I recently got the opportunity to talk to Tim Rozon about his role in ‘Territories’. Here, Tim talks about the film, how he got into acting and what’s coming up for him in 2011…
Hey Tim. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘Territories’ is currently out in selected UK cinemas. What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
It’s a story of five American friends coming home from a wedding in Canada. They are stopped by what seems to be two American border police and things start to go very wrong very fast for them. They end up being tortured and held captive by the two men. We start to learn more and more about the characters as the drama plays out.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play the character of Gabriel. He is the fun outgoing type of guy. He has his little dog with him in the car ride home. He is just as confused by what is going on as everyone else. He would do anything for his dog and let’s just say … maybe he does.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I auditioned while at home in Montreal. Olivier Abbou (the director) was there at the session. I remember I had to do it in French and in English. I remember that even for the audition I made the choice to really love my dog. I just made the whole audition about this imaginary dog. When I left I heard Olivier say in French to the producer “Well, that’s our Gabe for sure” 🙂
What was it like working with the cast and crew?
It was really amazing. I hardly ever get to work in Montreal anymore. I knew half the people involved from before so it was cool for me. The cast was great. They had to endure a lot of stuff for this movie and to make some brave choices as actors. Roc Lafortune and Sean Levine as the Border Police was brilliant casting. They were just sick and I mean that in the best way possible. As for my co-stars, like I said they had to be really brave and my hat goes off to them. They really let themselves be raw and they went through a lot for this film.
I’ve heard people call ‘Territories’ a hybrid of hillbilly-horror and torture porn – would you agree with this?
I would say it’s more of a political film actually. It’s meant to push your buttons and it plays up certain American stereotypes for sure but stereotypes exist because people who fit them actually exist. It plays on fears for sure. It is graphic but it is meant to scare you. I remember as a cast in pre-production, Olivier (the director) had us watching clips of men being tortured at the Guantanamo Bay military base in Cuba. I believe that’s where the orange jump suit idea came from.
Let’s talk a bit about you Tim. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I’m an artist. I wanted to be a poet. I was really into painting when I was young. I loved theatre. I love acting for the rawness of it. The freedom. I’m a lucky guy. I couldn’t give two shits about being a movie star but man, I love working on stuff I believe in.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in acting?
NEVER GIVE UP YOUR DREAM. Most people aren’t brave enough to even chase them. It’s a tough tough business and there is a hell of a lot of great actors out there right now who aren’t working. Get your ass to London, New York or L.A.; the only way things are going to happen is if you make them happen and you get really really lucky.
You’ve been in 54 episodes of a show called ‘Instant Star’ – we don’t have it in the UK, but I’ve heard of it. What was it like being part of the show? Would you say it pretty much catapulted you to where you are now?
In one word – HOME. It was five years of my life and it’s where I learned everything I didn’t know already about acting. Lighting, shadows, sound, blockings etc etc… It was a great time in my life and I was blessed every day to be there. Amazing cast and amazing crew. Friends.
For anyone who hasn‘t seen it, the show focused on a reality show winner who was trying to get into the music industry. Do you think there are too many people nowadays wanting a cheap fix by being on shows like ‘American Idol’ and ‘Canadian Idol’ and who, dare I say it – ‘don‘t want to put in the work‘?
Without the sour the sweet just isn’t as sweet. I hate reality shows. I respect the struggle every actor has to bear. I hate the star system anyway. Everyone just wants to be famous but for what? Reality stars aren’t actors. Actors are artists.
What’s been the most memorable moment or experience of your career so far?
It was the first time I ever stepped on set. I had a small part as a dandy man on ‘The Great Gatsby’. My scene was with Mira Sorvino and she had just won her Oscar. I just had to come down these stairs and stop and say my line to her. I kept missing my mark over and over again, I was so nervous and the director kept saying “Hit your mark” “Stop and hit your bloody mark!” I was too embarrassed to say “What the hell is a mark?????!!” So, I just kept on passing it!! For people who don’t know, it’s a little piece of tape on the floor telling the actor where to stand. I think we did like twelve takes for a two second scene.
What does a Tim Rozon day usually consist of?
There are two types of bees in this world; worker bees and Queen bees. I’m a worker bee my friend.
What’s coming up for you in 2011? I hear you’ve been in quite a lot since ‘Territories‘…
Like I said, I’m blessed and lucky, so I’ve been really busy. I was the lead in two amazing films – one was a biopic piece about an undercover infiltrator (Alex Caine) of street and biker gangs based on the book “Befriend and Betray” and the other was a film about heroin addiction called “Long Gone Day”. Life is good. Work is good. Like I said, I’m a lucky guy.
Thanks for the interview!