Timothy Simon "Tim" Roth is an English actor and director. Roth made his debut in the 1982 film Made in Britain and the 1984 film The Hit, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award. He gained more attention for his performances in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, Vincent & Theo, and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. He later earned international recognition for appearing in Quentin Tarantino films such as Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Four Rooms. He starred in the 1995 film Rob Roy, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and made his directional debut with The War Zone, for which he won numerous awards. Roth's other films include Captives, Little Odessa, Everyone Says I Love You, Gridlock'd, Legend of 1900, Deceiver, Planet of the Apes, Invincible, Funny Games, The Incredible Hulk, Arbitrage, and Broken. He also starred as Cal Lightman on the Fox series Lie to Me.
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Hey it's Tim. I star in Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. This is my fourth film with him. I was in Reservoir Dogs, Four Rooms and Pulp Fiction.
Nice to meet you Reddit, ask me anything.
Edit: 5:20 PM EST: Sorry folks! That's all the time I have for today. Maybe if this turns out well I can do it again sometime! Goodbye reddit mob!
If Lie to Me wasn't cancelled was there ever a "ending" planned, like how would live end up for Dr. Cal Lightman?
Thank you for all your work and taking the time to do this AMA
Well the plan was in season 4 the discussion was we would blow up the building, he had no office and we took away his money. So he ended up in one point moving in with Brendan's character and he had to work from scratch.
I think the idea is that if we stripped his finances away from him what would he be. He would be working much more on the street, and Kelly's character would be quite seriously his therapist since he was becoming much more erratic and wild.
When the powers at the top of fox brought the new guys on we didn’t think we stood much of a chance. I think you would have a lot more of the affair between him and Kelly, and the relationship between him and his daughter. We had Michael B Jordan come in for a few episodes and it was quite fun to work with him, that we hoped he would become a permanent character.
In the end I think it would have spiraled so hard out of control that we would have gotten canceled anyway.
I think the most underrated comic performance of the 90's was yours in four rooms.
Teddy is such a different character from what you've done before in terms of physicality, what was your process during that film to create that character?
I think most people who watched Four Rooms were stoners. It's such a strange film, it has elements of being sort of crazy comic greatness.
There was a moment when I was a kid and I saw the film Jaws in Leicester Square, when I jumped out of my seat. That kind of extreme reaction, i did during the first day of filming, and that kind of dictated my performance in the film. Most of it was made up in the spur of the moment. I’m not really a fan of whispering through the movie. I’m a big fan of physical performance and you can see that in Oswaldo Mobray, my character in Hateful Eight.
I have to ask you your thoughts on United Passions and the state of FIFA in general at the moment?
The film is awful (can't say that because I haven't seen it) I hated doing it, it was the wrong film but for the right reasons. I had two kids in college so I had to make a decision and it was probably poorly judged, but once you make that decision you have to follow through. It's a hard road, being in something you don't want to do, but I'm glad I did it for my family.
As for Fifa I thought the movie would be much more about the corruption of this guy at first. I don't know if he is going to go down, he seems to have survived everything that has been thrown at him. There doesn't seem to be any way you can get to them because of all those big corporations behind him. It looks the most promising though now though, it looks like he is a on a back foot now because he looks more exposed then he has ever been in the past.
Mark me down as one of the few who absolutely loves that movie but isn't a stoner.
It was quite fun.
Thats a first.
Hello Tim! Huge fan from India! I love your work, especially Lie to Me. And Gridlock'd. You were fantastic in it.
How was it like working with 2pac?
And what are your fondest memories from Lie to Me?
2pac, I loved working with him. He wasn’t the first casting choice, there was someone else I won't say who dropped out. The director Vondie said: “This rap artist would be really good in this” and I knew nothing about that style of music so I said Just find me an actor for this. Quincy Jones came up to me and said you have to give 2pac a chance
I have a restaurant I like to go to in LA so we set up a meeting there. 2pac came in and sat down with me and proceeded to outline the character in such a detailed and extraordinary way that I just fell in love with him.
I had to get a little in his face sometimes since he was constantly writing and singing and producing so he was utterly exhausted so I told him that he had to give me his time now. The day that he was shot, he was on his way, he had seen the Tyson fight, he was supposed to do some additional voice work on the movie.
We had our fingers crossed that he would survive in the hospital, but it was the surgery that got him in the end. He was young and rash but also brilliant and I adored him.
His mom was a Black Panther back in the day and they couldn’t afford a funeral for him. The deal that he had done even though he was double platinum, he didn’t have a dime to show for it. So we were passing the hat around for his costs.
Hi Mr. Roth!
I know Quentin Tarantino has been very vocal about how he's displeased with Disney taking away potential screens for The Hateful Eight's 70mm release. Do you have any thoughts on the matter?
I don't understand if or how that happened. They were already selling tickets and some of the cast were planning to go down and take their kids to see it. I find it very confusing, it seems like there must've been some kind of mix up, he actually had put the Cinerama thing on the front of the movie so I don't know what happened.
Hi Tim! I'm a big fan and I hope you could answer some questions from me today.
What is your favourite film between Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction?
What is it like to work with Tarantino?
