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Tim Roth Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (7) | Trivia (22) | Personal Quotes (28) | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 14 May 1961London, England, UK
Birth NameTimothy Simon Smith
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Often mistaken for an American because of his skill at imitating accents, actor Tim Roth was born Simon Timothy Roth on May 14, 1961 in Lambeth, London, England. His mother, Ann, was a teacher and landscape painter. His father, Ernie, was a journalist who had changed the family name from "Smith" to "Roth"; Ernie was in Brooklyn, New York, to an immigrant family of Irish ancestry.

Tim grew up in Dulwich, a middle-class area in the south of London. He demonstrated his talent for picking up accents at an early age when he attended school in Brixton, where he faced persecution from classmates for his comfortable background and quickly perfected a cockney accent to blend in. He attended Camberwell Art College and studied sculpture before he dropped out and pursued acting.

The blonde actor's first big break was the British TV movie Made in Britain (1982). Roth made a huge splash in that film as a young skinhead named Trevor. He next worked with director Mike Leigh on Meantime (1984), which he has counted among his favorite projects. He debuted on the big screen when he filled in for Joe Strummer in the Stephen Frears neo-noir The Hit (1984). Roth gained more attention for his turn as Vincent Van Gogh in Vincent & Theo (1990) and his work opposite Gary Oldman in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990).

He moved to Los Angeles in search of work and caught the eye of young director Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino had envisioned Roth as a possible Mr. Blonde or Mr. Pink in his heist flick Reservoir Dogs (1992), but Roth campaigned for the role of Mr. Orange instead, and ultimately won the part. It proved to be a huge breakthrough for Roth, as audiences found it difficult to forget his performance as a member of a group of jewelry store robbers who is slowly bleeding to death. Tarantino cast Roth again in the landmark film Pulp Fiction (1994). Roth and actress Amanda Plummer played a pair of robbers who hold up a restaurant. 1995 saw the third of Roth's collaborations with Tarantino, a surprisingly slapstick performance in the anthology film Four Rooms (1995). That same year Roth picked up an Academy Award nomination for his campy turn as a villain in the period piece Rob Roy (1995).

Continuing to take on disparate roles, Roth did his own singing (with an American accent to boot) in the lightweight Woody Allen musical Everyone Says I Love You (1996). He starred opposite Tupac Shakur in Shakur's last film, the twisted comedy Gridlock'd (1997). The pair received positive critical notices for their comic chemistry. Standing in contrast to the criminals and baddies that crowd his CV, Roth's work as the innocent, seafaring pianist in the Giuseppe Tornatore film The Legend of 1900 (1998) became something of a fan favorite. Grittier fare followed when Roth made his directorial debut with The War Zone (1999), a frank, critically acclaimed drama about a family torn apart by incest. He made his next high-profile appearance as an actor as General Thade, an evil simian in the Tim Burton remake of Planet of the Apes (2001). Roth was, of course, all but unrecognizable in his primate make-up.

Roth has continued to enjoy a mix of art house and mainstream work, including everything from the lead role in Francis Ford Coppola's esoteric Youth Without Youth (2007) to becoming "The Abomination" in the special effects-heavy blockbuster The Incredible Hulk (2008). Roth took his first major American television role when he signed on to the Fox-TV series Lie to Me (2009)

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Azure_Girl

Spouse (1)

Nikki Butler (25 January 1993 - present) (2 children)

Trade Mark (7)

Often works with European and American auteur directors.
Often plays characters who are twisted.
Famous for playing sleazy, contemptible villains.
Blonde hair is almost always slicked back.
Often works with director Quentin Tarantino.
London accent
Green-blue eyes

Trivia (22)

He and Gary Oldman are very good friends from back in the days of when they worked in London theater.
He bears tattoos on his right arm for significant events in his life. He has 8 such tattoos, as of 2010.
Even with his reputation as an actor firmly established, Tim Roth still tends bar from time to time.
He has a son named Jack (b. 1983), with Lori Baker.
Two sons, with Butler, Timothy (b. 1995) and Cormac (b. 1996)
One of the first actor/models to get the trendy "thorny tribal" tattoo around his arm.
His middle name is Simon.
His father was born in Brooklyn, New York City, to a British immigrant family of Irish ancestry. His mother was English. Tim's father changed the family name from the British/American sounding "Smith" to "Roth" after World War II, because he was a journalist who traveled in countries that disliked the British and Americans.
Was considered for the role of Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), but dropped out to star in Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes (1968). The role was then given to Alan Rickman.
Turned down the role of Johnny Rotten in Sid and Nancy (1986), because he felt the film depicted history that was "too recent."
Was considered as a replacement for Anthony Hopkins, when Hopkins was reluctant to return to play Hannibal Lector in Hannibal (2001). However, in the end, Hopkins accepted the role.
President of the 'Camera d'Or' jury at the 57th Cannes International Film Festival in 2004.
Ranked #16 on Tropopkin's Top 25 Most Intriguing People [Issue #100]
A former art student himself, Tim has played an artist in at least three roles: Vincent Van Gogh in Vincent & Theo (1990), Jack Craig in Tales from the Crypt (1989) (episode "Easel Kill Ya") and Joey, an ex-con with a gift for drawing in No Way Home (1996).
Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 59th Cannes International Film Festival in 2006.
Was considered for the role of McStarley in The Condemned (2007).
Adores the cover of "Postcards from a Young Man", the 2010 album by the Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers.
Tim Roth, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Daniel Day-Lewis, Bruce Payne, and Paul McGann were all part of a group of actors in the mid 1980's dubbed ''The Brit pack'' by the media, a reference to the American ''Brat Pack''.
Has no formal acting training.
Developed his trademark Cockney accent when in school to fit in with classmates and avoid being bullied.
Bears a strong physical resemblance to stunt actor and martial artist Ray Park.
Accepted the villain role in The Incredible Hulk (2008) to please his sons.

