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Barry Norman: Tim Roth's The War Zone starring Ray Winstone and showing out of competition, deals vividly and movingly with incest. The war zone here, is the family itself.

(Tim is sitting outside on the grass under some trees with the sun beating down. Clothes: dark blue T-shirt with a design in white on it (I can't tell what it is) and a dark blue jacket with red lining. Hair: short, Gridlock'd style.)

BN: Tim, why am I not surprised that you should have chosen such a difficult subject for your first film as a director?

TR: You know, I thought 'well why not?'.

BN: You like to do things the hard way, don't you?

TR: Yeah, but I thought well I have to find out if I can do this. And I read the book and fell in love with it--it actually broke my heart--and I've got three kids and I thought well this is actually . . . Do a film about what people do to children. I thought that was important to do. Ok, so now you've got that going. And I actually thought it was quite cinematic--I wanted to shoot it cinematically. You know, I'm not making a documentary--I want to make a film. So now I'm there--it's really deep in time--how am I going to get these kids to do this?

BN: 'Cause they hadn't acted before? The two kids?

TR: Got them off the street. Completely.

BN: What's the names? Lara Belmont.

TR: And Freddie Cunliffe. They are extraordinary. And it was hell! But at one point I think Ray . . .

BN: Were you kind to them? (laughs)

TR: (smiling) I was mean and kind. As has been my experience, alright? You know, I've been there. But I remember Ray turned to me at one point--looking at them and looking at me--and going 'Well it's back to school, isn't it?'. Because they were so . . . they were not impressed.

BN: No, they're not, are they.

TR: I mean, you know, we get all precious about it all because we're film makers. They're not interested really--and we're not that cool 'cause we're old! (laughs)

BN: What a terrible indictment!

TR: But it's true!

(Clip from film of Nick meeting the family)

BN: But Ray, Ray Winstone, is a good choice. I mean alright, he may be a teddy bear, but he can look anything but a teddy bear.

TR: He's a man. I wanted a man. I'm sick of very white teeth and lots of gymnasium practice. I'm bored, you know, send in the next one. I wanted a real man that I could believe was my brother, my father, you know, my next door neighbor--a real person. And he was my last choice because I thought if Ray walks through the door you know, you're gonna think 'Oh my God, he's screwing his kids! (Both laugh) You're in deep trouble! Oh my God, it's Ray--it's Scum!' But of course the opposite is true and when I met him, finally I couldn't deny him. I kept seeing him being wonderful in all these different things. And he came and said 'I wanna be a good guy for a change.'

(Clip from film of family talking in the kitchen)

BN: So you've got the bug now for directing?

TR: Yeah. I love it. I absolutely love it.

BN: But not to the excluse of acting presumably?

TR: No. It's quite good because I've got two passions which run parallel and help each other out. So, er, not exclusively, no. Acting is a short, sharp shock and then I have a two year break to do some directing. I mean you have to stop--ok, be serious about it--so I've put the kid's through school.

BN: How are you enjoying Cannes?

TR: I absolutely love it. It's the cream on the top. I've been here as an actor, a presenter and now a director and it's quite lovely.

BN: Yeah. Next time one hopes in competition.

TR: Next time I'll be on the Jury! (laughs) No! That's tiring!

(As an interesting side note, apparently Tim couldn't stop laughing during this interview because Barry Norman was showered in gull droppings. Norman continued the interview, but quipped "Once on the arm, one on the head, another one on the arm. That must bring me plenty of luck." He also added, "I think they were sent by the people who make some of the films I have crapped on over the years.")

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