Jerry O'Connell Chat at CosmoGirl on March 08, 2000

You've seen him as the hunky football star in "Jerry Maguire," the bad boyfriend in Mariah Carey's "Hearbreaker" video, and Sidney's boyfriend in "Scream 2." Oh, and who could forget him sharing the screen with dancing cockroaches in "Joe's Apartment"? When Jerry was only 11 he landed his first starring role in "Stand By Me" playing Vern (a.k.a. the fat kid). Now, he's blasting into super-stardom co-starring in the Touchstone Pictures film "Mission To Mars" (opens nationwide on 3/10). This hot star is ALL YOURS for a whole hour! Ask him anything you want when he chats live with us. Did he REALLY date Sarah Michelle Gellar? What was it like being on his college's fencing team? How did he pee in the space suit he wears in "Mission To Mars"?

CosmoGIRL: Welcome to our chat with "Mission to Mars" star Jerry O'Connell

CosmoGIRL: Welcome Jerry!

Jerry_Oconnell: Hey guys! Thanks for tuning in! This will be a good time!

Cage: You started acting classes at an early age... how much of a boost was this in terms of your adult career?

Jerry_Oconnell: It was a big deal, getting to work with the likes of Tim Robbins and Gay Sinise. My first day, I felt I should be getting them coffee, not acting with them. As for the classes, it definitely helps with self-esteem when asked to perform. I suggest everyone, when in school, join the drama club. It's also a good way to get girls!

Manolis_Varnas: Jerry at what age did you know that you wanted to act and how did you get the role for your wonderful movie "Stand By Me?"

Jerry_Oconnell: I decided I wanted to act right after I did a Duncan Hines chocolate chip cookie commercial. I was paid to eat cookies for three days straight, and realized this was the business for me! They picked me at school for "Stand By Me." A casting assistant spotted me, and got me the role.

NoodlesTheCat: Jerry, in what movies have you appeared so far, and what was the best role you ever played?

Jerry_Oconnell: Most likely my role in "Mission to Mars." It was really exciting to put on a space suit every day. I looked really cool in it! I've been in "Calendar Girl" and "Jerry Maguire" - I was the quarterback. "Joe's Apartment" too, the cockroach movie :-)

Nanny35: Jerry what did you chew when you took that pic for the premiere in your space suit?

Jerry_Oconnell: I was chewing bubble gum. I love bubble gum!

MarsGuy: Do you believe that there is life on other planets, that there are aliens?

Jerry_Oconnell: Definitely. I am an actor, so I'm pretty self centered. But it's pretty selfish to think that we, as humans, are the only life out there. I truly felt that this film not only answers questions about who we are, but where we came from. It's a cool movie. Everybody should check it out.

guest-Spiffy415: What director would you love to work with?

Jerry_Oconnell: I loved working with De Palma - he is technically the most talented director I've ever worked with. I would be willing to be his personal pedicurist to work with him again! I would love to be part of the new "Star Wars" film. Also I met with Billy Crystal to play Roger Marris in an HBO movie. I'd like to see that happen. For those of you who don't know, Roger Marris held the home run record for over 30 years before McGwire broke it.

bubberand: Did you play football in high school? How did you get so buff for "Jerry Maguire?"

Jerry_Oconnell: A lot of steak, and lot of pushups! I was actually much more muscular in "Mission to Mars" - these astronauts are in tip-top shape. I was totally buffed out.

guest-Spiffy415: Jerry, what was the final score for the Knicks game last night?

Jerry_Oconnell: The Knicks won by a great lead. It was a fun game.

Manolis_Varnas: What kind of movies attracted you most? Do you like playing the good or the bad character?

Jerry_Oconnell: I like playing good guys. Sometimes when I play bad guys I feel bad. Right now, I'm about to start shooting a film called "Tomcats" which is about a guy who makes a bet with his friends that he'll be the last one to get married. And he convinces a girl, played by Shannon Elizabeth of "American Pie," to marry a friend of his. In the process, he falls in love with her and he must stop the wedding, because he loves her. I have a lot of fun doing comedies.

cc498: Hi Jerry, do you find it hard to keep a 'normal' life being a celebrity?

Jerry_Oconnell: No, not at all. I'm very normal. If you ever see me walking down the street, tap me on the shoulder. I might even take you out for lunch!

guest-KerBear: Are you single?

Jerry_Oconnell: Very. Please leave all email addresses, as I'm looking for a girlfriend!

EZGuest132947572: Jerry is there a special lady in your life right now?