Personal Quotes (28)

I have a bad time between jobs because I'm always convinced I'll never work again. I think it may be an English thing, this fear of unemployment.
[on attending the Academy Awards ceremony] Like going to Liberace's house on acid.
[on Reservoir Dogs (1992)] There's a lot of blood in that film. I think there's only nine pints in a body; we had about four gallons.
[on Gridlock'd (1997) co-star Tupac Shakur] I found him to be incredibly talented. I used to call him "New Money" because he had a massive Bentley and a different model sat in the car each day, and he used to call me "Free Shit" because I always used to get loads of free stuff from companies. It's a shame what happened - I think he could have gone on to be quite something as an actor.
I've never really played a goody in the traditional sense. Anyway, I don't think that I look the part of a heroic character, especially not in Hollywood, so they never really come up. On a childish level, villains are just more fun.
I remember watching The Sex Pistols on TV when I came home from school - I think it was Johnny Rotten and Siouxsie Sioux from the Banshees - and they started swearing and the guy interviewing them got fired for provoking them. It was a wonderful time. It was like saying, 'Ugly is beautiful, everything you're taught us is wrong.'
Every film you make as an actor, it's not yours, it's the director's.
I'm not a method actor. I don't really have to go live in a hut in the tundra to play an accountant. People tell you that's what you should do because it's what De Niro does. It never worked for me. I've always been able to learn what I need to learn from the script.
There's stuff I'm really scared of doing that I think I *should* do. I *should* do some Shakespeare but it terrifies me. I want to... Harold Pinter adapted King Lear for me - into a film - and I want to try and make that at some point, but, you know, it's damned hard finding money for Shakespeare if you're not Kenneth Branagh, you know?
[on how his relationship with Quentin Tarantino came to be] Well, he came to me. He'd seen Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990) and Vincent & Theo (1990), which are films he really liked. My agent sent me the script, and wrote a little note saying I should look at the role of Pink or Blonde. And I read it and I said "No, I like that guy Orange, because he's a liar. I'll be an Englishman playing an American playing a cop who's playing a villain." And I liked that combination, because it seemed incredibly difficult to do. So then I met with Quentin and we got along very well, but they wanted me to read, and I wouldn't do it. I don't like auditioning in that way, because I'm not very good at it. But we all got drunk, and eventually I did. We became very fast friends. We worked very hard and very closely together, and then he wrote Honey Bunny and Pumpkin for me and Amanda [Amanda Plummer] to do together in [Pulp Fiction (1994)]. And then Four Rooms (1995) came about because Steve Buscemi couldn't do it, I think. They came to me and asked, "Would you fancy having a crack at this guy?" And I thought, "Yeah, I'll have a go, wild." And from there we did talk for a long time about Inglourious Basterds (2009), but with the TV show, the schedule just got in the way in the end, so I couldn't do it. I was ready, though, to go out to Germany with him. Working with Quentin, you just hit the ground running. It's a hell of a ride, but it's always phenomenal. Really, I owe him, because I suppose he's the guy who got me noticed in the States, which is where I've been living now for the best part of 20 years.
[on making Youth Without Youth (2007)] All in all, it was an extraordinary journey. It was 90 days, I think, pretty much in Romania. I think I had one day off. And I think I made sure I switched my phone off so no one could get to me. It was very, very difficult, but incredibly worthwhile. We made it for a very small amount of money. It was a very low-budget movie.
Funny Games (2007) was one of the toughest things I've ever done, on many levels. Firstly, the director [Michael Haneke], I thought was wonderful. He's a fantastic man. But we were remaking a film that had already been done, and he wanted to remake it shot-for-shot. There was no real room for maneuvering, and for playing with or experimenting with the character. You pretty much had to be where the other actor sat or stood and not play around with the lines at all. That was part of this weird experiment he was doing. And it was shot in sequence. So you started in the morning distressed, and you ended your day even more distressed, and then you got up in the morning and you started more distressed and you ended up even more distressed, on-and-on for five and a half weeks. It was absolutely brutal, but it was a hell of a journey.
