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Interview: Tim Roth

Tim Roth talks about battling the Hulk.

IGN Movies’ week-long coverage of The Incredible Hulk continues today as we speak exclusively to Tim Roth, the actor who plays Emil Blonsky in the new Universal film. Or at least, he’s known as Blonsky for the first half of the picture, before transforming into the beast known as… the Abomination! Roth says he just saw the completed film himself recently, and he couldn’t be happier with the results.

“I think what they did, firstly they went and they gave it what the comic book was and the essence of it,” says Roth, who has appeared in everything from Reservoir Dogs to the Planet of the Apes remake. “They took the real character, the fugitive on the road who is trying to escape from [himself and] trying to contain that, and they made that the core of the story. Then they also went to the graphic novels, they went to that darkness and that adult kind of thing for the look of it. And the points of reference that we had when shooting it was we wanted it to look like Alien, really … have that ‘in the shadows’ thing. I think it’s shot beautifully as well. They’re really, really clever, these guys.”

The actor explains that while the gamma-powered Abomination was new to him, the green-skinned goliath known as the Hulk certainly was not.

“I wasn’t familiar with the Abomination, but certainly was familiar with the Hulk,” he laughs. “Hulk was the comic books that I got as a kid and the TV series, we grew up on that. That was what was on the TV when you came home from school; it was one of those things when you were trying to avoid doing your homework you were watching The Hulk. So I was very familiar with the series and with the story of him, with the nature of him. I understood. And what I like about the Abomination thing is he is really back there in the Hulk world. It was KGB, it was Cold War. And I think that translates perfectly to what we’re going through now, just on a political level, and we’re at war in the world. That’s the sort of mindset of that character. So it seems to fit perfectly, and the whole thing of using human beings as weaponry seems very appropriate now. I think that’s why it’s worth getting it right. I think they did do it, they got it right this time. The character is a product of now as well.”

Roth says that research was an important part of his preparation for the film, which also stars Edward Norton as the title character and Liv Tyler as love interest Betty Ross. The production provided the actors with discs featuring every Hulk comic book ever made, according to Roth, so the user could just “zap around and find” what he or she was looking for in the Jade Giant’s history.

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