What do you think was in the case in Pulp Fiction?
What was actually in the case in Pulp Fiction (When you opened it)?
(1 and 2) Reservoir dogs because it was the first time I worked with Quentin, The first time you do something enjoyable (and working with Quentin was very enjoyable) is something that you are always going to remember.
(3) I know what was in the case, there is two answers: One was a battery and a lamp, and the other is that Quentin told us what we were looking at and no one else knows. Even my kids don't know it.
(4) A battery and a lamp.
Edit: Easy mob, autocorrect. That’s what the edit button’s for. Carry on.
Mr Roth. Would you please, please, please be the next Doctor?
Ok. If this is the casting director, I'm all for it.
Do you tip the waitresses?
Yes, always. Steve Buscemi doesn't.
what is the best burger you've ever had?
In n' Out: Animal Style.
If you had a hippo, what would you name it?
I'm going to be watching Hateful Eight in Amsterdam in January on holiday. Will I miss much if I'm high as hell or can I lay back and enjoy the ride?
Also, I loved Lie to Me, such a shame it never got renewed.
Yeah, I think if you are high as hell and you’re watching Hateful Eight, it will be a very different ride. I suggest you watch it both sober, and then high as hell. I would start sober and then go back and watch it high as hell.
I imagine it would be terrifying to watch that high.
The fight in Rob Roy is one of the all-time great sword duels. How much practice went into it and how exhausting was it to film?
I think we worked on that fight (it was two fights and one was cut down a bit) I think we spent about three or four months working on it.
Whenever I wasn’t required on set, I would go and practice going through the moves. It was exhausting, to try to get the fight in character which is why I think that fight worked so well because the blades are the extension of the character.
The difficulty with that is that if I have a rapier and I’m fighting someone with a broadsword I would kill him in an instant, the deal was to torture him and bring him to the brink. It was quite enjoyable. I did stab Liam at one point, which is not something that you want to stab a 6 ft man.
I don't know if you'll feel comfortable answering this, but I went to a screening of The War Zone at TIFF...a man heckled at the screen and I believe you went out and talked to him in the lobby. I was always curious about that conversation, and how you as a director handled the situation. Would you be willing to shed some light on it?
I remember that guy, but its not the only time that its happened. When I introduced the film I always say: if you have a problem and you need to leave, would you leave quietly and respect the audience. I was sitting in the bar and a kid walked in who had walked out of the film, (he had been through some serious abuse) and I sat him down for a beer. I told him why don't you come back in for the Q and A and I told him about how I was abused and he said Yeah I'd like that.
Then when we were walking there was this guy outside who was angry with me so I told the kid to go on ahead and I dealt with the guy. He accused the film of being pornography and he was being quite aggressive towards me. I put my hands on him (not violently) and it calmed him right now. I went inside and when I came back out he was still there so I had a conversation with him about the movie. During the Q and A a question we asked was: "How many people in here were abused." and some people raised their hands. And then I asked, how many people were abusers and no one ever raised their hands. My theory is that the man outside who was mad was one of the abusers or was abused. I think his adverse reaction might have been something to do with him seeing himself in the movie (in one form or another.)
Shit, I'm late to this AMA.
Uh...do you like chocolate milk?
Yeah I like it alright.
Pumpkin! Thanks for doing this AMA.
I doubt QT told any of the cast, but if you had to guess, what do you think Mr. White whispered to Mr. Orange near the end of Reservoir Dogs?
So stoked for H8!
I remember but I won’t say. If you don’t know then I won’t say. Its like what's in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction. Things that are private in the film lead to much more interesting permutations in the audience. I would be interested to hear what you think he said.
Anything you hope to get for Christmas?
Thank you for answering. And thanks a lot for doing this AMA.
Also, I just have to ask, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones or the Beatles?
Hey Tim! Thanks so much for doing this!
What are some hobbies of yours that people might not expect? (Besides taking pictures. I really miss the ones of Frank staring into my soul.)
Did you enjoy doing the episode of Robot Chicken? Would you do more voiceover work if given the opportunity?
Can you give me two lies and a truth about filming Hateful Eight?
I take pictures a lot, we were just on a tour, in London, Paris, and New York with Hateful Eight.
The down time we had, we would go out and take lots of pictures of our crazy nights. It was an interesting time, and I do love photography.
I haven’t posted anything online, but I have hosted an exhibition in LA. I don’t really have hobbies, when I’m not working, I spend most of my time loafing at home.
Does Marsellus look like a bitch?
I'll send him your number and he can answer that for you.
Tim. Three things.
The First. Sepp Blatter? Really?
The Second. Are you done with The Lightman Group? You were brilliant in that role.
The Third. Any chance of an sequel/homage to "Four Rooms"? 25 years later?
P.S. Loved you in " Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead". Thanks again.
Yeah, really. College Fees.
We actually discussed that, what he would be like and how fucking insane he would be if we ever came back to him. It might be quite a sad film if we came back to it, but hilarious. But no, sorry no plans.
Hey Tim! Thanks for doing this AMA.
You’ve played a pretty wide range of characters and people. Is there a project, role or subject that you’d like try/play that you haven’t gotten a chance to yet?
