Andy’s Powers In Firestarter Explained: What The “Push” Is



  • Andy’s “Push” power in Firestarter is a telepathic mind control ability that allows him to communicate his thoughts and manipulate others.
  • The effectiveness of Andy’s “Push” depends on the target’s level of intelligence and skepticism, with geniuses being less susceptible to the power.
  • The use of the “Push” power has severe mental and physical consequences for Andy, including nosebleeds and headaches, highlighting the self-destructive nature of wielding such power.



Since Andy’s “Push” power is instrumental to many narrative elements in Firestarter, here is an explanation for how it works. Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, Firestarter revolves around a young girl, Charlie, who possesses the ability to set things on fire using her mind. Instead of centering its narrative around Charlie’s pyrokinesis, the movie and the original novel use it as a narrative device to tell a story that focuses on the complexities of parenthood and the ethics of experimentation.

While Charlie is the main character in all three movie adaptations of the Stephen King novel, Andy is the deuteragonist who also has supernatural abilities like Charlie. Unlike Charlie’s pyrokinesis, Andy’s powers have an air of mystery and intrigue around them, leaving audiences curious about its inner workings and limitations. Hence, here is a breakdown of Andy’s “Push” ability from Firestarter.

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Andy’s “Push” Is A Form Of Telepathic Mind Control

Zac Efron's Andy protecting Charlie in Firestarter

Andy uses a telepathic mind control power in Firestarter, which he calls the “Push.” He acquires this ability after getting injected with an experimental chemical drug called Lot-6. With this ability, he is able to communicate his thoughts into someone else’s mind and manipulate them into doing something. In the 2023 movie, he uses his “Push” abilities to do a range of things. For instance, he convinces a client to quit smoking in the movie’s opening arc and later also uses it to console a man to give him a free ride to Boston. Despite its impressive range, Andy’s “Push” has limitations and may or may not work on everyone, with its effectiveness depending on a target’s level of intelligence.

Stephen King’s original Firestarter book confirms that the “Push” only works on people with average intelligence who are not skeptical about Andy’s intentions. When it comes to geniuses and people with unusually high levels of intelligence, Andy’s “Push” leaves little to no effect. While the 2022 movie does not delve too deep into the other aspects of Andy’s “Push” ability, the original books show how, apart from planting thoughts and ideas in someone’s mind, Andy can also extract information from his targets.

Why Andy’s Nose Bleeds When He Uses The “Push”

Zac Efron's Andy holding Charlie's hand in Firestarter

Another major limitation of the “Push” ability is that it takes a severe mental toll on Andy. As seen in 2022’s Firestarter, the mental strain from the power can give him severe nosebleeds and headaches. These after-effects of using the “Push” also suggest that prolonged usage of the ability could give Andy serious impairments such as brain hemorrhages. This mental and physical toll highlights how wielding the psychic ability is self-destructive for Firestarter‘s Andy, serving as a metaphor and cautionary symbol of how great power comes with even greater dangers and sacrifices.