She-Hulk: Attorney At Law stars Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters, and the first three episodes of the series have already seen the return of some MCU stars, including Tim Roth (Emil Blonsky/Abomination). Roth first played Blonsky in The Incredible Hulk in 2008 before he appeared as Abomination again in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings last year. Roth is also known for many iconic films, including Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, as well as the series Lie To Me. ComicBook.com had the chance to chat with Roth about She-Hulk, and he talked about his character's supposed redemption as well as reading She-Hulk comics, his love for Deadpool, and much more.
In the latest episode of She-Hulk, "The People vs. Emil Blonsky," Jennifer Walters represented Hulk's former enemy at his parole hearing. Blonsky swore that he is reformed and that he just wants to settle down with his seven soulmates. He proves he can control the Abomination, Wong shows up in his defense, and Blonsky ultimately goes free. But is he actually a changed man? Here's what Roth had to say about his character while talking to ComicBook.com...
ComicBook.com's Jamie Jirak: It's been a while since we've seen Emil and he's obviously very different now. Did you find his change appealing, challenging, or both?
Tim Roth: I think the concept is that he's been in isolation in a high-security prison system, in which you can contain a monster for a very long time. So what has he become, and the dance that you have going on, which I find... I just thought that, which was their idea, which is, "Who is this guy?" And he seems to have changed through the story. And I don't know what, because I haven't seen it. So I don't know what they've kept, because we improvised a lot and played around, but is he changed? We will see.
I like to believe it, because after Emil's speech in episode two, where you're talking about why you deserve a second chance, I went back and watched The Incredible Hulk from Emil's perspective. I came out "Team Free Emil."
Absolutely. Absolutely. And as I think they should be.
Did you think fans would come down on your side? Because the reaction has been pretty positive.
I'm glad to hear it. I don't follow it. I try not to read anything. So I don't know how it's being, although the guys at Marvel are very happy, I can tell you that, which is lovely. But no, my experience of it is the work of it. And the work of it was, at the beginning, was quite mystifying. It's like, "Okay, how do you do this? How do you play a character like this, or who is this character?" And all of this kind of stuff, which is good. These are all useful questions.
And then I saw on the first day, I saw Tatiana, who's amazing, and Mark Ruffalo working together behind the scenes and in front of the camera. I realized, "Oh, this is going to be fun." And then it began, and it's at times, it is difficult because you have to hit certain points, but they did let me play. They let me improvise and play around as we move forward. And I think you'll see evidence of that in later episodes.
I don't know what they've done, but I'm hoping that you'll enjoy it.
I think I will. Since we're ComicBook.com, I have to ask if you read any She-Hulk comics before doing the show?
They sent me a huge sack of a binder of what she was, and I read through some of it and it's great stuff. I think what Tatiana, from what I saw on set, what she's done is quite remarkable. And what I know of her journey through this show, I think will surprise and delight the audience. I mean, I really do. She's quite something.
I don't know if you've been following the MCU, but when you read the She-Hulk script, were you surprised to see something so silly and funny, especially after The Incredible Hulk was more of a straightforward action movie? What were your thoughts?
Well, I was not. I think I've always tackled humor and I think that's always been a theme with them despite the world calamities that they play around with. There's always humor and really... This all started with the Iron Man humor. The reason that worked was what Robert Downey did and [Jon] Favreau and those guys, how they played around with that line. And then if you jump forward, the clearest successful case of that is Deadpool. Deadpool is amazing and the R-rated comedy, Marvel Universe, whatever the hell... I don't know what these things are, but what Ryan Reynolds did is astounding, I think. It's brilliant. I travel with it. I have those on my little iPad when I'm on a plane.
Love it. So I'm a fan. I'm a fan.
I'm a heavily-tattooed person and you have tattoos, and I like when I get to see actors with their own ink, but I've noticed in Incredible Hulk, you had tattoos. They seemed to be covered in She-Hulk. Did Emil get them removed? What happened there?
Oh, you'd have to talk to the powers that be about that.
Okay. I thought maybe the Abomination powers healed your skin.
It could be that he sheds, it could be that.
You were in an amazing film called Luce that was directed by Julius Onah.
Oh wow, I love that film.
Yes, so good. And he's going to be directing the next Captain America, and so having worked at the-
Okay, let me tell you this. Julius is incredible. He's an extraordinary human being and the story that we told... Again, it was my second time working with Naomi Watts, too. I love her. She's one of the funniest humans you'll ever meet, but Julius is extraordinary and I didn't know he was doing that. They came to me to ask me about him, and I wrote letters and stuff. I'm so glad... You know what? They're in safe hands. That's what I would say, they are in the best hands.
I'm so pleased, I didn't know. You just told me, I didn't know.
I'm honored that I got to do that. And before I let you go, I have a fun, silly question for you. In Reservoir Dogs, you have a great joke about Lawrence Tierney looking like The Thing. Everybody is talking about Fantastic Four. Who would you cast as The Thing in Fantastic Four?
Oh my God. Now? Oh, somebody who you would never think of. Oh my God. Oh, you caught me. I don't know. That's a really, really weird question. I don't know. You stumped me, totally stumped me. And now I will think about it. I will think about it.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law releases new episodes on Disney+ on Thursdays.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.