Tim Roth: ‘Lie To Me’ Is Now The Show We Always Wanted To Do

'Lie To Me's Tim Roth with Kelli Williams (Fox)

'Lie To Me's Tim Roth with Kelli Williams (Fox)

Fox’s ‘Lie To Me’ kicks off its third season this Monday at 9/8c, and to hear series lead Tim Roth tell it, the crafty drama is now truly fulfilling its potential. What’s on the horizon for the coming episodes? More craftiness, more types of cases, and more women for Cal (if only to agitate Foster). Roth shared a look at the third cycle.

The Season 3 premiere concerns Cal's involvement in a bank robbery, delivering a really neat twist on the age-old heist scenario. You must love how the writers come up with such fresh things.
These guys are great. The guys who wrote that one (Alexander Carey and David Graziano) are the showrunners now, and Daniel Sackheim directed it. They come up with some really good stuff. It just gets better and better and better.

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Some changes are afoot, including the exit of Mekhi Phifer‘s FBI Agent Ben Reynolds – though I understand that move is designed to open up the storylines.
The issue with that was not Mekhi at all but the fact that Lightman can get through all these doors with the FBI, and that takes a lot of the craftiness and mischief away from the character. If he doesn’t have a guy like [Ben], what’s he going to do? Now his connection to the law is a crooked cop (played by Monique Curnen) who showed up at the end of last season. You’ll be seeing a lot more of her.

And Shoshanna Stern (‘Jericho’), she’s playing a grad student helping Cal with his book?
She’s hilarious. We might get into trouble, some of the stuff we have together. It’s very funny.

Since Shoshanna is deaf, might her character, Sarah, be extra-perceptive about things, as Cal is?
Yeah, she’s deaf – deaf as a post – so she sees a lot. We have a lot of really good back and forth. It takes on the fact of deafness in a different way. [Laughs] I mean, when we started doing it, she was just crying with laughter.

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Will we get more Lightman backstory?
Yeah, we will. We’re going to sort of break open the relationship with Foster (played by Kelli Williams), look into the relationship he has with his daughter, and look at the relationships he has with other women. The horizons are broadening and the writing is very tight. It’s the show we were aiming at and now we finally get to do. Hopefully the audience will get a kick out of it.

All these women – Tricia Helfer (‘Battlestar Galactica’) included – coming Cal’s way: Was that the result of a note from you, the actor?
Yeah, I said I want woman jumping at me from left and right. [Laughs] No, it’s a thing that the writers decided to do. We touched on it a bit in Season 2, how he is with women – and how Foster reacts to other women being around him, so there’s a lot to play there. And we want to push it further in this season.

Didn’t Cal once tell Foster he wants her “in the worst possible way”?
Yes, I do believe so! I remember that. And he does – in the worst possible way. Their relationship, we delve into that. Episode 6 is a really good Foster episode; so is 7, actually.

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I have to say, for some reason you’re not an actor I expected to see on Twitter.
When we did the first episode of Season 2, [guest star] Erika Christensen (‘Parenthood’) was tweeting between takes and stuff. I was like, “What is that?” She taught me all about it; I always come late to these things. So when we were having a meeting this summer about how we get the show out there, I said to Joe Earley – this wunderkind PR guy over at Fox – “What if you give me a phone an I do that Twitter thing?” So I send pictures of the crew and actors working, behind-the-scenes stuff… I quite enjoy doing it. I’m nowhere up there with Perez Hilton or Lady Gaga, but I am going after their title.

Before we go, some reader questions: The ninja on the back of Cal’s phone, was that your idea?
Yes, it was. I always put a sticker on the back of my [own] phone, so if I leave it somewhere on set people know it’s mine. I always have a dummy sticker handy, so I put one on the back of my [prop] phone, a ninja. [Laughs] I love that people pick up on that!

Another reader wants to know if your real-life cat will ever make it into a prop photo.
Sid Vicious is my cat, a stray that we took in. Yeah, he's still floating around. I've got two of my dogs in [photos in Cal's] office, and my new French bulldog is in his house. I'll put Sid in the house somewhere they can spot it.

Lastly, a reader wants to know, “When will you come to Malaysia?”
I'm hoping next Wednesday. About 4 in the afternoon.

Want scoop on your favorite show? Send your question to MattMtvguy@gmail.com and read The Big Tease every Tuesday at Fancast!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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