MW: Please introduce yourself?
SS: Hello, I’m Scott Schwartz, I was in films such as “The Toy” as Jackie Gleason’s son who buy’s Richard Pryor and “A Christmas Story” as Flick who get’s his tongue stuck to the frozen pole.
MW: What are you most known for?
SS: Well since they decided to put “A Christmas Story” on 24 hrs during Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, I’m now known as the infamous kid who got his tongue stuck to a frozen pole.
MW: How did you get the part as Eric Bates in The Toy?
SS: I got cast in the part, thru several thousands of kids, I was fortunate enough to have been cast in such a cool role.
MW: Tell me about playing Eric Bates in The Toy?
SS: Eric was a fun kid, was in a dysfunctional family who’s only thought was “what can buy this kid next” … 95% of the film is upbeat and happy and made it easy for me to do, the other 5% was a bit emotional and harder, but Richard Donner the director helped quite a bit to get me thru those days of shooting.
MW: How was it working with Richard Pryor?
SS: Awesome Awesome AWESOME ! Richard Pryor was one of the coolest guys I’ve ever known, no ego, just a dam amazing human being. Kind, sincere, sweet, generous, truly a man I miss each and everyday. He was my big brother from the day I met him till the day he passed away.
MW: How was it working with Jackie Gleason?
SS: Mr. Gleason wasn’t an easy nut to crack but he liked the fact that I was 4 1/2 feet tall and did impressions of him from The Honeymooners and Smokey and the Bandit. He laughed when I would do Sheriff Buford T. Justice .. made working with him easy. He taught me how to shoot pool, gave me great insight about movie making and adlibbing, as did Richard Pryor for that matter, both were amazing showmen.
MW: What did you learn from those to legends?
SS: Way to much to write but I will say I learned a TON about movie making, being responsible on a movie set and I always kept my eyes and ears opened around them, like a sponge really. There was something to learn each and everyday.
MW: Tell me a story about being on the set of The Toy?
SS: One story … there were hundreds but I guess I’d say hanging with Richard Pryor at 11:32pm 4-5 nights a week, see, the Honeymooners was on at 11-11:30pm and he knew I was watching it so he’d call me right after to come over to his room and we’d play Mattel Intellivision for several hours, I’d go to bed at 3-4 am and get up at 5:45 to go to the set, I didn’t get much sleep but I had a blast!
MW: What was your favorite scene in The Toy?
SS: Tough, Really tough to pick one. Spending 4 months with 2 comedic legends and Richard Donner who directed Superman, The Omen … that is just an experience I can’t boil down to one scene.
MW: After The Toy you would go on to play Flick in A Christmas Story. How did you get the part?
SS: Bob Clark the director of “ACS” was in the final casting stages, I had just gotten home from shooting another film called “KIDCO”.. The Toy had just opened in the theatres and he called me in for a look-see. We spoke for a bit, had lunch, came back and an hour later I was cast in “ACS”.
MW: Tell me about playing Flick in A Christmas Story?
SS: Flick .. basically a working vacation . I had 16 lines in the script and was scheduled to work 5 weeks ! Ended up working 5 1/2 weeks but I was putting in 2 days a week at most, 5-6 hours a day, except for the 1 day of the “flagpole” scene. Flick was fun, just a fun kid.
MW: How was it to work with the late great Bob Clark?
SS: Bob Clark was terrific, for me very easy to work with. He had a great sense of timing, knew I had done adlibbing before with Pryor / Gleason so he just let me do my thing. The flagpole scene said “Flick puts tongue on pole” and that’s it .. He said “do what U want and if I don’t like it, I’ll tell you” … He didn’t say much but “that was great” .. so for me to work with Bob was easy. Again, a sweetheart of a man, he passed away too soon and myself along with the other cast members miss him, his sense of joy in life and his smile.
MW: Who did you have the most fun working with on A Christmas Story?
SS: Peter Billingsley aka Ralphie.. Peter and I had a blast ! Playing video games, throwing water balloons out windows, ordering food for Bob Clark that he’d never turn down, it was a great joy to do the film. OF course now 30 years later, I’m closest with Zack Ward aka Scut Farkus the bully. Zack and I talk several times a week and my family is very close to him as well.
MW: Tell me all about your tongue and the pole?
SS: Really ? LOL it was a fake plastic pole, a whole in it with a vacuum tube on the inside, imaging putting your hand on a vacuum and it getting stuck, basically that’s what it was just a smaller hole for just the tip of my tongue to be stuck there. It was not painful at all, just frigid cold made it uncomfortable.
MW: After all these years what do you think of all the fans of A Christmas Story?
SS: The fans are great, for the most part they are very gracious when they meet me or the other cast members. Some are really die-hards and I guess every great film has those, I say great film as we are in the National Registry and only 624 other films can say that. I enjoy meeting the fans as long as they realize we are just people, like themselves, we have bills, mortgages, and so on … Once in a great while a fan will ask for something that we can’t provide “like for free” but otherwise they are pretty cool overall.
MW: What did you think when NECA made a action figure of you?
SS: I thought it was pretty dam cool ! What else can I say, just being a kid from New Jersey to get an action figure just like Evil Knivel or The Six Million Dollar Man or Kiss … Mega COOL!
MW: What conventions are you doing in 2014?
SS: Not sure yet but I’ll for sure be at the Chiller Theatre convention in April in Parsippany, New Jersey.. I may not be signing there but I’ll be there. It’s the BEST show on the East Coast in my opinion ! I may be at the Phoenix Comic con, as I may be at the Pittsburgh Comic con and of course towards the end of the year I’ll be at others once the holidays are upon us.
MW: What do you have going on these days?
SS: I do quite a few jobs, working with my dad in his sports & movie collectibles store in Woodland Hills, CA… Baseball Cards – Movie Collectibles. I acquire celebrity autographs for trading card companies such as Leaf, Press Pass, Topps, Panini and others. I am finishing up a book that should be out mid 2014, starting to do some motivational speaking… so I stay quite busy.
MW: How can fans reach out to you for autographs?
SS: Find me at an event, I am at Chiller Theatre in NJ both in April & October, I’m normally at the Hollywood Show in Los Angeles and other shows/ appearances around the country.
MW: What else would you like to say in closing?
SS: May everyone have a Blessed, Happy, Healthy & Merry Christmas & of course a wonderful New Year. See U all in 2014!