Karen Kemmerle recently interviewed Roth for TribecaFilm.com and asked the venerable British actor about the state of cinema, his film career, and, of course, about his role in "Broken." You can read the full interview here, but we've selected some highlights in which Roth talks about his relationship to technology and explains why actors should embrace VOD:
Tribeca: Is there any new technology that you’ve recently adopted?
TR: I recently was introduced to Vimeo. For example, there’s this Russian guy, who had made a short film just about 10 minutes long, and he put it on Vimeo. Apparently, it went viral. Or at least that’s the term they used. I didn’t know anything about it. [Laughs] I get a call from my agent saying that same guy was in town from Russia, he’s making a feature film, and he wants to meet with me. So my agent sent me a link to his piece on the day when he was coming over to meet me and I watched it.
It was extraordinary. This kid was obviously a really amazing talent,
a filmmaker in the making. Really he had already arrived in a sense.
He came and explained to me what he wants to do, and I’m going to do his
Vimeo is interesting because it’s a place where you show your work as a filmmaker, an artist or a documentarian. I mean I don’t know about Instagram or Vine thing so much, but Vimeo is specifically the home for filmmakers. So Vimeo is good. I also think YouTube is really interesting with people making their web series and television shows. Netflix too.
Tribeca: "Broken" hits theaters in the US on July 19, but is already available on VOD. Do you think actors have been reluctant to take roles in movies that are going straight to VOD with limited theatrical releases? Is having a big theatrical opening still as important as it used to be?
TR: Well if they have, they’re dumb. I think it’s a great thing. I was talking about this the other day, completely independent of promoting VOD or any of that stuff. Our chance of getting into a theatre, especially if you’re a tiny budget film, is near impossible. The idea that you slide into a theater nowadays, past "Iron Man" or "Despicable Me" or past these big budget movies, is a joke. It’s the hardest thing to do. You have to go the VOD route and with a limited theatrical release, if you’re lucky.
I love VOD. It’s kept me company in hotel rooms many a time. If you are on VOD and in theaters, it helps you on both levels. On the one hand, you get a wider audience than you possibly could have imagined, but people who want to go out and see a film in a dark room with a bunch of strangers will still have the option of seeing the film at the movies. So you get both.
I think for independent filmmakers, the VOD alternative can be disappointing because they say, “Ah, I just want it to get to the cinema and be on the festival circuit,” but it’s also a way of getting their message out. Sometimes it’s all they’ve got. I don’t think the VOD alternative really affects me as an actor. I shouldn’t come into the equation, to be honest. If that’s where the film is going to end up, that’s where it’s going to end up. If I have read the script and want to do it, then that’s why I want to do it.
Read the full interview here and watch the trailer for "Broken" below: