I will never forget the first time I saw this beautiful man. I was 7 years old, and we had just installed cable, so this was every kids dream. So many god damn channels, what the hell was I going to watch. The very first thing I watched on cable TV was King of the Gypsies. And that was the first time I truly fell in love. I will never forget seeing this for the first time. And while the story was intense and it grabbed me from the moment I switched on the TV, there was one thing I couldn't take my eyes off. Eric Roberts and those intense eyes. Even as a 7 year old, I could see the sadness and the confliction that he was going through, and it bothered me. I just wanted to hug him and tell him, everything was going to be okay. His performance just moved me and blew me away.
King of the Gypsies, was Eric's first major role, and for a first big performance, he fucking nailed it. So much talent from such a young age. You can even see in this film, the intensity he possesses, and he still has that in his films today, regardless of what role he is playing. If you are an Eric Roberts fan and you haven't seen this, do yourself a favour and watch it!
Obviously after seeing his performance in King of the Gypsies, I was hooked. I was always looking in the Foxtel TV guide to find more Eric Roberts movies. Months would go by and nothing. I was sick of not being able to see any of his movies besides King of the Gypsies, so I went to the video store. I remember going with my older brother and he had in his hand Best of the Best...and who is on the cover? Eric FUCKING Roberts. I could not tell you how excited I was to finally see another one of his movies. I was already a fiend for American Martial Art movies, so getting to see this amazing man in one of my favourite genres of film was better than Christmas. To all my friends who actually know me and have seen my reaction to movies I really enjoy, they know that I tend to squeal and giggle. So imagine Jade at 7 years old doing this. That is the only reaction I can explain. And when I found out there was a sequel, the squealing and excitement just heightened even more. I was very lucky to actually get both my Best of the Best DVD's signed by Eric at Supanova last year, and he signed it 'Jade, with all my love, Uncle Eric Roberts'. Jealous? I would be.
The Best of the Best movies, are some of the most underrated American Martial Arts movies, which is sad, because they have some kickass choreography and the stories are just inspiring, especially in the first instalment. Seeing Alex Grady's love for his son was just beautiful, and it always makes me smile. Call me cheesy, but it really warmed this cold, black heart of mine. I'm just kidding I am not that much a cold hearted bastard. But the love in the film, still warmed my heart all the same.
The next film I had the pleasure of seeing him, just blew my god damn mind, because I had never seen him act this way in the roles I had seen him in. And that was Final Analysis. I remember seeing the TV commercial for it, and I was like 'Oh boy I need to watch this'. The problem was it was getting played at 1am, oh and that was way past my bed time...So I did what any normal child did. I went stealth. I remembered back to everything I had learnt from ninja movies, and got into stealth mode. I crept in the dark, smoothly sliding down the staircase banister and then I made my way into the living room. I turned the TV on and turned the volume down and sat real close to it, and man I was so glad I went through all that trouble of sneaking out bed, to watch what was an entertaining piece of film. The one line that has always stuck with me when his character Jimmy is talking to Isaac AKA Richard Gere, and it gives me chills to this day. He says ' I don't like people looking at my wife'. That may seem like a simple line but the intensity in his eyes, and the delivery of the dialogue was just perfect. I would not like to fuck with Jimmy.
As you probably could have guessed, my love for Eric Roberts and his movies just kept on going, and I always made sure I managed to watch them one way or another. Some of his best performances have not even been recognised, so I will give you guys a list of some of the films I really enjoyed watching him in, time and time again.
- The Pope of Greenwich Village
- The Ambulance
- Descending Angel
- The Specialist
- Nature of the Beast
- The Cable Guy(his role was small but so memorable)
- Hunt to Kill
- The Coca-Cola Kid
- Runaway Train
- Paul's Case
- Nobody's Fool
- Blood Red
- Lonely Hearts
- Dark Angel
- The Dark Knight(I liked his role, not the film)
I love every single role I have seen Eric Roberts in. But there is two roles in particular that stick out in my mind as his best. The first one is his role as James Munroe in the first Expendables movie. This movie was PANT EXPLODING GOODNESS! I got to see my favourite action stars in one film, and a man I had admired since childhood, Eric Roberts. I loved this role in particular, because he was such a snake. His character Munroe was just a badass mofo in a sexified suit which you did not mess with. You could tell he loved having everyone else doing his dirty work, and they were his puppets. He had power, and he made sure everyone knew it. And so many people have done this kind of role before, but Roberts has this intensity which I stated before. He just has to give you a look, and you know you're in deep shit. I respect any actor who can convey intensity and depth through their eyes and when you see that, it hits you in the gut, and makes you become more aware.
And here we are, one of the most memorable performances of Eric Roberts's career, well that's my opinion, but everyone needs to see Star 80. I remember when I first saw this with my mum. I was 12, and my mum was pestering me to watch this movie with her. I was thinking to myself, 'Uh please don't be boring, I got better things to watch on a Saturday night, like Kickboxer'. But I decided to be a good daughter and watch this film with her, and my god am I glad I did. As soon as Roberts came on the screen, I just got pumped, excited, happy. Just all these emotions I have whenever I watch any of his films. I stated how I loved his intensity but WOW. This role of Paul Snider was on a whole different level. He was such a slime ball, a creep, a snake. I saw him play a role like that in Final Analysis, but this was creepy on a whole new level, and I don't think I have seen a role like that since. He reminded me of a very bad second hand car salesman, who smells like cheap cigars and Brut and has this greasy hair. The characteristics he possessed in this role, was pretty much everything I dislike about men. This wasn't just another cliché role, it felt real. After I watched the film, I was shocked. What the hell had I just watched. The true story of Dorothy Stratten is incredibly sad and tragic, and seeing it get portrayed on screen, really opens your eyes to what happened. Sure there were critics of this film for obviously it's content, but you cannot deny that Roberts's portrayal of Snider was so creepy to the point it made your skin crawl.
I love the fact that Eric Roberts doesn't just limit himself to one genre of film. He has been in a stack of movies, and is still getting a lot of roles. Whether they are big or small, they are all significant in one way or another. I was fortunate enough to meet him last year, and he is hands down the best celebrity I have ever met. He is really appreciative of his fans, and is just so genuine. I hope you have loved my 'love letter' and the journey I experienced growing up and discovering his movies. I will never be able to really explain the feeling his films have given me, but the dumb grin that is plastered over my face as I have been writing this article would say it all.