Below you will find various quotes by Riley from his interviews. More will be added when more interviews are discovered. Please give credit to Riley Smith Fan.com if posting elsewhere. Enjoy!


“I’m just a blue collar guy from Iowa who followed a dream and got very lucky.”

“I’ve always been a blue collar guy, and I think it shows in my body of work and the way my career has developed.”

“When I get stressed out by the business I go home to Iowa. I call it defrosting my heart. Everyone in Iowa is so simple a genuine. In this business, sometimes you can get cold-hearted. When I go, even if it’s 20 below and snowing, I come back with a warm heart.”

I have way too many hobbies. I play guitar, and my buddies and I record music in a studio in my house. I have a couple of vintage Jeeps I’m always working on, fixing up. And I ride horses – I grew up on a horse ranch – and play basketball. I need to cut back on my hobbies so I can work more.”

“It is kind of neat to think about it, but I am actually following in my dad’s footsteps in a way. I am self-employed. I am my own boss. I have been able to continue making money in a profession I love to do. It doesn’t get any better than that!”

“I always look for eyes. Not necessarily pretty eyes but what is behind the eyes because you can see a lot behind people’s eyes. I just look for people who are interesting. It could be some sort of feature that may not be attractive to some people.”

“I am a goofball. If you only knew.”

“I am a really big Christian and I really try to stay in tune with that and that path. Everything happens for a reason. I have been patient and I have been walking my faith.”

“With God anything is possible and I think that if I stay true and stay to the path – He already knows where I am supposed to go and I am not going to deny any of the choices open to me.”


“The transition from model to actor was easy, because I always wanted to act. I just had to pay the bills and a short stint in modeling did that until I was fortunate enough to become a full time actor.”

“Carrying a film or TV show is still a something that I learn from every time. It’s such a group effort and you can never give all the credit or blame to one person.”

“I embrace all fan bases and think that there is an obvious point of marketability that actors have to have. I put my performance out there for everyone.”

“Acting is perception, and as long as I’m honest with myself in my work, someone will appreciate it.”

“I will always be appreciative that the people involved in those films gave me a chance and looking back at my body of work, I would only be honest to say that it was early work and we all grow, but I wouldn’t have done it now if I would have known how they would turn out. Everyone lives and learns and everyone has one or two “misses”.”

“Anytime you can go toe to toe with Emmy winners or Oscar winners, you learn so much and they bring your game up to another level.”

“It is amazing how Hollywood is a lot like the horse industry. It is a large industry but small enough where it feels like a very big family. The horse industry taught me to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. It also taught me that self discipline and hard work really pays off. In business you are your own boss and no one will push you as hard as you have to push yourself.”

“Hollywood and the horse industry are both like mini soap operas with its own gossip and drama. There is also a lot of nepotism in both industries. I couldn’t have done anything in the horse industry without my dad. In the horse industry, you basically have to sell yourself and your horse to the judges. It is ironically the same in Hollywood. You have to market yourself, have some luck, network, and work hard. If you don’t do well at a show or audition, there is always another one down the road.”

“I like playing guys who have some kind of disability, something against them. Not necessarily a physical disability or mental disability, but something that’s against all odds. The underdog is something that’s hard for me to play because I guess I kind of have a look that may not be an underdog look.”

“A lot of times you go into a film and you don’t know if your romantic lead really likes you. If she really wants to kiss you, if she really wants to spend time with you, and that’s when it’s nerve-wracking. You don’t know if it’s real or it’s fake.”

“It took me a while to start to respect the craft. At that time, the teen thing was really, really big with the “Dawson’s Creek” and all that, at that moment. It wasn’t so hard to get on a show if you had any kind of character or look or whatever. I kind of flew by on that for about the first year. Then I really started to respect it. I was like, “I don’t want to do it just because I have the look. I don’t want to fly by.”

“Ultimately, I would just like to stick to movies because of the fact that you get to play one character for three months and really dive into it and explore that guy.”

“I’m not rich, but I’m comfortable. I’ve never needed anything. I was broke when I started and if I end broke as long as I do what I want to do, I consider myself fortunate. I may not work for two or three months but when I do work, it’s going to be what I want to do.”

“I think everybody has got a lot of dimensions inside of them based on past experiences. I think it happens along the way. I like taking things that have happened to me in my life and putting them into my work. I don’t think there’s been a character I’ve played that hasn’t had a part of me in it.”

