Take note folks, if you haven’t heard of Roger Edwards, it won’t be long before you do! The co-star of Bad Kids Go to Hell, which opened last week and is still showing in 50 markets around the country, can also be seen in Freelancers with Robert DiNero and 50 Cent available now at Red Box, and in 2013’s Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks and Exists by Blair Witch Project director Eduardo Sanchez. Roger’s star is without a doubt on the rise. I sat down with the stunning California native who now calls Killeen, Texas home to talk about all of his exciting movie projects and how staying OTG (on the grind) is finally paying off in a big way!
When did the acting bug hit you?
I’ve been interested in acting since high school. It was the only subject I liked. Nothing else really appealed to me. I’ve always been an artist. When I was young I used to sing really well – like opera type of stuff. I could always draw, still to this day, I can draw anything. But I was 200 lbs. by my sophomore year in high school; so, everyone always considered me an athlete, which I am physically capable, but I’ve always been this undercover artist. When I was in high school, I used to watch Bad Boys everyday. I probably watched it a hundred times. My brother and I used to rent these random independent movies and watch them and some of them would be really great and some of them would suck, and we would criticize them. I watched Dusk Til Dawn five times in one night.
How did it feel playing in your first big role?
So, I was a lot younger and cocky. I got this role, it’s only four lines, but I got this. You know how it is. But when I sat down, you would have thought I didn’t know how to talk. I swear, I was like uh, yeah, uh, what’s that line again? I was getting hot, and was like “can somebody…I know it’s only four lines, but if y’all could just make sure I know…” The only thing that really got me to deliver my lines was when Kimberly [Pierce] was talking to her assistant, and I heard her say, “I really want to make sure this scene gets in the trailer.” As soon as she said that, it just clicked for me, and I was like look man, you got to get it together. I said my lines and got them out good; so, that was my big break.
And now you’re working all the time.
Now, my confidence has gotten built up, and I’m going to the right auditions and getting bigger roles. I just did Bad Kids Go to Hell. This is a totally different character than what I would usually play, and I’m in there in the whole movie, and that’s great. I just did Exists with the director of the Blair Witch movie. It’s the same genre, and it’s still file footage, but has more of a movie storyline. There are these two brothers, the older outcast loser brother, and the younger brother, his girlfriend and me and my girlfriend. And it’s a crazy story. My character’s a cool kinda guy that thinks he’s all this, and he has jokes and suddenly, they encounter a Bigfoot in the woods and they get attacked by it. We end up being stalked by it, and the younger brother gets kidnapped; so, my character has to step up to the plate because it’s just me and the two girls and the older messed up brother. It’s a fun story, and I think the older crowd is going to relate to it because it has that Boggy Creek element to it. I think the Bigfoot fanatics are going to enjoy it because of the authenticity of it, and then you’ve got the crowd that just wants to see a young fun movie that’s scary; so, it’s going to hit a lot of targets.
Any other projects we should look out for?
I have a movie with Tom Hanks coming out next year called Captain Phillips. It’s the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and what he went through when he was taken captive by Somali pirates. I play a soldier in the film, who is also a cameraman. It’s my job to go out with the team of soldiers responsible for assessing the situation while also trying to get as much intel as possible on camera. And people can rent my last movie Freelancers now at Red Box. That one stars Robert DiNero and 50 Cent.
And I understand you have a motto you live by.
Okay, my little tagline is…on the grind. You always have to be on the grind. Denzel Washington said in any profession it gets to be a grind, but you always have to stay on that grind. I’m always looking for auditions, opportunities, I’m always out there. I’ll do what I got to do to make this career work. When I first started acting, nobody was on the grind, now that I’ve had a couple of movies drop, everybody’s on the grind. It’s just funny how people’s tunes change as you get a little bit of success.
At this rate, I’m sure he will. So, in a year or two when you see Roger’s face on billboards everywhere, just remember, you read it here first!