Hey, Alex Winter here from Bill & Ted and Downloaded and noticed a lot of child stars memes today. That's what my next documentary's about. Thought it would be a good day to say hi. Ask me anything!
Proof: https://twitter.com/alxwinter Proof: http://i.imgur.com/0pyoP7e.jpg Here's my latest documentary, coming out soon: https://vimeo.com/51793046 Ask me anything about my experiences as a child star, or my Napster documentary Downloaded, my new child actor documentary, or anything else!
oy, no kidding!
I moved to California three years ago and while driving I saw an exit for San Dimas. I made my wife take the exit, found the local Circle K, and had my wife take a picture of me outside by the payphone. A homeless guy saw us and asked what was going on. I tried explaining, but I'm pretty sure he thought I was on drugs. Bill and Ted forever!
haha cool!! I made the mistake of going to Raging Waters once with my son. We didn't shoot in San Dimas so i forgot the connection. Needless to say I was mobbed.
Lost Boys, Bill and Ted..... why didn't we see more of you in the nineties?
Because I studied as a filmmaker and as soon as I could make a living doing it and moved out of acting, I did. In 1993
Thanks, it's pretty strange to be able to ask you a question directly that I've been wondering about since 1995.
haha. welcome to these crazy modern times.
Okay thanks everyone for a great run of questions! Gotta go feed the kids...
Will be back another time!
Do you know when the Mongols ruled China?
I don't know, I just work here!
Hi Alex! How close is Bill & Ted 3 to being made?
Honestly I can't talk about that right now. I will come back to Reddit first when i have news!
reddit gets the first scoop? Awesome! Those two movies have been my favorites ever since I was a kid. I can't tell you how amazingly stoked I was to hear about a possible third one. Love you dudes!
How close are you and Keanu?
he's sitting on my lap right now and I really wish he'd get up and let me get a sandwich or something
BILL S. PRESTON, ESQ!
Loved that movie years ago, now my kids love it. Thanks for your work. As for questions, do you feel that breaking out of the mold of Bill was hard and hindered your further career?
No not at all. Starring in a hit franchise is only good for your career. It opened a lot of doors that allowed me to move into writing and directing, my first love. I always loved acting, but being a filmmaker is my core interest.
Thank you for your reply, and keep on going, it's been a pleasure watching your works.
How did George Carlin come to be involved in B&T?
He was a very happy accident. they were going after serious people first. Like Sean Connery. And someone had the idea, way after we started shooting, of George. That whole movie was a happy accident. no one thought it would ever see the light of day
That's so cool, thanks man! I miss that guy, I'm glad he was involved.
We all miss George terribly. Reeves and I saw him at a restaurant very shortly before he passed away. No idea he was that sick. Feel lucky we got a moment with him.
At least you guys got to see him one last time before he passed. I'm 26 and was a fan of his since Shining Time Station when my dad turned me on to him. I was lucky enough to see him perform a few months before he died. Being in the same room with that great man is still one of my most cherished memories. He's a legend.
It's a rare entree into an extraordinary world that very little has been talked seriously about. It will follow several current child actors, some very famous ex-child stars and get into the whole spectrum of this environment - warts and all!
Hey Alex - I gotta say, not only are the Bill & Ted movies awesome, but I'm a big fan of Freaked as well. Thanks for doing this.
1) I know you had a hand in writing and directing Freaked. How hard was it to get it made? It's such a weird and funny movie - totally different than anything else out there so I imagine it was hard to get financial backing. Maybe I'm wrong.
2) Are you and Keanu friends? Do you guys hang out at all? If I was you guys I would go to bars and parties and stuff in character - would you guys do that for me?
It was crazy hard to get made. Me and Tom Stern wrote Freaked originally as a low budget vehicle for the Butthole Surfers. Sam Raimi tried to get it made as producer. When that didn't happen, we re-wrote it as a friendlier PG movie with our Idiot Box cohort and resident genius Tim Burns. And sold that to Fox. A strange Hollywood tale indeed.
We don't go out in character. But true story; once we accidentally stepped out of a restaurant into the middle of the NYC Halloween Paraded, and someone walked past us and said (without irony) "hey look, it's two old fat guys trying to be Bill and Ted"
Oh man - I can only imagine what Freaked would have been like with an "R" rating or Sam Rami's input. Still an awesome move though!
