By Ryan Penagos and Zack Zeigler
Ready for "The Incredible Hulk"?! Well, before you head out to your favorite theater, we here at Marvel.com wanted to get you close enough to the film to feel the gamma glow! Our "'The Incredible Hulk' Up Close" series of articles lets you hear from the film's key players—today it's Emil Blonsky/the Abomination—Tim Roth! Yesterday it was director Louis Leterrier! Tomorrow we wrap up the series with Marvel Studios President—Kevin Feige! Enjoy!
as Emil Blonsky
To capture the essence of Emil Blonsky, the man who eventually becomes the Abomination in "The Incredible Hulk," Tim Roth knew what source he needed to tap.
"You have to really be true to the comic books themselves," he said. "I went back and I looked at, and read the comic books. And I looked at them, and I looked at them. You have to find a way of speaking; you have to find a way of not feeling kind of corny with some of the stuff."
Roth had been looking to land a role in a super hero film since the X-Men franchise reinvented the way audiences, actors and directors portray comic books that make the transition to feature films.
"I'm always very jealous of the X-Men world," Roth said. "Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler—I would have loved a crack at that. So when it finally comes along, if one finally comes along, you treat it with a great deal of respect. And we did."
Roth's research into the role of the Abomination opened up some harsh realizations about Emil Blonsky. In the end, it's a man's attempt to latch onto his former self. It's about changing to resist change.
"He's coming to the end of his time in the field," he said. "[The] battle, which he loves, it's coming to an end. What he gets is a glimpse of a possible kind of expansion to that. No only that [expansion], but a bigger, better version of it. He figures out that if he can get his hands on this [chemical], then he doesn't have to answer to anybody."
Blonsky's mindset on becoming a human weapon contrasts with the Hulk's because Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) and the Hulk are in a state of struggle with the strength they possess; Blonsky embraces it.
"My guy likes it," said Roth. "He wants it."
To accurately portray a soldier destined to become the world's most dangerous human weapon, Roth also had to look at the role from a physical standpoint, and that meant hitting the weights.
"I went to the gym, worked out and got [my] stamina up," he said. "Because a lot of my stuff [in the film] is running. Running and jumping."
Without spoiling the ending to "The Incredible Hulk," it's no secret that Roth has signed on to do three movies with Marvel. With so many potential projects as possibilities for his character, Roth said he believes it will be the reaction of the audience that will help dictate the next stop for the Abomination.
"They've thrown so many ideas at me, but if I told you, I'd have to kill you," he joked, "I'll do whatever they feel like doing; I had such a kick out the whole deal. It was great, such a great experience."
Need to catch up on your Hulk reading? Looking for the perfect stories starring the Jade Giant? Check out our list of the 10 Collections marked as required reading by any Hulk fan!
Read classic Hulk stories in Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Take pictures with a life-size Hulk statue at select theaters nationwide! Visit the official "The Incredible Hulk" movie site! Go see "The Incredible Hulk" at a theater near you now!