Interview with Jeremy RobertsOctober 1999
Bitch of Rome: Before I get to my questions I just want to know what you can tell me about the roles you’ve been going out for lately. Particularly the movie you just finished filming in Mexico.
Jeremy Roberts: The Invisible Hombre.
BoR: The Invisible Hombre?
JR: Well The Invisible Man really. The Invisible Hombre because it was in Mexico we shot it.
BoR: Can you tell me anything about it?
JR: It’s basically like the story of The Invisible Man except it’s not the same. They found some sort of technological/DNA, blah, blah, blah. They’ve been able to find a way to make you invisible. A man becomes invisible, he doesn’t really want to and the guy doing it is Vincent Ventresca. I play a French terrorist along with my brother, Joel Bissonnette, who is in The Fight Club with Brad Pitt. He’s the main evil. I’m a French terrorist who has the lactose intolerance.
JR: He’s really just, “I’m not up to this anymore. I don’t want to do this anymore. You’re making me do it, okay, fine, you’re my brother.” I’m Pepto Bismol the whole time. It’s like, “I don’t want to do this!”
JR: I turn him in the end and hopefully they’ll keep bringing me back because I’m good.
BoR: So you don’t have to die?
JR: (laughs) No, I don’t. I read for Profiler tonight. I should be doing a Pretender in about a month. [The] Thirteenth Floor is coming out on video I hope.
BoR: I think it’s out already, actually.
JR: It’s out! I gotta see it. I’ve gotta see it.
BoR: (laughs) So do I.
JR: Someone said on the website that Hercules already aired.
BoR: The one where you play Xerxes did.
JR: I can’t believe I didn’t get to see it.
BoR: It just aired last week. It was good.
JR: They’ll have to send me the tape because I don’t have it. I’ll make them do it. They were supposed to tell me because I wanted to take some tape off of it. ’Cause I’m so pretty in it.
BoR: Oh…lovely (laughs) I actually have some questions about that one a bit later. We’ll start with your movies. What was it like working with Jim Carrey in The Mask?
JR: What ended up happening is I had very blonde hair at the time and I was probably forty pounds thinner and the director just loved the way I looked. So he what he wanted to do was to put me in all the scenes with the bad guys ’cause [I] had such a great look and what ended up happening, on the second day of the shoot, [he] shot me out of the movie. He didn’t realize that he put me in a scene where, “Oh, by him being in this one, he can’t be [in] anymore of the movie.” But they didn’t realize that until seven and a half weeks later. So I was just being paid for seven and a half weeks of just playing around and singing opera with Jim Carrey and he’s very good at it, actually. Anyway, this is one really, really good one. (singing) “Don day fa mop-e-lay. La, la, la, la, la, la, da, da.” It’s really famous. And he would do the whole thing up and down these flights of stairs and we’d do these mock Viking women with breastplates, fighting it out with the evil. And it was a blast.
JR: Very nice guy.
BoR: I thought you were a wonderful bouncer and I loved your delivery of the line, “That’s it, nobody’s getting in.” But I have to ask how a wuss like Ipcus knocks you out.
JR: Exactly. This is what I say in almost everything I’m in. “Okay, I’m six-three and a half, I weigh two fifty and just because he’s the star and he’s five-foot-four he’s gonna beat me up? Come on!”
JR: And they say, “Well, that’s the script.”
BoR: (laughs) Moving onto Blackout, your character, Scar, is always sucking on a lollipop. Did that make delivering your lines clearly a challenge?
JR: No. Even when I was in school and I started acting, I was always a prop actor. At ACT, every week we’d have a scene [and] I would end up bringing in literally an entire set of props. The desk I’m sitting at and pictures that had people in it that, were supposed to be my family. Everything had something to do with something, just ’cause it made me feel more at home and to be able to speak. I guess it kinda moved into television and film because you don’t have the time in TV. Whatever the person [you audition as] today, that better be the person that comes to the set ready to do it. In stage you have months, weeks. Films sometimes give you a week so you grab onto something as quickly as you can. Actually, I was just eating it one day in the outfit, trying on hats and the director, a friend of mine, said, “You’re going to use that, aren’t you?” And of course I said, “Well, yeah. I plan to.” I didn’t plan to at all, but okay, fine.
BoR: (laughs) I loved your victory dance. Was the style your choice or the director’s?
JR: (laughs) A lot of it was improv.
BoR: What was it like to play a villain that didn’t die?
JR: I guess it’s one of the first ones because I used to put on my resume that I had a ninety-eight percent death rate.
