“Stand by Me” profoundly impacted the lives of kids who grew up in the ‘80s. The film’s effect was far-reaching. Little did the actors know how much it would change their lives. Jerry O’Connell, for instance. He met his future wife, Rebecca Romijn, because of the film.
In an interview, O’Connell said that three months into dating, he discovered that Rebecca had posters of him and the movie all over her room growing up. She had always been a fan, but never told him!
Corey Feldman's Numerous "Firsts" During Filming
"Stand by Me" was a classic coming-of-age film in the ‘80s. While the characters experienced several turning points, it turns out that some of the young actors also went through some defining 'firsts' while filming.
Corey Feldman, in particular, credits working on the film for several new experiences. He visited a nightclub and drank for the first time. Feldman shot a music video with Phoenix – his first-ever. Somewhere along the way, he experienced kissing a girl for the first time. So many firsts!
The Music and What Could Have Been
The "Stand by Me" soundtrack is as memorable as the film. But it could have turned out very differently. Michael Jackson's music almost became a part of the cult film. While envisioning a soundtrack for the film, producers believed Jackson’s music could elevate the film further.
Original music, covers, an old song – producers weren’t particular as long as it had the Jackson stamp. But a mysterious turn of events ended in producers deciding to stick to the original plan – an uplifting 50s-themed soundtrack that worked great for the film and was 100% Jackson-free. (Sorry, MJ fans).
The Kids Didn’t See the Body Until the Actual Scene
The turning point in the film hinges on a defining moment – the discovery of the body. The moment needed to be authentic. Of course, Reiner had already thought about it, devising a master plan to elicit genuine reactions from his actors.
He didn’t employ scare techniques or deliberately mislead actors - the way some directors do. He kept it minimal but effective by making sure the lead actors only saw the ubiquitous item when they filmed the scene. The objective was to unsettle the boys – which we know was a smashing success.
Stuntwomen to the Rescue
One of the film’s most anxiety-inducing scenes is when a train hurtles toward the four boys. Obviously, the actors were never in any real danger. Production made sure of it. But very few people know that the crew used adult stuntwomen as doubles!
The women wore the same clothes and sported super short haircuts to pass off as the boys. They performed all of the stunts in place of the kids.