As a teenager I listened to the soundtrack to Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey about a bazillion times. Just sayin'.
thanks, me too, which is embarrassing to admit. Lost Boys too.
God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You II, in my opinion, is the quintessential rock song. Great instrument work, great lyrics, the kind that really get you motivating and moving, and it was a perfect ending to Bogus Journey. I still get goosebumps when the song starts.
Absolutely! Lots of other solid songs on that album too, and a couple forgettable ones. I also love The Perfect Crime by Faith No More.
yep. was fun working with Jim Martin
Hey, Alex. My name is Alex Winter too. I admit my parents accidentally stole it from you. Don't you hate it when people append that dreadful "s" to your last name? Have you met anyone else named Alex Winter before?
I just wanted to thank you for keeping any info about me buried within Google by all of your fan pages and such. ;)
Hey kindred spirit! Yes one out of five adds an S. When I met Jonathan Winters (rip) he told me people did the opposite to him so I felt better.
My wife is a ridiculously huge fan of the Bill and Ted movies. Her name is Brooke, and a shout out would make her day. So here is my question... Will you give a shout out to my wife, Brooke?
Be excellent Brooke!
What's your favorite Bill quote?
"How's it going Royal Goat-Faced dude?" - a deleted line of from the medieval section, to the king.
What number are we thinking of right now?
96 dude!... or something like that... been a while ;)
Awesome! Last year when I got married I ended my wedding vows with "Be Excellent To Each Other."
I will forever be jamming out, waiting for a third movie.
Will we be seeing more from Wyld Stallyns?
On a scale of 1-10.....
How much do you like Wayne's World? Please...my friends and I have been craving this answer for years...
- but i won't say which way that scale runs :)
oh okay. I love those movies. it's not like BnT cornered the market on movies about idiots.
I didn't. I did for Atari, it was unplayable! Just like the cereal was inedible!
What are some of the biggest challenges facing child stars, and what impact does America's celebrity-obsessed culture have?
navigating the industry is hard at any age. it's especially fraught as a child. And the culture's obsession with raising up and tearing down celebrities is especially hard when that celebrity is young.
Thanks for the response! One of my friends has a couple of kids who have been doing a bunch of acting lately - what's some advice you would give to an aspiring child actor?
more to the parents than the actor. be there all the time. be sane. and be vigilant. when things go bad, they go bad very quickly.
Not a question, but my recollection of my senior year at South Eugene High School in 1993 was that our "class motto" or some such thing was "be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes".
are you and ted still friends?
very much so
Any updates on getting Idiot Box onto DVD?
Working on a streaming deal for it. Hopefully that will happen. Will post when I have more info!
What's the best thing a fan has ever told you about one of your films?
That Freaked made them one to slather themselves with toxic chemicals, turn into a hideous mutation and join a South American carnival sideshow!
But seriously, when little kids come up to me that just discovered Bill & Ted, it's pretty heartwarming.
Freaked made me realize what a great writer you are. What do you do with your downtime between making movies?
I write for TV, direct a lot of commercials and episodic TV and hang out with my family. Got a house full of boys to manage!
Somebody from above beat me to posting the question I was going to ask, so I just want to say I really enjoy your work, and it's been great following you on Twitter.
hey man thanks a lot!
thanks! make sure you check out Downloaded when it comes out this summer!
What's the best way to get ahold of you for a podcast or blog interview?
via my website: http://trouperproductions.com/
What got you into the documentary making business?
I wrote the Napster movie as a straight dramatic feature for a studio. It never got made. And given all the craziness right now with the Internet; rights issues, copyright issues, all of this contention, i decided to make it a doc and let all the players talk for themselves. And fell in love with the medium and now am on to the next one!
Do you wish Keanu still had his old hair?
he does, but only for me.
I thought I was the only one, he told me I was special...
As you are a lover of documentaries, what are some of your recent favorites that everyone should go out and see?
Gatekeepers (movie of the year); The Crash Reel; TPB:AFK; Dirty Wars: 12 O' Clock Boys
It's a golden age for docs!
Oh and I forgot Undefeated, feels like years since that came out, there's been so many great ones...
I just wanted to say that I've seen the B&T movies maybe 50 times, and I still think they are fantastic. I wish you the all the best in your future projects!