BoR: (laughs) Can you tell me a little but about your Thirteenth Floor role?
JR: I’d done one or two other movies for Josef Rusnak. I did Quiet Days in Hollywood, where I played an evil pool-playing guy who beat up Peter Dobson. He had no real redeeming value whatsoever. That’s too bad ’cause you’re supposed to find [that] he’s awful, but he does it for a good reason.
JR: Again I’m beaten up by a wimp.
JR: (laughs) Kinda. Craig Bierko was four inches shorter [and] I must have had eighty pounds on him. [They] shot things from angles where we looked level. I’ve done over a hundred and thirty or so guest-spots on TV [and] maybe thirty films. I’m not belittling myself [but] they’re not pivotal, big roles. So you’re not on screen as often. It’s like the five weeks down in Mexico. I must of worked two days a week.
BoR: In Running Time you were reunited with Bruce Campbell, who you had worked with before on Brisco County Jr. What was that like and do you hope to get the chance to work with Mr. Campbell on Xena?
JR: Big time. I went in for Profiler and its cast by the same person, Beth Hymson, [who does] Hercules and Xena. I said, “You know, there’s still time to get me back on one more Xena.” I think [Campbell’s] going to be in a Western that Josh Becker is directing next year. I’m doing my best to try to get onto that because I love westerns and it would be nice to do one with Bruce. Besides, I love New Zealand. The best place to live. That plus America, but I’d be there really quick when I’m sixty-five.
BoR: (laughs) I’ve been asked to tell you by Buffy: The Vampire Slayer fans that you are amoung the most popular one-time villains.
BoR: In your appearance on Buffy you seemed a lot larger then you appearances on Xena. Was it your costume or had you built up?
JR: [Most of the time I’m around] two-twenty, two-thirty [pounds]. I think I was two-fifty then. I think there was even quite a bit of layers I wore [on] Buffy. Plus I had these big boots, which added another couple of inches.
BoR: Was your voice changed with a computer or was that all you?
JR: I think it was just me.
BoR: Did you find it challenging to work with the fangs or did Scar’s lollipop fetish help?
JR: The lollipops somehow were easier. The fangs were so big. I had to back in and loop over almost everything. ’Cause with these fangs (as Kakistos) “[It] can sort of sound like you have a lisp.”
JR: So they take some of the lisp out by going in and doing, which I rally don’t like. It’s so hard ’cause you’re there and you’ve done it and people are holding up the wings and you’re flying and you’re attacking and then you’re saying these things and they’re coming out of your mouth so well and then you’ve gotta go back four months later and stand in a big room and watch yourself do it again and match it. [You] just sometimes never hit it exactly.
BoR: How long did it take you to get into full make-up for your Buffy role?
JR: First time was about four hours and then [Todd McIntosh] got it down to two everyday.
BoR: On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine you played a Jem-Hadar. How long did it take to get you into that make-up?
JR: That one was much longer. That was about four hours. I don’t know if anybody knows this, but I only wore it twice. ’Cause [on] the second day I had gotten really sick the night before and I had flu symptoms and I was throwing up and I was gonna do it. I was sitting there, coughing and they just said, “Whoa. We can’t put him in this make-up now ’cause there’s only four holes in the entire suit!?” You’re literally like a surfer. [You’re wearing a suit up to your neck] and then a whole head. And they just said, “No we can’t.” I had only shot a little of it but there was this guy who’d been on the set. He was an actor but he didn’t have his card and he’d been putting on that make-up everyday for some twenty-two weeks. I felt so sorry for him. I’m like, “My god, how can you do this everyday?” And then here comes the day I can’t put it on and I don’t know what they are gonna do and I just say, “Well, why don’t you just give my lines to him and I’ll take his part.” That’s what they gotta do. He got his Screen Actor’s Guild card and he was so very happy and he got his first talking part. And I was saved from having to put on four hours of make-up and dying.
BoR: On the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Flashback,” you redid the scenes you did on Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Was it hard to recapture those scenes?
JR: No, because they showed us a lot of them on a video. “Okay, this is what you did” so that we could do the same thing. I think they might have used some of the stuff we already did on [The] Undiscovered Country. And then from then on it was basically a different story because I think I even die, which I didn’t do in the movie.
BoR: No you didn’t [die in the movie]. In “Flashback” you also had an added scene with Tim Russ. I just wanted to say I thought it was a wonderful scene.
JR: He’s a nice guy. It was so easy to do. Very nice guy.
BoR: Having been on three of the four Star Trek sets, which was your favourite experience?
