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Samuel L. Jackson Dared Tim Roth to Curse on Live TV When He Lost at the Oscars

After almost a quarter century, Roth says he regrets not doing it.

Tim Roth Academy Awards 1996

Amidst chatter about that new Quentin Tarantino film arriving later this year, one of the director’s past and future collaborators took an opportunity to reflect on a missed opportunity. Tim Roth, perhaps best known for his appearances in Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction,” was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the 1995 adaptation of “Rob Roy.” On the most recent edition of “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” Roth explained that Samuel L. Jackson dared him to react a certain way if he didn’t end up winning.

“I’m sitting there and just before it comes up, Sam Jackson turns around at me and says, ‘Now, Tim. When you lose, say ‘Motherfucker!'” Roth said. With the camera still on all five nominees, viewers would be able to see him mouth the word.

“I missed that, and I always regretted that,” Roth added.

Roth doesn’t explicitly say so in the clip, but it’s hard not to make the connection between Jackson’s egging him on and what he did when Martin Landau’s name was read at the ceremony the year before:

(It’s a little jarring to see nominees introduced with still images rather than clips. Ah, the mid-’90s.)

True to Roth’s characterization, he opted for a more deferential and neutral reaction when Kevin Spacey won for “The Usual Suspects,” a clip that is still available through the Academy’s YouTube page.

Roth is currently the star of the Amazon co-production “Tin Star,” which was just renewed for a third season. He is also slated to make an appearance in the ninth Tarantino film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

The full “Late Late Show” clip (which is not Adam Scott guessing if random guys are named “Adam” or named “Scott,” but really what can be) is below:

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