Interview with Tim Roth

Tim Roth is well known for his role of Mr. Orange in “Reservoir Dogs”. He also steals in the show in “Pulp Fiction”. Tim is really good at playing very different and interesting roles in his films. He plays villains in the the “Planet of the Apes” remake and the “The Incredible Hulk”. Tim is currently starring in Fox’s TV series “Lie to Me”, which is heading into its third season. Movie Mikes had a chance to talk with Tim to discuss his hit TV show and go through his amazing roles that he has played.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you originally got involved with Quentin Tarantino?
Tim Roth: I have only just arrived in LA and really didn’t know anybody. My agent at the time had me look at this script. I think Quentin had seen me in “Vincent & Theo” and “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead”, since he is very film savvy. He knew the stuff I had been doing over in Europe. I think the note on the script originally said to look at Blond or Pink characters. I looked at it and loved Mr. Orange. I knew he was on to something special and I quickly reached for the phone. We met and got along very well. Then him and Harvey Weinstein were trying to get me to read and I wouldn’t do it. I am really bad at auditioning. I will meet anybody but I won’t read for them. Eventually Quentin got me drunk and I ended up reading every character like five times in my apartment. Faced the fear. And that was that. I think it was a very great relationship we made, along into “Pulp Fiction” as well.

MG: Between “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction”, both huge cult classics, do you have a favorite?
TR: I think “Pulp Fiction” is a comedy. It is a brilliant stylish comedy. I think “Reservoir Dogs” is a much more serious film. I find them both very different film and love them both. I was watching “Pulp Fiction” the other day and thought it was hilarious. At first I would have to say though “Reservoir Dogs”. Since that when we were all very much raw…trying out new things and experimenting. “Reservoir Dogs” is also the beginning of me not taking myself so bloody seriously as an actor and just enjoying myself.

MG: Tell us about working on “Planet of the Apes”, was it a difficult shoot?
TR: I had the best time doing that film. It was fantastic work with Tim (Burton). We really didn’t get to make the film we wanted to make. It should have been a very dark and twisted film, but we were under a lot of constraints. The makeup started out at around five hours but got it down to around two and a half, which isn’t bad. But that was just to get it on. The shoot I believe was five months long and I ended up getting the flu. I would just put myself into the mood, fool around and enjoy myself and it would distract me from what was actually happening. I really enjoyed making that film.

MG: How do you feel about the prequel that is doing CG apes?
TR: I suppose that is just reflects what today is with films. It is great we have the technology to do that. There is something about the original film especially and even the TV show, the fact that it is a person in makeup that makes those films special. I just don’t known if with it all CG if it will be as special.

MG: How was it working “The Incredible Hulk”, it seemed like a pretty intense role?
TR: I really really had a great time [laughs]. I just enjoyed myself. I did it really for my kids. I wanted to be in a movie that they would get a kick out of when they see it. Originally I know what they planned to do and it would have made it a better film. There was some very good sequences that I think the audience would have loved. I usually like to throw myself into these things. I like the idea of doing very different things as for as being an actor. Experimenting with different kinds of film and now working on TV, I enjoy that.

MG: Tell us about your hit show “Lie to Me”, what can we expect for season three?
TR: I think we have the strongest of the writers from last year stepping up. Alexander Carey is now taking over the running of the show with David Graziano. They form a very solid team. The script this season shows a great consistency of that. They feel like little movies for TV. There is a lot of looking into Lightman’s relationship and the things with his daughter. There is also new women in Lightman’s life as well, it kind of opened up everything really. We have a lot of fun stories. We have all kinds of different stuff which is what good about the character, you can really go anywhere with it.

MG: How was it been playing Dr. Cal Lightman?
TR: What is interesting about doing TV for me is that I didn’t I would like it so much. But I am really enjoying it and a lot of that comes down to these two guys that are running the show. The character is season one is quite different and he gradually gets built up from season two to now season three. In the one end, you are playing the same guy but he is changing all the time. That is what is refreshing about doing TV, you can expand the character as you go. I know he is a bit of a dick but I quite [laughs] love him really. I just do not know how he survives. I would imagine him getting shot pretty quickly. Unfortunately for the bad guy, I get away with murder. I just find him fun to play and he makes me laughs a lot. I just sort of build on the guy from week to week.

MG: What is the best part of working on the show?
TR: I like the hours. Well actually not so much the hours, more so that you are working so much. Where in film you are doing three pages a day, we are doing seven here…just running at it. I actually like that. I do like a day off occasionally though, which happens very rarely. You are busy all the time and I really enjoy that. Working with the writers and working as a producer, I sort of enjoy that as well. I found it very difficult to adjust to at first. Gradually as I have met people that are talented and passionate about it, it has become a lot more pleasurably.

MG: Any other projects in the works?
TR: I have a couple of films I want to direct. So hopefully after this TV show is done, I will have a little bit of money in the bank. Then I can take some time off and direct…cause their is no money in that. There are a couple of really good scripts, that I have come across. They are very unusual and interesting. I do not want to say what they are but they are very well written and hopefully will have some time to do those.

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One Reply to “Interview with Tim Roth”

  1. Awesome interview. Love this guy. I actually first saw him in a movie called “The Legend of 1800”. Great actor!

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