The 5-minute Interview: Eric Roberts, Film and television actor

'I'm good at complaining. I'm working on getting less good at it'
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The Independent Online

Eric Roberts, brother of Julia, has starred in films including 'Runaway Train', for which he received an Oscar nomination, 'The Specialist' and 'Con Games'. He has a penchant for quirky cameos, appearing in the videos of the Killers' 'Mr Brightside' and Akon's 'Smack That', a one-off 'South Park' episode and a round of 'Celebrity Deathmatch'. Now 51, he has joined BBC2's 'Heroes'.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be ...

Reading.

A phrase I use far too often ...

"Hey, brother, how ya doin"? and "Kiss my ass".

The most surprising thing that happened to me was ...

My success. I grew up having no connection to New York, LA, or to the film industry.

I wish people would take more notice of ...

Abused kids, the environment and me.

A common misperception of me is ...

That I am 6ft 1in. I am 5ft 11in in fact. Another misperception is that I am a party boy. I haven't had a drink since 1995, and I go to sleep around 7pm. Also, a common misperception about all actors is that they are filthy rich. Not so. But I believe everything I read in every tabloid.

I am not a politician but ...

I would make a better president than George Bush. Can you send him a copy of this paper? I'd love him to read how unpopular he is.

I'm good at ...

Complaining. I am working on getting a little less good at that. And I think I am a pretty good actor, given the right material.

I'm very bad at ...

Remembering things. I'm working on becoming a better communicator.

The ideal night out is ...

In.

In moments of weakness I ...

Bum cigarettes from other people. But I manage to avoid smoking most of the time.

The best age to be is ...

29. Forty was good too. The best thing to do is to decide that the best age to be is the age you are.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this ...

I guess I kind of believe in the old basic, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Alice-Azania Jarvis

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