Jerry O'Connell's career has come full circle after passing on key acting advice he received as a kid from moviemaker Rob Reiner to the child stars of his upcoming Disney show.
Jerry made his big screen debut at the age of 11 in 1986 movie classic Stand By Me, which was directed by Reiner, and he remembers learning how to make his presence felt in a scene in which he had no lines.
"I had no experience," he recalled during a chat for The Jess Cagle Interview. "The first scene we shot was Corey Feldman fighting with the guy who owns the junkyard - I was in the background of the scene. They get into a fight, and then we pull Corey Feldman off...
"I'm standing there, and Rob Reiner says, 'Cut.' I had no lines in the scene. I'm not worried at all. I'm not even paying attention!"
But it was his lack of focus which caught the filmmaker's eye: "Rob Reiner goes, 'Hey, Jerry. What are you doing here? What are you doing here in the scene? Like what's going on?'," the actor added. "I went, 'Nothing. I don't have any lines.' He went, 'No, no, no. You're in the scene. Are you watching this fight? What would you do if someone was fighting next to you? You're as important to the scene as (anyone here). You all have to do this. You have to listen to every word that's on set.'"
Those words have continued to help Jerry throughout his screen career, and he recently imparted those words of wisdom to the young castmembers of new Disney Channel show Andi Mack as he directed one of the episodes.
"A lot of the things that Rob Reiner did with us as kids, I do with these young actors on set," he shared. "It's so funny, because I think of that every day when I'm on a set and I'm listening to a scene - I'm like, 'Oh, I better listen. Remember Rob told me to listen.' I got to tell that to a 12-year-old who's super talented and everything... It's the circle of a career. It's just really fun."