Jerry_Oconnell: No. Once again, all emails will be answered!

Cage: You passed up a chance to compete on the Olympic fencing team in order to concentrate on your acting... any regrets?

Jerry_Oconnell: No. I made a conscious decision. I loved acting, and I couldn't dedicate all my time to fencing. So far, I'm pretty pleased with my decisions.

Cage: Do you find that people still identify you with Vern, "the fat kid," in Rob Reiner's 1986 film, "Stand By Me?"

Jerry_Oconnell: Yes, but I like to refer to him as Vern, "the husky kid."

TheMaskedBandit: When you played Vern in "Stand By Me," did you ever envision yourself being where you are today, coming as far as you have come?

Jerry_Oconnell: No. This career is all very exciting. You take it on a project to project basis. Right now, I'm very excited about "Mission to Mars."

Manolis_Varnas: Jerry, tell us more about your new movie - who do you play, and what is the movie all about?

Jerry_Oconnell: I play Phil Olmyer, and I am the computer operations officer, which means I fly the spaceship to Mars. Once we get to Mars, we experience some extraterrestrial wackiness, and the movie begins. It's a classic adventure, with serious moments of scariness.

beefcake-guest: I saw you on TRL a few months ago, and you looked pretty beef. What kind of work out regimen did they have you on for Mission To Mars?

Jerry_Oconnell: They had me lifting weights on a daily basis. These astronauts are in tip-top shape, and I wanted to make sure that I was as well. BTW, I'll be on TRL tomorrow - Total Request Live.

gustowind-guest: Did you get to try space food?

Jerry_Oconnell: Yeah, a lot of freeze dried everything. It's delicious. But then again, I'll eat anything :-)

shannon513-guest: Jerry, what's it like making a movie with a lot of special effects?

Jerry_Oconnell: It's pretty incredible. You find yourself acting to a green screen most of the time, and you don't get to see the final product until you actually see the movie. It's amazing what they can do with computer generated images.

Megawatt2: What word or phrase do you most overuse?

Jerry_Oconnell: Um, that's a good question... I can't quite answer that. At the end of the chat, I'll count up which word I used the most and answer you then!

Megawatt2: What is your motto?

Jerry_Oconnell: Keeping with the "Mission to Mars" theme, I'll say "Let there be light." See what a good actor I am?

Winter_Child: Who is your role model?

Jerry_Oconnell: Probably a sports figure, like Roger Marris. Or maybe a movie character, like Han Solo.

guest-toughnstuff14: Would you do another scary movie like "Scream2"??

Jerry_Oconnell: Sure! I pick my projects by the quality of the script, and Kevin Williamson wrote a terrific script for "Scream 2."

chocoholic-guest: Were you ever scared filming "Scream 2?"

Jerry_Oconnell: Yes. Some of those special effects looked so real, I found myself really scared.

inthelonggrass: What was it like working with River Phoenix in "Stand By Me?" Were you guys friends?

Jerry_Oconnell: Yes, we were very close. He was a terrific actor. It's a shame what happened. He will be missed by all.

Webster: Jerry are you a surf maniac? Do you read your emails?

Jerry_Oconnell: I do read my emails. and yes, I surf a bit. It's a good way to keep your tan, and it's fun in LA when you get to surf with the dolphins.

shannon513-guest: What do you like to do to relax?

Jerry_Oconnell: Surf, read, play golf. That's about it.

KaraokeSuperStar: Do you still Karaoke on a regular basis? What are the names of favorite Karaoke clubs in LA or Hollywood? What are your favorite Karaoke songs?

Jerry_Oconnell: Karaoke is a great first aid - you break down all inhibitions. In LA, the best karaoke bars are in Korea Town. Anything by Frank Sinatra is a karaoke favorite with me.

inthelonggrass: Have you heard Kari Wuhrer's CD? Any plans to make one yourself?

Jerry_Oconnell: No plans to make a CD myself.

guest-michie: Jerry do you think you'll ever get married? It's a question we all face as we age, but I am curious to know if that is something you want for yourself in the future..

Jerry_Oconnell: Definitely! I think everyone's goal in life is to have a couple of kids. I'd like to pass on to mine what my parents passed on to me.

guest-Annie: Hi Jerry, I used to love watching "Sliders," but I haven't had the time to watch it lately. I noticed that you and your brother's characters are not on there anymore. How did your characters exit?

Jerry_Oconnell: I don't know how they did it. I left the show after the fourth season.

cleokitty-guest: What would your dream role be?

