'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' star Nate Richert defends Geoffrey Owens, reveals he's working as a janitor to pay bills
Now 40-years-old, Nate Richert says that job secuirty is non-existent as an actor and that you have to take up odd jobs to make ends meet.
No one quite expected the photo of 'The Cosby Show' actor Geoffrey Owens working the counter at Trader Joe's to garner such a reaction, but several celebrities have since come out in the 57-year-old actor's defense and called out those shaming him for having a regular job. A trend has also seen stars reveal their own struggles at holding down acting jobs, with Nate Richert the latest to speak out.
The now-40-year-old was once a series regular in popular fantasy show 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but says he has since taken up odd jobs such as being a maintenance man, a janitor, and a carpenter to pay the bills.
I’ve been an actor for 32 yrs (since age 8). I’m extremely lucky to have had any success at all, let alone solid work in film and TV for 6yrs (20yrs ago). I’m currently a maintenance man, a janitor, a carpenter, and do whatever random jobs I can get to pay the bills. I do improv— Nate Richert (@NateRichert) 4 September 2018
In a number of posts on Twitter, Richert explained that it isn't easy to make it in the industry and that job security is non-existent. "I've been an actor for 32 years (since age 8). I'm extremely lucky to have had any success at all, let alone solid work in film and TV for 6yrs (20yrs ago). I’m currently a maintenance man, a janitor, a carpenter, and do whatever random jobs I can get to pay the bills," he wrote.
"I do improv and songwrite to maintain my sanity," he continued. "Actors so very rarely have job security or consistent work, quality healthcare, a reasonable retirement. We are actors anyway because it is who we are at the core, for the love and need to bring the words on the page to life and to make you feel them (god, I love to make you laugh!) ."
He insisted that taking up roles had little to do with chasing fame. "Fame, to me, has only ever meant 'maybe more work someday.' A necessary evil because fame = the loss of anonymity, which can be uplifting when it brings someone joy, and hard when mean people decide to be mean," he explained. He defended Owens as well, calling him an actor of "very high caliber."
Richert was cast as Harvey Kinkle, the love interest of Melissa Joan Hart's Sabrina Spellman in the series, and featured significantly in each of its seven seasons. Though there was a brief hiatus in season five — this was when Sabrina departed high school for college — he returned to the fold as a regular for the penultimate as well as final season. But since the show ended, he's taken on only a few roles, appearing in television series' such as 'Fantasy Island,' 'Touched by an Angel,' and films 'Lovely & Amazing,' and 'Piñata: Survival Island'. His last credited role is in a 2006 short 'H-e-n-r-y.'
'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' star Terry Crews was another who previously came to Owens' defense. The 50-year-old wrote on Twitter that he swept floors after his career in the NFL and that "if need be, I'd do it again". Chris Rankin, who played the role of Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise, similarly posted, "worked in a Wetherspoons kitchen after being in Harry Potter. I needed a job, no shame in that. And you know what? I really enjoyed it! You do what you need to do and that's nothing to be ashamed of".
While Owens is currently working at Trader Joe's, he does have some projects lined up. According to Vibe, the actor is set to feature in the film 'Impossible Monsters' and the short film 'Fizzle' in the upcoming months.