SXSW Interview: ‘NEIGHBORS’ Star Craig Roberts Tries His Hand at Filmmaking with ‘JUST JIM’


F56507Preston Barta // Editor

Through the years we have seen many actors try their hand at directing, such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling and James Franco. Just five years after breaking out in Richard Ayoade’s SUBMARINE and last year’s NEIGHBORS, Craig Roberts has written, directed and starred in his first feature, JUST JIM.

Holding its world premiere at South by Southwest, JUST JIM is set in the suburban wasteland of Wales. Roberts plays Jim, a misanthropic youth whose life is in desperate need of something new, but that all changes when Dean (a firecracker Emile Hirsch) enters the picture.

Craig Roberts wrote, directed and stars in JUST JIM.

Craig Roberts wrote, directed and stars in JUST JIM.

One thing you’ll notice when watching Robert’s directorial debut is that it never misses a step in its twisted absurdity. Some bits are strictly made to make you laugh, while others are there to move the story along and take you to strange places.

Many audiences may wish the film were a little more accessible, but it’s a great film that will make for an amusing discussion. It only helps that Roberts and Hirsch have an infectious chemistry. So JUST JIM is sure to tickle your fancy and make your head spin.

Fresh Fiction had the opportunity to sit down with Roberts at SXSW to discuss his debut, the craziness within, and how it all comes together.

JUST JIM held its last screening at SXSW last night, but we’ll keep you posted on any future festival runs and its official release.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.