PPLA had the pleasure of interviewing Robert Baker. I am sure that you recognize his work from Grey’s Anatomy and Justified, but what you may not know is that he recently starred in the comedy film, Virtually Heroes as a frustrated video game action hero, and can be seen in Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp releasing July 13. In addition, Baker will appear in Atom Egoyan’s thriller The Devil’s Knot alongside Oscar winners Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon.
PPLA: When did you know that acting was what you wanted to pursue as your career?
RB: I was pretty young actually, guess I was lucky knowing what I wanted to do fairly early. I was like fifteen and had done some theater in Memphis and really got into it and started studying and doing it as much as I could.
PPLA: What was the first show or production that you ever did and what character did you play?
RB: It was Twelfth Night, the king had an attendant named Curio and I played him. They actually combined and consolidated roles, and I had about ten lines.
PPLA: What role have you enjoyed playing the most so far in your career?
RB: The bad guys and the darker roles are a lot of fun because like on Justified it’s nothing you can do in your everyday life without getting arrested! It’s sort of a safe place for you to get all that kind of stuff out and a fun way to do something you would not be able to do otherwise. The part in Justified was really fun. I had a really good time doing it, and I enjoyed working with that crew of people. The people were very nice and it’s just a good environment to work in. And then this movie I just did called The Devils Knot which is based on a true story and will come out later this year. I play one of the detectives. I investigated the murders of the Westminster. That was really interesting, very cool, because I grew up very close to where it actually took place and I remember when all that was happening. I was practically a part of it!
PPLA: Recently you have worked alongside Johnny Depp, Resse Witherspoon, and Colin Firth. Can you talk about what it is like to work with Oscar winning actors and what you have learned from them?
RB: Seeing their work ethic, and what it really does take to reach a certain level… those people have reached, those three that you mentioned specifically are all so good and it’s not by accident they got there. They are hard workers and they are focused, when they are at work. They are focused and they are always in it! Sometimes, they are really cool and sometimes they are not there to hangout and make friends. They are just there to work.
PPLA: What movies and projects are you currently working on?
RB: The Lone Ranger is coming out in July. It was such a huge production, you know with Jerry Bruckheimer and Verbinski and Johnny Depp, and we went to all these remote locations. We were in all these national parks and in the desert and we shot in like Monument Valley. John Wayne shot there in the 60’s, and I play a ranger in that film named Navarro. Then I have The Devil’s Knot with Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth which I mentioned. It’s an insane story! It revolves around three teenage boys 16-18 years of age that were murdered, and I am from outside of Memphis where this took place. I was thirteen when it happened. My younger brother was the same age as the little boys that were murdered. I didn’t remember the specifics of the case but I remember the feeling of it all. It was a very tense and scary time.
PPLA: How was it working with Atom Egoyan, the director?
RB: It was great to work him. He gave me the freedom to do what I had in mind, and what I thought worked for the character. He allowed be to go figure out what I thought was going on with the character with him, and he would pull you in and keep the story simple. He knew where he wanted everything to go.
We can’t wait to see Robert Baker in these summer blockbusters!
Watch the trailer for The Lone Ranger.
Learn more about The Devil’s Knot.