Interview with Tim Roth of "Lie to Me" on FOX - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

The TV MegaSite, Inc.  TV Is Our Life!

Happy President's Day Weekend!

Click here to help fight hunger!
Fight hunger and malnutrition.
Donate to Action Against Hunger today!


MainNewsReviewsOur ShowsEpisode GuidesBuy!CommunityPolls
AutographsPhotosWallpapersPuzzles & GamesLinksStarsVideosOther

Primetime  Articles & Interviews Page

We Love TV!

This is just an unofficial fan page, we have no connection to any shows or networks.

Please click here to vote for our site!
Click Here to Visit!

By Suzanne

Tim Roth of "Lie to Me" on FOX

Interview with Tim Roth of "Lie to Me" on FOX 9/18/09

"Lie to Me" is another good FOX drama, even though the premise does seem similar to "The Mentalist" or "Psych".  It puts its own spin on things, though, and has very little similarity to those other shows in most ways.  Its charismatic star is Tim Roth, a very gift actor. I was happy to be able to ask him a question in this FOX conference call.  I have to admit that I had a little trouble understanding him through his British accent, though.

FBC Publicity – Lie to Me
September 18, 2009/3:00 p.m. EDT
Michael Roach
Tim Roth


Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, we thank you for standing by and welcome you to the Lie to Me conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. In just a few minutes, we’ll be conducting a question and answer session. And as a reminder, the conference is being recorded. I’ll now turn the conference over to Michael Roach. Please go ahead.

M. Roachr Thanks, everyone, for joining us on this conference call today with Tim Roth for the second season premiere of Lie to Me. The series stars Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines, Monica Raymund, and in season two, they’re joined by Mekhi Phifer and Hayley McFarland. Jennifer Beals also does have a recurring role this season. And as you know, Shawn Ryan has joined as a series show runner. And last reminder, Lie to Me premiers on Monday, September 28th at 9:00 p.m. following House on Fox. And thanks, we’re ready to open it up, Lori.

Moderator Thank you. And we’ll go to the line of Suzanne Lanoue with TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.

Suzanne Lanoue Let’s see, is there anything you can tell us, that you’re allowed to tell us, this season about what’s coming up, people can look forward to?

T. Roth Well, it’s a much more character-based scripts that are coming forward, and so you’re going to find out a little bit more about the history of the characters and Lightman’s connection to them and so on. And I think the aim really was to make each episode a quality effort … and exciting drama ….on its own.

You’ll see there’s going to be an investigation of my relationship with my ex-wife. And I don’t know; I don’t know what I’m allowed to tell you really.

Suzanne Lanoue Oh. Alright, no spoilers.

T. Roth Yes.

Suzanne Lanoue Well, I just saw The Hulk for the first time the other day. You were great in that, by the way.

T. Roth Oh, thanks, Love, great.

Suzanne Lanoue Do people ever come up to you and say – and think – get mixed up that you’re the character and say, “Hey, am I lying?”

T. Roth Yes, you think – people are quite excited by the science aspect of it, but I assure them I have no idea what they’re thinking.

Suzanne Lanoue Well, that’s good to know.

T. Roth Yes.

Moderator And we’ll go next to the line of Maureen Ryan with The Chicago Tribune. Please go ahead.

M. Ryan I wanted to just ask you about this season versus last season. Any show in its first season is going to probably have some growing pains, but this show, obviously, did well. What’s it been like, specifically, to have Shawn Ryan onboard, and what are the differences that you’ve noticed with the changes that have come through? I know that there’s going to be some changes behind the camera and things like that. So if you could just talk about this season versus last and what your take on that is.

T. Roth Well, yes. Last season was – I thought of it as an experiment, really. It’s my first experience of doing this, and it was – I found it quite difficult at times. And we were working on stories just to find out – trying to find our feet, really, and I think by the end of the season we did. And when Shawn came on, he came on to do a couple of episodes last season, and I think it’s episodes 11 and 12 he came on to do, and with that, he brought a couple of writers in, and that was when I think we really found our strife, found a way of making this work, so it was very good when he came onboard this year.

