7 Questions With Tim Roth
by Cheri Barner
When you are press, a round table interview is the
closest you can come to Dante’s purgatory. There is a
tempting view of heaven, but it is just out of reach.
Even actors who are naturally intelligent and witty
falter when faced with a firing squad of journalists,
and turn into poster children for dumb and dumber. Tim
Roth doesn’t falter, and he certainly isn’t dumb. The
Oscar nominated actor who has made his name playing
psychos is still high from the birth of his son, his
third child, earlier this week and speaks more like a
suburban doting father. It is a testament to his
acting ability that I am suprised by his quiet manner
and his easy charm.
indieWIRE: You seem to be drawn to indies, is that a conscious decision?
Tim Roth: Let’s just say that the stories are better.
If one of those comes along and a studio film comes
along at the same time generally, I’m gonna pick the
independant because the story is better.
iW: But you’ll be paid less.
Roth: …but in a sense that doesn’t matter, I mean I
do get paid well and I don’t need twenty million
dollars. What do I need twenty million dollars for?
iW: Are you happy with how “Gridlock’d” turned out?
Roth: I love it. It was one of the happiest
experiences I’ve had, which my wife was very pleased
about – I wasn’t coming home and breaking up the
furniture. It was a really wonderful time, but that
was from the script up, and I got the script a long
time before we got to shoot it.
iW: Was Tupac the first actor brought in?
Roth: No, it (the script) went to a lot of actors, and
they passed on it, or the financeers at the time
wouldn’t give it a green light with that actor.
iW: What was your reaction to the casting of Tupac?
Roth: They said “listen there is this guy, Tupac
Shakur, and I didn’t know who he was being an English
cat. My son knew who he was, my twelve year old. He’s
like, “Dad, your gonna be cool! Do it! You’ve gotta
work with him!”
iW: How did you prepare your accent for the piece?
Roth: I have a dialect coach, Suzanne Celeste, I’ve
worked with her since Reservoir Dogs, she’s
extrodinary. Generally we’ve got it down to… three
weeks before hand, then she’s on set with me every
day. So it’s a whole process.
iW: What will you be doing next?
Roth: I’ll be doing a film called “Animals.” It’s
about a cab driver that follows an angel around.
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