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

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.