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How Long Tim Roth Had To Lay On The Ground While Filming Reservoir Dogs

Tim Roth and Harvey Keitel in Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs is a small film in every sense of the word. It didn't cost a lot of money to make and most of the movie takes place in one location. Also, Tim Roth spends a lot of it on the floor. Recently Tim Roth was asked just how long he spent on the floor of the hideout throughout the filming of Quentin Tarantino's breakout hit. It turns out, it was quite a while, nearly half the shoot. According to Roth...

I think the better part of 2 weeks? On and off. It was a really kind of hot summer we were shooting in and we'd get stuck to the floor. But it was fun! The whole thing took 5 weeks to shoot. Because of how solid the scripts are and how prepared Quentin always is, it was such a good ride.

In traditional Quentin Tarantino fashion, much of Reservoir Dogs takes place out of order, and the key heist scene is never shown at all. However, from the moment the aftermath of the heist begins, we see Tim Roth's Mr. Orange has been shot and he spends the rest of the movie, minus flashbacks, bleeding. As such, he spends most of the film's runtime lying on the floor bleeding to death while the rest of the events play out around him. Roth gets to stand upright during the setup, and then for a couple of key flashbacks, and other than that, he's pretty much on the ground.

One has to wonder, is lying on the ground for two weeks out of a five-week film shoot a relaxing experience or an annoying one? For what it's worth, Tim Roth doesn't seem to hold any animosity whatever toward the experience. His comments during the Reddit AMA where he talked about it are full of glowing words for his director.

Still, since the majority of the film takes place in a single location, odds are all the scenes were filmed there at once, which would mean that the two weeks Tim Roth spent on the ground were likely filmed consecutively. He probably only got to be up and around before or after spending two weeks on the ground. Who knows, maybe that's why he took the role in the first place, maybe Tim Roth thought it would be fun to do an entire performance prone.

Tim Roth has been one of Quentin Tarantino's regular players ever since. He followed Reservoir Dogs with a role in Pulp Fiction and also appeared in the director's last feature The Hateful Eight.

The confined nature of Reservoir Dogs, and what Quentin Tarantino and his actors were able to do with so little, is just one of the reasons that the film is still insanely popular today, leading people to ask Tim Roth about it even now.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.