Roby Sobieski

By
Photography Aldo Rossi

Published May 16, 2013

Twenty-four-year-old Roby Sobieski is a fantastically engaging conversationalist who readily shares details of his college senior thesis, a screenplay adaptation of an Arthurian legend researched down to the table settings; his relation to a king of Poland; his days as a teenage tour guide riding his father’s MicroBike through the empty halls of New York’s American Museum of Natural History; and the compelling polytheistic religion he invented when he was 8 years old. He is also a former child model and an accomplished amateur magician who is sometimes taken under the wing of family friend David Blaine. All of which aligns with Sobieski’s celluloid intentions as he begins life as an aspiring actor in L.A. “Acting allows you to be all of these different people,” he says. “It allows you to have all of these crazy experiences.” Sobieski recently appeared on the big screen for the first time in his otherwise already precocious life in the Paul Weitz-directed comedy Admission, about an Ivy League admissions officer’s encounter with an applicant who might be the son she gave up for adoption. Sobieski shared his scene with Tina Fey, taking her character to task after she accidentally interrupts his make-out session with a coed. “Someone asked me if I was having a good time on set,” he recalls over coffee at the Bourgeois Pig café in Hollywood. “I said, ‘Yeah, but I would be having a better time if Tina Fey stopped 30 Rock-blocking me.’ Tina overheard me and laughed. I was like, ‘Okay, I made Tina Fey laugh. I can check that off of my list!’ ” The Princeton graduate, who moved to Los Angeles a year and a half ago, got into the acting business in part through his older sister, Leelee Sobieski—even traveling from castle to castle through the Czech Republic with her as an 11-year-old while she shot the 1999 TV miniseries Joan of Arc. “I remember reading [J.R.R. Tolkien’s] The Two Towers,” he says, “and not only would I imagine it, but I would look up and see hundreds of extras dressed in full armor doing a charge on horses.”