TNT roughcut.com's DAVID POLAND: We are here with Tim Roth and Ray Winstone of The War Zone, which just premiered here at Sundance. It's an extremely powerful family drama about incest. It's Tim's first film as a director and Ray is a great Brit actor who you might know from Ladybird, Ladybird or Nil By Mouth. Let's get started.
rothies79 asks: Can you tell us more about "The War Zone"?
TIM ROTH: It's about a family that's moved from London to Devon. A sixteen year old boy, 17 year old girl, mother is pregnant and the boy, over the course of the story, discovers that the father and the sister are having an incestuous relationship. And the movie is about the effects of that on the family and individually.
Ambrosia36 asks: When can we see TWZ in the US?
TIM: We don't know yet. When we made the film, I didn't want any presales to America. So you'll know when we'll know
Ambrosia36 asks: What made you decide to take on this film?
RAY WINSTONE: It was a wonderful script and a wonderful story. And a chance to work with Tim. I always wanted to work with Tim as an actor, but as a director it was good enough for me. You don't take scripts as part of a career plan. I don't really think about the subject matter when the script is good
TIM: It came to me in the form of a novel an English novel. I read it and fell in love with it. What I wanted to do was to make an adult film about what adults do to children. And The War Zone was probably the best way to do that.
rothies79 asks: How much do you like directing, Tim?
TIM: It's amazing to find a new passion so late in life. For me, it's the best thing I've ever done in my life. It's the most enjoyable, most fulfilling working experience I've had.
DAVID: Ray, can you tell us about Tim as a director?
RAY: I can tell you loads of... (laughs) Very, very, very easy to work with made me feel very relaxed. It's a very difficult film. Probably the most disturbing film I've ever done. But the one thing that Tim has is a way of communicating with people, getting the best out of them. And being a very good friend. That may be more important. It's important that I feel at home and that I trust people.
TIM: It's feeling needed too. For me as an actor, some directors make you feel needed and important. And that your input is as important as anyone else's. Some tech talked about how no director ever talked to them before.
RAY: And the family of this film is still in contact with each other. You can be across the world and they will ring you up. That's very unusual. Others may say it, but it affected everyone on this job.
TIM: We went to hell and back.
RAY: It changed my life.
vml777 asks: Is this really an issue you feel is relevant to a wide audience?
TIM: That's a very strange question You must be a very strange person. Do you need counseling? It's a subject that effects As an issue, it effects so many people that you have a built in audience even though it's probably not commercial but the abusers and the abused are there
RAY: In droves
TIM: But yes, maybe you still need counseling
nb_luvstim asks: Ray what are the similarities/differences when working w/ Tim or Gary (oldman)?
RAY: The differences are that they are totally different directors. And the similarity is that they are very talented people. And neither of them is as good looking as me.
masae_cain asks: Independent films are so popular here in Japan too. are you planning to come to Japan? (Masae)
RAY: Love to
TIM: Actually, Japan put some money into the film
RAY: Can we go?
TIM: Not you. (smirks) Hopefully we'll go.
RAY: I 'd love to go.... very different culture
Orange asks: Do you have any new films you're working on?
TIM: As a director, yes. In the very early stages. As an a actor, looking.
RAY: And resting, love
rothies79 asks: When will "The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean" will be distributed in the States?
TIM: Beats me
ChatYahoo_Lisa asks: is "The War Zone" in any other festivals?
TIM: It's going to Berlin in mid February
RAY: And Tokyo!
TIM: Ray's still pushing for Tokyo.
rothies79 asks: What is the most difficult thing you encounter while making this film?
RAY: I guess once I realized what the subject was as a person. I've heard things and they upset me and made me angry, but becoming part of telling a story like this, that was the toughest part. The easy part was having people around you like Lara Belmont and Tim.