What was your favorite part about doing Bill and Ted's? Is it crazy to have people still bring up a movie that you filmed when you were so young?
Not at all. we're thrilled people still watch and love those movies. chess with death was my favorite thing to shoot on those. and playing my grandmother.
Holy shit I never realized that you played your own grandmother! Also, Holy shit Alex Winter just acknowledged my existence! Fucking BILL!
now go watch it again! lot of make up, of course...
What is the piece of work you've done that you like the most--besides Downloaded? I, for one, can't wait to check it out!
Thanks! I also love my movie Fever: https://vimeo.com/15629176 And Freaked: https://vimeo.com/15629925 And the Idiot Box: https://vimeo.com/15623413
Freaked is a personal favorite of mine! Ricky Coogin sucks shit!
indeed he does.
Who was your favorite of the historical people to work with, also were the names you came up with for them (so-crates, Bob Genghis Kahn etc) improvised?
yes some of the pronunciations were improvised. i remember when it occurred to us call beethoven Beeth-Oven. it sounded like the funniest thing i ever heard in my life. still makes me laugh
I'm sure you get asked this all the time: but what's the latest on Bill & Ted 3? There seemed to be a lot of buzz around it late last year, you even mentioned it a couple of times yourself - but now it's all gone quiet?
Have to stay mum on this right now. Will post some hard facts when i can!
Greetings, King Moleman!
What do you think of the Lost Boys "sequels"?
honestly haven't seen 'em
Would you rather win an oscar for best screenplay or best director?
no way to answer that and not sound like an arrogant jerk, right? I'd take either :)
Not a question. Bill and Ted, and The Lost Boys were iconic movies so I just wanna say I'm a big fan :)
Thanks so much!!
What was working with Ice Cube like on Who's the Mack?
So great. We almost got into the middle of a gang war shooting it, but it was a blast.
That's a story I wouldn't mind hearing.
would take too long to write. involved being in the wrong part of town at the wrong time. and discovering that the gang cube's posse rolled with was not welcome. and a lot of guns. and two terrified white kid directors...
anyway I could be an extra in the next bill and ted?! it'd be a check off my bucket list.
as the magic eight ball says; "it is possible"
Huge fan of Bill and Ted's, as well as Freaked!
What is your favorite moment that happened during the making of either of those films?
Seeing Mr. T walk onto set in a taffeta dress. No question.
Hi Alex! Thanks for doing this ama! I grew up watching your movies and still drop a "station!" every now and then. What was your absolute favorite moment of shooting the Bill and Ted movies?
I always wanted to be in a barroom brawl in a movie. so shooting on the wild west set was really a childhood dream come true.
How are you today?
Just Jim Dandy. And you?
You liar. You're Alex Winter.
No. Really. I... am... Jim... Dandy....
Well, fair to middlin' I'd say. Four weeks until I finish college so I have coursework coming out my ears but life is pretty stellar thank you for asking :)
Good luck with your documentary x
What upcoming movies are you really excited for this summer?
Midnight's Children, Gatekeepers, Star Trek Into Darkness, Epic, Pacific Rim, and my own movie Downloaded coming out!
clam and pancetta. white sauce.
Do you still get mistaken for Sean Penn?
hah, not anymore. I used to get mistaken for Chris Penn way back in the day. And he would get mistaken for me. He and I would laugh about it because Chris of course was like 6'4" and 200lbs. And I'm a shrimp. we couldn't have looked less alike in person.
Loved Freaked Alex! Two questions:
1) Was there any reason why Keanu wasn't credited in his role in Freaked?
2) As a filmmaker, do you have any desire to remake any particular film that you'd love to add your style of direction to?
- was some contract snafu as i recall. he's credited every where else but the US
- Yes The Gate!! Still working on getting that up and running
What are you most proud of in the entertainment industry?
I really like doing so many things so i'm proud of having been in this business since I was 10 years old, and all the variety of things I've been able to do, and the amazing people I've gotten to work with so far. I know that sounds like a vomit-inducing sugary thing to say, but I actually mean it :)
Which do you like more, acting or directing? And also, does anybody recognize you from the lost boys, or is it just bill and Ted?
I most prefer writing and directing. But I love to act too from time to time. And I get recognized for everything, every day, every where I go. Even Death Wish 3. Crazy
You were the bomb in Haunted Summer! Why don't more people know that movie?!
