New Interview
Tim Roth

Tim Roth: “It was our turn now”

December 2, 2020
 Listen to Audio Excerpt Listen to Audio Excerpt

Mr. Roth, you started your career by playing a teenage racist skinhead in Alan Clark’s Made in Britain. Were you aware what a gutsy career move that was at the time?

Well, the gutsy move was theirs actually! Because I'd never been in front of a camera before that. You know, Alan Clark was a hero of mine because of his previous film Scum, which I had watched so many times in the cinema — Scum was originally commissioned by the BBC, I think, but when they saw it, they cancelled it because of the violence. So Alan went on and remade it for the cinema. Anyway, so I had Alan, David Leland had written the script, and Chris Menges on camera, which was my saving grace. And I was given speeches. I don't think that would have benefited by me whispering my way through that character! (Laughs)

How did that first experience then influence the following years of your career?

I remember, it was very strange, when we were finishing up filming Made in Britain, Alan asked me, “What do you want to do?” And I said, “I want to be an actor.” And he asked, “Well, who do you like?” And I said, “Well I've heard about this guy, Mike Leigh, who does all this improv stuff.” Alan called him because he happened to be casting at that time, and I ended up going from Alan’s film into Mike's film, Meantime, with Gary Oldman! One after the other. So that was drama school for me. And from then on, I started working with some of my heroes, Stephen Frears, John Hurt, and Terence Stamp, which is not so bad. All of that was going on — I just kept my head down, kept moving, really, which I still do.

World Guide

Explore the world and get inspired

Last week’s Interview
Richard Dreyfuss

Richard Dreyfuss: “I have achieved all my dreams”

November 25, 2020

Mr. Dreyfuss, is it true that you reserved tickets for Pan Am’s first moon flights in the late 1960s?

Yes, that’s true! On the day that we landed on the moon, Pan Am announced that they would honor any reservations in the same way that they had honored the reservations for the Trans Pacific flights in the thirties. And so I have reservation number 86 and my friend Albert Brooks, he has reservation 11. I think Steven Spielberg was actually scheduled to be the next civilian to go up after the Challenger catastrophe, but that was cancelled. But I think that was his intention.

And space has always been a fascination for you?

Part of it is simply built into our species, and for the entire history of humankind, we have always pushed a very long fragile envelope. And then we did something during my lifetime that I don’t think has ever been done before and that was after Apollo 11 that had all the trouble, after that somehow we started to chicken out. I’m serious, that’s the first time that humankind has ever done that. I don’t think I know of any other time in human history where what is so naturally a part of us just turned away!