Eric Roberts on his 700 (and counting) screen credits: ‘I’m one of the luckiest guys in Hollywood’ – Hollywood Reporter | Episode Movies

Eric Roberts doesn’t hold the Guinness World Record for most screen credits for a living actor. That honor goes to Indian star Brahmanandam, who currently has more than 1,170 titles to his name. But Roberts is catching up fast. According to his (endlessly updated) IMDb page, he has appeared in about 700 films and TV shows, making him the most film credited actor in Hollywood working today. In the past year alone he starred in 33 films, and 66 are currently in various stages of production. Not that Roberts matters (or even has the time).

Almost four and a half decades after he broke through with his 1978 Golden Globe-nominated performance in New York King of the Gypsieswhich was followed by another nod from the Globes for Bob Fosse star 80 1983 and an Oscar nomination for Runaway train In 1984, the 66-year-old spent his third appearance as the city’s busiest actor, jumping from one project to the next, sometimes on the same day.

It only takes a quick glance at Roberts’ recent filmography to realize that the vast majority of work is in the super-low-budget independent space, and his name has long been a mainstay at AFM (there are several dozen films by him for sale this year). But then, amidst people like Megaboa, A Soldier’s Tale: Return to the Dead Book 2, Asteroid-a-Geddonand yes, top shooter (He’s become a regular on The Asylum’s “Mockbusters”), he suddenly pops up in a big feature like The dark knight (as a gangster boss) or Inherent Vice (plays a wealthy real estate developer). This year alongside titles like Jurassic domination, From dusk to bong and Michael Flatley recently appeared blackbirdHe also appears in Damien Chazelle’s $110 million epic Babylon alongside an all-star cast including Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie (he plays her father).

For Roberts, brother of Julia Roberts and father of Emma Roberts, this insanely productive period of his career is a dream and something that has allowed him to “see the planet three times for free”. It’s also something he credits to his wife, Eliza, who, as his manager, oversees his “wild” scheduling and processes up to 30 offers that come in each day.

Speak with The Hollywood Reporter Alongside Eliza, Roberts explains how he can get an offer on Friday and start filming on Saturday, what happened to his star status in Russia, how he got thrown off the beach by Oprah Winfrey and why Robbie will get the Best Actress Oscar Babylon.

You have such an amazing library of movies and you seem to be working constantly. do you ever stop

Many Thanks. The way I see it, I’m one of the luckiest guys in Hollywood. Every day we get between eight and 30 offers from all over the world. It’s just so much fun having all these offerings and being able to play such an extreme range of characters.

Is there a point where you don’t play? How is your work-life balance?

I probably work about 200 days a year. And I’ve never been happier.

Count how many movies you’re in?

I stopped counting at 74 but someone told me there were hundreds. I don’t check.

Do you still get the same thrill of stepping into roles, reading storylines, and getting scripts mailed to you?

That’s why I do it. It gets me out of bed in the morning. It is so much fun. I’m an older guy now, so all my bosses are a lot younger than me. They’re still kids, but this generation is so tech-savvy. And they like me enough to call me, so I appreciate them enough to show up.

I read that you often work with up-and-coming directors because you know that having your name attached to a film helps with funding.

Yes, it sometimes helps to get loans from the bank. But I don’t want to sound like a hero. I do it for me to be honest. But my wife has pointed out that many of these directors are children and some of them will be fantastic and we will discover them. So that’s the attitude I go in with and it’s been so rewarding. I’ve met such great people. And I saw the planet three times for nothing.

So you work internationally, not just in the US?

I used to be one of the biggest stars in Russia, bigger than Arnie [Schwarzenegger]bigger than Sly [Stallone]. But then Putin invaded Ukraine and in an interview I said that I stand by Ukraine, so I was canceled immediately and couldn’t work there. But we’re so disappointed in Putin, I wouldn’t want to go there anyway. But that was half of my income from working in Russia. So now I’m going to other places.

ELISA ROBERTS He’ll literally go to Vegas, then Norway, then Germany, then Texas, and then Toronto, then Edmonton [Canada] and back to Norway.

Your planning must be crazy.

ELISA And then there are always changes. Sometimes productions break down due to COVID and have to be postponed. We’re always moving things. It’s pretty wild. But considering they give you all these mind exercises as you get older to keep your mind sharp… I don’t think we need them!

Have you been packing your bags in case an offer should come?

We do! There’s science to that. You must have good luggage.

This year you’re at Damien Chazelle’s Babylonand we’ve obviously seen you in the last ten years or so The dark knight and Inherent Vice, all with great directors. Do you treat these projects the same way you treat the much smaller films you work on?

I treat each project as seriously as possible with the time available to me. Because nowadays an offer can arrive very quickly. I can get an offer on Friday to come on Saturday. I often get something on Friday, do all my homework on the weekend to keep myself happy, and read on Monday morning to impress. You must be prepared to learn your text very quickly. And you know what, it’s always fun.

I imagine the catering is better on the bigger films?

Ha! Yes. Craft services were considered a delicacy on Babylon. It’s popcorn and Mars bars if you’re on a low-budget shoot.

Do you actually have the ability to sit down and watch your own movies?

I’ll be honest with you unless it’s something I take to heart, I don’t watch myself anymore because I’ve seen everything I do. But Damien Chazelle’s film, I saw it. I will also tell you that Margot Robbie will win an Oscar for this. She gives the most incredible performance in Babylon that I’ve ever seen The two incredible actresses in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? gave perfect performances and it’s at this level. She blew my mind. I couldn’t believe how brilliant she was every minute of every day.

I was watching you recently blackbird by Michael Flatley. What was it like filming with the Lord of the Dance himself?

Well I actually have a story unrelated to the movie but I had a free afternoon and ran down to the beach which was beautiful. I’m all alone and wonder why no one was there. So I was swimming and sunbathing and then suddenly this gentleman in a SWAT uniform and armed to the teeth comes up to me and says I have to go and that’s a private beach. I asked, “Whose private beach?” And he said Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan. And I said, “I’ll be gone in a minute.”

How proud are you that your own daughter is becoming a big star herself?

It is so much fun! I enjoy it so much. And she never had any training, so she trained her whole career, and it was nice for me to see her become an actor, and he did. i love her work

Would you like to star together and play her father on screen?

If you’re joking, I’d appreciate that. I would also love my sister to play my sister.

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

This story first appeared in the November 3 daily edition of The Hollywood Reporter at the American Film Market.

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