Anyone who spots a Georgetown native standing next to Jim Carrey in a music video short online would be right on target.
Bill Oberst Jr., an actor in Los Angeles who returns home every year or so to perform solo theater acts in Georgetown County, plays a role as the host in “Cold Dead Hand,” a gun control related video by actor Jim Carrey, posted at www.funnyordie.com.
Oberst stressed his own role, as the host in the skit, strictly was acting work.
“I certainly wasn’t there to make any political statement,” he said, “and I didn’t have any involvement with the song.”
The skit, almost six minutes long, pokes fun at the classic syndicated country variety show “Hee Haw,” and besides a performance by the fictitious Lonesome Earl & the Clutterbusters, Carrey satirizes Charleton Heston, the late actor and former president of the National Rifle Association known for such quotes as never relinquishing his guns until they’re taken “from my cold, dead hands.”
Heston’s 130 works on camera include such films as “Ben Hur,” for which he won an Academy Award, “The Ten Commandments” and “Planet of the Apes.” Carrey, known for his versatility and comedy, has scored various hit movies such as “Liar, Liar,” “The Truman Show,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and two “Ace Ventura” adventures.
Oberst said his part in the Carrey video resulted from what he values as “relationships” in the tough-go that the acting business remains.
“That little bit was a favor for one of the producers on the piece who asked me to help out by doing it.,” Oberst said. “She had directed a movie I was in and has been very kind and supportive to me, so I was there for her. “
Oberst said the colleague had directed a low-budget children’s movie from 2011, “Princess and the Pony,” in which he played a curly mustached “evil carnival owner” who tried to keep a girl from getting a “magical pony.” He recalled its popularity in Germany, and the peculiarity of hearing his voice dubbed in German, and how he connected with that man, who later told him he watched Oberst’s own clips as homework for the voiceover.
On the Carrey endeavor, Oberst said it consumed only “a half-day a month ago ... and that was it.” He called Carrey “wonderful to work with,” especially because “he stuck out his to hand” to introduce himself to everyone on the set, saying “I’m Jim” and lunching with the crew.
“He was a very, very nice man, very down to Earth,” Oberst said, also remembering Carrey’s role as “Fire Marshal Bill” on the Fox-TV series “In Living Colour” from two decades ago.
‘Really a nothing part’
He called Carrey the star of the show” in “Cold Dead Hand.”
“When standing right beside him,” Oberst said, “you do not have the urge to improv. You just say your lines. ... My part was really a nothing part.”
Oberst said he doesn’t watch much television, but his mother contacted him after the video stirred conversation in the past week on the Fox News Channel after she thought she saw him in a clip.
As the suit-clad host who makes his first appearance 15 seconds into “Cold Dead Hand,” Oberst said this marked a departure from his harder edge, often horror-themed fare.
“It definitely was not my usual cup of tea,” he said Wednesday, the day after beginning a shoot on another project.
Oberst said the Carrey video came up “read for at the last minute,” and that it was another job on his resume of movie and TV work, which includes the film “Take This Lollypop,” a Daytime Emmy Award winner last year.
“This is a business of relationships,” he said, figuring they apply in other lines of work as well. “You always want to protect your relationships. If people ask for a favor, if you possibly can, you do it.”
Fan of Heston, Bond
Having just seen “Ben Hur,” an 11-time Oscar winner from 1959, on the big screen, Oberst said, “I love Charleton Heston movies,” and that “the chariot scene made my jaw drop to the floor.”
Oberst repeated, “My political views did not enter into this” Carrey short, which has aroused conversation amid legislative efforts nationwide for tighter gun control measures. Carrey also portrays Sam Elliott briefly, although that actor’s surname is misspelled on the screen, missing one T.
Also a fan of the James Bond movie franchise, with Sean Connery as his favorite 007, Oberst said he doesn’t see armed weaponry taking a hiatus on the silver screen, because many movies won’t succeed or excite viewers “without any sort of violence or guns or conflict.”
“You’d be hitting each other with sticks,” he said. “You got to have conflict.”
Oberst said to look for him in mid-May on the Hallmark Channel in “The Confession,” a sequel to “The Shunning,” rejoining the same production team that began “a trilogy” based on novels by Beverly Lewis.
“I have only a couple of scenes in this one,” Oberst said, previewing the third movie, in which “my daughter comes back to her Amish families.”
Oberst said “in between doing my little horror movies, you get to do one Hallmark movie a year.”