“I always loved the horses and the work but I always knew there was something else I wanted to do – something really creative. But it was something I was good at and it is something I could always go back to.”

“Ever since I started, there was no pressure and I had nothing to lose, so I could think positive. It was always a matter of not “will it” but “when.” It has helped me stay focused and on the right path.”

“In the beginning, when I did screen tests, it was really hard to hear that I did not get the job, but now, looking back on it, I can see that it happened for a reason and when one door was closed, another would open.”

“I want to choose roles wisely. I want to find scripts that stretch my characters, with a wide variety — I want to really work on the craft.”

“I am blessed – I have heard all those horror stories about these people trying to get agents, so I was really lucky to fall into that – into these people’s hands.”

“I have a great amount of respect for everybody in this business – a lot of people don’t.”

“If you really want to be an actor and you are working with people who earn more than you or has been around more than you, you need to respect them and learn from them.”

“Acting is just perception. What is great in one person’s eyes is not great in another’s. I just try to learn as much as possible. I always pay attention.”


“They gave me the script (Lovers Lane) and thought it would be a fun campy horror film that was a great stepping stone to an early career. It was. I had a lot of found memories of the movie, the people and Seattle.”

“Voodoo Academy was the first “film” I ever did. It was shot before anything else, as a favor to the director. It was filmed in just 10 days. I didn’t think it would see the light of day or I wouldn’t have done it. It proved to have a cast of guys who went on to do well, so I guess we were all just trying to work at that point in our career and didn’t realize how it would turn out.”

“Eight Legged Freaks was a great opportunity at that point in my career. To work with Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich was huge for me. They are both fantastic film makers.”

“I like romantic comedies, New York Minute is not as romantic of a movie as I would like to be in someday, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

“I had friends come out of the woodwork I hadn’t talked to in five years. They were like ‘we just happened to be in Toronto while you’re filming (New York Minute). Could we stop by the set and I am ‘No, you’re going to make me look like a dork’.”

“The only thing that made me nervous was that I knew that it was going to be seen by a lot of people. I knew that the girls had such a built-in audience that this was actually going to be a big movie (New York Minute).”


“It is by far the most difficult role (The Closer) I have played. A young man who loses everything and gets hooked on crack. He ends up on skid row and the rest is a secret. The emotional places I got to take this character were haunting.”

“I grew up in Iowa, so I grew up with cars and I grew up a huge car fanatic. I actually used to fix up cars myself, so to be able to be on a show like this (Drive), which is pretty mainly – it’s got fast cars and hot chicks – is nothing to be ashamed of as a guy!”

“I had never seen the show (24) before I got on it. Of course I didn’t admit that to them at the time. But I never saw season one and two. Now that I am on it and I started watching it am hooked.”


“It’s been a great artistic outlet for me and something I can have more control over. It’s basically my diary entrees put to music.”

“Acting will always be my main job and the one that I make my living at. However, music is a passion that gives me a chance to tell MY story instead of a character’s story. It’s a very personal thing that I’ve opened up to the public. On a biz front, it’s also a way for me to hopefully get my music into the movies and shows I’m doing.”

“I feel so fortunate that I get to travel all over the world with my best mates playing music and seeing the world. It’s a blessing and a lot of fun!”

“My favorite song is Forget About Me. It was one of the first songs I ever wrote and the first the band came together on. The story behind it is personal and actually not about me, but a good girlfriend I was working on a movie with.”

“I like country music, I like classic rock music, and classical. I like everything.”

“I was approached by a lot of people out here who kept saying “oh, you gotta become like a Backstreet Boy — we’ll get you a contract right now.” You can’t believe the number of options like that. But I want to stick to my roots, country’s where it’s at.”


“When I walked into the office and saw the pictures, I told the farm manager that I knew Ted Turner, and he didn’t believe me. He thought I was some fluff pretty boy from Hollywood and didn’t know anything about horses. He couldn’t believe that I really knew how to ride horses and that my father was a horse trainer. I can tell you that knowing how to ride horses definitely helped me get my last two film parts.”

“I didn’t really get into showing until I was a teenager and realized there were a lot of cute girls that showed horses.”

“It was great to be a positive influence on other kids. How many 16 year-olds get to travel all over the country representing a 25,000 member youth organization? It was the time of my life. I liked the fact that AQHA put us in a position of trust. They gave us a voice, and I was really honored to represent such a great organization.”

“Not only would I love to get back into horses when I have time and extra change ($$) but may just swing by a show like the old days to find a pretty cowgirl.”