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Tim Roth was “moved” by the script for ‘Punch’.
The 61-year-old actor played the part of Stan in the drama film that centres on a teenage boxer who is training under the watchful eye of his demanding and alcoholic father and admitted he was touched by the script – which was written by director Welby Ings – because his own dad suffered from substance abuse issues.
He told Under the Radar magazine: “My father was an alcoholic, and he had incredible PTSD from the Second World War, from fighting in that war when he was a child, when he was 17 through for five years. His journey into adulthood was under incredible stress. He saw things that he could never talk to us about. He self-medicated. Which was something I saw in my character.
The script also dealt with homophobia incredibly well.
“That was something Welby knew of personally. Something I recognized from growing up as well. My gay friends, the ones who felt they could speak to me, suffered greatly. The ones who were more open suffered physically. It was a very difficult time.
My father would tell me: ‘Remember who was in the death camps alongside the Jews. Homosexuals. The Romani community. And anyone that was ‘the other.’ Always remember that. And that there’s a chance it could come back.’ And that’s still rampant. So I felt the script was very moving. “
The ‘Pulp Fiction’ star went on to add that his character “buries his feelings” but enjoyed that the “simple” drama film actually has a “complicated” undertone.
He added: “My character buries his feelings, and has a complex relationship with his son. But he sees a way for his son to get out of the world they’re in and do something. Then, what’s central to the film: the buried sexuality of this boy, and how that emerges. There’s also a crossover into New Zealand’s Māori community. You have so many layers going on. As simple as it is — and I like that it’s simple — it is very, very complicated. So this script one of the ones you do for love, as opposed to keep the roof on. Immediately it was that.”