Judge Reinhold Says “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” Masturbation Scene 'Was Just Humiliating' to Film

The actor told 'Vanity Fair' that he "just went with it" when it came time to shoot the scene for the 1982 classic

<p>Jason Merritt/Getty, Alamy</p> Judge Reinhold

Jason Merritt/Getty, Alamy

Judge Reinhold

Judge Reinhold is dissecting one of the most infamous scenes in Fast Times at Ridgemont High — and explaining why it "was just humiliating" for him at the time.

The Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F actor, now 67, revealed in a new interview with Vanity Fair that his character's masturbation scene in 1982's Fast Times was "one of maybe the dumbest and one of the bravest things I’ve ever done."

"If you take that scene out of context, it’s kind of creepy," he said of the scene — in which his character of Brad Hamilton pleasures himself while thinking of Phoebe Cates’ character (who then walks in on him). "But to me, it was very funny when I read the script, because it was just a matter of how much more can he endure?"

"Obviously it was simulated, but it was an extremely personal thing, and it was just humiliating," Reinhold recalled. "At one point, we’d done a few takes where she catches me, and I said, 'I’ve got to go. I just had to get out.' [Director] Amy [Heckerling] followed me, and I remember she said, 'Look, it’s a love scene — only it’s with yourself.' "

Related: Cameron Crowe Says Abortion Plot in Fast Times at Ridgemont High Would Be 'Controversial' Today

<p>Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock </p> Judge Reinhold (left) and Phoebe Cates in 1982's 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'


Judge Reinhold (left) and Phoebe Cates in 1982's 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'

Heckerling's advice, the actor said, "cracked us up."

"I just remember that so vividly on the sidewalk. We were laughing. She was my bud," Reinhold said, adding that filming the intimate scene "wasn’t easy" for him.

"When I read the script, I thought it was just so funny. But when it came time that day…. I don’t know how it was for Phoebe," he said. "I think we were both awkward ... The audience doesn’t realize it, nor should they have to think about it, but it’s not easy, that stuff. I just went with it. One thing that made [performing] it easy was that I was incredibly uncomfortable"

Reinhold secured the part in Fast Times after he and the film's director lived in the same duplex and as he was dating her assistant at the time, Carrie Frazier, he shared with Vanity Fair,

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Nicolas Cage was also up for the role of Brad, but he was "reluctantly" let go since he was 17 at the time and took on a bit part instead. It marked his first film role.

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"Then it hit Amy: 'Wait a minute, Judge could pull this off.' So she said, 'You’ve got to come in and meet Art Linson, the producer, but you can’t tell him that we know each other because then he won’t take you seriously,'" Reinhold recalled.

"Amy was in the room, and Carrie was in the room — my girlfriend — and I had to pretend like I was meeting them for the first time. I read for it several times, and then, as if I wasn’t in the room, Art looked at me and says, 'Look at him, he’s as old as Ed Asner!' I was 23. I could tell that my fate was being decided right then."

The Fast Times cast was rounded out with the likes of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sean Penn, Robert Romanus and Forest Whitaker — and the movie has since been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2005, per IMDB, and ended up grossing over $27 million on a $4.5 million budget.

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