The hardest working actor in the world
Eric Roberts’ new movie Camp Dread is a throwback to the hugely popular Friday the 13th movies & the various unholy spawn of that series — specifically 1983’s Sleepaway Camp.
Costarring Felissa Rose (the lead from Sleepaway Camp) & Danielle Harris (Halloween 4 & 5), Roberts plays a no-holds-barred Hollywood producer hoping to resuscitate his moribund horror career in this low-budget slasher from first-time writer-director Harrison Smith.
Roberts kindly, albeit briefly, answered a dozen questions via e-mail — most not about Camp Dread.
HMPod: Your profile on IMDb lists more than 60 movies that are either Completed, in Post-production or in Pre-production. Are you the hardest working actor in the world?
ER: Lots are not quite real, shall we say.
But I do work just a day or two on several projects at once. Crazy. But it’s a new era and who doesn’t “moonlight”?
Please tell us a little about your role as Governor Hughes in the highly anticipated Human Centipede III. Can we expect a movie even more over the top than the first two? (Really looking forward to it. Thought the first two were hilarious.)
ER: That is the way to look at the Centipede movies… as hilarious. I’m going to adopt that from you.
The people making these movies are wonderful.
They were motivated by being disturbed by the light sentences given to child abusers and child molesters. They came up with something that would make the people who abuse kids feel as bad as the kids did… Hence, the Human Centipede.
I can’t actually watch the movies. Too much for me!
Having just watched Runaway Train for about the sixth time, that remains one of the best suspense films ever. Do you have any memories of that movie you could share?
ER: We were freezing!
We totally trusted each other and our director.
Another of your older movies that could be considered on the edge of horror is Star 80. You were certainly a memorable villain. Any thoughts on that role? (BTW, you filmed Star 80 in my hometown of Vancouver.)
ER: We love Vancouver. Keaton, Morgan, Eliza and I just love it. [Keaton & Morgan Simons are Roberts’ stepchildren. Eliza Garrett is his wife.]
I love doing biographies and, unfortunately, Star 80 was a true story.
Your small but integral role as Maroni in mega-hit The Dark Knight opposite Christian Bale & Heath Ledger proved yet again how good you can be in a small part. Do you like being part of such a large cast?
ER: Very much. One of my favorite things.
You’ve done a lot of episodic TV series, including Heroes, CSI, Criminal Minds, even daytime soap The Young & the Restless. Is there much difference between working on movies & TV?
ER: Not any more. Movies and TV are interchangeable.
Y&R uses Keaton Simons’ music, and you gotta love that!
You costarred in Alan Spencer’s Bullet in the Face as Racken. Was that as much fun as it appears?
ER: Follow Alan and me on Twitter. Working with Eddie Izzard. What could be better?!
So many of your movies are in the horror genre. What’s the appeal of horror to you as an actor?
ER: Emma likes horror. That’s good enough for me! [Daughter Emma Roberts is also an actor. See her in Scream 4, among other movies.]
Please walk us through the process of your involvement in Camp Dread.
ER: The producer and director have become my friends. They approached in the standard way and I responded to their passion and their talent.
How was working with Danielle Harris on Camp Dread?
ER: Awesome. I’d do it again in a second.
Any upcoming releases you’d care to mention?
ER: The Novelist & Rock Story.
How do you spend your time when you’re not making a movie?
ER: I’m a Keaton Simons groupie. I go to his shows and to Studio City Farmer’s Market on Sundays for www.pibakeshop.com.
I also work for www.naturalchild.org. And I’m very involved in animal rescue — all animals, including fish, lobsters, birds….