I don’t tend to kinda think in that way, I haven’t got any kind of career plan. I tend to wait to see what drops through the letterbox, and see how I respond to it.
I don’t really have any kind of gameplan in mind. I suppose it would be interesting to do some sort of big theatre production, which I haven’t done since I have serious stage fright. I don’t know what kind of character I’m hunting for yet.
Tim Roth! What's it like being totally awesome?
Its pretty great
Super stoked for H8ful 8! Seeing it in 70mm next week and have been following production since last year! As an actor what was it like working in front of those 70mm camera, did you have to do your job any differently? How did production differ on this project compared to other sets?
The thing is: using such a wide format in such an enclosed space is a wonderful concept. What we had to do was create dialogue for ourselves, and Quentin would make lines for us. Whats happening in the foreground of that is not as important as what is happening in the background.
In essence, it's like being on a play. In the time of that production I became closer when working with that group of actors than I had in any other production I’ve been in.
It changes the way you go through your day, in that your on most of the time even if you are in the background. What lens are you using today is what I would ask? And it was the “Ben Hur” lens and not just the kind of lens that Ben Hur was shot on, the ACTUAL lens. It changes so much more than any other format in history.
Hi Tim, humongous fan. Your performance in Four Rooms is just..... delectable. How come you weren't in Inglorious Basterds? Where you busy, or did quentin not ask? Just curious.
I was going to be in it, but I was just about to start Lie to Me and schedules wouldn't have worked out. It's a shame, I loved that script.
Hi, Tim. What's your favourite horror movie?
I’m not big into horror movies, but I like the Shining. That would be one that I loved. I like things like Evil Dead. Specifically I would say Evil Dead 2, thats funny as hell. Give me back my hand!
What did you think of the new Star Wars?
I haven't seen it yet, but I will. I'm quite looking forward to it. I liked the first one (New Hope) and I watched it in London again, and I loved it. I'm quite looking forward to it.
Spoiler Alert: It was the Ewoks.
How do you like to start your day?
This is what I did today:
I got up (which is why I'm here) I cleaned up dog shit, I took my son for a haircut, I dropped off a package to be delivered (I got some tobacco for the set decorator on Hateful Eight, his name is Darren), I had quick shower, and then I sat down in my office to talk to you lot.
The dog shit bit wasn't pretty.
How does it feel to finally use your natural accent in a Tarantino film?
I've gotten to do that in Pulp Fiction already! I only had to fake an accent once in Reservoir Dogs! In the other three films i get to use a version of my own voice. Which is great because QT writes for my accent and he writes stuff for my voice.
What's for dinner?
I dunno, my life is that random. I might take my wife out for a bite. There is a lovely little place near where I live that I might visit (I'm not telling you where it is though) In fact, I'm going to Denny's.
Any funny behind the scenes stories you can tell us?
Well, every day was like that. I don't know about funny, but it was hilarious. The whole time the actors who were trapped in the room were some of the best in the business. We would hang around and watch them do their stuff even when we weren't needed. One thing that QT does is play music over a loudspeaker when we set up. Sometimes QT would laugh openly during takes to the point where they would have to take him off set because he was shaking so much. Every day was a dream.
Were you able to retain any of the skills from when you played Cal Lightman?
The guy that the scientist was based on was there, he would come into the set and I always felt like it was having a critic on set because he could read whether you were BSing or not. You could make a decision whether to learn the science and go through the program, or just to go through without learning anything. That's the choice I made, I didn't learn anything throughout the show. I stayed away from all that, some of the other actors did though, and they were very good at it!
Do you tip the pizza guy?
How are you?
I'm good. I'm finally over my jetlag and I'm spending some time at home.
How'd you enjoy filming in Colorado?
It was good, unfortunately it was a bit too warm. We were hoping for some serious snow, it took a while but it did come. The locals were really good to us, there were lovely bars to shoot pool in, great restaurants, and we had a lovely time living with and as locals for a short period of time. Beautiful mountains as well!
The War Zone was one of the most difficult movies I have ever watched. How hard was it to shoot that movie and how did you provide support for actress Lara Belmont in some of the more harrowing scenes?
It was extremely complicated to shoot. On the emotional level it was difficult since it was a subject who was abused as a child. Once we prepared it, the filming wasn't as hard as the preparation and the post production. We looked after Lara Belmont, and we had a counselor on set, so we could consult him whenever we were filming sometime extreme to make sure that Laura was feeling ok.
Out of the four Tarantino films you've acted in, which one did you have the most fun in?
They were all fun, it's weird he creates a circus like environment on set. They were all fun in their different ways. The way that he writes, its such magical and musical and comedic literature that its a gift for any actor to be in. I couldn't put anyone in front of the other.
I will say that we are having quite a lot of fun with Hateful Eight, everytime we go to a showing its like a reunion for the crew. We have a group text that has been ridiculous so every time we check in with each other before the showing.
I love Made in Britain, will there ever be a sequel with you in it?
It was discussed, there is a script. This was about 10 years ago now, but we talked about where he would be now. David Leland the writer wanted to talk about where he would be like now, but it never came to be.