“He shouted that he decides”: Eric Roberts on film business in Russian

Hollywood actor Eric Roberts has presented at the 27th international film festival “Message to man” in St. Petersburg the film “runaway Train” Andrei Konchalovsky, shot in 1985. Before the show, he received a special prize “For actor’s skill” from the hands of the Minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky. The reward, as it turned out, hardly the first rich actor’s biography Roberts.

Photo: press service of the festival “Message to Man”.

Our Minister shared with the winner of the impressions of his trip to Italy to Andrei Konchalovsky, assumed there shooting a new film about Michelangelo. The picture “runaway Train” he had ever seen. As for Eric Roberts, it’s special. Thanks to her, he was nominated for the award “Oscar” for a supporting role, and Golden globe. It was shot not only on Facebook, but Rodion Nahapetov in the film “Russian in city of angels”, “Border Blues”, “the tempest”. Dmitry Kharatyan was found in the Ukrainian film “Aurora” by Oksana Bayrak in 2006. Eric has so many films that in the days of his stay in St. Petersburg was born the joke: on the road from the airport to the hotel Roberts starred in four pictures.

In life he was a cheerful and friendly companion, but as it turned out, rigidity, he does not hold. Eric abruptly interrupted an interview, saying the journalist that she is not prepared for the lesson. Before our interview, he clenched his hand into a fist, and asked me to follow his example, then to greet each other with a double blow. Fists we broke up and after a conversation.

In 2002, we have already met with Roberts at the film festival in Sochi, where he was awarded the young Chulpan Khamatova. There was a misunderstanding. After he asked about his younger sister, actress Julia Roberts, he sharply responded. Since then, in meetings with Eric Russian journalists strictly warned: “No questions about Julia”. But those attitudes were in vain. Eric spoke about Julia and was surprised that Russia got the opinion about their relationship. In Petersburg Eric arrived without his wife, but thanks to the Internet she knew everything that’s going on in St. Petersburg. One had the feeling that she stayed in the hotel room, just not down the hall, where we met Eric.

“He behaves with the actors in the same rigorous manner as a mother towards the child”

— You repeatedly came to Russia. Many of your colleagues have never been there and don’t worry about it. Who engendered interest in our country?

— Russia Itself. I was told how much my films was shown here, how many magazines sold. I was somewhere in the 2-3 films in Russia. I first came to your country in 1993, when an independent Russian producers offered me a lot of money for participating in their picture. And then there was a funny story. The offer seemed tempting in terms of money, and I agreed. There were of course some oddities. My lawyer said, “don’t go there! They won’t transfer the fee to your account, will be transferred to a third”. My objections: “But I want Russia to see, I want to work there. I’ve always loved Russian actors,” he said, “Okay. But remember — I warned you”. Come to Moscow. The first week I don’t get paid, then a second and a third. On the fourth to my trailer rides producer in the limo, gets out and says: “Eric, your money in the car.” “What?” — I ask again. “The money I owe you, it’s in the car,” he repeats. There really were two huge amount of cash. “But how am I supposed to be? I need to go next,” I asked. “We will open an account for you,” said the producer. I have not opened, of course, offshore account, as he told me. In this way appeared to me the film industry of Russia in 1993. It was like the Wild West.

At The Hermitage. Photo: press service of the festival “Message to Man”.

It says that you are risky person, you are hard to scare.

No time to be frightened. Too many interesting things going on. Well, what happened in the 90s, it’s even fun.

— What lured you to this festival?

— I was in Africa, when he called the wife who is both my Manager and said we had to go to St. Petersburg: “You’ll get the trophy. Get ready.” She said, “I have no clothes”. I do nothing with myself, except the jeans and shirts. But she said: “In St. Petersburg you will wear. Go!” (But Eric still had to go on stage in his own jeans and shirt with stripes. — Approx. ed.) American actors, especially the stars, — big snobs. They listen too much to their agents. Do we need less of all to listen and relax.

— You starred in “the Train-the fugitive” and played Eurimage in the Odyssey Konchalovsky. We consider it a Western person and you are probably perceived as Russian.

Andrei Konchalovsky is one of my favorite Directors. It has a lot of life. He’s smart, serious and passionate. But perhaps it is better not to stand in his way. Can not be good. We need to act accordingly, to obey him. He loves his actors, and it is unusual for the Director. Knows how to speak, how to behave, knows all our fears. He is a stud. It behaves in relation to the actors in the same rigorous manner as a mother towards the child.

