Last month Eric Roberts and his wife, Eliza, directed Zara Phillips’s one woman play, “Beneath My Father’s Sky,” which was written and performed off Broadway. Phillips was adopted and it’s about the journey to find her biological parents. Eric also just finished filming “Escaping the Holocaust.” It’s a Josh A. Weber film about Max Fronenberg, Weber’s grandfather, who dug his way out of a Nazi death camp.
The actor has overcome a highly publicized troubled past including drugs, arrests and “Celebrity Rehab.” As for his childhood, Eric’s parents split when he was young, and the divorce split up the children. He was raised by his dad. His sister Julia Roberts went to live with their mother. Eric says he and Julia didn’t really know each other and says about his parents, “They were both horrendous drunks.”
Eric’s wife, Eliza, said in a 2012 interview that Eric has suffered with depression but doesn’t want doctor-prescribed “head meds.” Eric said, “Pot is my Prozac.”
It’s odd that an actor as talented as Eric hasn’t been rewarded with Academy Awards, though he has been nominated. According to IMDB, Eric has 270 movie credits, including 60 from 2013 to 2015, but Eric has said, “I am more famous for being brother to a very famous sister and father to a very famous daughter [Emma Roberts].”
TheBlot caught up with the intriguing actor this week for an exclusive interview.
Dorri Olds: How many movies have you been in? IMDB lists 270.
Eric Roberts: I don’t know. I stopped counting after 75. What happens with IMDB is whenever I get an offer to do a film, they immediately put my name up on IMDB. It’s because they want to attract other people by saying I’m in it. I used to get fed up with things like that but why exhaust myself getting angry about it? They [IMDB] have me doing more movies all the time. It’s not humanly possible to do as many movies as they say I do, but I just let it go now. I can’t worry about that.
What attracted you to directing “Beneath My Father’s Sky”?
Zara is friends with my wife, Eliza. They’ve known each other for a while and I crossed paths with Zara a bunch of times, and she’s very talented.
Are you interested in directing more?
I love being an actor. I’ve been asked to direct three dozen films, but I don’t want that responsibility. Everybody thinks it’s so easy, like they can do it. I always say no, but Zara is a special case. She asked if I could help and I said, “Only if my wife can help me help you.” So, Eliza and I both directed.
Does it cause stress to your marriage when you work together?
No, there’s no tension in the marriage. My wife is my hero. She’s the coolest chick I ever met. We’ve been married for 21 years and I’m a stepparent for 21 years. We’ve been on the road together for eight years now.
Does she help you stay sober?
I have no issues staying sober. I just love my wife and want her around.
How is your relationship with your daughter Emma?
Emma and I are pals. She turns 23 in February.
Do you hang out with your sister Julia?
Listen, the only issue I ever had with my sister was that she got sick of always being treated as my little sister. She’s 11 years younger than me. During “Pretty Woman” she just said, “This is enough of that shit. I don’t want to hear any more about Eric.” Look, I’d been nominated for three Golden Globes and an Oscar. She just wanted to be recognized as an actress on her own and not as Eric’s sister. The press blew things way out of proportion. We talk every day; we’re pals.
I read that you are a vegan. Is that true?
Yes, my wife and I feel that animals have everything that we have, so why would we ever want to hurt them, much less eat them? But, it’s hard to be an honest vegan when you’re on the road as much as I am. You can’t always find the right food. If I don’t eat what’s available I get very thin and gaunt. The weight issue becomes a problem so sometimes I don’t eat vegan, although I prefer to.
How does it feel to have been nominated for so many awards?
It’s all about opinions. After the first nomination when you don’t get the trophy you have to ask yourself if you deserved it. You decide if you did or you didn’t.
What’s next for you?
A movie I can’t mention. It’s with a big filmmaker. I mean huge. He does anything he wants in any way he wants to. The movie is about my character, but you never see him until the end, and it’s shocking. It’s a bunch of groovy actors and the famous filmmaker only shoots on film, not on HD. He said I can’t even say the fucking title and I’ve already said too much.