The changes are many, but the one that I suppose I notice more is in the way the writing takes place and in the kind of scripts that the writers’ room are generating. The new writers that came onboard come from all walks of life. They’re very different and have very different ideas. And Shawn’s the kind of lynchpin, really, brings them all together and oversees things, and it’s been an incredibly creative force.

And then we have Dan Sackheim and Vahan Moosekian and those guys have taken on the look and the feel of the show and the casting, so it’s a very – it is a different animal, but I think its heart is still with last season, at least with the end of last season and moving on from there. But it’s been an extraordinary experience. I’ve loved it this year, really have. Last year was a struggle. This year has been an absolute pleasure.

I’m sorry; I’m standing in a parking lot.

M. Ryan Is it more of a character –

T. Roth It’s been an absolute pleasure. Hmm?

M. Ryan Sorry, just one follow up. Is it more of a character drama, would you say, in terms of …?

T. Roth It is, which means that you’ve got some acting to do, which is great. Hang on a second. I just want to come inside. Yes, it’s much more for us to think about and to emote than last season. Last season, we were scrambling around a little bit, I think. Although, we did come up with some good stuff, and it seemed to have hooked an audience, which is a – always, I guess, a good thing, right?

M. Ryan Right. Well, thank you so much, Tim.

Moderator Thanks, sir. Our next question from the line of Alice Chapman-Nuggen with Times Courier. Please go ahead.

A. Chapman-Nuggen I have just a couple of questions. One is, do you ever find yourself trying to analyze people?

T. Roth I suppose you can’t – I try not to learn this stuff as much as possible, and I just deal with what I have to deal with on a daily basis in the script, but some of it does sink in. And I find mostly it’s fun when I’m watching politicians on the telly.

A. Chapman-Nuggen Yes.

T. Roth That’s always good fun, to put it to use in that. And I know a lot of people do play around with it, but that’s where I like to see if I can figure it out.

A. Chapman-Nuggen Well, now, I was wondering, is there a particular story line that you would like to see your character delve into, in the future?

T. Roth There’s one we just completed shooting on one, which was very good, a lot of fun about a guy who shows up from my past, 22 years ago, he rolls up in my office and a lot of trouble ensues. And that was very, very well written and cast. We had Lenny James come over and play that and play the character in that who then generates a very interesting accent.

A. Chapman-Nuggen Oh, okay, thank you.

T. Roth And, yes, good stuff.

Moderator And our next question from the line of Brian Fitzpatrick with Please go ahead.

B. Fitzpatrick First of all, I just wanted to say that I’m a huge fan of yours since seeing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead many … ago.

T. Roth Oh, right, yes.

B. Fitzpatrick So thanks for talking with us today. Do you find that as you’ve kind of delved into Dr. Lightman a bit more and as cynical as he is, do you find yourself to be as cynical as the character, or are you more above that or have a different point of view?

T. Roth Well, I can be. No, I can be. Yes, so I’m sure that’s a trait that I find easy to play in him. Yes, I can be quite a cynic.

B. Fitzpatrick That’s great. What do you find is the most difficult or enjoyable aspect of playing a character? Is it the jargon or the attitude or the combative approach?

T. Roth I think initially it was the science and how – and also, there’s a certain, just on a technical note, really, it’s – you have to … to the plots. There’s a certain about of exposition that you have to deal with, and I found that that was very difficult in a limited amount of time to slide that into the audience and not to hit it on the head with a hammer, so that was an aspect that was tricky. It gets easier. The better the writing, the easier it gets. And this season, it’s been really very good, I think, very high standards.

Moderator Our next question from the line of Jonathan Toomey with TV Squad. Please go ahead.

J. Toomey I have a couple follow ups from some stuff that other people have asked. I’m wondering; you were saying how, obviously, the show is a lot more character-based and last season didn’t really feature a huge serialized element other than Foster’s husband and the payoff in the finale. Are we going to see any bigger serialized elements this year, something that might stretch the whole season?

