Q&A; Rob Reiner

  • Some 25 years after filming started on his classic coming-of-age movie Stand By Me , director Rob Reiner has created a companion piece, Flipped — a school-aged romantic comedy — which begins rolling out in theaters Aug. 7. Reiner spoke to TIME about his first crush and his personal bucket list.

    Has this movie made you want to get in touch with your first crush?
    It's funny, but it kind of has. I was the same age as the characters in the movie. We exchanged bracelets and when I went to kiss her next to her house she hit me with a hairbrush. I never saw her since. She lived not far from where I work now, so sometimes I'll go past and just look at her house.

    She might be hiding in the kitchen.
    No, they moved a long time ago.

    What's the worst trouble you ever got into school?
    I was a good boy and didn't cause a lot of problems. But in high school I was part of a regular poker game. One of the parents decided they were going to teach us a lesson. They had the cops raid the poker game. All I remember is the police actually said, "All right, this is a raid." We were taken to the jail and there was about 25 kids all jammed into one cell. There was also a deck of cards. But it wasn't so funny when our parents came down to pick us up.

    Has the mug shot appeared on TMZ?
    I was 16, so they expunge these things if you don't do anything bad. I've been pretty clean.

    Most of your movies set out to prove that women mature much faster than men. Do they really?
    It's a proven fact. It's scientifically measured by any scientist worth his salt.

    Will you ever do a movie where the man has it all figured out?
    No, because they never have it figured out. We're running around like idiots until we find a good woman who can tell us what to do. And I've proven it time and time again in my films. From The Sure Thing to When Harry Met Sally . It's the same in Flipped.

    Why not do that mature-man movie, but call it fiction?
    It would be science fiction — where the men are smart.

    Former President Clinton recently talked about items on his "bucket list." Flattered?
    Yes. I love it when my films become part of the vernacular. Like "I'll have what she's having" or "You can't handle the truth."

    What's on your list?
    I just came back from the Serengeti. I had always wanted to go on safari, so I can check that one off. I'd like to go to India and China.

    Brownsville, Ore., where Stand By Me was filmed, celebrated the 25th anniversary with a pie eating contest, how did you celebrate?
    I heard. I was so honored. I celebrated by not eating pie.

    Are we agreed that Jerry O'Connell's post- Stand By Me transformation is possibly the greatest ever?
    He was this chubby little kid Vern in the movie. Now he's married to Rebecca Romijn. He's a stud. I don't get it.

    You made Anthony Edwards a bad guy in Flipped . is that legal?
    Sure it is. He liked playing that part — maybe too much. But he's the sweetest guy in the world.

    The last time we saw Anthony Edwards in a Rob Reiner movie it was The Sure Thing and he was excited about talking on a phone with no cord.
    Yes, he says, "I'm talking to you cordless!" At the time it was a big deal. And it was this big, clunky phone.

    Cody Horn is fantastic in Flipped . How big a factor was the fact that her father is Warner honcho Alan Horn in her casting?
    It was really zero. It was bizarre. There was another kid coming out to audition for the part, so she came along to say hi. I looked at her and said, "My God, she's the perfect person for the part." So she came in and read and she was perfect. Alan had no idea Cody was even in town. Then he started to talk me out of it. He didn't want it to look like it had anything to do with him.

    Will you follow up Flipped with a slasher film?
    Absolutely. A slasher film set in the future with a lot of CGI and a lot of explosions. Hey, I did Misery . It wasn't a slasher, but ankle-breaking was involved.