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In a heartwarming display of friendship and nostalgia, Wil Wheaton and Jerry O'Connell, co-stars of the iconic 1986 film Stand By Me, recently proved that their bond extends far beyond the silver screen. As the The Secret of NIMH alum celebrated his 51st birthday, O'Connell took to social media to share a touching tribute and perfect Stephen King reference that will surely leave fans feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Additionally, it even garnered an emotional response from the Star Trek: The Next Generation alum.
The Instagram post shared by the Scream 2 actor featured an endearing snapshot of him and the birthday boy. It specifically captures a moment where Jerry O'Connell gently planted a kiss on Wil Wheaton's forehead. The accompanying caption was nothing short of heartfelt, as it quoted a line that will immediately resonate with fans of Stand By Me. It reads, "Never had friends like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone? Happy BDay @itswilwheaton." That first sentence holds particular significance, as it calls back to the poignant closing moments of the 1986 film, which is an adaptation of Stephen King's short story The Body. Wheaton couldn't help but comment on the post with the following sentiments:
I've heard that phrase since we were twelve. Today is the first time it made me cry. I'm so grateful we are still in each other's lives.
They seem to share a close friendship, one that's seemingly been strengthened in recent years. The Wesley Crusher actor has been candid about the challenges he faced as a child actor and how those experiences profoundly influenced his portrayal in the timeless coming-of-age film. His openness in discussing past traumas prompted a response from his childhood co-star, who expressed regret for not being aware of the actor's struggles during that time.
Directed by Rob Reiner, Stand By Me brought together a group of promising young talents, including the late River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and of course, Jerry O'Connell and Wil Wheaton. Their performances sparked undeniable on-screen chemistry and a genuine sense of camaraderie. When it comes to O'Connell and Wheaton, it seems clear that the bond has extended beyond the movie set and helped form a lasting off-screen relationship. Check out the lovely birthday tribute from the former for yourself down below:
A photo posted by on
The heartwarming exchange between the former child stars is a testament to the enduring power of true friendships, even amidst Hollywood's demanding and ever-changing landscape. Childhood bonds are vital in many cases, but one could argue that's especially true when it comes to the sometimes cut-throat entertainment industry. To put it simply, it's downright wonderful to see that these two men are still chums so many years later. Here's to another wonderful year of life for Wil Wheaton!
If you want to revisit the excellent work of Jerry O’Connell and Wil Wheaton, which continues to inspire coming-of-age stories, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, please note that, as of this writing, the movie is not available on any subscription streaming platforms. However, you can rent or purchase it digitally from major online retailers. For collectors of physical media, the 4K edition released in 2019 is also a great choice, as it features a director's commentary from Rob Reiner, deleted scenes and a making-of documentary.
And to stay updated on upcoming movie releases and plan your next trip to the cinema, be sure to check out our schedule of 2023 new movie releases.