Eric Roberts is the definition of a Hollywood veteran. The 59-year-old actor has starred in damn near 400 movies and TV shows to date and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. And when he's not on set for either of those, he's probably making a cameo in your favorite artist's new music video.
The dashing gentleman eager to woo Mariah Carey in the two-part "It's Like That" and "We Belong Together." The alluring aristocrat in the Killers' "Mr Brightside." The detective hot on Ja Rule and Charli Baltimore's trail in "Down Ass Bitch." The list goes on, all the way up to earlier this week when he added Rihanna's seven-minute opus for "Bitch Better Have My Money" to his resumé.
In the visual he makes a brief but memorable cameo as a highway patrolman who's always a figurative two steps behind Rih and her girl posse in figuring out that they're holding her accountant's wife hostage. We hit the Cameo King up as soon as the video dropped but, shocker, he was busy on set all day before embarking on a long flight. Thankfully he spared some time to talk all things "BBHMM" over email.
Frazier Tharpe is a staff writer for Complex. Follow him @The_SummerMan.
How'd the opportunity to star in this video come about?
Is it Island [Def Jam] again? I've done the Killers and Mariah Carey for them. They seem to want me in their videos. [Editor's Note: Rihanna was with Def Jam for her first seven albums, but has since signed with Roc Nation where "BBHMM" was released.] Otherwise my stepson, Keaton Simons, an artist, knows a lot of people in Rihanna's world. I think he heard they were casting.... Then we heard Rih thought something nice about me, and I was asked first to play the husband, but then she didn't want to kill me. So the cop/highway patrol guy in the Weekend at Bernie's storyline went to me.
Are you a fan of her music?
I've always loved Rihanna. I love this crazy song. And I loved the busting into Jimmy Kimmel's house.
How was she on set? What actions or prompts did she give you?
We had two brilliant directors. Rihanna did have ideas though, and they were usually intense and funny.
Stylistically, what was she going for?
People are saying Tarantino, but I'd say it was original, playful, and sinful.
Are there any funny stories from your days on set you can share?
We had a friend bearing gifts of Kerastase hair products come to set. Really nice guy. Dad of amazing 10-year-old actress Katie Silverman. (No kids on the Rihanna set. Lots of cute puppies and dogs though.) Anyway, Katie's dad, Adam, ended up kind of stuck in the barn room where we were shooting the girl hanging upside down, being swung from the ceiling. Adam just came to say hi and drop off some hair care, and ended up in the middle of something truly bizarre, with no explanation.
I became very popular, or annoying, on set, parading around, singing an opera version of the chorus of the song, "Bitch better have my money."
Did Rihanna ever imply that the video is based on problems with her actual former accountant?
She did not.
You've starred in a handful of music videos over the years. What's your selection process? Are there any cameo opportunities you turned down?
I was almost in Paris when this was shot and not available. But if the kids say it's a great song or a great artist, I go for it. If it's cast by Renita Whited, I'll do it.
What's your favorite music video that you've starred in?
I'm starring in the upcoming Keaton Simons' "Best Revenge" video. Can't wait.