From late January to early February, we filmed “runaway Train” in Montana. Got there — had a week to prepare. Suddenly horrified to see that the snow is melting. Producer Menahem Golan was surprised: “What’s happening? This Is Montana? Isn’t it? Go to Alaska”. We collected and sent to Alaska, where we were shooting in terrible conditions. Once a week training, leased 25 miles of unused railroad tracks. Always remember these shots — funny and serious. We were up at five in the morning, then we drove an hour to the shooting area, where up to six in the evening we drove on this stretch of railway. And I did not arise, because there was Jon Voight, who from morning until night arise. He swore so that I do was not necessary to do. He did it for me. We have filmed, and here comes Rebecca De Mornay, just who starred with Tom cruise. The girl on the top, incredibly beautiful, straight out of Hollywood. Konchalovsky said, “who is This? Who brought this regenau the doll?”. Rebecca started crying and left, and after three hours came back like a rag doll. Konchalovsky said: “what I need. Behave, I’m gonna make you a real actress”. He’s funny. Apparently, he wanted to put himself, so shouted: “I’m the Director! I am in charge here!” “I decide!” — calmly said we. Among my 300 pictures the most difficult was 3-4, and “runaway Train” is one of them. Was it hard work, but I am proud of her.

“In order to buy food to feed us, my father sold vacuum cleaners”

Movie much you gave, but probably not everything you dreamed of?

Cinema saved my life. If it wasn’t, I don’t know what would have become of me. Life would not be beautiful. Sure. Movie part of me. Sometimes removed for two hundred days a year, travel around the world. Try to bring something special in everything I do, and proud of it. What is it? Love affair? Something emotional, that overwhelms me? What is not taught movie that taught me wife. How to sing Beatles: “All you need is love”. If it is, then you can go through all difficulties. I was able to learn it due to my love for movies and his wife. Here’s my two serious love Affairs. But the most important lesson I learned is that anger and rage come to love.

With Alexei Uchitel. Photo: press service of the festival “Message to Man”.

— Did the actor’s profession is the constant overcoming of any obstacles?

— Yes, of course. Every serious artist a little broken, bitten. He may be afraid of something, trying to escape from his fears, plunging into art. And I did so, and now happy that you have not lost your sanity at some moments of life, and on the other hand, was very involved in the movie, were doing their best. If you do it as much as it did me, then you can really go crazy.

— What kind of atmosphere reigned in the family of your parents, if all children became actors?

— There was nothing special. We lived in real poverty line. In order to buy food to feed us, my father sold vacuum cleaners. When I said I wanted to be a movie star, he asked: “How? What happened?”. Then was impossible to imagine that I would become a famous actor. But I was lucky. Probably because I was immersed in all the movies, everything is so well formed. My sister Julia after the film “Pretty woman” became extremely famous. Somewhere for ten years she was the first star in world cinema. Father, our aunt, too, was associated with the acting profession. Now my daughter Emma keeps acting dynasty. Her last name is Roberts. Such is life, and it’s perfect for my family.

— You have another sister besides Julia? She also an actress?

— Yeah, Lisa is also an actress, working in theater in new York. Me and Julia — such a great career. Lisa harder, but no envy. She is constantly working and has no regrets. The three of us, Lisa is the best, kindest, just cool.

— Working for many years in the movie have now the right choice? And there is plenty to choose from?

I think you’ll like what I have to say. Always chose roles with great difficulty, with doubt. To me it is hard. Now choose so. Where the shooting? In Russia? I like to do it. Will go to Russia. 14 costumes will be sewn especially for me by my standards? They can be after the shoot to take? Great! I agree. Everything should be artistic and fun, and work should be fun and at the same time the bonus for my family. When everything fits together — agree. Need to go to the dark night in Bulgaria? Please, I’m ready. I like to be an actor, to receive invitations to appear all over the world. Best not to wish.

Photo: press service of the festival “Message to Man”.

— What else do you need besides talent? The ability to work, discipline, luck?

— I’ve worked with the big agencies. One of them recently broke off the relationship, because there I was told about the opportunity to work in small films where not able to pay. I fired them and made the wife of his boss. She may be the biggest agent, but finds worldwide those who want to work with me. And these people, it turns out, a lot. My wife and I travel the world for free, so make happy a large number of people. It gives us only pleasure and joy.

— Do you now removed in Russian-American project?

— Yes, this is a Russian project, but to spread. I also removed the middle East, in Qatar, in the film “Medina”. Participated in a film about people trapped in a car accident, stranded in the desert and opened up a new world, which before had no idea. In General, I always do.

— You admire the Russian actors, and he studied in British and American schools. What’s the difference?

— Stanislavsky became my favorite teacher. He had his own vision and method. In all acting schools have pros and cons, something is working and something not. You have to take all techniques to put in your pocket and use as needed. This thing I have repeatedly addressed in their work, along with classic English methods. I United them, were twisted. But the best method acting originated still in Russia, and I like it.

Whether Stanislavsky on Broadway?

Of course you do, but use it quietly. If you can sing and dance, then you and the road — to Broadway. For others this place is closed. I would like to have such talent to sing well and to dance. But I’m not particularly successful in this, so do others.

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