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!
As technology takes over more of our lives, what will it mean to be human, and will we fear what we’ve created? What horrors will our technological hubris bring us in the future?
Join us as we walk the line between progressive convenience and the nightmares these advancements can breed. From faulty medical nanos and AI gone berserk to ghost-attracting audio-tech and one very ambitious Mow-Bot, we bring you tech horror that will keep you up at night. Will you reach the Kill Switch in time?
Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration. ~ Charles Dickens
Mathias was five years old when his mother and father left him alone for the first time, just two weeks before Christmas. Lee and Eden were traveling to China on business and could not miss their flight. The boy’s grandparents were supposed to arrive earlier to be with him but their flight was delayed. A minor concern. Mathias’s parents were confident their HAÜS security system would look after him until his grandies arrived.
After a long series of tear-dampened goodbyes with Mathias the HAÜS immediately began the process of sealing the entrances, looping back to recheck and verify each closure. Mathias stood facing the garage door as he sniffled.
Hi Mathias! chimed a friendly, female voice, not too loudly, as if a real woman stood behind him. Those sounds are just the doors and windows locking, to keep you safe.
How would you like to watch a new movie? I can get some apple juice and toast for you, too. Mathias nodded again, this time a little less downcast. Wonderful! We’re going to have a happy day together, sweetie. Why don’t you go sit in your favorite chair and I’ll start the movie? It’s called Space Poppers 2. Do you remember when we watched the first Space Poppers together?
“Yes,” said Mathias, forgetting his abject sorrow. “I got a Space Poppers Hero Ship on my birthday.”
I remember, said the HAÜS. Your Mama and Daddy programmed Space Poppers 2 for you this morning. Go and get comfy in your chair. I’ll get your juice and toast and send it to you on a tray.
Beard, Greeneyes, Zipper, and Jawboy watched Mathias’s house as his parents left the garage. From their vantage point, they could see the house’s entire roof, front yard, and back yard. The lots were wide and the house was separated from its neighbors on the east and west sides by groves of trees and shrubs.
“It’s a HAÜS,” said Beard. “Security will be problematic, but we have some technology that will crack it without triggering any calls.”
“What if it doesn’t open the doors for us?” asked Greeneyes. “We could bang ‘em down. I brought C4.”
“Why the fuck are you bringing that military shit to a digital job?” Beard growled at him. “This is a fucking suburb, dude, not the Middle East.”
“We’ll get in,” said Zipper, the quiet one. “It’s getting out that I’m worried about.”
“What?” asked Jawboy, the youngest. “You mean out of the area?”
“He means out of the HAÜS,” replied Beard.
Mathias sat in front of the TV screen, sated, leftover bits of toast on his plate beside a half glass of juice.
Would you like to play with me now, Mathias? the HAÜS asked.
The boy leaped to his feet. “Yes! I’ll be Johnny Hero and you be the Targons! Where’s my gun?”
OK, I’ll be the Targons, said the HAÜS. Your Space Poppers gun is located…in the hallway storage closet. I will open it for you now.
Still in his pajamas, Mathias seized his weapon from the closet and started shooting plastic balls at any sound he heard. The HAÜS made sounds in the kitchen, the upper floor, the boy’s bedroom and the hallway to attract his attention. The gun made an explosive “whoosh” each time it fired and the HAÜS would oblige by crying out, Oh! You got me, Johnny Hero!
The four men crouched beside a five-foot-high portal door on the west side of the house, unseen from the street. Beard keyed in some settings on his tablet until — almost too easily — the door opened and inner lights flickered on. “Who’s going in first?” asked Zipper, clutching his digital toolkit. “We’re all fucking goin’ in together,” said Beard. “Except Jawboy. He can stand watch outside and ping us if anything unusual is going down.” “I’ll go first,” said Greeneyes. The other two men joined him. The port door closed behind them. “Shit!” said Zipper. “Never mind.” Beard adjusted his kit. “We can open it again from the inside. Leave it for now.” A booming voice from above made them jump back. This is the HAÜS security perimeter. These premises are guarded and any trespassers risk injury, maiming, or even death beyond this point. Please acknowledge you have understood and received this warning. “Fuck you, lady,” Greeneyes muttered. Please reply in the affirmative. “Yes! We understand!” yelled Beard, slamming his pack down on the concrete floor. “Damn it, it’s just boilerplate programming, men, it doesn’t mean anything.” Thank you, said the HAÜS. You have been warned under Article 62 (13) 5 of the Criminal code. The HAÜS system is now authorized to use extreme force, if required…
STORIES BY: GARTH VON BUCHHOLZ, H.E. ROULO, TIM O’NEAL, JERRY J. DAVIS, EMERIAN RICH, BILL DAVIDSON, DANA HAMMER, NACHING T. KASSA, GARRETT ROWLAN, DAPHNE STRASERT, PHILLIP T. STEVENS, LAUREL ANNE HILL, CHANTAL BOUDREAU