Who IS Robert Gordon Spencer? Well, let's start with the fact that he's a dedicated family man who loves his wife and made very clear to me that the weekends were reserved for spending time with her. Which is something that will melt even my cynical heart. Robert is a man who finds value in every experience that's been thrown at him, from walk-on roles on "Saturday Night Live" to getting in the writing and producing end of movie making.
Adore him for his glowing positivity, his enthusiasm for his profession and his infectious smile, one that has earned him the simple title of "Cute Guy" on the show "Cashmere Mafia."
With at least 2 movies slated for release later this year, Robert is a busy man who took the (non-weekend) time to talk to me about who he is, where he's been and where he's headed in Hollywood.
AwesomeZara: Robert Gordon Spencer... that adds you to a growing list of actors who are using three name monikers. Is there any special significance to including your full name for your acting resume?
Robert Gordon Smith: Not really, I just wanted to be different and... I like my full name. :)
Zara: I noticed that you'd done some modeling in the early '90's for the American Institute of Modeling in Nashville, TN. Was that the first time that you'd had a camera spotlighted on you, or do your roots in being on display run further back than that?
Robert: I never really thought of that. I guess the modeling is where "it all started". I had developed a really bad self-esteem problem as a child and until someone suggested I compete in a modeling competition I had always thought of myself as unattractive. When I won the competition and was awarded a full scholarship to AIM I was sincerely grateful and surprised. The fact that I did get to "work" as a Model made me think about giving acting a try in college... thus it all began!
Zara: You served for 11 years in the US Military. Do you feel like the experiences that you encountered during those years helped to form you better as not only an actor but as a writer as well?
Robert: Not sure if the relationship was specific to serving in the military or just life in general but I'm certain the military had a positive affect on my life and I am grateful for it. If I may say, I'm proud of those that honor our country with their service and continue serving even when it is a challenge to do so.
Zara: There are 5 episodes of SNL where you were in walk-on parts. What were those experiences like? Were you ever able to interact with the host at the time?
Robert: These episodes will forever resonate with me in many aspects. I learned a lot about the business and even more about "networking". All of the hosts were extremely generous with their time and spoke to each of us in "background" I even made Hugh Laurie laugh at one of my jokes!
I believe that my last time on SNL was not the last time I'll spend time on SNL... It would be an honor to Host one day. Bold? Yes... but confidence has its play in there too!
Zara: Working in both television and film, what would you say is harder? Which has been the bigger learning experience for you?
Robert: I haven't really noticed much of a difference between TV and Film to be honest. I have learned the most producing my own films only because I didn't have the big budgets NBC, CW, ABC, etc... has. LOL We multitasked and got it done. No one complains, which makes it so much fun!
Zara: You have an upcoming movie this year, EXPECTATIONS, where you not only star in it, but you also co-wrote the screenplay. Can you tell me a little about that movie?
Robert: Well, while watching TV eating animal crackers and drinking coffee, at night, I had this idea in my head and just had to get it on paper. After I was finished... I really got excited about the possibilities. I had my wife and good friend Frederic Doss read it and with few collaborated changes we decided to shoot it! The film is about a guy that struggles with his "job" as a hired killer and the passion and fantastic acting by Actor, Frederic Doss and Actress, Liz McGeever I'll be surprised that it doesn't win many of the film festivals we submit too.
Zara: Have you ever (even jokingly) said, "But what I really want to do is direct."?
Robert: Direct, well... why not? But before I do that... let me figure out where my acting and producing is going!
Zara: Who has been the biggest inspiration in your professional career?
Robert: My wife has been my biggest inspiration because no matter what is going on in our lives, struggles with money, family illness, me for a husband, her work ethic is something to be admired! She is full of compassion and professionalism; she is the perfect Registered Nurse and one heck of a wife!
Zara: Ultimately, where do you see yourself going with your acting/writing?
Robert: I see myself working with talented actors like Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, and Alec Baldwin. I see Directors working on my films like Paul Greengrass, Ron Howard, and many others. IF you don't SEE yourself working with the best... you better just clock in somewhere and collect a paycheck.
Zara: What has been one of the biggest disappointments in your pursuit of making movies?
Robert: I would have to say it is the lack of collaboration better known film or TV stars have with those "coming up". I have had several well know "A List" actors say... "Robert, you are a talented actor" or "I love your style of writing" "I'll call you" but... they don't call or follow up. But if this bothers you as an actor or writer... clock out, and go home... it happens and looks like will continue to happen to everyone in this business!
Zara: What has been one of the biggest rewards that you've seen in your acting career?
Robert: I would have to say it is when a friend or family member says "Wow! I had no idea you could act like that!" When I surprise family... the people that know me best... that means I did something!
Zara: With all the bio-pic dramas that have been floating around recently, is there a particular character from history that you feel you could best play?
Robert: Well, it is a strange answer but I think I could really do something with the role of John Wilkes Booth. It was the largest manhunt in history! 12 days after killing President Lincoln the hunt ended in a huge gun battle! Plus, considering the more recent past with Presidents... I think there is a lot more to the story than what was released.
Zara: Can you name a dream cast that you'd love to work with?
Robert: Easy: A Western staring Tom Hanks, Sean Connery, Robert Duval, Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin, Jack Nickolson & Brad Pitt, and me of course! I could keep going really! There are so many female actress that I just can't get started on that list!
Zara: What is one of the things about you that most people would be surprised to find out?
Robert: I enjoyed my life from start to now... I have no regrets and would make many of the same choices even knowing the results of those choices. If it weren't for my mistakes, problems, misfortunes, good times, etc... I would not be the person I am today. I am working to make myself better and live my life to be a good person. I live to be more like my parents and hope to honor them.
As you can see, Robert is the guy that all of us are, even if just a little bit. He is hard-working, earnest and sincere. Which might make life hard in Hollywood, but it's just the way he rolls. And he's not compromising himself in the process. Something we all could stand to achieve.
Robert's IMDB profile
The Upcoming EXPECTATIONS
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