JR: Well Undiscovered Country was wonderful just because I got to meet the biggies. Leonard Nemoy and Shatner and I was just able to talk to them, though I didn’t have any scenes with them. It meant something to me to be in [that]. “I’m in one of the Star Trek originals. Eh-eh.”
JR: But Voyager was another thing because my wife knew Kate Mulgrew, so I was able to say, “My wife and I used to know you at parties.” And she’d go, “Charlotte!” So we had kind of a comradely, which was kinda nice. And it was a little bit of a bigger part so probably that one.
BoR: And who’s your favourite Star Trek captain?
JR: It would be between Picard and Shatner, although I still like Shatner just ’cause I’m forty-five, so I grew up with all of that. It has nothing to do with acting.
BoR: (laughs) Do you have any good Star Trek bloopers to share?
JR: One comes up but it’s not really a blooper. I remember doing the Undiscovered Country [and] when we’re on the scene, I’m wearing the outfit and we’ve got the communicator. I was pushing buttons on and I remember walking off the set and making a beeline ’cause I had to go to the bathroom and right before I got there, there were these two very large guards running after me and like, “Halt!” And I freeze like, “What? What did I do?”
JR: [They take me] by the arm and escorted me back over to the rack of clothes where they were standing as guards, because no one was able to leave the set at all with anything that had to do with costume, props, especially this little item, which I do have now!
JR: Right here. It is one of my favourite things. And it was just so bizarre and I almost had to laugh if it wasn’t kind of scary. They had to take off the communicator, take off the jacket. “Now you can go to the bathroom.”
JR: People want them so bad that they might steal them.
BoR: You were incredibly powerful on “Millennium.” How did you capture the character so well? What inspired you or helped you become the serial killer?
JR: (pause) I don’t know if I should say this, but my wife… (laughs)
JR: Just because she’s got…she likes to read book like The Gift of Fear or this guy named John Douglas who wrote Obsession. He used to be an FBI guy who went after serial killers. Caught most of them. Knows their ups, their downs ’cause it’s a book. So she’d read a lot about that and I would also pick it up and read too and she helped me so that and probably going for it so much that I broke a toe and a finger doing it in there. It’s probably just sitting there in pain going, “My hand hurts so bad!” It probably translates into serial killer.
BoR: (laughs) What did you think of filming in Vancouver?
JR: Second to New Zealand.
BoR: Oh really?
JR: Yeah. It’s New Zealand then Vancouver. It’s another beautiful place. Beautiful place.
BoR: Proud of that, it’s my home. (laughs)
JR: You’re from there!? That’s where I’m calling?
BoR: Well Surrey, just outside of Vancouver, but pretty much.
JR: Oh what’s the name of the mountain you ski on right there at Vancouver? I skied on it. It was so beautiful ’cause there was this lake there.
JR: Whistler. Yeah!
BoR: Your role on The X-Files was a little different from other roles you’ve done. What do you think made George Vincent the gun-wielding maniac he is?
JR: That didn’t really work as well for me because the way it was written, he was supposed to be some really freaky, ex-Vietnam, I-carry-a-gun-under-my-pillow-don’t-even-say-boo-to-me and that worked up until the point of where the thing…there was a movie called Blob, the Queen was in The Blob. They went for a very campy, slightly over-the-top, because here’s a story (laughs) when gelatins creatures sucking people up into the light fixtures. It’s almost, “Ha, ha!”
JR: A little too, “Ha, ha.” It didn’t really fit. What sort of ended happening, [is] I went towards a more [where] you’re not going to be scared out of you mind when you see him, you’re just gonna go, “Whoa. He is out there.”
JR: “A little cukoo-cukoo, hello! And we don’t knock on his door.”
JR: “He’s not going to hurt us, we don’t think.” That’s the way it ended up being, ’cause he would have been a little more in control of things.
BoR: Did you enjoy working with Ms. Anderson and Mr. Duchovny?
JR: Yes I did, very much. Who did I like better? You didn’t ask that but I want to tell you.
BoR: (laughs) Go right ahead.
JR: David because he seemed to talk a lot more. He was a lot more animated. He’d speak to you. My wife and I like anything his wife does too, Tea Leoni. We think she’s brilliant. She should be the next Lucy, instead of Dharma and Greg. I don’t get that at all.
JR: We had a lot more to talk about. Gillian was a little…she wasn’t very friendly. And I don’t mean [she was] mean. She probably just had a bad day.
BoR: Any bloopers to share?
