Tim Roth worked with Mark Ruffalo in the (deleted?) scene – The Hollywood Reporter
[The following story contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’s “The People vs. Emil Blonsky.”]
Tim Roth last appeared as Emil Blonsky/Abomination in Marvel Studios’ second feature film, The Incredible Hulk (2008), and now, after 27 more films and seven television series, he is back in the eighth series of the MCU, She-Hulk: Lawyer.
In “The People vs. Emil Blonsky,” written by Francesca Gailes and Jacqueline Gailes and directed by Kat Coiro, Blonsky is out on parole, apparently having turned over a new leaf, so he asks Jen Walters/She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany ) to defend him despite being the cousin of his former adversary, Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). It took a long time, but Jen finally convinced the parole board to release Blonsky on certain conditions. However, the question remains whether Blonsky can be trusted.
“He is in a maximum security facility. He is isolated in a bubble. It remains to think about. It remains to plan. And when you see him again, can you believe him? Roth tells The Hollywood Reporter. “But we’ll see, where are we going?” He’s a smart guy. That’s for sure.”
As very few elements have taken over from Louis Leterrier The Incredible Hulk, it’s fair to wonder if Edward Norton’s redesign of the original MCU Bruce Banner/Hulk has affected Roth’s chances of returning even sooner. And although the English actor never gave the subject much thought, he always admired Mark Ruffalo, who took over from Norton from 2012. The Avengers.
In fact, the two actors worked together on She-Hulk and even acknowledged the redesign, either in a deleted scene or a scene from an upcoming episode. (Roth seemed to lean more towards it being a deleted scene, but he wasn’t entirely sure since he hadn’t seen the show.)
“I’ve always wanted to work with [Mark Ruffalo], and it just so happened, which was kind of fun. But we were wrong [the recasting]“, shares Roth. “I don’t know if any of them got into [She-Hulk], but when I looked at it while we were filming, I was like, ‘You’ve gained weight. There’s something about you…’ So it was that kind of thing. We had fun and were encouraged to improvise and play. We therefore treated [the recasting].”
In a recent conversation with THRRoth also talks about being cut from Quentin Tarantino Once upon a time in Hollywoodas well as his interest in seeing an extended cut.
The same was true for opportunities to return to She-Hulk and Shang Chi out of left field? Did you expect it from a distance?
Not at all. It made me laugh, honestly. I don’t remember the order it came in, but they asked if I could come in and do some voice work. They put the Abomination in Shang Chi, I’ve never seen. So I didn’t know, but they said, “Would you like to come and do some voice work?” And I just thought, “Yeah, okay.” And then they said come in and meet Kevin [Feige] because he had an idea. So I met Kevin and Wendy [Jacobson] at Marvel, and they said, ‘That’s what we want to do. Tell us what you think.” And I just laughed in pleasure.
I did it [The Incredible Hulk] for my children. That’s why I did it. “Dad is a monster.” They loved the comics. They loved Hulk and I grew up on Hulk. So I was there in a Hulk movie, and the chance of embarrassing your kids at school is always good. And it worked. So I did, then I continued. But I remember talking to Kevin Feige and Stan Lee on set about what was happening to Blonsky, and their idea was that he was in a steel vault, welded and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. So he would have time to think. But that’s what we were talking about when we were getting ready to work.
And in a way, that’s what they did. He’s in a maximum security facility. He is isolated in a bubble. It remains to think about. It remains to plan. And when you meet him again, can you believe him? And who comes to his aid? She-Hulk. So that’s where the journey begins, and I thought it would be great fun to revisit my kids’ childhood. You also have to succeed somehow, so hopefully we did. I never saw it.
Because your character was tied to Edward Norton’s version of Bruce Banner, did any part of you think you wouldn’t be back because of that association and subsequent redesign?
No, I’ve never thought about it so deeply. I remember when they changed actors, and I remember enjoying what Mark [Ruffalo] did. I was a fan of Mark as an actor. He’s just an amazing guy and an amazing actor. I’ve always wanted to work with him, and it just so happened, which was kind of fun. But we were wrong [the recasting]. I don’t know if any of them have become [She-Hulk], but when I looked at him while we were filming, I was like, “You gained weight. There’s something about you…” So it was that kind of thing. We had fun and were encouraged to improvise and play. We therefore treated [the recasting].
But overall, the [recasting] never really crossed my mind. I guess I don’t think that way. I don’t think franchises existed then, anyway. It all came later with what Robert Downey Jr. and those guys humorously managed to pull off. It knocked down all the walls, and they’re gone. It was quite extraordinary.
So has Blonsky really been rehabilitated? Is it the power of having seven wives?
(Laughs.) Apparently yes, yes! But we’ll see, where are we going? I don’t know what you saw, but he had plenty of time to think. He’s a smart guy. That’s for sure.
Your characters tend to sit in unique ways, whether it’s resting your arm on the back of a cubicle like Freddy Newandyke/Mr. orange in reservoir dogs or placing a foot on the cabin seat like Pumpkin in pulp Fiction or slumped in a chair like Blonsky. Am I onto something here? Are you consciously making these choices?
It was definitely commented on at school, in the English way: “Sit up straight! What’s your problem!?” That sort of thing. But Blonsky would definitely do that, wouldn’t he? There’s something annoying about someone who breaks the rules, and there’s something interesting to see him play with people. So I think maybe that’s my way of being. But it was very character-dependent, and it seemed to belong in Blonsky’s world.
Quentin Tarantino therefore released The Hateful Eight: long version on Netflix, and there was talk of doing something similar for Once upon a time in Hollywoodwhether it’s a three hour and twenty minute cut or a miniseries format like eight haters.
Oh wow! I did not know.
I was going to ask you if you’ve heard of an extended reduction in Hollywoodbut this all sounds like news to you.
I didn’t even know he made an extended version of The Hateful Eight. When we did Once upon a time in Hollywood, it was only an appearance. I came and did some scenes. He was so nice when we talked about it, but the cut lasted four hours or something. So he had to make a decision about which characters he should sink with, and so the plots of the other characters, unfortunately, were scrapped. All of these scenarios have been shot, so it would be a really fun thing to see. My son [Hunter Roth], who worked there as an assistant, went to the screening at the Arclight, and he was like, “You’ve got billing!” It cracked him up because he said, “Tim Roth (Cut).” (Laughs.) And that’s so Quentin. In fact, I like it. So if he does an extended version, that would be kind of weird and wonderful. It would be something to see.
Are Quentin’s comeback invites as rewarding as any good review or acting award?
Basically, we all have Quentin on our phones, and if he comes on, everyone picks up the call and says, “OK!” It is such a pleasant and unique experience to work with him. It doesn’t look like anything. I was there at the start, and the man hasn’t changed. His ability to get his ideas across changed because he was given the freedom to go play. So, as an audience, we appreciate what he brings to us. As an actor, you hope to repeat this journey with him. Once is never enough. It’s just one hell of a ride.
She-Hulk: Lawyer is now streaming on Disney+. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.