Thanks! Was a small indie art film. a lot of fun to make. Lake Como and Rome Italy for six months was not shabby.
What is the most common line people say to you in public?
i'll give you one guess... hint, it's one word and has three syllables
Do they air guitar after said word?
to the best of their ability :/
Do you have an oppinion on the Bill & Ted musical that was put on in the late 90's? I stumbled upon it through a fansite a while back and the soundtrack CD has been in my car ever since.
wow that one is news to me. Linda runs a great site over there. she finds everything!
"If you see me getting mighty if you see me getting high, knock me down. Im not bigger than life" How did you get the Chilli Peppers gig?
I've known those guys a long time. And Tom Stern and I directed a video for them before I acted in that one.
has there been any talk of a blu-ray release of Freaked anytime soon?
I'm talking to some companies about it now. Hopefully so. Will post when I have news.
Are you still into motorcycles? if so, what do you ride these days?
Ducati Monster S2R. Been riding about everyday since 1983. And Reeves still has the Nortons.
Now that we at least know there's going to be a Bill and Ted 3, I need to ask: Is there going to be a Bill & Ted 4?
we may do that one before BnT 3. Just cuz...
Alex, I loved Idiot Box. Anything you can tell us about a dvd release or any sketches you wanted to do, but got shot down?
The great thing about doing that was that we could do whatever we wanted. it was the wild west of MTV dipping into live action, and the early early days of cable. so it was open season.
working on a streaming deal for release. too short for dvd (or so i've been told)
In all honesty, if you could travel back to any point in history and wander about, where would it be?
hmm. Fin de Siecle Paris i think
In one of your answered you mentioned you have a movie coming out called Grand Piano with John Cusack. What was it like working with him John Cusack?
Great. I've known John for a long time. We shot this in Barcelona and we had a killer time. It's a helluva town.
Hi Alex. Loved The Lost Boys, one of those movies that defined my childhood, but my question is, what was it like to work with William Sadler in Bogus Journey?
Oh man Billy is soooo great! we cast him in Freaked as well. He is the man!
Are there any books that you would like to see made into movies? What's your favorite kind of movie to direct?
I like themes that interest me, more than genres. So i'll do something in whatever genre best suits the theme, And great short stories often make the best adaptations
Is the next Bill & Ted movie going to be called simply "Bill & Ted 3"? If so, why aren't you guys possessing any other equally awesome adjective-nouns? I feel like something-"Trip" could work, if you catch my drift ;)
Hah! that could be cool!
What is your favorite baseball team? 10 points if you say the SF Giants.
Cardinals. I'm a St. Louis boy at heart.
IMDb lists 1985 as your first role, which would mean you were 20 (DOB: 17 July 1965, right?).
Were you in anything before 1985? 20 isn't really a child actor :)
That was my first movie role. I got my sag card in 1977 acting in a KFC commercial with Colonel Sanders, then spent the rest of my teens co-starring on Broadway; in King & I with Yul Brynner, and Peter Pan with Sandy Duncan, among others. I was what they called a Broadway Brat.
What'cha been up to since the last Bill & Ted? I don't really follow the lives of actors, so I wouldn't know.
good for you, you have a life!! seriously.
I stopped acting in 1993 and turned to writing and directing full time. which I love and keeps me very busy. Do a little acting here and there just for fun. Have a movie coming out soon called Grand Piano that I acted in with Elijah Wood and John Cusack. Great Spanish director made that one; Eugenio Mira.
n b4 Karmanaut removes this for being unscheduled and/or too interesting
oh no, will i be terminated???
LOVE Bill and Ted, Freaks. Quick question, do you play guitar at all and can you play God Gave Rock 'N' Roll to You (best ending song)?
My air guitar skills are rusty, i'll admit.
Does it bother you that you'll always have to be tied to the Bill & Ted movies, and to a lesser extent Lost Boys? Would you rather not have to be known for that for your career. Though, admittedly, you seem to be taking it well.
Not at all. they're tied to my youth so they're like fun college memories.
I just want to say I love Bill and Ted's Excellent Acventure. It's a great movie.
thanks! It loves you too!
With Bill & Ted 3, please help the younger generations understand that the appropriate term for a group of attractive women is "babes", not b*tches.
View HistoryShare Link