Around the time FIFA officials were being indicted by the FBI for soliciting bribes and kickbacks, the world soccer organization also produced a critically reviled film, United Passions, telling the glorious story of the heroic men who invented the World Cup, including its recently banned president Sepp Blatter. FIFA even managed to bring in a recognizable actor to portray Blatter, TIm Roth, but The Hateful Eight actor recently revealed he didn’t accept the role for any altruistic or artistic reasons. He did it for the money.
Speaking during a Reddit AmA, Roth admits that the “awful” film (though he has not seen it) was a role he took to pay the bills.
“I hated doing it, it was the wrong film but for the right reasons,” Roth said, answering a question about what he thought of the film and FIFA in general. “I had two kids in college so I had to make a decision and it was probably poorly judged, but once you make that decision you have to follow through. It’s a hard road, being in something you don’t want to do, but I’m glad I did it for my family.”
United Passions tanked at the box office during its initial release, with Box Office Mojo reporting only $607 made at 10 theaters. The movie also garnered a 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The New York Times described it “as one of the most unwatchable films in recent memory, a dishonest bit of corporate-suite sanitizing that’s no good even for laughs.”
The film opened in theaters following the high-profile indictments this past year, as well as lengthy takedowns of the organization by late night hosts like Jon Stewart and John Oliver. Most recently, Sepp Blatter was banned from the sport for eight years by the FIFA ethics committee.
“As for FIFA I thought the movie would be much more about the corruption of [Blatter] at first. I don’t know if he is going to go down, he seems to have survived everything that has been thrown at him,” Roth continued. “There doesn’t seem to be any way you can get to them because of all those big corporations behind him. It looks the most promising though now though, it looks like he is a on a back foot now because he looks more exposed then he has ever been in the past.”
For more on Roth, his career, and the Hateful Eight, read the full Reddit AmA.