Long before he starred in “Revenge of the Nerds”, Detroit-born actor Curtis Armstrong knew what it was like to be a real-life nerd. As a child, Armstrong says he often felt like an outsider.
“I was not really very good at sports or anything that required any physicality at all,” Armstrong recalls in an interview with WDET’s Pat Batcheller. “I was picked on a lot.”
33 years after the film’s release, Armstrong has written a memoir of his work in show business and his youth in Berkley. “Revenge of the Nerd: the Singular Adventures of the Man Who Would Be Booger” is due out in July.
Armstrong says he interviewed several of his co-stars for the book. He says that they’ve come to appreciate the movie and be proud of it. He admits that’s not how they felt when they started making the movie.
“We thought it was low-rent and kind of stupid, and we all considered ourselves above this sort of nonsense, which is, of course, in retrospect, ridiculous,” Armstrong says.
At first he wasn’t especially fond of his own role, playing “Booger”. Now, Armstrong says he’s come to terms with the character. He also says he’s surprised when people who don’t fit the traditional image of a nerd come up to him today.
“They’re clearly jocks, and they will come up to me and say, ‘you know, “Revenge of the Nerds” was really important to me because that was my story,’” Armstrong says.
Curtis Armstrong was born at Detroit’s Harper Hospital. After living in Switzerland for a few years, his family moved back to Michigan, and he attended Berkley Schools. He says that’s where he became involved in theater. He has a recurring role in the Fox sitcom “New Girl”, playing “Principal Foster”. He also appeared in many other films and TV series, including “American Dad”, “Supernatural”, and “Moonlighting”.
Armstrong will screen “Revenge of the Nerds” at the historic Redford Theater, 17360 Lahser north of Grand River Ave. Friday, May 19 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 20 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Click on the audio player to hear the conversation with WDET’s Pat Batcheller