JR: (pause) I’m trying to think. (pause) Most of the time if you were on the set you’d probably be able to come up with five or ten because that’s just what happens. You end up, “That didn’t work so I’ll just make up something.” and everyone ends up laughing their head off.
JR: You’re just trying to save yourself from them noticing you’re not anywhere near the lines!
JR: (chuckles) But no, they’re pretty professional most of the time. And most of the stuff now turned out to be very homey to me ’cause I get on there and after about eleven, twelve years of doing this there’s at least a third of the cast or the crew that I already know. I may not be good with the names, but he used to direct a lot of the Brisco County’s and now he’s one of the executive producers of X-Files. And Chris Carter called me to do the Millennium and then there was the make-up guy who actually won for X-Files this year. I also went to college with him. So it’s always fun when you get a job to go in and go, “Okay, who am I gonna know?”
JR: ’Cause the first bunch of years you’d go in as the bad guy and you’re only on the show for five [or] seven days and nobody talks to you because normally I’m kind of quiet and shy. And they read shy as, “He’s getting into his character, he’s a murder.”
JR: “Don’t talk to him.” And I’m like, “Won’t somebody talk to me? I’m very lonely.”
JR: Then I start talking and making a lot of friends then all of a suddenly it’s your last day and you all know each other and then, “Okay, bye!”
JR: And the next bad guy comes on the set.
BoR: In both your Hercules appearances, “Mercenary” and particularly “Be Deviled,” you had to work with special effects or puppets. Do you find it hard to act with non-existent images?
JR: (chuckles) Well, it’s not hard after awhile. I’ve had to do it in so many things I’ve done. I always have to talk to nothing or to somebody holding a cardboard cut-out of something it’s supposed to be. Out of the laughter, get it over with. You just have to image. But you’re flopping around with these big, plastic sand worms. The whole place has to be cracking up and they were pretty much.
JR: (grunts and makes a lot of noise)
JR: I was just going through the motions of wrestling with the worm if you’re wondering.
BoR: (laughs) I think your make-up in “Be Deviled” was the most I’ve ever seen you in. Two questions on that. How long did it take to get into that make-up and please tell me about the wings. What were they made of? Where they heavy? Throw you off balance or anything?
JR: It was about three hours because they had a lot of pieces. It wasn’t a big head. It had piece, by piece, by piece, the hair. About three hours. I think they’re nominating that one for an Emmy. Though they say the Emmys don’t really look at syndicated.
BoR: Yeah, they’re often overlooked.
JR: Yeah and it’s not fair because I think that was great looking.
BoR: We were all blown away and Xena had the same kind of make-up right after it.
JR: Yeah! So I hope they go ahead and do it. Let’s see, the wings. They had two of the guys who did most of my make-up, they held these long poles that were attached to the very tips of the wing. They stretched them out like a bat. They were like a puppeteer. They held up the wings, brought them out and then of course through the computer generation they added other stuff. It was basically two guys behind me. Just flapping away. Then they’d paint them out.
BoR: Spoilers for the last few episode of Hercules say you’re in an episode as Valad the Impaler. Is this true?
JR: Where’s it say that?
BoR: Main sites that we generally follow. It says that you’ve already filmed this episode.
JR: No, ’cause I wish I was. When I was doing the Xerxes I talked to Rob Tapert said, “Make my hair black.” They said I would be great to do it. “We should let him do it.” I heard them around the set say that so just walked right to him. “I’m the one. I’m Val. Just blacken my hair, bring it forward.” He says, “Well, I’ll think, okay? I’ll let you know.” He never did. You know, busy. I assume it must already been made because I think they’re done.
BoR: Yeah, Hercules is over with.
JR: Didn’t get to do it. I’ve heard that it was supposed to be a friend of Kevin’s. Can’t beat that.
JR: I’m a friend of Kevin’s, but…
BoR: Having worked on both Xena and Hercules what do you feel is the difference from one set to another?
JR: (pause) I don’t think there really is a difference because [when] I’m on Hercules, I get along with Kevin so well, it’s buddies and the other one, Lucy’s always very nice and cool and fun. Sometimes you become friends right away. Renee and I became really chummy. So I ended up spending a lot more time with her. I didn’t mean that bad at all. I’m shy. I don’t normally bother somebody who’s the star a lot. We’ll do the lines, if we talk, we talk. We eat, have lunch, sure. But I’m not going to go out of my way to like, “Lucy! Talk to me!”
BoR: (laughs) Since the shows are filmed so far away, what lead you to try out?
