Interview: Craig Hurley Talks '27 and All Washed Up,' Written by: Karen Benardello
Once people garner fame and fortune in their respective careers, particularly up-and-coming actors in Hollywood, their unwarranted descent back into obscurity can often be the most difficult obstacle they can overcome. But the most confident actors can find a way to find work again, even if it means having to reinvent themselves and starting over from the bottom again. This is certainly the case with former teen idol Craig Hurley, who described his reinvention in his new biography book '27 and All Washed Up.
'27 And All Washed Up' follows Hurley, who is best known for his television roles in the late '80s, on classics such as 'Nasty Boys' and 'Life Goes On,' as he chronicles his roller coaster ride of drugs, sex and excessive living as a leader of the "young Hollywood" pack. Compiled from the conversations during a four-year interview with his friend and fellow actor Zak Wilson, Hurley recounts the sometime humorous and always meaningful story of his years in the fast lane. Through a selection of photos, conversations and memorabilia from Hurley's private collection, the actor, director and writer chronicles growing up, and working, with such stars as Corey Feldman, Todd Bridges, Corey Haim, and Shannen Doherty.
Hurley took the time to discuss why he decided to write, and chronicle his life in, '27 and All Washed Up' over the phone recently. Among other things, the actor and filmmaker spoke about why he didn't worry about receiving backlash from his former co-stars and the other Hollywood heavyweights he wrote about; his writing and directing plans for the future; and what up-and-coming actors could learn from his generation.
Question (Q): In your new book, '27 and All Washed Up,' you give an unfiltered and raw insight into your years as a child and teen actor in Hollywood. Why did you decide to write the book, and give readers an understanding of your life?
Craig Hurley (CH): I was living in Chicago after living in Los Angeles for 17 years, and I moved back to Chicago to help my family out with some family business. My parents are older, and they're basically retired. So I needed to help them finalize some stuff.
While I was in Chicago, I just missed the opportunity to audition for 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' for Steppenwolf when I moved back. Wheaton Drama was holding auditions for 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' and I've always wanted to do that play. It's the most amazing play ever written. So I went and auditioned, and booked the part of Billy Bibbit.
The cast is made up of 18 cast members. While we were rehearsing, somebody would talk to me and say, tell us a story about beating up Luke Perry on '90210.' Or tell us a story about meeting about Johnny Depp on '21 Jump Street.' They were constantly saying, tell us this story or tell us that story.
One of the actors, Zak Wilson, during the rehearsal process was like, Craig, you have to write this down. You have to write a book and get these stories down. I'm like, no, I'm not going to write a book. He goes, you have to. He bugged me for months, for three months during the rehearsal and during the run of the play.
He finally came up to me, and said, I really want to interview you, and I want to record it. I was like, dude, I don't want to write a book. He said, you can transcribe the tapes into a book, and I'm like, no, I don't want to go through this process. Finally, he came up to me at the end of the run of the play, and said, no interview, no book. No book, no book tour. I was like, okay, fine, I'll do it.
We sat down for literally four years about 12 different times. We were drinking at a local bar, and he was asking me questions about my resume. We went through every single job, and I would tell him stories about them. As I was transcribing all those tapes, it just became its own thing.
I was sitting there, thinking, this isn't anything, I'm just telling drunken stories. But it became this Rolling Stone-type interview. So that's how we put it together. Then when people were reading what I thought was a final copy, they were like, you have to add images and all this stuff. These were members of Scrappy Co. Productions who were helping me out who lived '27 and All Washed Up.' That was 2005, and now it's 2012, and we're finally getting it down.
To continue reading this interview, please visit Yahoo! Voices.