TIM: Keeping everybody happy when you want to go away and cry and beat you head against the wall. Knowing you can't -- you're captain of the ship. There are times when you say and do things you regret But you know you have to get people through. It's a tough job.
miz_jp asks: I read somewhere that you are thinking about going back to live in England. How seriously?
TIM: Depends on my wife. But the idea is that the next films I want to direct are European and they'll be in England. We'll have to decide about where to be based. Acting jobs pay better and are easier to get in America and are quicker. I can either be based in England or L.A.
RAY: The job isn't just an 8 week job for a good director. The guys who do that suck.
TIM: My next film will be Dumb, Dumb, Dumb and Dumber. About a director who gets paid a lot. Any offers? And then one called Sign Right Here and Who's Your Lawyer?
RAY: Who's lawyer are you fucking?
TIM: There's a sign on the ceiling that says "you have the job!"
nb_luvstim asks: Tim, i love all of your movies because they are so non-conventional and controversial.
TIM: Thanks a lot
masae_cain asks: Tim, Ray, Tokyo is fun! I can show you around!
TIM: Thee you go are you male or female?
RAY: Thank you very much. (laughs)
penniwit asks: where did you meet you're wife, Tim?
TIM: Sundance. I was here for a film. Our anniversary was yesterday
ms_erhart asks: would you work with peter greenaway again if you had the chance ?
TIM: Definitely. Yes. The one that I did with him had the best narrative of his films. And I think that I would need that if I was to work with him again.
nb_luvstim asks: Is it more difficult for u to distribute this film in the US as opposed to let's say Europe?
TIM: When I made the film I didn't want an American pre-sale. I thought it was best to present the film as a finished piece in the US., considering what is considered commercial and your sense of morality here. We're partially here to find out what an American audience thinks and if they can deal with it, how with they do it. There has been a lot of interest. But when they wake up tomorrow, will they still want it? It's a tough one. So far, the response has been extraordinary. So, you never know.
penniwit asks: Tim, do you ever get sick of the publicity?
TIM: Yes... next question (laughs)
CHAZ_IOM asks: why dont you make your next movie on the isle of man, wed love to see you here and to have ray back again!
RAY: I don't mind working on the Isle of Man. The last time, I was stuck in the middle and never saw the island. The film was called Woundings. I get a bit claustrophobic about an island you can't get off of after 7. After 12 weeks there, you kind of want to go. I met some good people there. I had fun there. And the one good thing about the isle is that the crime report is so small. I'll be back if the project was right. I'd go anywhere for the good project.
peggysue1st asks: is there any thing that you regret?
RAY: I don't regret anything I've done on film. I've done some really duff stuff in my time. But hasn't everybody?
TIM: I agree with Ray. For example you can read a script that you think is great. The production experience can be great. And the film is still a pile of shit. Except for some circumstances, I just don't watch the films. Why ruin the experience?. Especially when the financiers have been recutting the film. But I reserve the right to fail. Critics have no right to fail.
RAY: I've never met anyone who wanted to be a critic when they grow up. They are usually people who failed at something else. But everyone has the right to criticize? Or do they?
TIM: You should be able to fail
RAY: We actually like failures in our country. If a boxer loses the world title they love him. If he wins, it's "so what?"
nb_luvstim asks: Tim, will you be working with your friend Gary O. in the future (you two make a great team!)
TIM: I have no idea. I really have no idea. I'd like to get Gary and Ray on stage together and direct them.
RAY: That would be a giggle, wouldn't it?
peggysue1st asks: What is your all time favorite movie?
TIM: I couldn't say. I can give you an idea of a few of them: Scum, Elephant, My Life As A Dog, To Kill A Mockingbird, His Girl Friday, Himat, In the Realm of The Senses, 400 Blows.
RAY: Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, Sporting Life. I think those two films made me want to be an actor. I learned that there were people like who were actors.
TOGETHER: Zulu, The Vikings, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Alfie.
RAY: I love English films.
TIM: Kez, Cathy Go Home.
