I sat down with my friend, Deep Roy, over brunch at our favorite Mexican food restaurant in Santa Monica. I’ve known Deep for several years, consider him one of my closest friends, and yet I had never questioned him at length about his work–until now.
First Deep, before we get started, let’s get the plug out of the way. I know you’re excited about your role of Keenser in Star Trek, when is the film set for release?
Before I answer that I’d like to give a shoutout to all my friends and family. I want to tell all of them to read your Evil Trilogy. They need to read Vickie’s books and comment that I’d make a great Trevor in the film. I want to play Trevor even though Keith and I are arguing over which one of us would make the better hitman in the movie. That would be me. After all, I’ve already played a hitman. You hear that, Derek? Anyway to answer your question, Star Trek comes out May 17th in 3D just in time to kick off the start of the summer blockbusters.
Thank you for that well-placed plug, Deep. Now on to what we all want to know. You’ve worked with director, Tim Burton four times, Planet of the Apes, Big Fish, Corpse Bride, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, remind us what other directors you’ve worked with over the years that obviously love what you do in front of the camera.
J.J. Abrams twice in both Star Treks, Wolfgang Petersen twice in Neverending Story and Enemy Mine, Ron Howard in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay in Transformers. Then there’s Blake Edwards, who gave me my first part in a feature film.
Ah yes, that was back in 1976. You played the Italian assassin in The Pink Panther Strikes Again with Peter Sellers. How exactly did you get started in the business anyway?
Stand up comedy in London.
Stand up is tough. Is it true you are the only actor that has appeared in Star Trek, Star Wars, AND Dr. Who?
That’s true and don’t leave out Blake 7
Wouldn’t think of leaving out Blake 7. Devotees would never forgive me if I left that out. You stole the show in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with a ton of dancing. Tell me about the cocoa bean dance.
Originally, Tim asked me if I could dance. My answer was only at parties and when I’m drunk. But there ended up being 20 dance routines to learn. Tim just kept adding more and more. It took months of rehearsals, dance lessons, which were physically demanding, and then filming for six months going from the four different units shooting each of the scenes separately. All for two minutes of screen time.
Yeah, but that’s one hundred and twenty seconds of Deep Roy onscreen. Your performance blew the critics away. What up to now has been one of your favorite characters to play? I know that you really enjoyed your guest appearance on HBO’s East Bound and Down because it gave you a chance to stretch your acting chops.
They told me when the camera rolls, adlib, be as nasty as the devil and I was. I just let the insults fly. It was great fun to play such a bad guy.
What do you think was one of the best films of 2012?
Skyfall. The script was good. Daniel Craig was the best James Bond I’ve ever seen.
Oh I agree Daniel Craig was good in that. What kind of training did you go through to get here?
To this day, I never stop training, never stop learning. After all this time in the business, every role offers something different, every director is a privilege to work with and learn from.
If you could change one thing about Hollywood with the wave of a magic wand, what would it be?
Make me the lead guy!!!
Spoken like a true actor. What advice would you give someone just starting out in the acting world?
Don’t give up. You have to have passion and determination. Never give up!! And be nice, you’ve got nothing to lose!
That actually applies to any dreamer hoping for their big chance at acting or writing. Anything you want to add before we close? Now’s the time.
Be sure to watch the Ballad of Sandeep, the short film I did. Go to my Facebook page. There’s a link there to the film directed by Derek Frey.
Another plug, easy enough. By the way, I loved the Ballad of Sandeep, great job! Here’s the link to Deep Roy’s Facebook page. I think we’re done here. You ready for another margarita?
Absolutely. Your turn to buy though.
Waiter! Could we get another round please?