[on what drew him to Lie to Me (2009)] It's like an experiment for me. I've done telly before. I've done films for TV, and miniseries. But I've never done anything like this. When they first came to me, I thought the character was really interesting, and I thought we could go in different directions, and it wouldn't be just a procedural. The character I thought was potentially quite wild and fun. But I wasn't sure if I wanted to settle into something like this, so I walked away from it initially, until [creator] Sam Baum came back to me for another run, and I took him more seriously. My kids were all about to hit the teen age, and I'd heard that as much as you're not around when you're doing TV, you do get to go home. You're there at the weekend. You get to see your guys growing up. It was a chance to be around for that last chunk of childhood. So I got into it. Then we got picked up, which was great, but I wasn't sure it would succeed, if it would engage an audience on the kind of scale network television requires. But it seems to be working. And I've really started to enjoy it. It's a very interesting experience, being involved in television. American television is very, very odd. And it will go on for as long as it goes on, but from my end, it's been this grand and bizarre experiment. I like playing the guy, and he's changing all the time. And they're writing good character stuff now this season. So hopefully he'll evolve and become even more mad. I think American TV is probably some of the best TV out there at the moment. But network TV is a whole different animal. Basically, we have to turn in, every eight or nine days, a little 43-minute film with a certain amount of twists in it, and it's quite a beast. You are completely in the hands of your writers and the talent of the people at the top. For me, it really was this weird test to see if I could find my way through it. It's a very strange world, but it's quite nice being a part of it.
Americans have bought - lock, stock and barrel - the Jeremy Irons - Kenneth Branagh England. And it's fake. It's an absolute con. Merchant-Ivory? Bollocks!
I think every director has a different take. Some are good, some are bad. The directors you get on best with sometimes don't make the best films. So who's to say who is right?
There is less pressure on a character actor. It generally means that you will be acting for all of your life, which is my intention. It is not my intention to be a rich and famous person. That would be pretty boring.
Bring back dueling, I say. Drive-by sword fight.
I have incredible stage fright. It's awful. Filming holds no fear for me. It's just where I live.
[on the ending of Planet of the Apes (2001)] I cannot explain that ending. I have seen it twice and I don't understand anything.
[on Planet of the Apes (2001)] They gave me a script after I said yes. It took me about 10 seconds. I answered the phone and was like, "Tim Burton? Yes." Then they gave me script and I read it. I didn't think the character was going to have any balls in the end. So I talked to Tim and asked him, "Can I do this kind of stuff?" I would get the pages in the morning and just learn them then. Then I would work with Tim [on the direction].
[on working with Charlton Heston] It was very difficult for me. On one level, there's the man and he's my dad. But on the other level, the whole NRA thing is what it is now. I'm so against it, very vocally so. But it was inappropriate for the workplace. If I'm going to talk to him, I'll talk to him outside the workplace. So it was just two guys in makeup doing a scene.
[on working with Charlton Heston] I was contracted so I couldn't get out of it. I feel very strongly about that monster. I made my feelings clear on set but got myself in make-up and put my gear on - including rubber hands so I wouldn't be infected if I touched him - and went in. We did the scene and I promptly left.
People remember villians. Sometimes in an action movie or sci-fi movie, being a villain is actually kind of interesting.
[on General Thade's temper in Planet of the Apes (2001)] I remember that from a documentary series. When they charge you, when they fight, they go insane. And then you're gone. It's over. They are very vicious at times.
[on the Planet of the Apes (1968) films] I was too young to grasp what the series meant to a lot of people. Certainly coming to America has been extraordinary. People have been a bit leery of [the 2001 version.] People take [the 1968 version] seriously and people are very fond of it so they want to make sure that you did a good job.
[on Planet of the Apes (2001)] I kept working on being an ape all the way through. I just kept pushing it and trying to invent new movements. One of the guys who worked at the Ape School became my stunt double so we just kept working on different things and just play around.
[on acting in ape makeup in Planet of the Apes (2001)] In a sense, it does work for you. You can take on the problems of the makeup and use them to your advantage. I was always working against the costume, it was compressing me all the time, so I used it to make my movements a little more liquid. The process became depressing and exhausting. It was quite a long shoot. Although I wasn't on every day, it still takes it out of you. But once you're in the role and the cameras start rolling, it's fun. I forget about the makeup. The makeup and costumes actually help me.
[on Tim Burton] He creates this bizarre, twisted, odd, nuts kind of worlds and you can't put your finger on them. They're always kind of glorious and enduring as well. You just want to be a part of it.

Salary (1)

Lie to Me (2009) $250,000 /episode (2009-10)

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