JR: Because they cast the main lead guest star here in Los Angeles. There aren’t any leads that come from New Zealand.
BoR: In “A Fistful of Dinars,” you play Thersites and I gotta ask your opinion on that hat in your opening scene.
BoR: That ugly bowl-thing they had on your head.
JR: Now did I wear it throughout the whole thing?
BoR: No, just the opening. Your first scene with Lawless.
JR: I don’t remember. I’m gonna have to go look now and say, “Are you putting me in bad hats I don’t remember?”
JR: I don’t remember that.
BoR: Well it was a bad hat. I was very glad that you took it off right away.
JR: That might have been why it came off quickly.
BoR: (laughs) What inspired Thersites’ laugh?
JR: I’m trying to think because when you do bad guys, you always go, “Hmm, what do I do now? Oh I gotta be different.” And you end up going through a lot of laughter and just trying different things and mine is normally lower so I kinda jumped up into a higher register and go (laughs).
BoR: His was very psychotic, I thought.
JR: I wish they had let me go a little bit more, put a hunchback on me and let me be even more snivelly. I’m six-four. Hard to be a hunchback.
BoR: (laughs) The fight scene you did with Ms. Lawless in the second to last scene, was it difficult to learn to fight with a sword?
JR: No, I did a lot of it in Shakespeare on-stage for about five to eight years around the country.
BoR: How long did it take to learn to fight?
JR: They don’t give you a lot of time actually. Maybe a day. You do as much as much as you can and then I’ll go do more of it with [Lucy’s] stunt double, which has a blooper. I think it’s an outtake. They say if you join the fan club you get the outtakes from Xena and Hercules.
BoR: The only one from that episode is Lawless throwing the ambrosia into the cameraman.
JR: Maybe I got away with it. I [was] on top of her and she’s on the ground and we’re pushing each other with swords, closer and then back up to me and back to her. The whole time you’re doing this you don’t really breathe. [You’re] just holding our breath going, “Arrrrr—uh ptttthhpth.” And I built a flatulence and a F-A-R-T came out.
JR: The whole place just roared and went immediately, “That’s on the outtakes!”
JR: I was so embarrassed. You’re pushing so hard and it came out. Then as soon as everyone, “Let’s calm down. Let’s start again.” We would say, “Action.” And we’d get there and I’d be pushing and all of a sudden the crew would just go, “Ptttthhpth.” They would crack up thinking, “I remember when that happened. It was very funny.”
BoR: (laughs) So you got away with it until now. I thought that was your best death scene that you’ve ever done.
JR: It was pretty short.
BoR: I liked it. I thought it was really good. In “Paradise Found,” Adian had a lot of tattoos. Do you know what they were supposed to signify?
JR: In New Zealand I had an arm tattoo put on that I’d been drawing. An armband. That was what I had done then. That was real. That was mine. It’s got an ocean with dolphins jumping through it. It was signifying the fact that I love the water and ocean.
BoR: No, you had an “X” on your arm.
JR: It might have been put on right after.
BoR: This question might sound a little strange, but believe me, the fans will love it. In your opening scene, Gabrielle give Xena a smack and the camera doesn’t show you where. Did O’Connor smack Lawless on the back or bottom?
JR: It was on the butt.
BoR: Had you ever done yoga before or was that a new experience for you?
JR: I did quite a bit of it. That was very new, but I did a lot of it at ACT in San Francisco. Which is very much like a Fame movie. It’s just like that. It was a magnificent experience, the whole schooling. And one hour everyday we got yoga.
BoR: I thought your performance was the best I’ve seen. What do you feel your best work [has been]?
JR: I kinda like Running Time. There was a show where I play a cop who accidentally shoots his partner. Some of the scenes I really thought were the best in [“Mercenary.”] And there was a scene in a series called [Ned Blessing: The Story of My Life and Times]. It had six episodes and I don’t know where it is now but I played a mentally challenged son of a bad guy, who everybody liked. It’s probably my favourite scenes.
BoR: Who or what do you think Adian was?
JR: Other then just probably somebody who, like all people, get greedy and found a way to have far more then you ever would need. It’s just greed. The greed just gets blacker in you and blacker and blacker until you just want to take over the world. But he was human.
BoR: Did you shave your head for the role?
BoR: How long did it take to grow back?
JR: I think I made it through the show. Do one small touch-up and after that, it stayed that way for about two weeks. I think I did another, what did I shoot? One more thing where it had a slight growth. So maybe about a month because my hair isn’t very long anyway.
