Feel free to call him Milton. Thirteen years after Office Space came out, Stephen Root’s used to being compared to the cubicle drone whose only joy in life is his stapler.
But the character actor has many other varied roles to chat about. Which is what he will do at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the University of Miami Fieldhouse, 1245 Dauer Dr., Coral Gables.
In “An Evening With Actor Stephen Root,” the Vero Beach native and University of Florida graduate will conduct a Q&A and show clips from some of his most beloved movies ( J. Edgar , No Country for Old Men, Dodgeball: An Underdog Story) and TV shows ( NewsRadio, True Blood, The Good Wife, Boardwalk Empire). The event is part of the school’s “Taking Flight: The Year of the Humanities and the Arts” program.
Still, with all his success, Root, 60, would advise young people against entering show biz.
“I didn’t get into it to be famous. I got into it to be a working actor,” he says from the UM campus, preparing his speech. “If you don’t mind slogging through crappy jobs for years then go ahead, please do it.”
The problem is the lack of roles for regular folks.
“Show business is easier in one sense because there are a lot more platforms; whether it’s a Web series, YouTube, even Twitter. But it’s much harder to come up the traditional way like I did — theater in New York , then going to L.A.,” he says. “But now there’s a lot of stunt casting, meaning all stars, all the time. You’ll see 19 [A-listers] guesting on 30 Rock and that knocks out a whole bunch of character-actor guys like me.”
As the old saying goes, Root, married to actress Romy Rosemont. is an overnight success after 30 years.
These days he’s in high demand, with upcoming roles in big movies like The Lone Ranger, playing an evil railroad baron. He costars with Johnny Depp (Tonto), with whom he worked on the animated chameleon flick Rango.
We have to ask: Will there be an Office Space 2?
“I can almost guarantee [writer/director] Mike Judge isn’t going to do that,” Root says. “He loves the fact that it’s this little gem that you can’t touch.”
RSVP a must: www.as.miami.edu/rsvp-stephenroot