The Schmooze

Eric Roberts on What It's Like to Play a Nazi

Actor Eric Roberts is pretty busy but he likes it that way. Roberts just wrapped “Escaping the Holocaust,” Josh A. Weber’s film about his own family. Weber’s grandfather, Max Fronenberg, spent a year digging a tunnel to escape a prison camp and saved 15 people but couldn’t convince the woman he loved to come with him. The movie tells of their reunion 30 years later. Roberts agreed to an exclusive interview for the Arty Semite.

Dorri Olds: What can you tell me about “Escaping the Holocaust”?

Eric Roberts: I’m playing a Nazi. It’s a reenactment film. My friend Josh Weber wanted to do this movie and asked for my help. After I said yes he told me, “You’re playing the worst man in the movie,” and I am. The guy is a monster who shoots a little girl in the back.

What’s the story arc?

Josh’s grandfather escaped a concentration camp leaving behind the woman he’d fallen in love with. She was too scared to try to run. As years went by they both assumed the other was dead. Thirty years later, after his wife dies, Fronenberg reunites with the concentration camp woman.

Was it emotional to play a Nazi?

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Eric Roberts on What It's Like to Play a Nazi

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