as Peter Greenaway (The ('ook, The Thief. l/ls' ll’r'fe aml ller Lover). Robert Altman. ll'inee/il aml 'l'lteo) and Nic Rocg (Hear! o/‘er/rnesxl. Had he ever had to adjust his style of acting to their auteurist \‘ision'.’ l’ntil recently. explains Roth. not at all. On Michael (‘aton-Jones's RUl) Roy. however. it was dil'l'erent. Liam Neeson played the legendary Scottish rebel. with Roth as the l'ey bttt deadly sociopath Cunningham.

henchman to the scheming Marquis ol'

:‘Vlontrose. played by his old partner in crime John Hurt.

"l‘he only time I really had to change was on Rol) Roy. in which I played somebody totally camp and oyei'-tlte-top. It was an enormous performance and it went against my nature to play something that way. (‘unningham‘s kind ol‘ a lethal lop. He’s got the biggest wigs and the most make-up. btit underneath he‘s this incredible swordsman who‘s got no morals and no scruples. absolutely none.

‘Michael would say. “I want a bit of Charles llawtrey and just a touch ol‘ Danny La Rue in this scene.” Then for the next scene. he would say. “Give me a bit of 'l‘erry-Thomas and then segue into the (‘harles llawtrey. ljust want you to have that on your mind when you walk across thcrc”.‘

Bel‘ore camping it up in Rob Roy. Roth made [.llll(’ ()(le.\',\'(l with l‘irst-time l‘eature director. James (iray. A low-key independent moyie set on (‘oney lsland. among New York‘s Russian- Jewish community. it casts Roth as Joshua. a prolessional hit man returning to his home neighbourhood al'ter seyeral years ol exile. Another movie. another gun guy. ‘Well. there‘s only been a few gun guy roles. but I suppose they tend to stick in people‘s minds. perhaps because Reservoir Dogs- was so popular. ln lat/e ()(lessa. that's what my character does for a living. he‘s a hit man. But I think the lilm's more about the conflict between two dill‘erent generations of Russian-Jewish emigres. ‘lt‘s tricky. btit you know. lchoose to do these things. so it's all my l'ault. I'm to blame it there’s any stereotyping going on. l’ul/i Hello/I. l'or example. that was my fault because I introduced Quentin 'l‘arantino to Amanda Plummer and I said. “I want to be in a lilm with her. directed by you. and she has to haye a really big gun.” So Quentin just went off and wrote it.‘

Roth was reunited with l’a/p‘s director on Four Rooms. a comedy with tour linked segments directed by 'l‘arantino. Allison Anders ((iax l'iiorl Lodging). Alexandre Rockwell (In the Soap) and Robert Rodriguez (lzil .i'llarlae/n'). ‘lt‘s set in a hotel.‘ explains Roth ‘I play this bell—boy who‘s lel‘t alone on New Year‘s live and gets involved in these bizarre situations in these four different rooms.‘ Roth‘s bell-boy not only appears in all l'our segments. he proyides the link between them. a challenge that stretched his versatility to its limit. ‘Thcy each directed their own segment. btit it works as a complete movie. It was really hard because I made my decision about how to play my character during the lirst take of the lirst day‘s lilming. and once you‘re locked in. you‘re locked in. Then I had to take that character. keep true to it. and ptit it into lottr completely different situations. It was a nightmare. working with tour dit'l'erent directors. l'our dil'l‘erent camera techniques. But I’d love to do it again. actually. [I was insane.‘ .1 Rob Roy goes on general release on I 9 May. Captives is released on Fri 28.41)): [.itrle ()(lesxa is at Film/rouse, lit/inlmrglzfloor [9


. . . and with Quentin Tarantino in Reservoir Dogs . .. . . . as Colin in Meantime. . .

. . . and with John Hurt in Rob Roy

The List 21 Apr-4 May 1995 7