Photo: Ari Neiditz

We live in such a cynical age that it’s equal parts endearing and uncomfortable to watch someone living out their dreams, like the hosts of Eric Roberts Is The Fucking Man sitting down with the subject of their podcast onstage at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre as part of the Cinepocalypse festival. Although they were kept apart before the live podcast taping last Sunday like romantic rivals about to duke it out on a talk show, after some initial awkwardness (and a montage of clips from Roberts’ movies), podcasts hosts Doug Tilley and Liam O’Donnell started running down Roberts’ intimidating IMDB page (481 credits and counting) and asking him questions, chief among them, “why the hell did you do that movie?” The answer, according to Roberts? “You obviously don’t pay attention. I turn down nothing.”

He also doesn’t mind answering a few questions, including these nuggets of wisdom:

Yes, the dialogue in A Talking Cat?! was recorded in a bathroom: On the notoriously bad audio in that notoriously bad talking-animal film, Roberts says: “We looped that movie at some guy’s house and the bathroom had the best acoustics.” Compared to where? A construction site?

The Stalked By My Doctor movies will be a quadrilogy: If you’re not familiar with the first two, these are a series of sublimely trashy Lifetime movies starring Roberts as a doctor who develops unhealthy attachments to his patients all over the U.S. (and Mexico, in Stalked By My Doctor: The Return). He also yells “I’m unfriending you! at a date in the first one, which is hilarious. Roberts confirmed that a third film is the series is being made, and there’s been talks of a fourth: “I figure [my character] will start in Portland, and go all the way down to Miami, abusing woman all the way,” he said.

Eric Roberts went to Qatar for reasons he refuses to explain: As part of a conversation about his side career as a middle-aged male video vixen, Roberts said he filmed his live-action cut-ins for The Killers’ “Miss Atomic Bomb” video on a soundstage in Qatar (note that in the shots where Roberts is supposed to be dancing with the female lead, his face isn’t visible). As for why he was in Qatar, Roberts simply said, “I can’t tell the truth. The truth is dark.” So, yeah, that’s that—unless someone wants to start a spinoff podcast investigating why the hell Eric Roberts was in Qatar in 2012.

Eric Roberts went on Celebrity Rehab for the publicity: Roberts, a passionate fan of the kine bud, ended the podcast with a story about his stint on Celebrity Rehab, a gig he says his wife/manager told him about right after he had smoked a joint. “She said, ‘Celebrity Rehab called. They want to know if you have a drug problem,’” he recalled with a laugh. He ended up going on the show for the publicity— “They have a young audience. Your audience is your age,” his wife reportedly told him—under the tenuous premise that he was addicted to marijuana.

“About the sixth or seventh day, [the producers] called my wife and said, “He doesn’t socialize. He doesn’t talk in the meetings. Everyone’s had a breakdown and cried three or four times, but not your husband. Your husband yawns a lot.” Under threat of being kicked off of the show for being too boring, Roberts faked some tears in therapy and, um, called Janice Dickinson a “cunt” in order to whip up some ratings, and by all accounts, it worked. On his relationship with his fellow contestants, Roberts says, “they’re all coming off of heroin, or ... oxycontin, all this hard stuff. Me, I’m getting off marijuana. I have a headache, but I’m fine.”

You can listen to the new episode of Eric Roberts Is The Fucking Man, with special guest Eric fucking Roberts, on the ERITFM website or your standard podcatchers.

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