Eric Roth: 2012 Screen Laurel honoree

WGA Awards 2012

Though loss and the temporal nature of life are recurring themes in Eric Roth’s writing, Roth has proven he’s not going anywhere. His 40-year career includes celebrated films like “Forrest Gump,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and this year’s “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.”

Roth doesn’t feel he is worthy of the WGA’s 2012 Laurel Award for Screen, but his friend and frequent collaborator (“Ali” and “The Insider”) Michael Mann disagrees, citing the complex topics Roth tackles.

“These are amazing subjects to take on. … Only other writers know the degree of difficulty, nobody else does. It’s like high diving in the Olympics — if it’s a 3.6 high dive that counts for more than a 1.0 dive — and only your peers know how difficult it is to do ‘The Good Shepherd’ or ‘Extremely Loud.’ ”

Roth’s body of work will soon include a sci-fi film for Warner Bros., which he calls, “my own flight of fancy.” But he concedes there’s one iconic film he wishes he would’ve written.

“I had an opportunity to possibly write ‘Cuckoo’s Nest.’ I wish I could’ve done that.”

It seems writing isn’t Roth’s only passion. Mann recruited Roth to consult on his HBO skein “Luck” about horse racing because as Mann says, “Eric spends a lot more time at the track than anyone knows about.”

Truth elbows out gags | Good timing for WGA prexy
Kress & McDuffie | Eric Roth | Tate Taylor | Patric Verrone | Zwick & Herskovitz