Judge Reinhold talks about THIS scene that was the ‘Dumbest’ and ‘Bravest’

Actor Judge Reinhold recently reflected on his iconic role as Brad Hamilton in the 1982 hit rom-com “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” In a candid interview with Vanity Fair, Reinhold discussed one of the film’s most memorable scenes—the self-love scene where his on-screen crush, Linda Barrett, catches him in the act.

Reinhold described the scene as both “one of maybe the dumbest and one of the bravest things” he’s ever done. Initially finding it hilarious when he read the script, Reinhold saw it as a test of how much his character could endure. However, filming the scene proved to be a different experience altogether.


“Obviously it was simulated, but it was an extremely personal thing, and it was just humiliating,” Reinhold admitted. He recounted the challenges of filming multiple takes and feeling embarrassed enough to rush off set. Director Amy Heckerling followed him and reassured him with a humorous perspective: “Look, it’s a love scene — only it’s with yourself.” This comment lightened the mood and helped Reinhold get through the scene.

Reflecting on the intimate scenes in general, Reinhold acknowledged their difficulty, noting that his co-star Phoebe Cates also found them challenging. “The audience doesn’t realize it, nor should they have to think about it, but it’s not easy, that stuff,” he emphasized.

Regarding how he landed the role of Brad Hamilton, Reinhold shared an interesting backstory. At the time, he was living in a duplex with Amy Heckerling and was dating her assistant, Carrie Frazier. Initially, Nicolas Cage was considered for the role, but when he backed out, Heckerling pushed for Reinhold to audition. Despite the awkwardness of auditioning in front of his girlfriend and Heckerling’s assistant (whom he couldn’t reveal his relationship with to the film’s producer), Reinhold ultimately won the role.

“Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” known for its star-studded cast including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sean Penn, Brian Backer, and Robert Romanus, remains a classic portrayal of teenage life in California, resonating with audiences for its humor and authenticity.