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Nicki Gostin

Jerry O'Connell On Broadway's 'Seminar,' Rebecca Romijn, Kids

Jerry Oconnell

First Posted: 12/13/2011 12:49 pm Updated: 12/13/2011 1:09 pm

We're used to seeing Jerry O'Connell on television, but these days the actor can be found on a stage alongside Alan Rickman in the tart and smart "Seminar." The New York City native makes his Broadway debut in the show, playing an utterly pompous Manhattan writer in a creative writing class -- a character he brings to life thanks to some real-life inspiration.

O'Connell spoke to The Huffington Post about working with Rickman, being married to model Rebecca Romijn, raising his adorable twin girls and, yes, still being recognized as "the fat kid" from the 1986 movie "Stand by Me."

You play a pretty pretentious writer in "Seminar." Have you ever met people like that in real life?

Growing up, I did know people like that because they're all over New York. I went to NYU; it's a more cool, artsy school, but they were a couple of people like that there. I'm basing [the character] a little bit on a guy I went to college with. I'm not even worried about him realizing it because even if he reads this, he wouldn't realize that he's that pretentious. Pretentious people never know how annoying they are.

What is it like to share the stage with Alan Rickman in the play?

The only downside of Alan Rickman is that whenever you go out with him, he always picks up the check.

And that's a bad thing because...?

It's starting to become annoying. I mean, you have to be really fast with a check with that guy. Before you even go into the restaurant you have to make sure you have your credit card out. But I really can't say enough nice things about him. I'm a little older so I remember him from some of his earlier work, whereas everyone I talk to can't believe I'm doing a play with Snape [from the "Harry Potter" movies]. I'm also quite cognizant to not bother him. I can't tell you how many people want me to get him to autograph a "Harry Potter" book or Blu-Ray.

I did try to tell him a joke that I don’t think he got. I said, "Hey can you believe that Kardashian wedding lasted as long as Voldemort's nose?" It was the first and last Kardashian joke I'll make with Alan Rickman.

Can you believe you married supermodel Rebecca Romijn?

I'm still shocked and astonished that it happened. I thank my lucky stars.

Still double-bolting the door?

No, we're stuck with each other now. We have these girls [twins Dolly and Charlie, almost 3]. We really don't want to get a divorce because we're afraid one of us is going to get stuck with the children.

How are your daughters doing these days?

We're going through potty training so there are a lot of chocolate M&M's around. I'm sure parents will be up in arms about this, but I have a lot of problems dressing my girls to go to school. I have a lot of problems brushing their hair, so I've been bribing them with M&M's -- not too many times a day, so parents' groups can calm down -- but when I desperately need to brush one of my daughters' hair. Because I can't send her to school with a rat's nest, I just can't, or someone will call child services on me. And this girl just won't let me brush her hair. What can I do?

Now I have two options. I can hold her down and brush her hair, which I've done. You have to pin her down like you're Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and brush her hair, or I can say, "I will offer you a blue M&M if you just stand there for 20 seconds and let me brush the nits out of your hair." If anyone has any other ideas they can share them with me in the comments section. I'm sorry; I should offer them carrot sticks, but they just don't have the same value as an M&M.

I know you're probably sick of talking about this, but I still can't believe you were the fat kid in "Stand by Me."

It's just who I am, what are you going to do? I get it all the time in New York, especially from construction workers who yell across avenues, "Hey fat kid from 'Stand by Me.' You married Rebecca Romijn," and there's nothing you can do about it.

The other day I was coming back from Trader Joe's. I'm carrying four bags and I'm hoping they don't break on me, and these construction guys started yelling. It was relentless. They're crazy about the fact that I'm the fat kid from "Stand by Me" who married Rebecca Romijn. If I was one of their co-workers, I would have thought it was really funny. In all honesty, it's what you've got to love about New York.

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