Posted by on January 6, 2019 3:00 am
Categories: µ Newsjones

From south London to LA, Tim Roth has been Hollywood royalty for almost three decades. He talks about Brexit, unlikely role models, and always being in the right place at the right time

A young man walks into a bar and meets Sam Shepard, Christopher Walken and Al Pacino. The man is Tim Roth. The year is 1990, and the actor is in New York to film Jumpin’ at the Boneyard, a bleak movie about drug abuse. Roth, who planned to nurse a quiet beer while watching American football, found himself in conversation with Walken and Shepard. “I thought: ‘What the fuck have I walked into?’” he says. “It was purely by chance.” By the time he left, Shepard had promised to write him a part in his next play. It was not the first time Roth had been in the right place at the right time, and it wouldn’t be the last.

This unlikely encounter took place at a propitious time, just as Roth was starring as Van Gogh in Robert Altman’s Vincent & Theo, and shortly before his comic double act with Gary Oldman in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead hit the festival circuit. Writing in the New Yorker, Pauline Kael described Roth’s acting as “a form of kinetic discharge”. After a decade in which the film industry had largely curdled into a hit machine of bland studio blockbusters, independent film was stirring into life and craft was back in vogue.

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