T. Roth I think you’re going to see – yes, I think you are. And, for example, my relationship with Jennifer Beals’ character there and take it – it has a growth and builds. But I think with the characters overall you’ll be seeing – there will be connections between episodes.

J. Toomey Okay.

T. Roth And the policy is, I think, at the network is standalone. Everybody wants standalone, which is difficult. It would be nice to see some double ones, but maybe we’ll get lucky.

J. Toomey Trying to balance. Okay, cool. And then the other quick question I had is, you were saying if someone were to bump into you in the street, you don’t know what they’re thinking, or you weren’t trying to analyze this too much, but what kind of research did you do when you went into this role?

T. Roth Well, I read some of Eckman’s books and this. And I met with him, and I met with a couple of his people that work with him. And they came to the set and so on. And then there’s some disks and stuff that they gave me and some online training guides and do a bit of that. But after awhile, I just thought I’d put it aside. I didn’t really want to bring it into my house.

Moderator And our next question, from the line of Jim Halterman with Progressive Television. Please go ahead.

J. Halterman Hey, Tim, loved the season premier. That was really good.

T. Roth Oh, you’ve seen it. Oh, that’s good.

J. Halterman Yes, I did see it. I just watched it this morning. I wanted to know, there’s a moment in there where Cal really pushes the envelope trying to get some information out of the Erika Christensen character. I don’t want to give too much away for people who haven’t seen it, but do you always agree with what Cal does as an actor, or do you just kind of go with it because that’s your job as an actor?

T. Roth Yes.

J. Halterman How do you reconcile that?

T. Roth No, I don’t necessarily agree with his methods, but I find that appealing. It’s the sort of thing that you wouldn’t do yourself, but you get a chance to do when you play the character. So, no, won’t necessarily agree with him completely, but I think that’s quite a luxurious position. And you’re going to see a lot more that too, that kind of behavior.

J. Halterman Good.

T. Roth Yes. There’s a fun episode there, very, very good.

J. Halterman Yes, it was really intriguing.

T. Roth She was terrific after all, Erika.

J. Halterman She really was. At first I was like, “Wait I’ve seen her.” And then, of course, I was like, “She’s fantastic.”

T. Roth Yes.

J. Halterman And also, when we go into the second season, is the grind of the TV series, are you kind of getting used to it now, or are you still kind of shocked at how much work goes into it?

T. Roth It is a ton of work. But when it works, there is – it’s very long hours. It’s a high page count. But when you’re enjoying it, when you get to the end of a day, or we get to the following morning, if you feel like you’ve accomplished something, then I’m okay with it. And I do very much feel that the season – that everyone who’s – from my assistant through to the set dressers to everyone, the V.P.’s and so on, everyone feels that they’re involved in something that’s very creative, and I think there’s a satisfaction to be had in that. Of course, you want your sleep, but hopefully, we’ll be around to do this for awhile. It’s a real pleasure at the moment. I’m happy in my job.

J. Halterman Excellent. Well, good luck with the second season.

T. Roth Thanks, mate.

Moderator And we go next to the line of Daniel Fienberg with Please go ahead.

D. Fienberg I want to follow up on something you were just talking about. With the addition of several new cast members this season, does it feel like more of an ensemble? Do you have more people to play off of?

T. Roth I have more people to play off, but I’m still working the same amount of days. I just said goodbye to Brendan. He’s got 12 days off. And I thought – I’m wondering what that must be like.

It just gives me more to play with. I’m sure there’ll be more characters down the line. I know there’s hints of girlfriends and that kind of behavior, and maybe they’ll be recurring, maybe they won’t be. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re not. Would like them.

But, no, it just gives me more people to bounce off, and I must say I do enjoy that. And Mekhi and Jennifer are terrific actors to work with, so –

D. Fienberg Well, you mentioned earlier that the first season was sort of an experiment for you. As you were shooting those early episodes, did you have a sense that you wanted things to take this different turn creatively that they’ve taken?

