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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Whatever Happened To Corey Haim?

Whatever happened to Corey Haim? Yes, that, along with who built the pyramids, where did those giant head-statues on Easter Island come from and the whole chicken-in-a-can thing, is one of life’s great mysteries…until now.

Listen up, I got the answer. The former ‘80’s teen heartthrob has moved back to his hometown of Toronto (and living with his mom, so I hear) and pushing about 250 lbs (or so I’d guess).

I met the former star yesterday and if it weren’t for the fact that his hairstyle hasn’t changed since he made License To Drive, I never would’ve guessed it was him. The once puppy-faced kid who played the shy Lucas now looks like a pudgy-faced beer-swilling biker you’d nickname “Shit-tank”. I mean, the kid looks like he ate a Buick for fuck’s sakes.

Now, I don’t want to take this opportunity to make fun of a dude who’s likely all but accepted his career is dead. In fact, he still seems to think he’s sorta in the game. But then, he IS a former child star who got so mixed up in drugs he allegedly had a stroke in 2001 (that by all accounts didn’t inhibit his ability to eat – ouch, did I say that?).

Corey is an example of why Hollywood and celebritydom is Hell (with a few more Starbucks floating around). Not only does it giveth, it taketh away and then leave you with a crippling drug habit, insecurity beyond belief and to cap it off, turns your name into a punchline…and that’s before you hit 20.

I can’t blame Corey for being disillusioned. Hell, he was making 2 million bucks a picture, snorting assloads of coke and shagging Playboy bunnies in Hef’s Jacuzzi before he knew how to shave. That’s not quite the struggling teenage existence they showed us all on Growing Pains.

But I imagine the worse part has to be waking up to that two-headed hydra called The Burst Bubble. Remember, people don’t just worship you on the way up, when your star begins to slide, they turn on you harder than a shared hammock with John Goodman having a spastic chili-fuelled nightmare.

Well, I feel sorry for Corey Haim. Not because he blew it (and that he did) but because he just may have believed the hype along the way. If enough agents, managers, studio heads, reporters, autograph seekers, limo drivers, hairstylists and fans tell you how brilliant your performance is in say, Police Academy 6…well, you’d probably start believing it too.

We need to stop believing the hype ourselves. There’s nothing behind hype. Nothing.

Do you know what Paris Hilton did to become famous? Nothing. She shopped. She became famous because she could afford expensive shoes (well, and the fact she doesn’t mind cameras in the bedroom didn’t hurt).

Stop buying into the hype. If there’s one thing meeting Corey Haim taught me…well, actually there’s nothing meeting Corey Haim taught me, but it did re-affirm one belief: there’s more to life than worshipping other people’s lives just because Hollywood dealt them a tentatively sweet hand.

Like perhaps, maybe worshipping your own.