Date of publishing: 8th
Canadian-born actor Sean Owen Roberts is no stranger
to sci-fi. He has guest-starred on series such as
Masters of Science Fiction, Stargate SG-1, The 4400,
Dead Like Me and John Doe, and he had a recurring
role on the series Intelligence. His feature-film
credits include Vice (with Daryl Hannah), Alien Agent,
When a Man Falls in the Forest (with Timothy Hutton
and Sharon Stone) and Saving Silverman. Roberts also
enjoys working behind the camera; he runs his own
production company, Oneness Productions. Painkiller
Jane fans will recognize him as Riley Jensen, the
computer specialist. He has just recently begun working
as a recurring Guest Star on the television series
Gilles Nuytens: How
have you been since we last talk? It was during your
Painkiller Jane time, time flies so fast!
Sean Owen Roberts: I've been doing
very well thanks. I took sometime off once Painkiller
Jane ended. During my hiatus, I did a lot of self
reflection, and really tried to refocus myself on
where I wanted to take my career, and what was most
important to me in my life. I also went back to school
for a year, studying some courses that interested
me. I think it's important, especially in such a crazy
racket like film, to constantly be grounding yourself,
and not let it take over everything in your world.
Nuytens: So, you've
worked on a lot of different fields in this industry,
from acting to producing, writing and directing. Each
is great and challenging to do! What would you say
is the thing you are the most at ease with and why?
Sean Owen Roberts: Hands down, I'm
most comfortable in front of the camera, but I do
thoroughly enjoy the writing aspect. It's so much
fun to create a whole world, telling the stories I
want to tell, creating the characters that impassion
me and really delving deep into my soul for inspiration.
Plus, I find writing very therapeutic. It's time primarily
spent alone, with just a computer and great music
and I'm left to fill the pages.
Gilles Nuytens: Could
you give one (or more) positive aspects, and one (or
more) negative aspects for each of these jobs?: Acting
- Writing - Directing - Producing
Sean Owen Roberts: First I have to
say, I love the whole creative process of creating
film and tv. I think I love it so much because it
incorporates all aspects of art, from music, to writing,
to painting a picture that moves. On the acting side
of things, I find it to be a very spiritual experience
as I try to let the character I'm playing just flow
through me. I try to imagine myself as a hollow reed
letting the inspiration flow freely through me. Obviously
that sounds easier than practically done and that
is where the negative aspects come in. It's the constant
struggle of any actor I feel to escape from the head
and mind, and no longer think about what is going
to happen in a scene. You can't have any pre-concieved
hopes for what may come, but rather take each moment
as they come and enjoy the ride. The writing as I
said before, I find to be extremely therapeutic and
I absolutely love being in sole control to create
whatever scenarios I imagine. For me though, writing
takes a lot of self determination, and I am absolutely
a self-proclaimed procrastinator, so sometimes it's
difficult to lock myself away and just write. On the
producing side of things, I usually let my partners
handle the business aspects, as I am still learning
all the in's and outs of the producing game. I take
my hat off to producers as it is an extremely difficult
job. I have only directed a short film and co-directed
a play so far, and I love it. I love working with
actors and helping guide their journey and finding
the character within them.
Nuytens: How did
you know you wanted to work with arts, and more particularly
in television and cinema?
Sean Owen Roberts: I have been performing
since I was in diapers. My first on stage performance
was in Grade 6 performing for my elementary school
playing the role of GARTH from Wayne's World. In high
school, Drama was my refuge, and being on stage was
like a second home to me. I loved the feeling when
the curtains opened, and I was on stage, that there
was no turning back, and no matter what, the scene
must to go on. When I was on stage I felt so free.
I can honestly say my high school drama teachers saved
me from going in the wrong direction, by guiding and
encouraging my acting. Mr.Georges and Mrs.Crimble,
if you're reading this, thank you! However, I never
imagined this would become my career, but somehow,
I just kept being pulled in this direction. Eventually,
I decided to give into the universe and see where
this journey will take me.
Gilles Nuytens: What
is the job for which you are the most proud of (I
mean one performance in particular, it can be a particular
role, or script you wrote or whatever), the one job
that would be your best achievement, so far?
Sean Owen Roberts: That is a really
hard question for me to answer, simply because every
role has it's individual moments that are amazing.
