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MVPs of Horror: Wil Wheaton

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Will Wheaton shares memories from the making of 1986's "Stand by Me."

Video Transcript

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Get them off. Lay off me.

- Gordy, man, there's some on your back.

- Get them off, get them off.

- They're all over my leg.

- There are two movies that scared me out of the water when I was a kid, "Jaws and Oceans" and "Stand By Me" in ponds, lakes, creeks. Basically, any other body of water. I just-- basically, was a child and refused to go in any water, maybe a swimming pool. The leech scene, obviously, so iconic. What do you remember about filming that?

WIL WHEATON: They dug an actual hole in the forest, and lined it with plastic, and then filled it up with water, and then left it alone for a month, or two months, or something like that. So by the time we got there, it was pretty gross. And it was muddy, i mean, there was nothing unsafe about it. You know, we weren't going to get sick from it or anything like that. But it was pretty gross, and it was pretty cold, it's pretty uncomfortable. There's even a shot in the film where Gordy goes through the foreground out of focus. And you can see that my hair is completely dry. Because I was like, "Please don't make me get under the water again"

[LAUGHTER]

- What were you guys using for lesions?

WIL WHEATON: For the long shot, it's skateboard grip tape that is cut into patterns to look like leeches. In the close ups, they are little latex pieces. What they ended up doing, was mixing some blood makeup with like some rubber cement, and they put that on us to hold it on. Probably not the best thing in the world to put rubber cement on bare skin, but, you know, we had a movie to make and we had to get this thing done. It wasn't a big deal. The day that we shot that, we did all that stuff. You know, we do all the scene with full body leech situation.

We wrap, and Jerry and I are going to go to a water park that is in the mall in Eugene, Oregon. They wouldn't let us in, because we were covered with what looked like big open lesions all over our bodies. And it's just makeup. We were like, "No, no, it's makeup, we're working on a movie. And the teenager working the door was like, "I am not letting you in. Go-- [LAUGHING] go home."

[LAUGHTER]

- Gordy, man, are you OK?

- Gordy.

- Gordy.

- Gordy.

- River's death was such a tragic, sad loss for four movie fans. Can you share some of your favorite memories with him?

WIL WHEATON: He was just so much more mature than all of us. He had lived too much, he had seen too much. And the day that I knew River had been through some

[BLEEP]

That I could never understand, was when we do the scene around the campfire where he's telling me the story of the milk money. And River was struggling with that scene. And I remember Rob coming over. River and I were sitting there on the set, and Rob came over to him and he said, "Think about a time you really needed an adult to be there for you and they weren't." And I watched this thing happen to River, where that had happened to him. That had happened to him a lot. Rob did a similar thing, less intense, when we were running away from the train on the train trestle. Jerry and I, just, like weren't terrified enough because we knew we were safe.

[SCREAMING]

And Rob got really upset at us. Because we were outside, it was hot, the grips are running a giant heavy Dolly down the train tracks every time we're running. And by like the third or fourth take, we need to be terrified and we're not. Rob is just run out of patience with us, and it is the only time he ever raised his voice to any of "[INAUDIBLE] Jeremy, it is hot, we are tired, the grips are tired, I am tired. If you are not worried about the train hitting you, then you worry about me coming and kicking your ass." Or something like that like that. He was like, "if that train doesn't get you, I'm going to get you." And we were like,

[SCREAMING]

And the next take is in the movie.

- The next scene, Rob Reiner is just running behind you.

[HORN]

WIL WHEATON: Yeah, right. Yeah, like, with an engineer's hat on.

[LAUGHTER]

[MUSIC PLAYING]

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