After just a few short years in Hollywood, Eli Roth has managed to create a genuinely multifaceted career, not only as a writer and director, but a producer, and most recently, actor as well. After a few small roles in his own films and a brief appearance on both sides of the camera in Grindhouse (he not only directed the fake-trailer Thanksgiving but played one of the guys getting Jungle Julia drunk in Death Proof), Quentin Tarantino enlisted Roth to play Donnie Donowitz, also known as "the Bear Jew," in his WWII opus Inglourious Basterds. If appearing in a second Tarantino film wasn't enough, this time he's sharing the screen with a literally international cast, headed up by none other than Brad Pitt, with whom he shares the majority of his screen time.
Cinematical recently spoke to Roth in an exclusive telephone interview, where he acknowledged his good fortune thus far. In addition to talking about his role in Inglourious Basterds, Roth talked at length about how playing Donowitz rekindled his creative fire behind the camera, and he also reflected on what makes the horror in horror movies last once they've left the screen.
Cinematical: In Hollywood, directors don't usually say, "what I really want to do is act."
Eli Roth: I'm actually at a photo shoot, so I'm going from director to actor, now a model, and what I'll end up as is a waiter.