That first movie gig is special for any actor. Then again, landing a starring role opposite the hunky Colin Farrell and the tremendously talented Robin Wright Penn and Sissy Spacek could be a newcomer's worst nightmare! Luckily for theater thesp Dallas Roberts, the aforementioned A-listers were a dream to work with on the set of A Home at the End of the World (now in limited release).
"For a guy who is making his first movie — and with bona fide movie stars — there was some trepidation about how I was going to do," the soft-spoken Roberts admits. "But [they all] made me feel very calm and very much like I was doing a good job, and that it was alright to be a little weirded out by all this."
After multiple auditions with director Michael Mayer and producer Tom Hulce, Roberts learned he'd won the part at a tricky time. "I was actually about four minutes from going on stage [in the Off-Broadway play Burn This] when Michael called," he recalls. "He said, 'I am going to Tokyo for a month but I just wanted to let you know that we loved you and want you in the movie and hope you'll do it.'
"I'm like, 'Of course I'll do it,'" he continues. "It was great. I was overjoyed and said, 'Thank you, thank you!' Then, I hung up the phone and the [stage crew] was like 'Places!' and I turned the cell phone off, went on stage and did the first act. At intermission, I was sitting with two guys in the dressing room and it took five minutes before I remembered."
In the buzzworthy Home, Roberts' character is Spacek's son, who creates an unconventional family with his childhood pal (Farrell) and roommate (Penn). Buzz or no, he's learned the hard way that he isn't yet the household name that his costars are. "When I'm at these film festivals, [publicists] would say, 'We have a very special guest, Dallas, to answer your questions.' And people go, 'Who?' and then I'd go, 'Well, just watch the movie and you can ask me questions afterwards.' Then, I'd get up there and they'd ask questions and say very, very nice things."