The role of pop culture icon is nothing new for Wil Wheaton. He first achieved big-screen stardom in his early teens as Gordie Lachance in Rob Reiner’s “Stand By Me” (1986). The film was a critical and commercial success and Wheaton and his young costars River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell were all catapulted into the Hollywood fast track. The trajectories of their respective film careers have been widely varied, to say the least. While Feldman’s career has gotten progressively stranger–and a slimmed-down O’Connell has slowly built a solid rep as a young leading man, things ended sadly a few years later for Phoenix due to drug problems.
As for Wheaton, a year after “Stand By Me,” his fame took even more of a quantum leap when he hitched a ride on the sci-fi gravy train by snagging the role of futuristic teen spaceman Wesley Crusher on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” So, just as puberty was really kicking in, Wheaton found himself surrounded by hot interstellar babes as well as the standard aliens who looked like they had ventilators built into their craniums. Since then, Wheaton has continued to appear in many films, and appears at the occasional Star Trek convention where he says he doesn’t mind being accosted by the polyester space suited loonies (my definition) who obsess about this kind of stuff.
In the new cultish black comedy Jane White is Sick & Twisted, Wheaton gets to explore another facet of his acting ability by playing the criminally insane/homicidal boyfriend of the title character. And the veteran actor has branched out into the literary world with his new book, Just A Geek, which contains autobiographical stories developed from his writings on his site’s weblog. It’s a follow up to his self-published debut “Dancing Barefoot,” which he says is selling briskly.
Get the interview in part two of WIL WHEATON: FROM STAR TREK TO SERIAL KILLER>>>