RAY: But I'm a real big fan of English films. Cassevettes. And then I can go and watch a film like Godzilla and enjoy it because I don't have to be too intelligent. Just watch people be squished. Red River, Rio Bravo. I juts love films good or bad.
TIM: A Bug's Life
RAY: I've gotten to know that they may have made the film look bad, but the end makes up for it. I find it difficult to walk out of a cinema. Only once.
TIM: I've walked out of my own
RAY: I went to see Jason and the Argonauts when I was a boy. My dad fell asleep and he woke up in the same place on the second showing. We also sat though 633 Squadron. And at the end he asked if I wanted to watch again. And we did. One of my all-time favorites was Beckett with Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton. The dialogue is so advanced. The scene with O'Toole and the French wench. It was like two mates having a blast. They used "Roger" (Which means having sex). You had films like How The West Was Won. That was cinema. Cinemascope. It was like you were in it. It goes (spreading hands) on and on and on.
TIM: You got quite emotional there
eliana_n asks: hi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SuperBalls99 asks: What was the Best Troma movie shown?
RAY: What's a Troma movie?
rothies79 asks: Do you have a favorite out of all the films you've made?
TIM: This one. And Made In Britain, which is the first one I made.
RAY: I've got to say mostly the ones I've done. Our Boys, Scum, Nil By Mouth, War Zone. For different reasons. For the people you meet and the quality of the work. I've been lucky. I made a movie in Dublin called The Mammy and haven't seen it. You can't behave yourself in Dublin. That's why you do it. It should be fun. I guess you always think about the last film you've done.
DAVID: Any directors either of you want to work with?
TIM: Ken Loach.
RAY: Alan Clarke.
TIM: I second that... he's dead though.
RAY: He's up there.
RAY: Gary, Tim. I don' know who I'd like to work with until you work with them. I take it as it comes.
TIM: Many, many, many.
DAVID: How was Woody Allen as a director? We hear that he really leaves his actors alone...
TIM: With me, he was fine. He's very good at card tricks. And he likes to tell stories about gangsters. You are given you scenes.... that's all you know. And he would say, "that's line's good.... maybe change that." And he rehearses it like a play. We'd rehearse with the actors and eventually, he'd introduce the dolly. And we'd do that.
RAY: Did you like that?
TIM: It was interesting... different. And I get to sing in it which was hysterical.
DAVID: Actually, I thought you acquitted yourself better than anyone in the film...
TIM: He said, you can do it yourself or be dubbed. I want actors, not singers. So, for me, I was nervous. But it's nothing I'd pursue. I wanted to know the gap between dialogue and when the song starts...what that feels like. I didn't really dance... I just lurched about.
penniwit asks: Just want you guys to know im glad you have a sense of humor!!
TIM: If we didn't, we'd be dead form the neck up. Actually, on that note, the humor kept everybody going on the War Zone. Everybody.
DAVID: Tilda Swinson is quite post-pregnant in the film.....coincidence or requirement?
RAY: Didn't you ask her 12 months before to knock one out?
TIM: She was due with twins when she accepted the job. They were a couple of months old when we did the film. It was deeply important to both of us to see a what a real body looks like after having a baby.
RAY: It was a lot to contend with. She got a lot of help from her husband.
TIM: We had to schedule between breast feeding breaks. It was important to see.
RAY: She was proud of it
TIM: We put her right across it.
DAVID: Can you tell us about finding the teens in the movie?
TIM: We saw 2500 kids. And that was done in many ways... the brief was "no actors." And part of the work was to go about the street and find people who fit physically and to take pictures and invite them to read. That was how the girl was found, walking down Portobello Rd. And the boy came in for an open call to be in a Tim Roth film. And we narrowed it down. And finally the smaller group (about 40) got the script and we brought them in and read them but I already knew... we had to prove it to the people with the check. And we did two days of screen tests. Every one of those kids was great.
