Roger Fields holds many different titles: Lakota East High School maintenance specialist, former marine at the Korean demilitarized zone line, retired engineer and CEO of the largest Christian wrestling organization in the world. His story, comparable to that of American treasure Forrest Gump, has brought him everywhere from Cincinnati to Japan. Despite his life of extraordinary experiences, Roger never expected to enter the world of Hollywood at 55 years old.
In 2015, Roger made his screen debut. Taking the background role of a boxing referee, Roger worked alongside Oscar-nominated actor Mickey Rourke in Tiger, a film about a man who is banned from the sport of boxing. Unlike most aspiring actors, he never auditioned for the part. Instead Roger, who owns the wrestling organization, “Christian Wrestling International,” was specifically sought out by entertainment professionals including D. Lynn Meyers.
Though a film novice, Roger agreed to the role. In the days leading up to his shoot, he watched countless boxing videos, much different from his usual wrestling specialty, and prepared his moves.
“I was scared to death. I’ve never done anything like that before. I’ve never been around movie people,” Roger says. “But once I got in the boxing ring, it was just like being in a wrestling ring. I felt like I was at home. And I felt so good that I wanted to do it again. After that, I just kept wanting to do more and more [acting].”
Since his first role in Tiger, Roger has continued his journey to Hollywood. Expanding from background roles, he worked for independent film companies in Cincinnati with speaking roles to improve his skills. Recently, Roger has been working with independent film company WitchDoctor Films on a series of horror movies.
“I played a character who got to kill people in the movie and talk and it was a very exciting role,” he says. “It’s just been one role after another. I just love it.”
Each film takes months to shoot, and even longer to edit and release to the public. Roger often participates in shoots that last 12 to 13 hours. Though he uses independent films to perfect his craft, he has grown to play roles in large, blockbuster movies. From mysteries to romantic comedies, he has appeared in more than 26 shows and movies.
Roger’s favorite project so far is the 2019 film The Public. The film follows a standoff between police forces and a large group of homeless men in Cincinnati who take over a library while seeking shelter during the winter. Roger plays a homeless veteran alongside stars such as Alec Baldwin, Gabrielle Union and Emilio Estevez.
“Different stars act in different ways. I had a great experience with Alec Baldwin. I was shooting a scene with him and he got on the phone with his wife and showed her all 63 of the homeless veteran actors on set,” Roger says. “It just cracked everybody up. She’s laughing and everybody’s laughing. He was one of the nicest guys. He came out and told stories during the breaks about other actors and things that happened to him on Saturday Night Live.”
Roger also worked with John Travolta on the 2018 film Gotti, following the life story of famous mobster John Gotti.
“Never in a million years [did I think I would be an actor]. I have always loved movies since I was a kid. And it was always a dream that I could do that, but I never thought I would have,” Roger says. “I never thought I’d have the opportunity. God just opened that door for me. It’s just a blessing.”
Find this full story as originally published in the February 2021 issue of Lakota East Spark. LakotaEastSparkOnline.com