T. Roth Yes, very much so. I was desperate to get some character stuff to play and some drama to play and not just be doing procedural work. And as we neared the end of the season, and was – I think it was episode 11 that Shawn did with Liz and Sarah, the writing team that went with him, it was one about a rapist that was in prison, a copycat or something.

D. Fienberg That was a great ….

T. Roth It was an interesting episode. And suddenly, I found that was when I was – earlier, when I read the script for it, okay, you can actually mix the two. You can have the character-driven stuff, and you can have a good … to tell, and that’s when they came onboard. That’s been the starting point this season. And it’s been a lot of interesting stuff to do every day. We’re happy at work.

Moderator And we’ll go next to the line of Troy Rogers with the Please go ahead.

T. Rogers The last time we spoke, the show was just about to premier, and I wanted to get an update on your skills at reading micro expressions.

T. Roth Oh, really.

T. Rogers I know you said you don’t bring it home, but has it seeped in to where you’re looking at people, and they maybe look out to the left, and you’re like, “They’re lying.”

T. Roth Yes. I don’t know if I know that much more, but I do – you can tell more. I don’t look at specific stuff when I’m looking at somebody, but I think because we’re taught we’re dealing with this stuff every day at work here, I think I can judge a little bit more, maybe.

T. Rogers Okay.

T. Roth I’m trying to put it off.

T. Rogers Alright, so maybe –

T. Roth But I think there’ll be more than last time, yes.

T. Rogers So maybe it’s like an osmosis thing. You’re getting it without even trying.

T. Roth Yes.

T. Rogers Okay.

T. Roth Yes, it seeps in, yes.

T. Rogers I also want to know, even though this seems like a great tool for law enforcement and the military, can you also see a downside to it, where it could be used for nefarious purposes?

T. Roth Oh, yes. There’s a bad side of everything. Yes, you could. I suppose you could use it. I’m trying to think. Corporate, big corporations, jury tampering.

T. Rogers Spies maybe.

T. Roth You know what I mean? My character has been banned from every casino in Vegas. But, no, I think that there is that, but it is used. Eckman does use it for a very wide range of – his methods are used by a wide range of organizations.

T. Rogers. Great. One more quick thing. I haven’t seen the premier yet, but I was wondering, what was it like to work with Erika, and how did she tackle the multiple personality thing?

T. Roth Very well. She was terrific. She was – I had seen her in Traffic. I did Traffic, but I didn’t know it was the same girl. I found her to be completely grounded, hysterically funny, very funny girl and way older than her years and with some serious acting jobs, and we laughed a lot, which is always a good thing, very, very important.

T. Rogers Excellent ….

T. Roth So, yes, she stepped right up. She had a lot of work to do, and she tackled it very, very well. It’s just very subtle. … I think some of what she is doing. I don’t know what – I haven’t seen the episode myself, so ….

T. Rogers Okay, excellent. Thanks a lot and good luck with the second season.

Moderator And we have no further questions at this time.

T. Roth Okay, great.

More info about the show on our primetime forum!



Erika Christensen ("The Perfect Score") Guest-Stars

The Lightman Group investigates a murder case where a woman with multiple personalities (guest star Christensen) may either be a witness or the killer. Meanwhile, the U.S. government hires the firm to interrogate a potential Supreme Court nominee in "The Core of It" season premiere episode of LIE TO ME airing Monday, Sept. 28 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Back to the Main Articles Page

Back to the Main Primetime TV Page

We need more episode guide recap writers, article writers, MS FrontPage and Web Expression users, graphics designers, and more, so please email us if you can help out!  More volunteers always needed!  Thanks!

Page updated 4/15/15

ComedyDramaSci fi and FantasySoap OperasCompetition

Bookmark this section!
HomeDaytimePrimetimeTradingSite MapBuy!What's New!
Join UsAbout UsContactContestsBlogHelpCommunity