They say everyone's a critic. Rocker-turned-actor-turned-commentator Henry Rollins is just one more example of that. His new IFC series, Henry's Film Corner, airs the first Saturday of every month at midnight (and repeats endlessly, just in case you miss it). Rollins — who also hosts a talk-radio show in L.A. — rants and raves about current film releases. How did the outspoken guy land this latest gig? Must be his can-do attitude.
"I've never taken an acting lesson in my life," he notes. "If someone says, 'Can you do a radio show?' 'Yes.' 'Can you act?' 'Oh, yeah.' I just B.S. my way right in. 'Can you float a movie-review show?' 'Yeah.' If it sucks, we'll know and I'll get canned and it will be over. Until then, if I think I can pull it off, I'm going for it."
Rollins keeps mighty busy acting, hosting his radio show, supporting the troops in Iraq and planning to tour with his band. Why add the movie-reviewing task? "I used to park cars, shovel manure, work at lab facilities, scoop ice cream, tear movie tickets.... It's what you do for $3.50 an hour or less," he explains. "I went from that into music, into speaking dates and voice-overs. The minimum-wage working world is nipping at my 'hind, [so taking time off] terrifies me.
"My income is approval based," he says. "When people stop saying, 'Yeah,' I start missing out on three square meals a day. I was raised by two very ambitious parents. They worked their asses off. I've been gainfully employed since fourth grade. I had a paper route and I've always worked. I get a few days off around Christmas. I fear unemployment because in my line of work, unless you are Ozzy Osbourne or Frank Sinatra or Mick Jagger, you have your time and then it's 'Thank you very much, now get out of here.' Unless you want to look like a damned fool and stick around for two tours too long. So I try and keep testing myself."
As an occasional working actor — he most recently did Bad Boys II — doesn't Rollins worry that his reviews might tick off potential employers? "All that stuff where I'm just mouthing off, I just make it up right there. If I like it or hate it, I know what I want to say," he insists. "Do I fear making an enemy of [Bad Boys II director] Michael Bay? Like Michael Bay has any friends? If you ask Michael, he'll say, 'I don't think I do.' He's hilarious."