Jerry_Oconnell: I have to say playing an astronaut in "Mission to Mars" is right up there. I don't think it's going to get any better than that.

Homegirl_23: Do you plan on ever seeing an alien in your life time? :P

Jerry_Oconnell: I saw a lot in "Mission to Mars."

Megawatt2: Hi Jerry! If you could have a love scene with any actress, who would you choose?

Jerry_Oconnell: I have to say I'm very excited about working with Shannon Elizabeth of "American Pie."

Manolis_Varnas: Jerry, what do you love and hate in fame?

Jerry_Oconnell: I don't hate anything about it.

Pengy: Is it true that you actually ate cockroaches for Joe's Apartment?

Jerry_Oconnell: Yes. And my girlfriend wouldn't kiss me for months after that. They were just in my mouth, I didn't actually ingest them.

readmymind: Is there another actor/actress that you would like to work with, but have not as yet?

Jerry_Oconnell: Let me think about that... It's all going very well for me. When I get to work with the likes of Tim Robbins and Gary Sinise, I'm starting to really enjoy my career at this point.

guest-Melanie: What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

Jerry_Oconnell: Probably my brother and I handcuffing our babysitter to the staircase. We didn't like him very much. He deserved it. My father had to saw him out!

Madelyn: Why do you think there are a lot of movies about bad aliens like "Astronaut's Wife?" Is this kind of movie more attractive to the audience?

Jerry_Oconnell: "Mission to Mars" is not that kind of film - it talks more about what life is out there. It's a really cool script.

giza123: Have you kept in touch with the other cast members in Stand by Me?

Jerry_Oconnell: No. Although I just did the 16th anniversary special DVD. Look for it this summer.

guest-Melanie: Hi, Jerry, any truth to the rumors that you're considering a "Sliders" movie? I loved that show!

Jerry_Oconnell: I'm looking into it. Nothing too serious right now. I would only do it if the script were good and I got to work with my brother Charlie again.

guest-PartyPrincess88: Did you like playing Neve Campbell's boyfriend in "Scream 2?"

Jerry_Oconnell: It was great. It's as close as I'll get to actually being her boyfriend, so it was a fun part to play.

guest-Annie: Hi Jerry, my name's Annie and I just wanted to tell you what a great actor I think you are! "Sliders" was always my favorite show to watch and I can't wait to see your new movie. Can you give me a little summary on what it's about?

Jerry_Oconnell: Don Cheadle's character colonizes Mars in the year 2020. He experiences some extraterrestrial wackiness, and Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins and myself are the rescue mission. Once we reach Mars, we experience the extraterrestrials first hand.

shannon513-guest: Were you involved with the "Sliders" series at all after you left the show?

Jerry_Oconnell: No.

inthelonggrass: What is your favorite movie? Why?

Jerry_Oconnell: I would have to say "Citizen Kane." I went to NYU film, and we studied it on a regular basis. I know the film inside and out. I think it's the greatest film ever made.

guest-Melanie: If you could go back and star in any movie in history, what would it be and why?

Jerry_Oconnell: Star Wars, because it was so cool. It was also the first movie I ever saw. I'd be Han Solo.

guest-Linda: Jerry if I can make it from Boston to NYC tomorrow for TRL, will you sign my Narcotica comic book?!!

Jerry_Oconnell: Sure thing!

kermette86-guest: If you were on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," how much do you think you would win?

Jerry_Oconnell: I definitely would win the million. I watch that show regularly, and I would kick some butt!

Manolis_Varnas: What was it like playing with Tim Robbins?

Jerry_Oconnell: He's a terrific actor, and an even better guy. I loved him.

FUN-to-TALK-2: What Tim Robbins movie did you enjoy the most? My favorite was "Shawshank Redemption."

Jerry_Oconnell: I'm definitely with you there!

guest-Amy: There are many fan websites for you on the internet. Do you have an "official" one, and do you ever log on to them?

Jerry_Oconnell: I don't really go on the web to check myself out; I'm too busy checking out the other things. I think it's a little self-centered to look at scantily-clad pictures of myself on the web. I don't have an official website.

inthelonggrass: Do you like horror movies?

Jerry_Oconnell: Sure! Although I embarrass myself a bit when I go on dates, because I scare very easily!

phoenixOne: Who are your movie heroes? What do you think makes a good movie hero?

Jerry_Oconnell: Bruce Willis. He's very funny, and at the same time he can be a great action guy. I copy him a lot.

cartoonguy-guest: Would you consider another TV series, or are you only interested in movies at this point?

