Robert R. Shafer [Interview]


Hello Dear Readers! For our first interview in a few weeks, I wanted to share some words from a seriously amazing dude, that have been a long time in the sharing. And it’s 100% my fault. The great Robert R. Shafer had been kind enough to share some words with us quite a while ago, but there I was to drop the proverbial ball and lose track of such amazing responses. But, we are here now to make amends, and share with you fine folks this amazing interview.

Robert R. Shafer can easily be identified as one of the finest characters of our time! In the same vain as our old friends Richard Riehl or John Carrol Lynch, Shafter is a multi-faceted actor with a god damned heart of gold, apparently. Whether you immediately recognize him as the solid man’s man and husband to Phylis on the successful NBC series The Office, a.k.a. Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration, or you are a fan of the amazing genre series with a well deserved cult following known as Psycho Cop, your just a fan of great art in general…Robert Shafer should very well be one of your favorite actors. Hell, he is in EVERYTHING. Well, everything that matters anyway.

Yes, Robert Shafer is a man who consistently working either in front of or behind the camera, creating some of the best art today. He has a film, The Want Dick Dickster, that will soon be released on Lions Gate, and we can not wait for the world to get a taste of Dick (sorry, childish, I know). We discuss this and so much for in this incredible interview.

So Ladies and Gentlemen, please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant Robert R. Shafer!

How did you find yourself immersed in the world of acting? What made you want to get into this world?

I fell in love with a beautiful, famous actress and after watching her work, I decided it was something that I might be able to do. So I began to study the craft with the legendary teacher Peggy Fuery, and among my classmates were: Meg Ryan, Nick Cage, Eric Stoltz, and Sean Penn, and it was a very competitive environment and I really embraced the challenge. I think an advantage I had was that acting was not something I had ever considered up until the time that I was in it; so I was not seeking fame and/or fortune, I was learning how to be the best actor that I could be; which, of course, turns out to be a lifelong pursuit.

In 1989 you starred in the cult classic horror film Psycho Cop, that is absolutely amazing, as well as Psycho Cop Returns in 1993. Two questions: What drew you to such a strange, and very original, project? And what has the fanfare been like since the films have been released? Do you find die hard projects of the films?

What drew me to it was that it was the title-role in a possible franchise. When I read for the part, the material used for the audition was Sam Shepard’s play, True West, which I had been working on in class. So I absolutely crushed the audition and they offered me the role. I got to go to Cannes and promote the film and I learned a lot about the business of show business; especially as it relates to distribution and financing. The films have achieved a great cult status, especially with recent Blu-ray release of PCR and the fans of the franchise are die-hard and now there is a whole new generation of them.

I am very intrigued by the 2015 film They Want Dick Dickster, which you actually co-wrote and produced as well as playing the lead. How did the idea of this film come to you? What made you want to tell this tale?

I was working on a script for a pilot about John Wayne and while researching that I learned about Wayne’s relationship with Director John Ford, which was incredibly complex. And of course, I have a lot of friends that are B-movie directors and they are all convinced of their own greatness even in the face of underwhelming results. Being an Indie director in Hollywood is one of the great roller coaster rides in career choices and so the picture incorporates behaviors about such legendary bad-boy mavericks like Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Sam Peckinpah, Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. I think of Dickster as my love letter to Hollywood:“On Dick’s movie sets — He’s the Monster!” In the film, Dick is forced to remake his only hit horror film into porn and hi-jinksensue. It’s being distributed by Indican Pictures and coming out soon, hard, fast and often!

In 2014, you appeared in a In film written by our friend Al Kaplan known as Zombeavers, that I thought was hilariously great. As an actor, what was it that drew you to this project? Was it the title alone?

The casting director on that film was Chadwick Struck and I said yes to that cameo role to stay on his good side. Also, I always ike working with new directors. And going in, I knew that that title was going to get a lot of internet attention and that’s something that actors have to constantly be aware of these days.

We have spoken with a lot of actors who have worked in the realm of SyFy films, as they are very intriguing to us. You are definitely no stranger to this world, with your roles in Super Shark and Mega Shark Vs. Crocasaurus. I’m always curious, what is it like to work on a project like this? And how does it differ from other projects you have worked on?

The first film I did was Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid, starring Debbie Gibson and Tiffany, directed by Mary Lambert, and it was a real hoot. The trick is not to know that you are in a ridiculous movie, but that the situation is real to your character. The straighter you can play it, the better it is. The challenge is that you have to manufacture reactions to green screen monsters: “OK, Bobby, look! there’s the snake! Here he comes!”

You are of course, the man behind the legendary Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration on the brilliant show the world knows and loves, The Office. I absolutely must ask, what was set life like on a show like this? Was it as fun to work on as a it was for us to watch?

It was amazing to be a part of it. What a cast! I think we had more fun doing it and the show only continues to grow in popularity. Life on the set was great, it truly was a team effort and the catering and craft services were the best ever.

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to tell our readers about?

Look for Awaken The Shadowman, The S.H.U. (which also stars Melora Hardin (Jan) from The Office), and I’m very excited about a new series I did called A Girl is a Gun starring Denise Richards, directed by French director Mattieu Tonetti.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

The deliveryman just arrived with my Philly cheese-steak. Delicious! And thanks for asking!

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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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