Eric Roberts is easily one of the hardest working men in the film industry. For years he has delivered a wide range of films from blockbusters such as The Expendables and The Dark Knight to TV with appearances on Burn Notice and The Finder to smaller pictures like this latest The Whole Truth. With each character he brings something unique to the role and is clearly ready to take on any role head on. I had the chance to sit down with this legendary actor to discuss his new film and his career.
Bobby: How did you get involved your latest film The Whole Truth?
Eric: It came in as an offer and I read it and thought what fun. It’s about this character who is an acting coach, but her client list are these incredibly bad people, the felonious criminals and she coaches them to come across sympathetic to the jury and she has a 100% track record. So I am a very bad Russian mobster and she takes care of me and teaches me how to be on the witness stand. I’m not innately funny as an actor, but I can be funny with funny dialogue, but I’m not a comic, but I worked with one of the funniest men on the planet, Rick Overton and I just depended on Rick on how to be funny and he actually got me through this movie. This movie is a statement on our legal system and it’s entertaining and I hope everybody will give it its 90 minute shot, because it’s really funny.
Bobby: You are very funny in the movie and give the stand out performance of the whole thing.
Eric: Thank you brother, that is so nice to say.
Bobby: Your welcome, one of the best parts is your first appearance in the film. Did you have anything to do with the look of your character or was it written that way?
Eric: Wait a minute are you making fun of me?
Bobby: No I thought it was great.
Eric: I’m kidding, it was a ridiculous look. It was described in the script as the blonde wig doesn’t fit. So I arrive in the overdressed very 80’s look with the blonde wig and it was just too ridiculous to be ignored.
Bobby: What about the original look with the long hair and balding that was so great, was that also the way he was supposed to originally look?
Eric: Yeah that is how it was scripted.
Bobby: You have done so many different films in different genres, and also seem to add something new to each character. With this one did you have a lot of improve stuff or was it all the way it was written because the character is a bit all over the place.
Eric: It was written like that. There is nothing improved there, it was all scripted. This guy that I’m playing is not healthy intellectually and such a fish out of water in the legal system which is what attracted me the part. It’s also judgment on the legal system, where what you present as the truth as opposed to the facts and how the package is held out and not what is in the package necessarily. This is movie delivers a great understanding of that crime in our legal system that it’s about what is being presented instead of the actual truth. Hence the ironic title The Whole Truth.
Bobby: You always seem to have a unique take on the roles you take. Is there a particular approach you take on picking your projects, because you seem to work in almost every genre? Is there something you look for or is it just the love of doing it?
Eric: I love acting only second to the love I have for my wife and daughter. Acting gets me out of bed in the morning and for about the first 10 years of my career I did what you are supposed to do and try to become a movie star. I did one movie a year and then you go on the big press tours, support the movie going on talk shows, but it wasn’t really feeding my soul because I was only working maybe 3 months a year. It was just a long, long slow boring process not exciting at all except on the set. Then they gave my Oscar to another actor, who I felt wasn’t Oscar worthy, so I went to my agent and said it’s not quality their after, its quantity. I will do anything anywhere if there is one good thing about it, great script, great co-star, great director, great wardrobe, and great location whatever it is I’m in. So I have been working nonstop since then, I love my life and I have seen the world for free. Having seen the world for free, I know I have the best job on the planet and I am thankful every day.
Bobby: I know you are promoting the Whole Truth, but being a martial artist I have to ask about Best of the Best. It was one of my favorite films coming up.
Eric: Ah, thank you pal.
Bobby: How did you get involved in the project and do you have an actual martial arts background or is just something you learned for the film?
Eric: You know I hate being interviewed about this, because as soon as it’s in print, someone wants to fight. I’m telling you the truth, after that movie came out and I talked about it on a couple of talk shows and talking about my martial arts history. I would go out and someone would grab my shirt and say “Let’s go Eric.” Of course I was just come on man, so to be honest I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s just say I am an actor who did a great movie with Best of the Best, a good movie with Best of the Best 2 and two terrible movies that I would not be a part of in 3 and 4.
Bobby: As a martial artist who has dealt with that similar situation I understand and respect that completely.
Eric: Thanks brother I appreciate that.
Bobby: That movie had a big impact on my martial arts career as I used to study all those types of films while I was coming up and they became more than movies to me and was a big inspiration to me.
Eric: I love hearing that, thank you.
Bobby: I know you’re out promoting this film and have a long list of stuff in the works, but are there any other films or projects you would like to promote?
Eric: I have two movies coming up. One is called The Mark from Pure Flix Entertainment, that’s a fun action flick to watch. Then I have a really truly great film called Lovelace with Amanda Seyfried and she is spectacular. She plays Linda Lovelace and she is unbelievable. I play the lie-detector man and am in an out of the whole movie. She gives a performance that is Oscar worthy and is going to be heralded for this performance.
Bobby: The Mark is the one that has Gary Daniels in it or am I thinking of something else?
Eric: Yes, Gary Daniels who is also an incredible martial artist.
Bobby: Oh yeah, I have followed him, Cynthia Rothrock, Don Wilson and all those guys for years. As much as I love the big box office stuff, I loved being able to just pick them up as I wanted, especially with my martial arts. You give me those guys or Al Leong or Bolo and I was happy.
Eric: You really know what you’re talking about, good for you. You know Gary could be up there with Simon Rhee as far as ability goes. He is just really truly unbelievable.
Bobby: I appreciate it and is there anything you would like to promote outside of the film world?
Eric: Yeah, if you don’t mind my step son Keaton Simmons has a new single out today called Beautiful Pain and it’s up on iTunes today and going to the radio. Everyone has been requesting it and has gone through the roof in 24hrs. So if could mention that Beautiful Pain is up on iTunes today I would appreciate it.
Bobby: It will be my pleasure.
Eric: Thank you very much.
Bobby: I just want to thank you for your time and while I am a fan of you as an actor, I have a more emotional attachment to Best of the Best and it has been honor getting to speak with you.
Eric: Thank you for the kind words and peace out.
Be sure to check out his latest film The Whole Truth on DVD and VOD now and make sure to head over to iTunes to get Keaton Simmons new single Beautiful Pain or any of his other music here.
For more information on Keaton’s music head over to his official site at http://www.keatonsimons.com/