It’s a big week for the Chicago-made movie Relative… a week-long world theatrical premiere that begins with one night only at the Music Box Wednesday then bows at the Gene Siskel Film Center Friday. And while you might know Cameron Scott Roberts best as “Tyler Davis” on the AMC series The Walking Dead, this week is all about Cameron’s role of “Benji Frank” in Michael Glover Smith’s feature film Relative. Cameron brought home the Best Actor Award from Florida’s Gasparilla Film Festival earlier this Spring, and highlights a talented ensemble cast of Chicago actors. Before he heads to the theater for the premiere, Cameron stopped by for a thoroughly entertaining round of Five Questions with SCREEN. Let’s get to it!
SCREEN: So Cameron, why should everyone in Chicago go see Relative this week?
CAMERON: Everyone should see Relative because this film (along with many of Michael’s films) is — because of the way it is written, cast, and filmed — an ode to all that Chicago has to offer. And the chance to get to hear some of the legends in our cast speak, is just an absolute privilege. Trust me, every moment on set I was just soaking in Chicago stories from Fran (Steppenwolf ensemble member Francis Guinan), Wendy (Twin Peaks legend Wendy Robie), and the rest of the cast. This will be a night dedicated to Chicago.
Here’s your one-minute preview of Relative…
SCREEN: If you could be a part of one band or musical group in history, what would it be?
CAMERON: ABBA. I love how much fun they have on stage (the costumes, etc.) They had a pretty good collaboration going: there were four of them, two couples. Therefore, I’d probably mess up the flow. But maybe it would make for some great breakup songs.
[Editor’s note: Ok Cameron, here it is, a tribute to the wide range of costumes ABBA wore over the years… enjoy!]
SCREEN: Best birthday present ever?
CAMERON: Probably something from my parents when I was a kid BUT Last year I was traveling all alone on my birthday, and when I landed in Atlanta at 11pm, I went straight to Waffle House alone, got a pecan waffle, a patty melt, hashbrowns smothered and covered, and the entire staff wished me a happy birthday. That was definitely up there as best present ever.
SCREEN: What is your most treasured possession?
CAMERON: My most treasured possession is probably my fountain pen – it’s a Jade, Schaefer from 1920. Since the pandemic started, I’ve done a deep dive into researching fountain pens and learning about them. I do morning pages every day (a form of journaling from The Artists Way) and I get excited to write them because I get to write with this pen. They say when you write with a fountain pen it’s like you’re pouring your soul out onto the page cause of how easy the ink flows. It’s the best feeling. And I’m always switching out different inks. My favorite is a gray, tobacco scented ink.
SCREEN: You can only be a fan of one sports team. Which one?
CAMERON: Bulls in the 90s. I wasn’t born, but I wish I coulda been there. I have a weird obsession with Dennis Rodman. That’s for another interview…
[Editor’s Note: Ok Cameron, it’s your perfect reel… Dennis Rodman’s highlight reel from his final championship season with your beloved 90’s Chicago Bulls]
SCREEN: The best thing you ever ate?
SCREEN: The Best thing I ever ate was white bread and slightly-melted butter on the floor of my freshmen college dorm with my best friends after I got drunk for the first time in college. I still maintain that bread and butter is the best food out there.
SCREEN: If you could fix one thing, what would you fix?
CAMERON: If I could fix one thing, it would be judging others. I hate hypocrisy so much, and I realize that if I don’t judge people, then at least there’s no way I can be a hypocrite.
SCREEN: What’s your go-to karaoke song?
CAMERON: “S.O.S.” By ABBA. It’s a bit high for me to sing. But, listen, it is a perfect song. I can’t think of a better song. It’s my number one fav. Everything about it. The opening riff. And even the Mamma Mia soundtrack version is great! Go listen to that song right now and try to not sing along. It’s impossible.
A close second is “Nobody Does it Better” by Carly Simon. Though last week I sang “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind as a duet and that was a blast.
[Editor’s Note: step back from that ledge, Cameron! We will give you a little Jumper by Third Eye Blind… sing your heart out!]
SCREEN: Worst decision you ever made in college?
CAMERON: Lying to myself. I never knew what people meant when they said “don’t lie to yourself”, but looking back, in college there were plenty of times where in order to defend my ego, I’d lie to myself, and it never did me any good. Admitting to others feels good, but when i finally started admitting things to myself was always the best feeling.
Thanks for playing, Cameron! Click here to purchase your tickets for the world theatrical premiere of the Chicago-made independent feature Relative… at the Music Box Wednesday then to the Gene Siskel Film Center Friday.
Photo Credits: Cameron pic by Photographer Matt Wade.