It's those little moments for an actor, when your
in a scene and the "magic" happens. It's
as though nothing else exists and you are just present
to the moment of being. This can happen on a multimillion
dollar set, on stage, an indie short film or even
in an acting class. It's those moments I think actors
are always chasing after. It's like a drug! However,
I have to say though, and no, I'm not just promoting
the show ;)... but my role on SUPERNATURAL is a lot
of fun. It has that perfect mix of part comic clown,
part psychotic homicidal killer! Those are the best
roles no? ;)
Gilles Nuytens: It
is good to go through every step of movie making,
so at the end, you gain a lot of experience and you
know how to deal with everyone, you know their job
and it's a major factor to be a good movie maker.
Any comments on this?
Sean Owen Roberts: Hands down, the
more you know about your craft, your industry and
roles everyone play, the better off you'll be. I love
every aspect about this art form and I respect everyones
role in the process. In reality, the actor is the
least important person on set. It's very humbling
once you realize this.
Supernatural, what are your ongoing projects?
Sean Owen Roberts: Right now I am
currently writing/developing a few projects. All three
are for television and are vastly different from one
another. All three are stories that are very close
to my heart. I unfortunately can't go into much detail,
but I can say, I am very excited to see these all
come to fruition, whether it takes a month or 20 years.
Gilles Nuytens: So
then Supernatural... I've been told you got a recurring
guest star role on the show! Tell us more!
Sean Owen Roberts: This is true,
and I feel very blessed to have been given such a
great opportunity. I'm playing a pretty evil guy on
the show. So far I've filmed a few episodes and I
have thoroughly been enjoying my time with the cast
and crew. I won't say much about who I am playing,
as I don't want to spoil the surprise.
Gilles Nuytens: I'm
not going to ask the usual questions about how you
get the job and so on. But except the fact you got
a new job on a big TV show, and you must be very happy
of that, is that a show you like particularly?
Sean Owen Roberts: I'll be honest
I was a huge fan during the earlier seasons of the
show, as a girl I was dating at the time got me into
it. However, from reading the scripts and learning
more about the show since being cast, I must say the
writing is excellent and it's a lot of fun. It has
this great mix of drama, comedy and an eeriness about
Gilles Nuytens: What
is the most interesting part you gain, in your personal
life, of being an actor. I mean, everyone's job has
an influence on their personality, on their way of
life. What has acting brought to you?
Sean Owen Roberts: I am sure many
artists in other fields feel the same way, but I feel
like acting as has given me the ability to observe,
respond and react organically. Basically, what I mean
by this is, I try to live outside of my head, and
stop thinking about how to behave, or what to say
or do, and just "do." Acting has developed
my a skill of truly following my instincts and really
trusting my instincts. It has also allowed me to be
present in my day to day life and take everything
in. I always say to other actors, the best training
for me is to just sit and observer human behaviour
and to be aware of situations you find yourself in
and remember how you reacted and how you were feeling
at the time.
Nuytens: I am tempted
to ask the same question for your other skills...
Sean Owen Roberts: Without tooting
my own horn too much, I feel confident to say, I am
quite pleased with my writing ability. I have had
the blessing of working on a lot of different projects
and have had the opportunity to read many scripts
throughout my career. Some of these scripts have been
amazing while many have been horrendous. As a result
I think I am able to write scenes that really capture
what I want to achieve. As an actor the best scripts
are the ones where the lines seem so natural that
the dialogue just flows from line to line. I try to
develope my characters so deeply that they are rich
with authenticity. I feel, for me, that the character
developement is more important than the story itself,
and I try to write the stories where the characters
are driving the action rather than the action driving
the characters... if that makes sense?
Gilles Nuytens: Is
there a project you have in mind but that you can't
do because of a too high budget or any other problems?
Would you talk about it so maybe someone may be interested
Sean Owen Roberts: Well, as I'm sure
everyone knows, this is a crazy business we are in,
and every bit helps. There are so many great projects
never get to see the light of day, simply because
they weren't given a chance, or the creators didn't
know the right people. My production partner and I
have a few projects on the go, three television shows
and a feature. I would rather not go into detail about
the projects on here, but if someone out there would
like to hear more, they can always feel comfortable
contacting me through my agent Natasha at TRISKO TALENT.
I will say, I am very excited about the projects and
they have enormous potential. I feel like the stories
I want to tell are not only commercially viable but
will also shed light on social issues that are very
close to my heart. I look forward to see them all
come to fruition.
Gilles Nuytens: Anything
else you'd like to add, say or comment?
Sean Owen Roberts: Honestly, the
only thing I have to say is live everyday to the fullest.
Life is too short to let the days pass you by. I've
just started to realize this recently, and it makes
every thing so much more exciting. It's cliche but
seriously LIVE LOVE and LAUGH... to quote a wise man
"thats all I have to say about that."
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