CBR News spoke previously with producer Gale Ann Hurd and director Louis Leterrier about “The Incredible Hulk,” the latest Marvel Studios film based on the classic comic book superhero. Starring Edward Norton, the film opens June 13, and we speak now with co-star Tim Roth about his experiences on the set of what Marvel Studios hopes to be their next smash hit.
Tim Roth has been acting since the age of 21, when he took the role of a white supremacist in the 1982 British made-for-television movie “Made in Britain.” Originally studying to become a sculptor, the actor moved on such films as “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover” and “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.” Then, in 1992, he joined the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” as Mr. Orange alongside Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, and Michael Madsen. Since then, Roth has continued to work with Tarantino on such films as the smash hit “Pulp Fiction” and “Four Rooms.”
On June 13, Mr. Orange trades in for a new color, that of gamma-irradiated green with his new role in “The Incredible Hulk” as Emil Blonsky, the Abomination. The classic Hulk villain will be tracking down Edward Norton’s Bruce Banner, leading to a climactic battle said to be unlike audiences have seen before.
Roth wasn’t the one who went looking for this film, it was actually quite the opposite, as the film found him. “[Director] Louis [Leterrier] found me, he wanted me to do it,” Roth told CBR News. “He found me in New York and I was fascinated by the story that he told me. It was in its early stages at that point.” The storyline has gone through some changes, though, under Edward Norton’s hand, as he stepped up an actor in the film but a writer as well. “It was a lot more complicated story,” Roth admitted, “but it’s evened out a bit now.”
There were several reasons why Roth wanted to take the role of Emil Blonsky. “[Louis Letterier] impressed me with what he had to say and I like the idea of being in one of these things,” Roth said. “I wanted to do something that my children could actually see as opposed to the stuff I’ve been doing.”
What did the kids think to find out that their own dad would be in the next Hulk film? They had one question that is on the mind of all fans right now. “They thought it was the coolest thing,” Roth said, “but then they were all ‘It’s going to be a cool one right?'”
Much duality is portrayed in the character of the Hulk, with the beast being the dark mirror of Bruce Banner. Emil Blonsky has kept to his comic book roots and doesn’t suffer that same curse vis-a-vis the Abomination. “I found them to be the same character actually, one role,” Roth said. “And you will see in the film, the Abomination is a direct extension of Blonsky. There is a lot that takes place, a lot of changes that take place before you see the final guy. It’s kind of an interesting character.”
The days on the set were long and tiring for Roth, especially the action scenes. “We would do these speed runs on a cable, super fast runs,” he explained. “All these kind of bizarre things and stunts and flips in the air. Like many actors seem to nowadays, Roth tried to do most of his own stunts. “I did whatever I could, and then they would get the guys in to take it over.”
Many stories have come about, building up a controversy between Norton and the studios that Marvel insist never existed. Roth’s experiences with the actor were all good, though he admitted to not having that much screen time with the “Fight Club” veteran. “Because I am in pursuit, chasing him and he’s on the run, so it’s always a glimpse just as he’s going around the corner from me,” Roth said. “But in talking about this he really, really understood the character. He really understood the nature of these comics and he had a strong feeling about how the best to get it done. He was very involved in it, very into it.”
So, what did the his kids think? Is “The Incredible Hulk” going to be a “cool one?” “They have seen the trailer,” Roth said. “There was a day where I took one of my sons in to see me doing some voice work for the monster. He got to see some stuff there and he loved it.”
Fans will be able to decide for themselves on June 13 at their local cinemas, when “The Incredible Hulk” opens in the US.
Now discuss this story in CBR’s TV/Film forum.
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