The Return of "5 Questions with ... Richard Roeper"

The Return of "5 Questions with ... Richard Roeper"
February 13, 2013, 2:00 pm
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Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? has your fix as we put the city's most popular personalities on the spot with everyone's favorite local celeb feature entitled "5 Questions with..."

On Wednesdays, exclusively on, it's our turn to grill the local media and other VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.  

This week's special guest is a "5 Questions with…" favorite. He's a local media superstar who has taken his talents to the national spotlight as one of the country's top film critics. Not only is he an incredibly-popular syndicated columnist whose award-winning work can be read in the Chicago Sun-Times, but this guy also co-hosts a weekday afternoon radio show, makes regular TV appearances, has written eight books, plus, he's arguably one of the biggest White Sox fans around. With the Oscars right around the corner, what better time to chat once again with the man himself. So let's get to it -- here is THE RETURN OF "5 Questions with…RICHARD ROEPER!"

BIO: A multi-talented media standout, Roeper has penned his entertaining and engaging columns for the Chicago Sun-Times for more than 20 years. This syndicated column has garnered numerous awards, including the National Headliner Award as the best column in the country.

For eight years, Roeper was the co-host of the nationally syndicated movie review program, "Ebert & Roeper" with Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert.

Currently, Roeper is the co-host of the "Roe and Roeper Show" on WLS-AM, the most listened-to talk show of any kind in Chicago and makes regular appearances on WLS-TV's "Windy City Live." As one of the nation's leading film critics, Roeper reviews movies for a nationwide audience on the Reelz Channel and on his website,

Roeper has written eight books on subjects ranging from urban legends to Hollywood flops to the Chicago White Sox. He has appeared on dozens of national TV shows, including "Oprah," "Nightline," "Entourage," "Top Chef," "The Tonight Show" and "Regis and Kelly" to name a few.

A native of Chicago's south suburbs, Roeper is a graduate of Thornridge High School in Dolton, IL and Illinois State University in Normal, IL. Roeper resides in, where else, Chicago.

1) Richard, thanks for taking time out of your extremely busy schedule, especially this time of year, to chat with us once again for another edition of's "5 Questions with…".  Here we go -- when the nominations were announced for the 85th annual Academy Awards coming up on Feb. 24, film critics and fans alike were stunned by the Best Director omissions of Ben Affleck for "Argo" and Kathryn Bigelow for "Zero Dark Thirty." Well, as you well know, both have been nominated MULTIPLE times for their superior work by virtually every film guild & association out there…with Affleck, in particular, recently earning the top prize by the Directors Guild of America Award for "Outstanding Directing."  Do you think the Academy as a whole look at these types of glaring omissions (which seem to happen year after year) as a mistake on their part…or do you believe they're arrogant enough to not even care?

Roeper: I'm still not sure what happened. Both Bigelow and Affleck are actually well-respected and well-liked figures in Hollywood. It's not as if there would be some sort of concentrated effort to blackball them. I actually thought Affleck was going to WIN for Best Director. He has a great Hollywood comeback story. One thing to keep in mind about the process: nominations are made by the members of each profession. In other words, directors nominate directors, actors nominate actors, film editors nominated film editors, etc., etc. Then, once the nominations are made, the entire Academy votes in all 24 categories. So, for whatever reasons, the DIRECTORS were the ones that didn't nominate Affleck and Bigelow. Had Affleck been nominated, I believe he would have been carried to victory, mainly because the largest branch of the academy is the actors' branch, and actors love to vote for actors-turned-directors, e.g., Robert Redford, Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson.

2) This year's Oscars telecast will be getting a big kick in the teeth as "Family Guy" creator and Hollywood "outsider" (so to speak) Seth MacFarlane gets the opportunity to host Hollywood's biggest night.  There's no doubt the Academy tapped him as emcee to bring in a younger generation of new viewers, but do you think they are taking a big risk by having this rarely-seen-on-screen genius (who will likely offend many) alienate its traditional, core audience?

Roeper: It's a risk, but a risk well worth taking. Ratings for the Oscars are still huge, but nowhere near as big as they were 15 years ago. Why not take a chance on MacFarlane? He could be a home run, ala Jon Stewart or Steve Martin/Alec Baldwin, or he could bomb like Anne Hathaway and James Franco. But one thing we know is, he's not afraid to stir things up. I'm looking forward to it.

3) What's your favorite Oscars moment ever?  

Roeper: Wow. I would have to say it was Tom Hanks' speech after he won Best Actor for "Philadelphia." It was such an emotional, passionate, heartfelt speech about the many, many thousands of souls lost to AIDS. It was ABOUT something--as opposed to the great majority of acceptance speeches, which consist of actors reading off a long list of people they want to thank.

4) As one of our city's biggest White Sox fans, you had the recent opportunity to moderate a few panels at the annual "SoxFest" convention. From hanging around the players, coaches, management, etc. that weekend, what's your vibe on this year's team?

Roeper: The veteran players will never come right out and say it, but I believe there was a sense of relief last season with Ozzie gone -- and maybe just a few doubts about whether Robin Ventura was the perfect fit. Not that there wasn't great respect for Robin, but he was a very surprising choice, given his lack of experience. I get the sense there's an enormous sense of optimism for 2013. They seem like a loose, but competitive bunch who are pretty sick of hearing about how great the Tigers are, and how the Royals are a team on the rise.

5) Through hard work, determination, and a 24/7 work ethic, you can't be shy about the fact that you've established yourself as a media powerhouse. Even though the job market for college grads is way more challenging today than it was, let's say 20-30 years ago, what advice do you have for your younger fans that have those same career aspirations?

Roeper: Work as hard as you can…and then work a little harder. Now more than ever, it's important to get your foot in the door. You can't win someone over on Twitter. You have to do it in person. If you get an internship, don't just do what's required of you. Ask if there's anything else you can do. Volunteer to work extra hours. Ask questions. Most executives and on-air talent types are more than happy to offer extra assistance to young journalists who ask for it.

Roeper links:

Official web site
Sun-Times columns
WLS-AM 890 "The Roe & Roeper Show" home page