DICKIE ROBERTS: FORMER CHILD STAR
About the Story
"Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" reunites
multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominee David Spade with longtime "Saturday
Night Live" head writer Fred Wolf. In addition to executive producing and
co-writing this film, Spade and Wolf have teamed up on several hit movies,
including "Joe Dirt," along with the popular comedies "Tommy
Boy" and "Black Sheep" in which Spade costarred with his friend,
the late Chris Farley. Today, the films have achieved a considerable cult status
among teens and young adults, who will also revel in "Dickie Roberts:
Former Child Star."
"When Fred suggested the idea to me, I could immediately
see myself in the role," remembers Spade. "I thought it was a great
hook — someone on the skids, his career
burned out, who used to be riding high, being adorable and loved by everyone.
A classic "higher they climb, the harder they fall"
tale with the comic genius of Spade thrown in, "Dickie Roberts: Former
Child Star" may be a full-blown comedy, but the story also lends itself to
the universal theme of what is true happiness.
Executive producer and co-writer Fred Wolf explains: "Dickie
eventually learns that what he thought he needed to make him happy —fame
and the trappings that come with it — is
less important than having real friends and people who love him. Of course,
Dickie learns all of this by accident."
Director Sam Weisman says that Spade embodies the role
perfectly. "The minute I read the script I could just see David as Dickie,"
recalls the Emmy-nominated director of "L.A. Law" and "Brooklyn
Bridge," the latter of which garnered him a Golden Globe award as the show's
executive producer. "I think David's a lot like Dickie —
not a burnout, but a grownup with a kid-like attitude. He certainly has a
devilish quality, which I think lets him get away with a lot of funny
Spade describes his character as a composite of the funniest
aspects of all the former child stars who were once household names, but who now
live as grownups virtually unknown to today's generation of television
"There's a little of all your favorite seventies
sitcom stars in this film," Spade says. "And it's all done with good
intentions and fun."
In fact, Spade convinced many of the industry's former
child stars to drop in for an occasional cameo and poke fun at themselves, and
in the end, a regular Who's Who of actors once seen regularly on televisions
across the country — and some still seen in
syndication —showed up. Among them were
Barry Williams (Greg Brady of "The Brady Bunch"), Leif Garrett (70s
Teen Idol and lead singer of rock band F8), Corey Feldman (star of "The
Lost Boys" and "Stand By Me"), Dustin Diamond (Screech of
"Saved by the Bell") and Danny Bonaduce (Danny Partridge of "The
Partridge Family"), just to name a few.
"I thought the script was charming, and of course, I
could relate to it," says Barry Williams. "It's about someone who
grows up in front of all of America, whose childhood never materializes because
he goes from being a toddler to a professional with no time to grow up in
between. It's very funny, but also very touching," adds Williams.
"And Dickie does do some growing up when he figures out how unimportant
fame really is in the grand scheme of things."
Danny Bonaduce recalls how being the youn
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