Watch CBSN Live

Tim Roth on playing two characters in "Tin Star," why he never watches his own shows

Tim Roth plays two characters in Amazon Studios' "Tin Star": Jim Worth, a former British detective who moved to the tiny town of Little Big Bear in Canaday, and Jack -- Jim's alcoholic alter-ego.

Roth explained to CBS News, "Jack is the past he's running away from, but he comes out when he's tempted into getting drunk. He's the blackout version of Jim. In a sense, it's a Jekyll and Hyde situation."

Roth said playing the two was a challenge for him because he had to set ground rules on keeping the two characters apart.

"It got so complicated about who knows who's done what," explained Roth. "While Jim was blacked out, bad things could happen and so it's a question of when he came to as Jim, who did what and who remembers what. We had to be very very careful about not crossing that line and making the wrong decision because my character will just wake up in a very awkward situation with no idea of what's just happened if it's Jim, but if it's Jack, he'll remember everything."

Roth said the battle between the two is an "internal battle" and that it's "crazy" to map out the show.

Like his "Tin Star" character, Roth also left Britain to come to North America, but he says the similarities end there.

"I wasn't running away from anything except unemployment," said Roth, laughing. "You guys employed me, so it was just fine with me." Still, Roth said he had the chance to meet some British officers who had moved to Canada for work.

"Some thought it was going to be a quiet life, and it's a little tougher than they thought," said Roth. "It can get pretty rough."

"Tin Star" is Roth's first streaming series and he says he's excited to try something new.

"People get a certain independence in how they watch TV, who they watch it with and that's always going to be upgrade," he said. "It's an interesting time. It's an evolutionary step in how people watch drama."

Interestingly enough, Roth says he tries to steer clear of his own TV shows and press.

"I try never to watch," he said. "I haven't done that for years. I think it gets in the way, but that's just for me. I get my reviews with my family and checkout at the supermarket. The stuff that comes from the press -- I never read that."

He will be forced to watch the latest season of "Twin Peaks," though. Roth plays Gary "Hutch" Hutchens in "Twin Peaks: The Return." The actor says his grown kids are going to make him binge-watch the season with them -- he and his family have also binge-watched "Rick and Morty" and "Vice Principals."

Roth so far has only seen a snippet of "Twin Peaks: The Return."  

"The only thing I've seen was 20 minutes of episode 8, with the cigarette guy: 'Got a light?' I love that guy," said Roth. "I wish I could have played that guy." Roth is still very grateful to be part of "Twin Peaks," though.

"It feels like you're being invited into somebody's world," he said of shooting the show. "The only problem is we never wanted to wrap."

Roth said he was always a big David Lynch fan.

"When I was coming up and watching films like 'Eraserhead' and 'Blue Velvet' -- that's what got me there. 'Elephant Man' and 'Dune' and 'Twin Peaks.' But I was there because of him," explained Roth. "I could have been doing anything with him and that would have been fine."

Watch the graphic trailer for "Tin Star" here. The show premieres Friday on Amazon Prime.