaboration, or possibly a production collaboration. It ended up being a full duet. That came out amazingly; I am really excited this song. I think the pinnacle or center point of the album, which works as a perfect companion piece to “Coreyography” itself, is going to be my next single. It is called “Number 222,” in honor or my dear friend, Corey Haim. I have kind of added all of these colors and flavors to it, where the album itself almost works as a walking timepiece and companion to the book in the sense that there are chapters to this album. There are many different sounds infused throughout.
Originally, when I first started working on it, I thought it was going to be an electronica album that would be pop, of course, but very heavily driven by the electronica. Then as I started going deeper into it, I began working with Supreme from the Wu Tang Clan, Rick One from the Black Eyed Peas, and other hip hop artists, like this new kid named Ashby, who is great, I became involved with all of these greatly talented people from the hip hop world. So, I started infusing that into the album, which is something I had never done before. At the same time, I am also going back to the rock ‘n’ roll roots with people like Fred Durst, Scotty Page from Pink Floyd, who makes several appearances throughout the album as well. It is just great talent coming together with all of these different sections. It started off with “Accession Millennium,” as a kind of electronica/pop dance song centered around my Corey’s Angels theme and now it is just one chapter of the album. There is a trilogy, which is the first single “Ascension Millennium,” the second single “DUH”, and the third single which is also the title track of the album, “Angelic to the Core.” That is just one section of the album. Then there are all these other sections of the album which find their way through a very interesting process of segues. It takes you on a musical journey where you go from a kind of electronica world that infuses and then we segue ourselves into the next sound and the next sound and so on. It happens in chunks. It is always very strange when you listen to an album where one song is a certain flavor and the next song is another. You find yourself listening to this potpourri of music where nothing really fits together. That isn’t any fun for me as a listener. When you can find a way to fuse all of these different sounds together on one album ? that is an adventure! I think that journey coming out alongside the book and telling the stories through the music and the book is really going to give my fans the fuller perception as my life as a whole.
Obviously, it is a bit of a whirlwind for you at the moment with the book release but when do you think you will be finishing up the album?
My hope is to have it out this year, but it isn’t looking realistic at this point. I would say early 2014 at the latest. I would really like to get the third single out in the next couple of weeks. I am certainly hoping to have it released before Christmas. I am also hoping to have the second single’s video, “DUH,” finished and released before Christmas as well. My plan is to do the video with my leading lady from my upcoming film release which is going to be out in early January of 2014. The film is called “The M Word” and is directed by Henry Jaglom. It is going to mark my first starring role in a U.S. theatrical release in over a decade. It is a very big and exciting event for me! The idea is to have my leading lady star in the video with me. Obviously, we want it to be timely. All of this stuff needs to happen against the timeline of everything else. It is interesting. I am working many dynamics all at the same time and making sure it all congeals.
What is happening with Corey’s Angels at the moment?
We have a lot of cool things happening with that project and are moving forward. We talked about the album and the videos but, in addition, we have created a clothing line and a jewelry line. All of these things are melding together! We haven’t gotten the website launched yet and I know I need to do that! I have to update my www.coreyfeldman.net site as well. I know I am really falling behind on some of the smaller elements but, with that said, the bigger picture is tying together nicely. I just ask everybody to bear with me! I know I am promising a lot right now and a lot of my delivery is late but it is all coming! It is all coming! I haven’t dropped or abandoned anything! It is all coming!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mentioned the part you played in the “Camp Crystal Lake Memories” documentary. There has definitely been a big buzz among ‘Friday The 13th’ fans about the terrific job you did on it.
Thanks! That is great to hear! I haven’t had a chance to see it for myself yet! I honestly haven’t had time or been anywhere with a Blu-ray player. They did send me a copy and I am looking forward to it. I hear it is over seven hours! I think during the holidays I am going to take some time off with my child. He isn’t going to watch it but once he goes to bed, I will watch it late at night! I am really looking forward to it!
What other projects should we be on the lookout for in the short term? You certainly have plenty of irons in the fire!
Going back to “Friday The 13th” for a second, there is a project I am trying to get into development right now. I am really pitching to create the final chapter in the ever-elongating chapters, of the “Friday The 13th” series by following up on a vision I had many years ago. That vision is the reuniting face-off between Tommy Jarvis and Jason! I am actually going to be meeting with Sean Cunningham as soon as I finish all of this. As soon as I finish this tour, I am going back to LA and I am going to meet with Sean. We are going to talk about the possibility of making that a reality! That is something I am really excited about. I still am pitching to be a part of the new Star Wars trilogy because that is what I want more than anything. If I could make the self-visualization and self-realization thing I was talking about happen, I see myself in there, ultimately to play Han Solo’s son. That would be my dream job! That is what I really, really want.
As a fan of your work, it is cool to hear you are in such a positive and creative place. What would you consider the best part of being Corey Feldman these days?
I have a beautiful son! I love him to death. He is my everything! He is my shining light! He is the first person I talked to this morning. I called him on his way to school and said, “Zen, I hope you are thinking about your Dad today. It is a very important day for your Dad!” He said, “Why?” I said, “Because I am doing lots of interviews and they are very important interviews that could really change the world.” He said, “Dad, you are always doing very important interviews that could change the world!” [laughs] I said, “I know. You’re right!” [laughs] He called me out on it! [laughs] That is one of the reasons why I love him so much — his honesty. It is amazing!
As you have said, one of the reasons you wrote “Coreyography” to speak to your fans. Anything you want to say to them directly before I let you go today?
I just have to say one more time, thank you all for your love and support. Thank you all for staying by my side through the most tumultuous times. There have been a lot of haters and a lot of negative people trying to throw mud at me, put me down, and have me dead and buried. All I can say is that if it wasn’t for the fans, they might have won. Due to the never-ending support and love of these beautiful people, I am here! I am thriving, healthy, good, positive, and ready to rock ‘n’ roll! Let’s make it happen!
“Coreyography” is available now wherever fine books are sold! For the latest from Corey Feldman news, visit www.coreyfeldman.net. Be sure to interact with Corey via Twitter at twitter.com/Corey_Feldman.