Copperas Cove area actor shares story of television, film roles, what’s next in 2022
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Although he’s acted in dozens of films and has traveled far and wide, Randall Oliver feels most at home with his wife on his ranch in Topsey and in the surrounding region.
Randall and his wife, Michelle, live in the house next to the old store in Topsey and own the two buildings. When he is not on set, shooting scene in western films or other faith-based movies, he is at home in Central Texas, taking care of his property and running his lawn care business.
He and his wife can be found at the German Imbiss in Copperas Cove having dinner every Friday evening at 7 p.m., when they’re not traveling. In fact, a signed photo from one of his movies even hangs behind the register.
Oliver grew up in the Central Texas area, attending 3rd and 4th grade right here in Copperas Cove before moving to Germany. The family moved back to Lampasas during his freshman year of high school and stayed through his graduation. He received several offers of baseball scholarships and attended Huston-Tillotson University in Austin after being recruited by the university’s baseball coach.
But when Oliver was in his late 20s, working out in the gym, when he was approached and told he should consider getting into modeling as a career. From there he transitioned into acting, starting with commercials before getting small roles in various television series and lived in L.A.
During Oliver’s time in Los Angeles, he also had small roles in notable television shows such as “Designing Women”, “Baywatch”, “Great Scott!” and “Murphy Brown”, and movies like RoboCop and RoboCop 2. After a television series he was in was cancelled after a year, Oliver left Los Angeles and moved to be closer to family in Arkansas. He married a second time and had a child and started doing nuclear iron work.
Oliver decided to return to acting after being out of the industry for 12 years, landing a role in two different western films, “Doc West” and “Triggerman”, which were released in 2009.
Oliver called himself an educated and well-traveled redneck, with a “real-world” resume.
“I had to do so many other things because, you know, I always said, ‘Nothing I want to do more than acting,’. but I always struggled to keep a roof over my head and three squares on the table, so I had to wait tables in restaurants, carpenters, electrician, ranch work and everything I could to keep the bills paid, trying to just get that next movie role and that next movie role,” Oliver said. “I’ve stayed with it, and I’m really lucky. I’m in my 60s now- 62- and the last couple years have been the best years of my acting career.”
Oliver has begun his transition from secular films into the Christian faith-based film industry.
The decision came as Oliver realized he wanted to be open about his conservative Christian beliefs that were not as welcome in Hollywood, he said.
One of the movies Oliver worked on last year that is releasing later this year is “Cream of the Crop”, based off of a real-life farm in Maryland. This is also one of his favorite movies that he has been in so far, he added.
Oliver plays Bob Stafford, a farmer and the father of one of the main characters of the film. The movie is a family-friendly film, with a message about preserving a family farm for future generations. Oliver said it was no trouble at all becoming Bob Stafford, from wearing the overalls to driving the horse drawn carriage in a scene at the end of the film.
Oliver said he enjoys independent films and backed away from being a member of the Screen Actors Guild, instead opting to be “financial core” which means he can work in non-union productions and have freedom over which roles he takes.
Having had the chance to have a significant role in a film, Oliver said he prefers to stick with smaller roles. In “Cream of the Crop”, he had 50 pages of script and was on set for 16 days, 11 of which were for filming.
“I want to be significant to the storyline, but I want to squeeze in there, work a couple of days and deliver it by 10 lines and then get out,” Oliver said.
Oliver said that he isn’t sure what the future holds for him in terms of his acting career, but he is fairly satisfied with what he’s accomplished so far.
“I realize I’m not going to be John Travolta or Tom Cruise,” Oliver said. “You know, I’m content with doing the character roles and small character bits and stuff like that. I’m getting some good stuff. I’m lucky to be this age and still working in a career.”
Another movie Oliver worked on that is releasing this year is “Eating with the Enemy” from Ingenuity Films, which is a documentary drama about Judas, who sold out Jesus to the Pharisees for 30 pieces of silver. Oliver plays one of the Pharisees in this film.
He will be playing another Pharisees named Gamaliel in a movie about Mary Magdalene later this year. They will be shooting this film at Capernaum Studios near Weatherford, Texas.
Oliver will also be working on is “Not Too Far From Here”, a film focused on domestic violence that will be filming in Oklahoma on a Native American reservation. Oliver will play a character called Grandpa George.
Readers can follow Oliver’s career by checking out his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ActorRandallOliver.