BoR: What is your favourite Xena line?
JR: God, I don’t know. I have a hard time remembering. Not that I’m losing my mind. When I finish something, it’s gone. I have to go back and look and something has to have happened to make me remember. I remember the first time I came back to do Hercules I went to visit the Xena set. This is not a line, I wish it was. I think I was quite haired. I looked very different. They were all eating lunch and I went to Josh [Becker] who had directed [“A Fistful of Dinars”] and like, “Josh!” He looked up at me like, “Oh, what does this extra want? Oh, hi!” And he turned back to eat and I went, “Okay.” I went over to Lucy the same way and tapped her on the shoulder and she said, “Hi.” Didn’t know me either. I had a photo or something, it was one of mine, and she grabbed it to sign it. I said, “Uh, no I—thank you, but I think I was in a show with you.” And she turned and went, “Oh my god, it’s Jeremy!” I’d only had different coloured hair, that was literally it. Just white to brown. Not a line or anything, but it was one of those times I remember.
BoR: (laughs) Have you ever seen your trading cards?
JR: I think I’ve seen one.
BoR: You have about three in the first series.
JR: Get out!
BoR: Yeah. You got two as Thersites in the first series and there’s a trading card game with you on it as well.
JR: I have something here. Someone found and got me a “Champions of Evil.”
BoR: Yeah, that’s one of them.
JR: That’s Thersites and there’s a picture of me and Renee on the other side. There’s more?
BoR: There’s a small one for the episode and then there’s the Xena trading card game and your character’s one of the bad guys for that one.
JR: There’s a trading card game?! I must have this!
BoR: (laughs) Did you enjoy filming in New Zealand?
JR: The best. That’s why I’m calling them again just to say, “Anything. Get me in any of the last Xenas.” Although Xena’s not finished. There might be another year or two, we don’t know.
BoR: They’re signed to season six so far.
JR: What are they in now?
BoR: They’re just starting five. So you have a few more chances at least. (laughs)
JR: I think [Lucy Lawless will] probably stop then. I’m surprised she did another one but then I say, “Yay, I’m glad she did.” I just didn’t think she’d do another one. You know, ready to move into films and try some other things.
BoR: But we’re glad.
JR: Oh yeah. Me too! There’s how many chances? Twenty-two? Forty? I don’t remember.
BoR: Twenty-two in a season and they’ve probably filmed about ten by now I’m sure so probably at least thirty-two or so to go.
JR: All right. I can get into two of them. I wish they would bring back someone. Or get bring Thersites back in an adventure. Oh that would be greedy, wouldn’t it? Being Xerxes and Thersites.
BoR: That would be interesting. “Hey, you look like me!” Just a few more questions. Do you prefer to work on television or film?
JR: I don’t have a choice really. Films, you have a little longer to work on them but probably television because I work in it more.
BoR: Do you prefer to play a good guy or a bad guy?
JR: Well I haven’t been doing to many good ones. It’s far more fun to do bad guys.
BoR: What has been your favourite role to date?
JR: They’re all so much fun. I had fun doing The Invisible Man because I had never done a French accent. (with accent) You talk like this all the time. “Hurry! Come on.” (stops accent) It’s a very bad accent. It’s comic and it was fun.
BoR: Why did you decide to become an actor?
JR: I was in high school and I was in Our Town and I was playing one of the gravediggers and I fell in the grave accidentally. Humiliated myself and never wanted to do it again. Then [eight years later] after Vietnam, I came back. I was looking for jobs, just working and girl was doing a play called Laughing. A take-off on the TV show in the sixties called Laughin’. Needed a guy for one day. “Just do this Indian and he owes a Seven Eleven. Very nice and all you have to do is go in one time.” ’Cause the guy who was doing the role was sick and he couldn’t do it so they needed someone to fill in. I said, “All right, just once. I don’t like being in front of people. I get nervous.” So I did it, got up there, said the lines and everyone roared and I was slapped in the face. It said, “You have do this the rest of your life.” So I went and did a couple more plays in this community theatre, decided I’d better learn what I’m doing and went to a Junior college here for two years. Auditioned for the American Observatory Theatre, got in and I just kept working since.
BoR: Who has inspired you in your life and in your decisions?
JR: Tommy Lee Jones and Rick Torn. Those are my two favourites. There’s so many others. Gene Hackman too.
BoR: Well thank you very much Mr. Roberts for the interview.
JR: It was a pleasure and I hope you see me again.
BoR: I hope so on Xena. Thank you.
BoR: All right, bye-bye.