British actor Tim Roth followed this early success with roles in Mike Leigh’s Meantime and Stephen Frears’s The Hit. Known for his talent with accents and his ability to slip seamlessly into characters, Roth received international attention in 1990 after starring in Vincent & Theo as well as Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. He then caught the eye of director Quentin Tarantino, who cast him in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.
In his upcoming film ‘Grace of Monaco’ Tim Roth plays as Prince Rainier III of Monaco was married to American actress Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman) and was the longest ruling European monarch at the time of his death in 2005.
What attracted you to this role?
It was far from anything I’ve done before, especially since I do not come from such a family or such a universe. It was a great challenge but I thought I would not be the right person to this role. Olivier Dahan was not of this opinion, and this is someone with whom every actor should work because it is excellent. (Laughs) This is just for me. I wanted to work with Olivier and Nicole Kidman but also because I do not know if I could do it. Already because it away really the roles I’ve played so far. So when I was offered this role, I immediately saw as a challenge.Because it was not the kind of character that I will be interpret imagined one day I did not know if I was capable of. Olivier was sure of his choice. It is thanks to him that I could interpret such a character.
Did you know that Prince Rainier before this shoot?
To be honest, I knew nothing about him. I knew he was the husband of Grace Kelly. And this is the kind of stories we’re talking about today. The idea of this actress, who won an Oscar ( ed. for The Girl in the province in 1955), a big Hollywood star at the top of his career, and dropped everything for this small Principality where she became the princess. Everyone, directors spectators passing by photographers, was intrigued by this story. And then I discovered the political fracas with the French who ruled at the time and I had no clue before. At the time, an actress who is now Princess of Monaco, it is a subject that fascinates glamor and intrigue people. This is a really intriguing story when you think! With the film, I also discovered the political tensions that there was between Monaco and France. I had never heard of. When we started thinking about it, we wanted to make a strong person who has to fight smart and intelligent. We needed to build his image, his strength. It is a wise business man and a fine politician who is caught in the middle of a maelstrom very difficult to manage things. The film begins when Rainier is about to fall and reveal all the issues of the Rock through advisors prince.
Your opinion on the monarchy is known and yet you agreed to play a prince …
(Laughs) In fact, I’m not a hardcore fan of the British royal family. For me, the aristocracy is an anachronism and aristocrats, a DNA error. I think these people have a right to exist but living with their people in social housing, working and not taxes. They restore the money spent for the wedding of Charles and Diana, who was taken to the English! This is not the kind of world that attracts me, especially politically. But sometimes it’s good to include a person in a world that does not believe. It’s interesting, especially since I know of no businessman. I see at Cannes, but I do not hang out with them. Same with politicians.
How have you prepared for this role?
There was not a lot of archive films about him but I’ve seen a few. The fact that there is little literature on the relationship between Grace and Rainier kept mystery. Otherwise, I read a lot about him because his character intrigued me. I liked to see a man in Rainier in difficult times, to see his vulnerability as each of us can know . In the film, it comes as he explored all the possibilities and find a course ideas.
How would you describe the relationship between Rainier and Grace Kelly?
In the film we juggled two different phases: the idea of a more or less arranged marriage and that of a couple who deeply loves. I was not there when they met but obviously I can imagine this evening in Cannes where they met, how she came to Hollywood, I know they have exchanged letters, they are reviewed then got married. Grace of Monaco is a focus on the couple but could be a focus on couples in general. How two completely opposite worlds come together, the collision and finally adaptation. I think the Prince Rainier was really in love with his wife. This contrasts for example their relationship to that of Diana. The idea for us was always oscillate between these two aspects. I was not there so I do not know how things really happened. What we wanted to do with them both, and that is probably the case of couples in general, is to enter their worlds collide. But I think – or hope – that he really loved her, unlike someone like Diana. There they confessed that they did not like each other.
The film was mostly shot in Belgium, Italy and Monaco studios and little; Did you know the Principality?
Yes, I had already made a film there ( ed. Möbius ) and I just got home I came back to it. But I was especially shown a very interesting interview in which Rainier had raised the issue that Monaco had with France and its willingness to front. More than the content, that is his way of speaking and delivering his message, his confidence and how to move that seemed fascinating to me. I discovered an intriguing character. He never seemed attractive before, but I quickly realized how a woman could fall for him. I also saw pictures of him at the funeral of Grace Kelly, and he seemed devastated, so the idea was to get a version of this to another man in the story.
You give the replica Nicole Kidman; how was it to play with it?
She was on the film for longer than me. She had built her character. She already over the project, it literally floated above us. Then, on the set, we had fun, Nicole is very funny. For this role she has reinvented itself again, it always elsewhere. Her acting choices are very strong and unusual. As we age, especially for women, the job is relentless, we must challenge and take risks. It is a survival mode to last. The role of Grace of Monaco is very difficult.
“GRACE OF MONACO” is released and distributed by CAPTIVE CINEMA.
Showing on December 3, 2014. Nationwide.