As you can see from the video, even those of us with press passes on were not allowed to film the Cast Meet and Greet on Day 1, which featured Joe "Joey Pants" Pantoliano, Jeff Cohen and Curtis Hanson.
So, what went on after the we turned our cameras off? Lots and lots of questions! Some good; others more reminiscent of the fictional Chris Farley Show on SNL (e.g. "Where's Mouth?" note: Corey Feldman was scheduled to appear the next day, alongside Sean Astin), but all entertaining nonetheless.
Most of the queries were for Jeff Cohen, who played "Chunk" and is an all-grown-up handsome—and slim—thirtysomething these days. Instead of remaining an actor after his rise to fame in THE GOONIES, he took the unusual child-star route of going to college (at Berkeley), then developing a solid off-screen career. He now practices entertainment law.
Jeff shared many anecdotal stories about being a kid on the set of the hit film—the free Baby Ruths he consumed, the many flavors of ice cream he recited during a partly improvised scene with "Sloth," and how enticing the hidden pirate ship was for the boys (they weren't allowed to see it until it came sailing out on the beach in the final scene).
Apparently, the actors were encouraged to ad lib, so many of the memorable moments on-screen didn't come directly from the script (credit does go to the screenwriter, however, for the famous puking story Chunk tells).
One fan stood up and asked Jeff about a line that's been bugging her for years.
She asked: "When Sloth pulls you close, do you say 'You smell like fish heads or You smell like phys. ed'?"
The correct answer: "You smell like phys. ed!"
Also gracious and sincere with responses were Curtis Hanson (Elgin Perkins) and Joe Pantoliano (Francis Fratelli).
In response to the fan hysteria surrounding the film, Curtis replied "I don't understand it, but I love it!"
When asked about participating in specific stunts, Joe replied, "I never get to be there when the cool stuff happens to my characters. I wasn't even there when they cut Ralphie's head off!" That of course, was in reference to his landmark character in The Sopranos, where the killers place Ralphie's head in a bowling bag before disposing of it.
As for general questions, none of them seemed to think THE GOONIES 2 will actually get made, but would be happy if it did. Only a few of the cast members have kept in touch (Jeff and the actor who portrayed 'Data' remain close) and some have passed on (the actors who portrayed Sloth and Ma Fratelli). All remarked how much they loved Astoria and filming on the beautiful Oregon Coast.
Sure, it was disappointing that I couldn't be there the following day when two more of the actors were scheduled to join them, but I truly loved getting to share space with some of the folks who helped make my childhood happier.
Labels: 2010, Astoria, Curtis Hanson, Jeff Cohen, Joe Pantoliano, neversaydie, Tassoula, The Goonies