FOX’s new drama Lie To Me has been a success story for the network, being the season’s number one new series in the key demo of adults 18-34. The show stars Tim Roth, an always intriguing English actor, known for playing attention-grabbing characters in offbeat films like Reservoir Dogs. He brings his intelligence and charisma to the role of Dr. Cal Lightman, a lie detection expert who doesn’t always know when the truth hurts. With ex-wife Zoe Landau heating up his personal life, while partner Gillian Foster reminds him to stay out of hers, Cal has lots on his mind as the season draws to a close. I was delighted to take part in a media call with the very personable Roth, as he talked about playing a human lie detector and what we can look forward to in the final two exciting episodes.
The actor has been living in Los Angeles for almost 20 years and has done an American accent on several projects. Asked whether it was refreshing to be able to use his own accent on Lie To Me, he replied, "It was a decision I made in the beginning when I was doing the deal. I knew there would be a lot of work and I would be very busy line learning for episode after episode. I wanted to be able to breathe and be free with the character, to play around. When you are doing an accent, that’s another layer that gets in the way of your freedom with the lines and freedom with the character." He added that he feels his London accent is "a different kind of sound for an American TV show."
The premise of Lie To Me is based on the work of Dr. Paul Ekman, who consults for the show. Roth admitted he gets nervous when he’s around Ekman. With a laugh, he said, "As an actor, I feel like he’s busting me on my acting." With people he meets on the street, however, there is the opposite tendency. Roth explained, "People do make the assumption that I actually can read them. It’s a bit worrying, really. I cannot take my work home. Except my kids very much think I know when they haven’t done their homework, so that’s quite useful."