John Pierson: So we're here with Tim Roth. You've been to Sundance as an actor alot.
Tim Roth: It was last year we won.
John Pierson: Youve been here with which films when?
Tim Roth: boneyard, Reservoir Dogs, Bodys Rest and Motion, and Gridlocke'd.
John Pierson: THis time youre directing youre first film THE WAR ZONE,
Tim Roth: British novel Alexander Stuart is the author, heartbreaking story, he was in a rage about what people do to their children.
John Pierson: Did you know you wanted to direct this film because it was such a perfect book?
Tim Roth: Both really, I worked with first timers since I came to America. I haven't wanted to stop acting in two years
Tim Roth: I'd wanted to make a grown up film about children. And this is what it's become.
Tim Roth: 400 blows was an influence. I didn't want to make soundtrack film or a gun movie. These are the reasons I wanted to make a movie. I wanted to make an adult movie.
John Pierson: When did that start to grate on you?
Tim Roth: Recently. It is fun, it/s age that makes you want to do something more serious.
John Pierson: WHen you were here with RESERVOIR DOGS in 92 tell us sabout that.
Tim Roth: I got 500 scripts based on that. You read a script and its based on Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, and it goes right in the bin. I still go see them though.
John Pierson:How did you decide to cast Ray Winstone?
Tim Roth: Went back to Britian and we had a choice of extrodinary talent. But Ray is a personal hero. He was somebody I feared, I saw him in SCUM.
John Pierson: Mike Leigh influenced you. Tell us about that.
Tim Roth: Mike is extrodinary I'm perplexed seeing written by Mike Leigh, and I've worked with him and I know it's not true.
John Pierson: Are you going to work with Mike Leigh again?
Tim Roth:That is a personal choice I think you should make.
John Pierson: You have gone so far out on a limb with your roles. Especially GRIDLOCK.
Tim Roth: It was the only film being made in New York at the time. Budget was 850K. The Mayor came down to the set in tennis whites with pinkeye.
John Pierson:Could you talk a little more about THE WAR ZONE.
Tim Roth: It's about incest. It's about a family that moves from London to the Devon countryside. You discover the functional family and there is something wrong here. Everything he percieves about the family is a lie. As we watch we start to see things in a different light. It's a deeply sad film. It's a film about what it's like to be in that position.
Tim Roth: If everyone was like this, we'd kill them. Everyone is an abused child, if you think about what governments do.
John Pierson: Since Ray was the lead in NIL BY MOUTH, The Gary Oldman film. Can you tell us how it differs from that.
Tim Roth: It's a different film, a different performance, a passionate story. Your asking for a comparision, really, Gary's film is an attack on aspects of society, as is this. But they are very different films.
John Pierson: You spent two years on this, away from acting. Now What?
Tim Roth: Ray was the actor I wanted. I'm not going to let some one elses history take him away from me.
John Pierson: Any chance you will want to go back to a lighter role, Likein ROB ROY?
Tim Roth: It's hard to go back, but I liked being on the other side. You get to make miracles.
Tim Roth: No.
John Pierson: Anybody in Cyberspace with questions?
John Pierson: What is the hardest thing with acting?
Tim Roth: Before I started, I worried about what I was going to say to the actors. It kept me awake at night. Sometimes you get the questions wrong. But you have to be there for the actors, that was the scariest.
John Pierson: How do you feel American cinema is different from British, asks KRAZEE in Cyberspace
Tim Roth: It went through a time when it wasn't and thats when Biritish cienema was dull. Now it's looking to itself, and that's important.
Tim Roth: We made lots of films with blue lights and smoke. It's like our films were an audiiton for Hollywood, and we shouldn't be doing that.
John Pierson: Do you feel you have a role to play in keeping things on the right track?
Tim Roth: People like Ken Loach they're important.
John Pierson: Did you have a mentor for this film re-editing process?
Tim Roth: My mentors were my editiors. You come from location work with a million people and questions and you get into the editing room, and its two people it's slow.
Tim Roth: We edited on the computer system if you lift a frame here you change the whole film.
John Pierson: Have you thought about screenwriting next time?
Tim Roth: Not really. I get embarressed by what I've written. I like ideas writers have that I might not have written. Writers are there for a reason...to write for me.
John Pierson: Two part ?? from Cyberspace. 1 - How do you rank your performance in ROB ROY? How about PULP FICTION?
Tim Roth: I don't rank them, they're all different. I don't compare them. How would you compare Polanski or Kubrick. I try not to do any comparisons. Out of ten? who cares.
John Pierson: What was it like to work with Tupac?
Tim Roth: Initially I didn't want to work with him. I'd seen musicians act, and it scares me. And they make more money than me. They said meet him, and I met him. Most peoples expectations were for him to pull out the guns say fuck and that was it. Peoples expectations about black men have a history. He was recording shooting videos, you had to slap him to wake him up in the morning.
Tim Roth: The best part was the rapport we had. And that came from him,. I really enjoyed working with him a lot.
John Pierson: Do you see yourself going out and making another ROB ROY? Big high-paying films so you can make the films you really want to?
Tim Roth: That is a way of working. You can't knock it. Young film makers would jump at the chance. And I have the chance. When you know youre whoring it hurts. I have kids. I'm not going to run down an actor for doing this.
John Pierson: BSG 123 asks: How did working with Quentin Tarantino influence you as an actor and director?
Tim Roth: With Quentin you hit the ground running. I've always had a great time working with him. My films are different from his. Influence? Not related.
John Pierson:Have you stayed in touch with Tom Stoppard?
Tim Roth: It's amazing how quickly you build these relationships and how quickly they fade. I miss Tom and I love him, anytime he wants to come by for a pint, I'm ready.
John Pierson: As an actor, do you find it harder, easier... in an ensemble cast?
Tim Roth: It can be good and bad if you like the people you work with we had and ensemble crew. Altman taught me that everyone gets respect. I found members of the crew that had never been spoke to by a director before.
John Pierson: Last ? - What do you think is the main difference between American and British actors?
Tim Roth: I don't care to analyze acting. On the other hand there is a fascination because distributors are putting out British films. You get films here with great performances you'll never see again. Why compare. We should go after the business men...
John Pierson: Especially re the training differences?
Tim Roth: I didnt train. Gary trained, Ray trained. Some actors benefit some dont. British acting schools are differnet. There is a cultural difference. Americans Africans British I'm not sure we share a language.
John Pierson: Thank you Tim.