Jerry O’Connell on losing friends and neighbors during AIDS crisis

It’s just life. That’s just what happens.”

Watch the full episode of   The Jess Cagle Interview, streaming now on People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). “It was like an episode of   RuPaul’s Drag Race   on steroids.”

Show Full Article “It was a crazy time, but when you’re a kid, you don’t know any different. I was [in] drag at the age of   8, going to the Halloween parade back   before it was a crap show.”
“It was just one block and the costumes were amazing,” O’Connell adds. In the latest edition of   The Jess Cagle Interview   with PEOPLE and   Entertainment Weekly‘s Editorial Director   Jess Cagle, the former child actor opens up about growing up in Chelsea, New York, during the 1980s’ AIDS   epidemic and losing people close to him. “Most kids in the ’70s were   putting on plastic outfits and   being Spiderman or Batman …. Go to   PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, Xfinity, iOS and Android devices. On the other hand, O’Connell also   reminisces of happier days from the era. “I was born in [1974], and not to bring everybody down too much, but I was six   around 1980 … right when all this was happening.”
“My mother’s boss, a lot of very close friends of the family, all went to St Vincent’s, which was a hospital right downtown,” the 42-year-old continues. “When you grow up in Chelsea and you grow up in a very flamboyant neighborhood, Halloween is a pretty crazy time,” he said. This article   originally appeared on PEOPLE.com
When   Jerry O’Connell   was still just a young boy, one of America’s most   culture-shifting   health crises hit very close to home. “It got a little sad because a lot of people passed away from AIDS,   which happened really quickly,” O’Connell recalls of his childhood.