Daniel Roebuck - Interview - "I’m ready for my own Matlock"
- First, it is a great pleasure for myself to make this interview with you Daniel Roebuck. Thank you for your time for the Fans on The-Entertainment-junkie.de
- Daniel, you work over 30 years in the business. When did you first discover your passion for the world of Entertainment?
Yes, that’s true. I’ve been in Hollywood for 35 years now. But, fortunately for me, I really believed that I had an interest in doing this since I was about 6 years old. I talked about being on TV at such a young that my parents got me a cardboard television set to perform in. I went through many stages as an entertainer. First, I was a ventriloquist, believe it or not, then I would go into talent shows doing impressions of movie stars. I got a job as a clown in a circus when I was 12 and 13, and soon after, I began doing plays and magic shows. So the truth is, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t performing in some way. And I know it sounds crazy, when I relate it, but I’ve led such a strange life, and I’ve only ever wanted to entertain people.
- You start your career with Movies like "Cavegirl" with Cynthia Thompson or "Dudes" with Jon Cryer (Two and a half men) but the role many people known you was "Matlock". When you look back at this time and your work with Andy Griffith. What do you remember most?
Well, a strange thing happened just before I did my first episode of Matlock. In a confluence of events, that I’m sure was orchestrated by God Almighty, I had just happened to have portrayed, in the theater, the character of Will Stockdale which is the role that catapulted Andy to stardom. So when we met initially, when I was a guest star on an episode called “The Doctors” I was star struck. When I finally stopped stammering at the poor guy, I told him that I had just done the part and he knew of our production and I think that it created an instant bond between us and we only had one scene in that episode, but the next day the director, Tony Mordente, said to me at the craft service table, “The old man wants you to be a series regular!” Now that’s a very nice thing for someone to say, especially for someone I respected as much as Andy Griffith. But, the people who represented me scoffed at the idea and told me that is just what somebody says, but never follows through. And then four years later, I was a series regular. So, Andy proved to be the exception to the Hollywood rule, that what people say and what people do, are two different things.
I would like to say, that the three years I spent as Cliff Lewis, and by the way I played three other characters before I played Cliff Lewis; anyway, those three years were three of the most fulfilling, emotionally and technically, in my career.
- People call you one of the most versatile and hardworking people in the world of art and entertainment. What does it feel like when fans and other actors know you and respect your work all over the years?
Well, that is very kind of you to say. It’s funny to me because all I’ve ever wanted to be is a working actor and that people recognize me often, multiple times every day really, is perhaps a testament to how often I work, then what I might call my talent. I’m not trying to be self-deprecating. What I mean is, I’ve had such as blessed career, filled with so many opportunities, because I’m always trying to come up with new things to do. I was walking down Hollywood Blvd a few years with a very talented actor friend, Duane Whitaker (Pulp Fiction) and two very gracious people from Japan stepped out of a store and were startled to see me. And although, it appeared to both of us that they did not speak English, what they did say when they pointed to me was “Daniel Roebuck.” And we all laughed and smiled and took pictures and as we moved away, Duane said to me, “If there is such a thing as critical mass, I think we just experienced it!” So it is heartwarming to me that I can share this gift that God gave me with people everywhere. And not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for the opportunity. The last comment I would like to make is that, once I wrote Tony Randall (The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao) a fan letter and he wrote back saying that it is “heartwarming to receive praise from another actor.” And I never forgot that. It is true that when actors appreciate your work, it might mean more, because they more than anybody, know how hard it is to fully create a believable character.
- When I look at your list of movies and series there is not many you don´t work for. Do you still have a dream of a movie or series you would love to play?
That’s a great question. I think now I’m ready for my own Matlock. You know a show like that, or a Columbo, in which I can be the one solving the crimes. I think that would be a nice a way to spend the next years. Now, the other thing I would have said I would have loved to do is be a part of the Star Wars franchise. But, miraculously, I have spent the bulk of the last six months filming Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, the huge video game that will be out in November. The bad news is that your readers are playing it in Europe all of my work will be overdubbed by another actor. But hopefully, they will mimic what I did as Greez, the pilot of the ship that travels to each adventure.
- There are so many series Daniel ( Lost, NCIS , Law and Order , Grimm ,Desperate Housewives, The man in the high castle, Woke up dead.....) What was your personal highlight so far?
It’s hard to top the LOST experience. The character, Dr. Leslie Artz, was so wacky, the ensemble of actors was so excellent, the writing was top notch, and we shot in Hawaii, so it was all good news. It’s funny to be the guest star because you are coming into a family like the cousin that nobody wanted to visit, and you have to earn your way into their hearts. I enjoy making new friends, so climbing that particular mountain doesn’t scare me. And the great thing about being the guest star is that no one blames you if the series fails.
- What does the future hold for you? There a so many Post Production projects on IMDb. Anything you would like to plug to our readers?
Thank you for asking. I invite people to see Getting Grace, which is the first movie that I co-wrote and directed. And I invite your readers to look up www.AChannelofPeace.org. I am extremely excited about this new idea I have for making movies and documentaries that present faithful family-oriented entertainment. Our first movie, under that banner, is called The Hail Mary. It is about a funny nun who runs an all-boy Catholic school for troubled teens, finds a guy (my character) who needs redemption and cons him into creating a football team for the school. You see Getting Grace proved to us that we could make a movie that did do more than simply entertain. The response that we have gotten showed us that a film can do more than simply laugh or cry, it could enlighten them to a more positive outlook. Plus, through Getting Grace, we have raised nearly $65,000 for charity, and I think that this is a good way to serve the God who has given me so many opportunities. And if you want to know the truth, lately I have been thinking that I was so gifted to direct me to this moment in my life, and this idea.
- Is there anything else you would like to let your fans know?
If they haven’t released Getting Grace there yet, perhaps we should all work together to figure out a way to do that. Beyond that, I would just like to express my gratitude and remind everyone who reads this, that despite everything we read in the papers, people are mostly great. And if we all keep working together we can accomplish anything.
- Thank you Daniel Roebuck and all the best for your future and i hope to see you one day in Germany.
Matlock starring warren-frost-brynn-thayer-andy-griffith-daniel-roebuck
Daniel Roebuck and Jorge Carcia on the set of LOST (2005)
Daniel Roebuck and Leonard Nimoy on the set of Star Trek - TNG
Madelyn Dundon and Daniel Roebuck in Getting Grace.
Daniel and Tammy Roebuck
Thank you Tammy to make this Interview possible.