Time to ‘Go Now’ with Kim Roberts

Garrett Godwin: Why do you think Lucky 7 wasn’t lucky on Tuesday nights? Was it because it was up against my favorite show, Person of Interest?

Kim Roberts: That could be it! … Honestly, though, I think Lucky 7 was an unfortunate casualty of the fall season. It was a great show that needed a few episodes to find its feet and its audience. We shot eight episodes in total, and each script got funnier and more moving than the last. Hopefully, the remaining episodes will air on ABC at some point and the folks will get to see what we were up to.

GG: Any chance of the unaired episodes being shown some time in the near future – perhaps on DVD?

KR: The hope is that ABC will broadcast the remaining episodes sometime soon.

GG: Tell us about the Global original drama Remedy and your guest role

KR: Remedy is a new medical drama on Global Television and I play Aunt Priscilla. Auntie is that family member you love and wish you could strangle all in the same breath. She flies in from Ghana to pay a visit to her favorite nephew Brian Decker (played by Matt Ward). Auntie takes promises very seriously and has an opinion about, well, just about everything.

GG: Explain The Strain that is coming to FX this summer and your recurring character

KR: The Strain is a brand-new series for the FX network, based on the vampire novel by Guillermo del Toro (director of Hellboy) and Chuck Hogan. In the series, I play Neeva, nanny to the wealthy Luss family. Neeva comes from Haiti and has a very deep spiritual understanding. When things start to get weird, Neeva’s strong instincts kick in and she does whatever it is she feel she has to do. Little does she know the danger that could pose to her and her family …

GG: Were you ever a fan of the vampire and/or horror genre? If so, do you prefer Twilight (Team Edward or Jacob for Bella), True Blood (Team Bill or Eric for Sookie), or The Vampire Diaries (Team Stefan or Damon for Elena)? After appearing in Dawn of the Dead and two Saw films, what do you think makes a good scare?

KR: When I was seven years old, my father made me watch a vampire movie with him. He thought it would be fun. I slept with the light on for four years after that. So, no, I have to say I’ve never been a huge fan of the vampire genre. In fact, I avoid vampire movies with a passion. I’m sure that The Strain, however, will be brilliant and I might even break my rule to watch it … I think that smart storytelling and drawing out the tension are two really good rules for horror movies that want to get you good. However, like I said, I’m no real expert. I just make them and let others review them.

GG: I read that you’ve worked with international action heroes Wesley Snipes and Jackie Chan. Did you learn any martial arts from either one of them? Any interest in being an African-American action heroine?

KR: I would love to be an action heroine. I think that would be way cool! Neither of the projects I worked on with those gentlemen required martial arts. But I’d like to think that if I needed some special counsel, they’d be there for me if I needed them!

GG : What was it like to shoot the CIA for In the Company of Spies? Learn any of their top secrets?

KR: In fact, it was really quite an honor! We were the first crew allowed onto the Langley campus to shoot a film. I got to fly to Langley, Virginia with Tom Berenger, Ron Silver, and our director Tim Matheson. We all had to receive special clearance from the CIA which meant background checks. And when we got to Langley, I had the honor of meeting George Tenet, the director of the CIA at the time. We shot scenes in the main entrance to the CIA, right up against the wall with stars for agents whose lives were given in service to the country. It was really very moving. It was such an historic event that Entertainment Tonight came out to cover it. Alas, no secrets were given out, but I did come away with a CIA key chain and fridge magnet that I treasure.

GG: How did it feel to work with Maya Angelou and Esther Rolle in Down in the Delta?

KR: That movie was a sheer pleasure and an honor. Not only working with the wonderful Maya Angelou and the late great Esther Rolle, but with Alfre Woodard, Al Freeman Jr. And the sexy Mr. Snipes … it was an honor just to sit at the feet of these elders and learn. I formed an extra special bond with Esther Rolle, and ended up taking her to Niagara Falls just a short time before her death.

GG: Who is your Role Model?

KR: All of the fierce women in my family! And my beautiful, wise, loving friends.

GG: Tell us about your work with the Obsidian Theatre and what inspired you to co-found it

KR: I am one of 12 cofounders of Obsidian Theatre. Alison Sealy-Smith, a wonderful actor who now lives in Barbados, really spearheaded the move to get the company started. She hand-picked 11 other theater professionals – myself being one of them -, and the early meetings were held in my home. Philip Akin joined as the 13th founding member and has continued to run the company: premiering and creating exciting work. Plays that Obsidian has premiered in Toronto have continued to be mounted to rave reviews across the country.

GG: What’s next for you? What do you hope to accomplish in 2014?

KR: Oh, so many things! But, really, just continuing to do more of the same at an even higher level. Work wise, it’s been a very exciting time and I’m really looking forward to the opportunities that this year continues to bring. And on a personal level, it would be nice to find the time to have a personal life again. Maybe I’ll put that on my calendar for 2014 …

GG: Where can find out more about you and the Obsidian Theatre?

KR: You can follow me on Twitter at @kimroberts1, on Facebook at facebook.com/kimrobertspage, and Obsidian Theatre at obsidiantheatre.com.

GG: Congratulations on being a 2014 Trailblazer Honoree at the 14th annual ReelWorld Film Festival. What does this award mean to you?

KR: It’s quite an honor to be recognized by my peers as a trail blazer. This award is, in fact, very special to me because I feel that over the past 20 years, I have been blazing somewhat of a trail. Or at least laying down more bricks for those behind me to walk on just as those before me did for me. It’s truly an exciting thing for me to walk into an audition room nowadays and see a diversity that never existed when I started out in this industry. Some of the obstacles that I may have had to confront aren’t even an issue anymore for this generation. It makes me proud if my work had anything to do with that.

GG: What advice do you have for people starting out in the industry?

KR: Give it all you got! Don’t hold back. This industry requires your all when you’re actually creating work. So get in the habit of giving your all from the get-go. The rewards will be worth it. Never stop growing. Never stop learning.

Garrett Godwin
Garrett Godwin is an entertainment journalist, who writes for NewsBlaze about television and people in the entertainment industry, from his home state of Michigan. Contact Garrett by writing to NewsBlaze.