RAY: One phoned me to talk about his future.
TIM: They were all extraordinary, but eventually it became obvious. And they are wonderful, wonderful actors, but it never crossed their minds to be actors.
madeira5 asks: tim, do/did u have ancestors from poland,hungary or austria?
TIM: No bloody idea.
SuperBalls99 asks: they made classics like Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, The Toxic Avengers
RAY: WAIT! I saw The Toxic Avenger... watched it to the end.
TIM: Ray is a big fan! (laughs)
Tache_Che asks: My name is Tsali Tache Ushte--Charlie Lame Deer. I would like to know the name of the board controller; and why this section has taken the name of one of our most Sacred Ceremonies, The Sun Dance?
RAY: You better ask Robert Redford
TIM: We're hanging with Bob...
madeira5 asks: tim when u did return to waterloo did u meet ray davies?
TIM: Yes, he directed it.
nb_luvstim asks: i saw all the films u mentioned but can't find ELEPHANT. where can I look for that?
RAY: I've got it at home
TIM: Alan Clarke did a film about Ireland. It's basically 18 killings in Ireland in a 40 minute film. It's one of the most extraordinary pieces of filmmaking. So mundane it's heart breaking.
RAY: Maybe you can write the BBC.
nb_luvstim asks: tim, when are u going to do another film that has a HOT love scene again!!!
TIM: They very rarely come my way. And you can spell "come" however you like.
rothies79 asks: Tim, will you let your kids watch the film, "The War Zone"?
TIM: Well, my 14 year old, I'll sit with him and go through it with him. But once the press hits I try and waylay it before the press hits. And we can sit and go though it and discuss it. The others are 3 and 2, so when they are old enough, they will see it.
madeira5 asks: tim,were helen hayes& bette davis cordial 2u when u made murder w/mirrors?:)
TIM: Helen was really sweet and I had a newborn at that time. And she bought her a teddy. And Bette Davis said one word to me. She looked at the baby and said "Cute." That was it. She used to come down to the set and watch me. I have no idea why. She was still smoking despite being so sick. And she was sitting on the corner with her make-up over her make-up. And they weren't allowed to mention that she showed up with make-up already on. So she'd be on the set with the butts and the boys would look at her and the ashtrays. They would nick the cigarettes with the Bette Davis lipstick. And were making a fortune selling them.
RAY: She is Queen Elizabeth I, in my book. Though I haven't seen the new one.
madeira5 asks: tim, i read the war zone-are you leaving the ending?
TIM: No... there are two endings. Not in the film, but in the book in the way. I kept it in England. And I shot the door before the issue may or may not happen. I left it for the audience to decide. I had it, I shot it, I decided it wasn't good enough. (For the rest of you...that's all we can say). I also thought it wasn't truthful. Where does the chain stop?
RAY: Someone was the first one, Adam?
TIM: You can't fall into the cliches that people who do stats make for you. We had some people on the film who had been in these situations. We were honest.
masae_cain asks: Since you are in LA and, England, where can i send you a fan letter? Will you write me back? (From Tokyo again)
TIM: Publicist... L.A. - Stacey Newman, Polaris Publicity.
RAY: My agent in London... CAM 19 Denmark St, London, Not sure of the post code, SW1?
DAVID: Let's take one last question....
CHAZ_IOM asks: when are we going to see the ultimate movie starring tim ray and gary??
RAY: If I were to say anyone I'd love to work with, it would be the 3 of us together. And Bobby Carlyle again.
TIM: We are all ugly. We have that in common. We are the strangest looking fuckers.
RAY: Yeah, yeah. It's called interesting. A well lived in face.
TIM: It's called, you are going to be around a long time
DAVID: I agree.... you guys will around a long, long time. And we are all the better for it. I want to thank Tim and Ray for coming by tonight.
TIM: Night, night to the cyber nuts
DAVID: Thank you all for coming.