Extract from the archives: ‘Stand By Me’ released in 1986


Rob Reiner’s next-gen film “Stand by Me” was released widely by Columbia Pictures 35 years ago today. The film starred a young actor named River Phoenix, spoken to by film critic David Elliott from his family’s home in Rancho Santa Fe.

From the San Diego Union, Friday August 22, 1986

“Stand By Me” distinguishes adolescents from boys

The Phoenix River flows naturally into an entertainment career

David Elliott, film critic

What’s a boy wandering with a name like River Phoenix? As the young star of “Stand By Me” asserts, this is her only life …

“My family lived outside the VW van and continued to travel. We are everywhere. Florida. Mexico. South America. My parents are like gypsy cubs. For my family, I didn’t always have a lot of money, but I didn’t feel lonely or robbed. I think some kids don’t like to move, but I do. My life was very unpredictable and very spontaneous. “

Now young Phoenix (River, Brother Reef, Rainbow sisters, Summer, Sunshine) has “left the camp” for a while in their new North County home with their parents John and Aalen. Talented chick career. In this context, Phoenix was ordered to have a wandering life as an actor. But like many 16-year-old boys, he “aimed to be a rock star.” This is still my goal.

Meanwhile, his acting is a major force in the story of Stephen King’s movie “Stand by Me” by Rob Reiner. A tough, blonde, and quietly owned river went bankrupt in 1959 when she was forced to become the father of one of her four Cham on a long nighttime adventure in Oregon. Play house boy Chris.

“I created Chris’s story in my head, so I knew what he was thinking,” the actor says. “And we listened to the tapes of the 50s songs and talked in that 50s style even when we weren’t on set. It’s funny, but the hard part isn’t technical at all, but it’s finding those real personal feelings… When I watch a movie, I see a lot of things that I should have done better. “

After a successful premiere of the film at the San Diego Cinema Society, River’s mature perspective is a wonderfully straightforward “what” to viewers’ unsatisfied questions about the “naked body” of some of today’s youthful films. The naked body that was clearly shown when I replied “Is this a problem?” “”

Later, for this interview, the young star amplified, “My mom and dad have a lot to do with who I am. I think they’re kids from the 60s. That’s why we all have natural names. And a special idea. “

The river was “born in a log hut in Oregon,” and further up the winding road he and his brothers said, “At first on the street we started playing our own songs. We are cute kids. It was great, not a professional singer. Dad said we were new. I still want to be a singer, but it’s a lot harder to get involved than a kid playing. , Much more competitive. “

Her mother said, “I was an NBC secretary for a while, but then I started casting. This led me to an agent. And that led to an advertisement. I can’t stand being a fake. So I hate TV commercials. You stay with a smile or cry for no reason. It’s just stupid. But I have to start from there and then I’m on the “Seven Brothers” TV show I got into “Seven Bride for” and did 22 episodes. “

The rest is show business: NBC (“Celebrity”) miniseries, ABC after school specials on deafness, a little job by Robert Kennedy Jr. in the CBS miniseries, another in as a geometry teacher for the ABC films “Surviving” and “Family”. Two-strand ties. He knows a tutor who left school many years ago for such a schedule …

“Two years after ‘Surviving’ I flew to Northern California for another job, then took a few weeks off to pilot a remake of ‘I Dream of Jeannie’, and ‘Stand By Me’ appeared. Made. Then I entered the “mosquito coast”. He is currently promoting “Stand by Me” and “Mosquito Coast” and will begin a movie called “Jimmy Riadon” in Chicago next month. I don’t think I’m going to college. I want to keep moving while looking at the world. “

As the son of Harrison Ford in Paul Theroux’s new Peter Weir film about Tropical Belize, River has overcome some of his youthful sarcasm about the famous star.

“A lot of stars are just stars. Some of these ways of doing things make me sick. I really don’t like the moron. But Harrison Ford is cool, he sits down. Talk to you. Of course, I was nervous at first. You think he’s a big action star, but at the hearing he’s dressed like a true conservative businessman and that throws me. But it was great hanging out in Los Angeles with me before the shoot. He has a dry sense of humor, sort of irony, but he was like a father to me. “

Unsurprisingly about his success, he’s excited to talk about his family. He said: “They are all happy to start getting interesting now. My brother Reef is a good actor. He was at the “space camp”. “My sister Rainbow made a movie with Ally Sheedy. I did a lot in the summer and Sunshine is a gymnast. She and Rainbow dance a lot and I play guitar.

“I have a 4-track studio in my room and I will record it after this next film. Dweezil Zappa is my friend and the album has just been released. I really want to do it. It will happen, I promise. . “

Who can doubt it?

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