we love the '80s

’90s Heartthrob Nick Carter Takes Us Back to the ’80s With His Favorite Films of the Era

Photo by Justin Segura.

Pop superstardom as we know it today exists in large part due to a handful of stars from the ’90s, like teen dream Nick Carter, the founder of  The Backstreet Boys, the best-selling boy band of all time. Pop music has been Carter’s raison d’être ever since he first appeared on the music scene along with his bandmates, AJ McLean, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, and Howie Dorough. Over the span of nearly three decades, Carter and the boys, much like their contemporaries—NSYNC, The Spice Girls, Britney Spears, et al—have continued to shape the charts, even as they faded from them. Recently, Carter appeared on the wildly popular tv show The Masked Singer in a sparkling head-to-toe pink crocodile costume. Promptly after his appearance, he and the Backstreet Boys fed hungry fans with “Matches,” a long-time coming collaboration with Spears, in an effort to bring some joy to the world. Now, for the first time in five years, Carter has released a new single titled “80’s Movie,” a nostalgic pop anthem that recalls the genre’s glory days. The song, he says, “encapsulates everything that I am right now in my life, the things that I love—something that represents me outside of the Backstreet Boys.” In the spirit of “80’s Movie,” we asked the pop star to give us his favorite classics, from E.T. to The Breakfast Club. Nick Carter’s back, alright. 


The Evil Dead

“So, a funny thing is I had never fully finished or watched The Evil Dead. I’ve written and directed and acted in B-horror movies and stuff like that, and I’m pretty educated on the different horror movies, especially from the ’80s. Then, I watched it all the way through this Halloween. I think it’s one of the best campy horror movies ever—top five, in my opinion. No wonder they were able to do so many spin-offs.”


 Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark

“All of those Steven Spielberg Indiana Jones movies never get old. You can’t deny George Lucas and Spielberg, they were so epic. I miss movies like that. I think that’s why we love 80s movies so much, because they just don’t make them like those anymore.”


Police Academy

“I’m just so excited that you’re asking me about Police Academy because I annoy the crap out of my wife because I literally watch Police Academy all the time. That was one of the movies that I would watch over and over and over again. I know all the characters—Mahoney, Hightower, you name them, Sweetchuck. I love physical comedy. I loved how it was just so controversial. I haven’t revisited it in a little while because all I’m watching is Disney movies and YouTube with my children, but it’s always on playback. I’ll tell you one of my favorite parts of Police Academy, my favorite character ever, was Bobcat Goldthwait’s character. I think his name was Zed. He was in the gang and then he went into the academy and then became a cop. Bobcat Goldthwait was like god back then for me.”


Back to the Future

“Those movies made your imagination come to life. They lit our brains up. Our neurons were just firing from the make-believe and the characters. That’s another thing, too: character, character, character. I feel like a lot of movies are missing characters nowadays and that’s why they’re turning to watch older movies, because where is the imagination? Where’s the fun? Where’s the play? Not everything has to be so serious anymore. And I think people are longing for that.”


The Breakfast Club

“That’s what it is. The Breakfast Club for sure is ‘80’s Movie.’ I always loved Emilio Estevez during those times. Another movie I loved was Young Guns. He was one of my favorite actors. His character was one of my favorites for sure. I like the jock too, but Estevez was my favorite.” 


Child’s Play

“A lot of people don’t realize that that doll was based on a doll down in Key West called Robert the Doll. It’s still on display down in Key West, and you can see it on the haunted tours when things open back up again. You’ve got to love Chucky. I visited the doll. You’ve got to be careful, because if you take a picture without Robert the Doll’s permission, he will haunt you. So you’ve got to ask, ‘Hey, can I take your picture?’ Then you take it. If you don’t, then you have to write a letter back because there’s this wall of letters that have been written where people are basically saying, ‘We’re sorry, Robert. We didn’t mean to take the picture. My life is falling apart.’ Just make sure you ask for permission before you take the picture.”


 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

“Love it. Started Matthew Broderick’s career, it was one of the ones that broke him out. Another movie that’s just classic. Obviously, when you look back at those times, whether it was Breakfast Club or any of the John Hughes movies, it’s always about teenagers coming into adulthood and trying to find themselves. That was really cool to see that perspective. I’ve got to go watch it right now.”



“Well, when it comes to extraterrestrials and movies, and a lovable character from outer space, everybody has watched E.T. I’ll never forget when the ride first came out at Universal Studios, Orlando. I just thought that was so much fun, where you could just ride the bike into the sky and everything. I hope one day that we get back to movies like E.T. Everyone wants to feel good again.”