Jack Roth doesn’t understand why people want to know actors’ political opinions.

“We crave actors’ thoughts on really big topics, and they usually don’t know what they’re talking about,” Roth, the son of iconic actor Tim Roth, told uInterview exclusively in SXSW in Austin. “Like, why would you ask an actor about anything important except acting? I don’t get it. But people like to see it.”

Roth’s newest movie Us And Them is a thriller that addresses the political divides that gave rise to Brexit and Donald Trump’s election. He said the greatest thing about the movie is that both sides of the argument are seen.

“We don’t pick a side — you don’t have a winner in our eyes, and I think that’s the most important thing, because then you lose half of your audience,” Roth said. “But I think it’s a punk rock film, and what’s great is you have to sit through it and hear the other side for once, and most people don’t do that. They only want to hear what they [want] — confirmation bias.”

He thinks the movie’s striking the right chord with audiences.

“You know something’s hitting the right button when the film finishes and everyone stays for the Q&A, and then you start talking politics and at any moment, you could destroy your career with the wrong thing said, you know?” Roth said. “It’s an interesting time.”

Roth said that even though it may feel like the world is the worst it’s ever been right now, it’s not, and people need to begin conversations.

“You know, we’re not in the gulags of Russia right now,” Roth said. “But it feels like it, and we just have to calm down and start talking again because we are all one people and we all care about the same things. We care about women, gay people, rights, freedom of speech, you know? It’s kind of a universal thing. It just feels like each side is trying to take that for their own party, so, ‘We are the left, we represent this.’ ‘Alright, we are the right, we represent’ — no. We all represent it. What we need to do is just talk.”

Read uInterview’s full, exclusive interview with Roth below.

Can you describe the film?

Jack Roth: Absolutely. So what it is is it’s called ‘Us and Them,’ and it’s the story of a disassociated youth who is angry about the inequality of the world — the one percent, the bankers, the rich, you know, and the divide socially. He decides to make a film — and put it on YouTube — about a rich banker kind of bringing them down to level and what we see is left wing and right wing politics collide, and it’s just become very topical right now. So my character, he kind of isolates himself and becomes more angry about the wealth distribution, and it’s socialism off the deep end. And what we see is, if you brew, kind of, think on it too much and isolate yourself, you can lead yourself down terrible avenues. It’s a shame because we have a young man who wants to help the world, but that doesn’t mean you’re doing the right thing. It’s a great movie.

I feel like Brexit happened, Trump happened, and this movie just seemed to hit it right on the head because it’s a political world right now, and everyone wants to talk politics but you’re not allowed to because you just yell at each other and no one’s actually listening. The greatest thing about the film is you see both sides of the argument. We don’t pick a side — you don’t have a winner in our eyes, and I think that’s the most important thing, because then you lose half of your audience. But I think it’s like a punk rock film, and what’s great is you have to sit through it and hear the other side for once, and most people don’t do that. They only want to hear what they [want] — confirmation bias. You know something’s hitting the right button when the film finishes and everyone stays for the Q&A, and then you start talking politics and at any moment, you could destroy your career with the wrong thing said, you know? It’s an interesting time.

Why are people interested in actors’ political views?

JR: We crave actors’ thoughts on really big topics, and they usually don’t know what they’re talking about. Like, why would you ask an actor about anything important except acting? I don’t get it. But people like to see it.

This isn’t the worst the world’s ever been. It feels like it, but it’s not. We lived through history, and there have been terrible times. So this isn’t — we haven’t got to the extreme worst. You know, we’re not in the gulags of Russia right now. But it feels like it, and we just have to calm down and start talking again because we are all one people and we all care about the same things. We care about women, gay people, rights, freedom of speech, you know? It’s kind of a universal thing. It just feels like each side is trying to take that for their own party, so, ‘We are the left, we represent this.’ ‘Alright, we are the right, we represent’ — no. We all represent it. What we need to do is just talk.

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