Fireflies hover above the open canopy of our tent‒‒ Ah…they are only stars, not insects. They have no light for me. Newcastle Island is dark, and smells of seawater and camp fires. All that touches me is by my side—warm, breathing, dreaming. The pinpoint holes in the heavens cannot light the colours below, and my electric torch is more brilliant than any star, because it is ours. The learned astronomers tell us galaxies are collapsing and exploding but I feel more heat from your breath than those trillion stellar blazes Whitman told us he look’d up in perfect silence at the stars, and I have been in awe before, but soon we will visit those endless continents and dry our feet on their shores; for now, the barely glowing mortals beneath the canvas are fragile as moonlight on the waves, and will shine longer than the faint sparks above.
Stephen King’s epic novel The Stand will be rebooted in 2020 with a new 10-episode series on CBS AllAccess. The series is currently in production in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The Stand was first adapted for network television in 1994 (now available in HD on Blu-ray edition) and is still beloved to fans because of its excellent and ambitious treatment of an expansive plotline and a vast number of characters and extras but limited to only four tightly woven episodes. In the 1994 version, Corin Nemec played the pivotal role of Harold Lauder, a brilliant but awkward outcast whose character arc leads him from lovestruck teen to mass murderer. Nemec is a seasoned television actor (Supernatural, Stargate SG-1, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose), director, producer, author and screenwriter. We interviewed him this month about his memories of The Stand 1994.
Hey Corin, it’s so great to hear from you and be able to talk to you about The Stand and your part in the last miniseries version in 1994, a real TV classic. Are you excited to see the new version of The Stand in 2020? What are you hoping they can achieve with this new version?
I am excited to see the new version of The Stand, but at the same time the miniseries was so well executed, director Mick Garris did such a phenomenal job and with six hours to tell the story, the original mini-series version was exceptional and stands the test of time.
People loved your performance as the tragic Harold Lauder, but some fans of the books complained because your Harold wasn’t overweight in the beginning, as the book portrays him. But I think your performance captured his slow transformation from insecure nerd to a confident and angry young man. What were your challenges when you were playing Harold?
Stephen King and Mick Garris searched far and wide for an actor they believed could portray the role of Harold Lauder who also fit the physical description from the novel. They went to LA, Miami, NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco, but were not satisfied with the performances. I had auditioned for Sleep Walkers, which Mick Garris directed and he wanted me for a role in that, but I did not fit the physical description in that either, and the studio passed on me. Mick had been in Stephen’s ear for weeks about me and was certain I could play the part of Harold even though I did not fit the description. Finally Stephen agreed to bring me in and after my audition decided that Mick was right and with Stephen’s support they were able to push me through, and with that incredible support I won the role of a lifetime. Playing Harold and working with such an amazing cast and crew was epic. One the best times of my life.
How did you like working with some of the other famous or emerging actors in the cast, such as Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald? What was that like?
Working with an all-star cast like the one in The Stand was really humbling. To be included in that strong of a cast was a dream come true, especially with such a prominent and important role as playing Harold Lauder.
Tell us about what you liked and disliked about the 1994 version of The Stand.
In all honesty there is NOTHING I did not like from the mini-series The Stand. I think that it was perfectly executed for the time and still plays very well with age.
Do you ever have fans coming up to you who remember you as Harold? Harold had some great catchphrases such as “Every dog has his day” and “Don’t screw with my disco!”
Yes, when I go to conventions for appearances, there is not ONE that does not have fans of The Stand mini-series attending. I hope that the new film will draw attention back to the 1994 version so a younger generation can get a load of the beauty of the original.
Have you ever thought that there are some scary similarities between Harold’s personality and so-called “incels” who become mass murderers?
This thought really never crossed my mind. In reality, Harold was grossly manipulated into becoming the traitorous malcontent he eventually became. Had Nadine never entered the picture, Harold would never have taken action.
Do you have any interesting stories or anecdotes you can share with us about the filming of The Stand 1994? What were your best memories from it?
My best memories were of the lunches we had on set, so many incredible personalities and talents from all walks of life representing many departments and each of them at the top of their game. The comradery on and off set was very memorable and not one person walked away from that production the same as when they started.
You’ve had many film and TV roles over the years since The Stand, such as Stargate SG-1, but you’re also a screenwriter. What new projects are you working on now?
Writing has always been a great passion and I am constantly working on something new, but it has proven very difficult to get any of my scripts produced. I have released many of my screenplays on Lulu.com and if you go to this website and search my name Corin Nemec you will find a bunch available for purchase with original cover-art design by me. All are hard-back prints as well. You may also find some photo books by me, some poetry books and if you search Lulu.com for “Venice High” you will find what I call a scripted-novel–this is just a very detailed and descriptive story that is written in a script format. Hope you like to read because there is a lot to choose from!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with fans of The Stand 1994 and the upcoming reboot of The Stand in 2020 on CBS AllAccess?
Nothing that I can think, just happy to see people talking about it again!