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Jerry O'Connell recalls Kiefer Sutherland bullying Stand by Me boys to stay in character: 'We can take him now'

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While it's been more 30 years since Stand by Me walked into our lives, Jerry O'Connell is confident he can now take down one of its bullies — his former cast member Kiefer Sutherland.

The actor — and new addition to The Talk — recently responded to a "fun fact" tweet that's been well known among fans: To keep in character throughout the movie, Sutherland (who played John "Ace" Merrill) picked on his costars off camera.

"We can take him now. Anytime. Any place," O'Connell boasted.

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An adaptation of Stephen King's short story The Body, the 1986 movie is iconic and beloved for many reasons, but perhaps the biggest is the camaraderie among its group of adolescent pals played by O'Connell, Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, and Corey Feldman.

Feldman, Wheaton, and O'Connell reflected on the making of the film and Sutherland's intensity when it came to shooting it in a 2016 interview with The Wrap, implying how the closeness of the entire cast made it easy to sell those relationships.

Everett Collection (2) Kiefer Sutherland and Jerry O'Connell in 'Stand by Me'

"I remember Kiefer [Sutherland] grabs River and throws him to the ground, holding a cigarette in his face," Wheaton said of filming one particular scene. "But Kiefer wasn't really getting the front of that cigarette really close to River's face, so River said, 'Just put it right in there. I trust you… I want to use the fear of it.'"

Jerry, if you're listening, it's time to rally the troops. To say we'd be up for watching the Oregon boys take on their villainous foe once again — and this time kick his ass — would be an understatement.

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