Huntington Beach, CA, June 24, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- Dawna Lee Heising, John Cox and Todd Stearns of Eye on Entertainment on Time Warner Cable caught up with the versatile character actor Bill Oberst Jr. at Siren Studios in Los Angeles, CA. Oberst is on a roll at the moment, starring in three feature films that are getting industry buzz: the teen thriller The Devil Within (out on DVD June 29th with strong advance sales), the grindhouse feature Nude Nuns With Big Guns (fresh off an SRO Cannes screening with multiple international sales announced and a domestic deal pending) and Grooming Giselle, a comedy now in production whose innovative online video stream of the filming process was featured in a recent Los Angeles Times story.
Oberst shares top billing in The Devil Within with Elizabeth DiPrinzio, Sarah Harrison and Grey Damon. He plays Desmond Edwards, an intense character whose horrific encounter with a prostitute opens the film. Edwards reappears in a surprise twist to threaten DiPrinzio's character, Sirena. “I'm that guy that the audience loves to hate,” says Oberst. “If I die, the audience is satisfied because justice has been done. And along the way, they've had a lot of fun.”
But like a modern-day Man of A Thousand Faces, Oberst is more than a one-note actor. His dark character creations can be truly terrifying to watch; Kip Brown of LA Talk Radio's “In The Can” program said of Oberst's performance in The Devil Within, “Bill Oberst Jr. is a very frightening man,” and a recent online review at BrutalAsHell.com praised him for “a malicious glee and a disturbing, penetrating stare” in horror roles, but he slips just as easily into the skin of an 18th century German pastor (in the biopic Wesley, which had its California premiere earlier this month,) a digitally-enhanced Neanderthal (in Oleg Alexander's VFX envelope-pushing Primitive, now in post-production) or an inept small-time thug with a squeaky voice and a weakness for ice cream sprinkles (in Grooming Giselle, now filming.)
Oberst is the very definition of a working actor, with 17 diverse projects under his belt so far this year, from feature films to web series. Directors he has worked with praise his versatility. “Bill is a brilliant actor. He became Sherman” says Rick King, who directed him as the Civil War hero in The History Channel's ratings-winner Sherman's March. Dutch director Marcelo Fortin, who directed him in the upcoming European feature film Ripped Memories, says “Bill is one of the best actors I have seen.” Film reviewers are no less enthusiastic, calling him “someone to keep your eyes on;” saying that he has “a hell of a lot of screen presence,” and comparing him to “a combination of a younger Harvey Keitel and a sand-blasted Daniel Craig.” The Wall Street Journal's TV reviewer, Dorothy Rabinowitz, called Oberst “splendid“ and remarked on his “flinty authority” on-screen.
Yet Hollywood is a typecasting town, and with so many dark character roles under his belt; a Season 3 episode of HBO's True Blood, a lead role in one horror feature (Dismal) finishing an extended run on Showtime and a lead role in another (the Nazi vampire property Nacht) in development; Oberst is becoming known for an unsettling screen presence. The wide exposure from The Devil Within, whose pre-sale orders have already exceeded the total number of DVDs originally pressed for the June 29th release, will add another intense role to his rogue's gallery.
That's fine by Oberst, an actor's actor who has made his living at the craft for 15 years. Back home in his native South Carolina, Oberst was a self-described "fat kid" who started acting to entertain school bullies who picked on him. “I learned a valuable lesson,” he says with a smile, “If you entertain people, they will not hit you.” After a successful 12 year stage career on the East Coast (including national tours as Mark Twain, John F. Kennedy and Woody Allen), Oberst decided to try his hand at film in 2008. He quickly discovered a previously unexplored malevolent side when casting directors told him he was “chilling” before he had even opened his mouth.
His personal life could not contrast more with the image he leaves with viewers in films like The Devil Within. He lives quietly in Hollywood, is in bed early when not filming and occasionally plays Jesus of Nazareth in a touring stage ministry. He is a frequent motivational speaker in schools and churches, and his 'LA Working Actor' seminar tours to colleges nationwide to help prepare theater graduates for a working actor's life in Los Angeles.
Bill Oberst Jr. co-stars with Elizabeth Di Prinzio in The Devil Within, directed by Tom Hardy. The film debuts on DVD June 29, 2010 in Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy stores nationwide, as well as online at Amazon.com. For more information on Bill Oberst Jr., please contact Matt Chassin of Matt’s Marketing & PR at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bill's website is www.billoberst.com. He is managed by Dora Whitaker.