Jerry_Oconnell: I would definitely do a TV show if the right one came along. Right now, I'm having a lot of fun doing movies, though. It takes up a lot of my time.

Kitten29^: Hi Jerry, if you could be any animal what would it be and why?

Jerry_Oconnell: Probably a Labrador. They're very loyal, and I had one growing up.

guest-Spiffy415: What type of music do you listen to? Who is your favorite band or artist?

Jerry_Oconnell: I really like Stevie Wonder.

Imcool: Jerry what was the funniest rumor that was ever written about you in a magazine?

Jerry_Oconnell: I don't know about that one, but I'm sure they're floating out there!

TheMaskedBandit: Have you ever thought of writing a script for a movie? And if so, what type of movie would it be?

Jerry_Oconnell: Yes. I'm going into production on a script I wrote called "First Daughter." It's about the president's daughter going off to college and not wanting Secret Service protection. So they hire a rookie Secret Service guy to protect her incognito. They fall in love, she finds out he lied, they fall out of love, and hopefully they fall in love again at the end.

guest-Spiffy415: How do you get along with Charlie?

Jerry_Oconnell: He's my brother and roommate. He doesn't do laundry, but I love him!

guest-Spiffy415: Do you doing television or movies better?

Jerry_Oconnell: The pace in films is a lot slower, because you don't have the same deadlines you have in television. But part of me loves the pace of television just the same.

Born_2_B_A_Gymnast: Did you have any role models that inspired you to act, or do you still have them?

Jerry_Oconnell: No, not really. My real role models are my parents.

guest-Spiffy415: Do your friends treat you any differently, now that you are a celebrity?

Jerry_Oconnell: No, not at all. My friends are the coolest. I love hanging out with them.

guest-PartyPrincess88: What do you look for in a girl? I'm just curious.

Jerry_Oconnell: A sense of humor, somebody who's willing to sit through a Yankee game, and somebody who will laugh at my jokes.

guest-love: Did you ever have a bad experience while filming a movie?

Jerry_Oconnell: Never. I've only had good experiences. Being an actor is the best job in the world.

babykarret: What do you think of your underwear from Scream 2 being auctioned off at eBay for $550 (and now, $150)?

Jerry_Oconnell: That's pretty expensive for a pair of boxers! I myself am a briefs man :-)

Manolis_Varnas: What do you think of these celebrity chats on the net?

Jerry_Oconnell: I love doing them. I'm a big fan of the web, and when I see someone I want to talk to, I jump right on.

babykarret: What is the most humbling thing about being an actor?

Jerry_Oconnell: Probably when you get to work with talent like Tim Robbins and Gary Sinise, you realize what talented people are out there.

FUN-to-TALK-2: I also write songs but I have no idea on how to present them to anyone. Do you have any idea?

Jerry_Oconnell: No. Music isn't my thing. Sorry! Good luck. I hope to see you on the charts someday.

Showmedamoney: Jerry I liked you in the movie "Jerry Maguire." What was it like playing in that successful movie and what was it like working with Tom Cruise?

Jerry_Oconnell: Tom Cruise is the best! He is such a nice guy, and an even better actor. It was a lot of fun to play an NFL quarterback.

babykarret: What is your one tiny icky little pet peeve about being an actor?

Jerry_Oconnell: I memorize my lines inside and out. When I memorize a line, I remember it forever.

phoenixOne: Do you think of yourself as a celebrity? How is your life different now than it used to be?

Jerry_Oconnell: No, I think of myself as an actor. I choose my roles not based on if it will make me popular, but on the fact that I would want to play the role. My life is no different now, I just make a bit more money.

Mustang_Guy: Hey Jerry- I remember one of your first TV movies Ollie Hopnoodles Haven of Bliss!! I still have fun watching and laughing at that!!

Jerry_Oconnell: Thank you!

Slider_Dystiny: Jerry, were you ever injured while doing a movie?

Jerry_Oconnell: Never, although I do do all my own stunts.

babykarret-guest: You've been an astronaut, a dimension-hopper, a slob, a college student, a guy getting engaged, a priest...what's next?

Jerry_Oconnell: This romantic comedy with Shannon Elizabeth. Right after my film with a soon-to-be-decided young actress, playing the President's daughter. Definitely check out "Mission to Mars" - I make a really cool astronaut. It's a lot of fun. Thanks for tuning in guys, I'll talk to you next time. P.S. - any emails, please leave them.


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