Tag Archives: Interview

An excerpt from an interview John Rhys-Davies gave for heyuguys.co.uk

By David Sztypuljak


HeyUGuys: So you’re currently in Holland and I’ve been reliably informed you’re off to New Zealand, is that for some Hobbit related purpose?!


JRD: It’s for marital purposes as I have a wife and child there!


HeyUGuys: Ahh, I didn’t know that! We saw you on set in the latest Peter Jackson Production diary. What was it like going back and is there any chance you might cameo in it?


JRD: I would love to! I’ve had a great sort of 180 degree turn. After I did The Lord of the Rings, I didn’t want to get near prosthetic masks ever again, I still don’t really, and I didn’t want to play a dwarf to be honest with you. Why be one of thirteen when you can be one of one. As time comes between you and the horrors of that make-up, slowly you begin to see things through rather rosy spectacles. I did go down and see him (Jackson) and I did come as close to grovelling as you can get (Laughs!). I’m sure that Peter knows that I grovelled!


HeyUGuys: So you haven’t had confirmation that you’re in it yet?


JRD: I haven’t had confirmation that I’m not, but realistically I’m not. It sure would be sweet if one could. Let me tell you about it…..


I believe Peter Jackson has everything that a Director needs. His organizational ability alone is completely remarkable. I think it will change the way films are made. I think he’s upping the game for every other film-maker in the world. Projecting in 48 frames alone is going to give a level of clarity that we’ve never had in film before, and I think he’s housebreaking 3d. He is such a grounded level man with all the characteristics that a great Director must have. Added to which, he built a film industry from scratch to an international level. Marvellous intelligence and a marvellous modest nature, Peter has got it all!


HeyUGuys: How did it feel to be back on set?


JRD: Very much like going back to your old school where you’d been ‘cock of the walk’ and suddenly realizing that there was a whole new generation of new cocks walking around and you were just politely being treated as one of the quite distinguished old boys of the school, but not really today’s news. It did have a very nostalgic feeling and that’s how it should be. Time has moved on. Lord of the Rings was state of the art, but now it’s long live The Hobbit, which is now state of the art!


HeyUGuys: How would you compare working between Jackson and Spielberg? Is working for them quite similar or is working for them completely different?


JRD: Both are geniuses. Both have that extraordinary pallet that an artist needs to make great work. Different styles yes, but both masters. I’ve worked with extraordinary masters – Blake Edwards, Franklin Schaffner, Spielberg is one of the giants. If dialogue were not permitted in film, Steven Spielberg would be the greatest filmmakers of all time. He can tell a story in pictures better than anyone I know.


PJ, well, I love PJ! You can’t really compare the two, as they’re both giants. Very good at casting, and very good at getting great performances from their actors. I suppose Jackson has a greater literary awareness ability, and that is a real advantage as a director. Steven though knows bad dialogue when he hears it, but I’m not sure that he can initiate great good dialogue. I admire them both very much!




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Elijah Wood “Frodo Baggins” gives an interview to Kyle Buchanan in nymag.com

Reprising his role as Frodo Baggins

It’s interesting to note, as theonering.net points out, that if he is going to the U. K. to shoot first, then it could be that Christopher Lee’s principal photography would be taken at the same time. On the other hand, it is a possibility that Wood was talking about shooting for another film in the U. K.

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

When do you go back to New Zealand to shoot The Hobbit?
October. I’m going to the U.K. first to do some shooting, but then I’m going down in October for the New Zealand part.

At what point did you realize you were going to be a part of this prequel?
I had some notion of it over a year ago. Peter and Fran [Walsh] had mentioned the possibility of something that they’d written. At the time, Guillermo [del Toro] was directing. I didn’t read anything, and we didn’t go into too much detail as to what it was going to be, but they’d sort of conceived of this idea of where it could work.

So Frodo will essentially be used as a framing device?
I don’t know that it is. One could probably ascertain or conjecture that it is, because Frodo’s not chronologically in The Hobbit, so I don’t know how else it could exist unless it was just the framing device, unless it was potentially in the middle or the end. To me it makes sense if it’s bookends, but I really don’t know.

So how do you feel knowing that you’ll be back on that set? And that you’ll be directed by Peter Jackson now, not Guillermo?
Oh man, it’s exciting. It’s exciting because it just feels like a ten-year anniversary in a way. A family reunion of sorts. And it’s incredibly unique that a large number of people who were involved with the Rings are involved with The Hobbit: on the crew, on a creative level, and a number of the cast. So it’s going to be very surreal. It’s a unique opportunity to revisit a major part of my life.

How did you feel when Rings ended for the first time? Dominic Monaghan has said that he entered a post-Rings slump.
Yeah, when principal photography was finished and in our minds the journey was over, I didn’t know really what to make of my own life anymore. My life was so defined by that place and those people and that experience.

It’s quite literally like another world that you were in.
Totally. So coming home, I just remember everything feeling kind of foreign. I didn’t really know what to do with my time. It was really bizarre. I was more exhausted than I’ve ever been in my life. I remember feeling like I didn’t want to do anything for a while.

Is that atypical for you?
I always feel like after a project, I definitely want to take a break. It’s always hard for me to jump right into something else. But that feeling was special, it was unique. I didn’t want to work for a while. I wanted to rest, I wanted to be home. But I also just didn’t have any perspective on my life anymore, what that was about. It’s kind of an unsettled feeling. It’s like existing in a place and then being ripped out of it when that place was your home, it was your everything to you for a long time. Sixteen months is a long time. I was 18 when I traveled to New Zealand, and I was about 20 when I left. That’s a fucking huge chunk. You know, major life-changing ages, too. Developmental age time.

Did you feel like you got typecast as Frodo?
Not as Frodo. I mean, I’m 30, but I don’t look 30. So I think that had more to do with it than Frodo necessarily. There’s obviously a very strong association with Frodo, but I think I felt like I was, if anything, more hindered by the fact that I looked younger than I was, and that people may not imagine me playing my age.


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“It’s Extraordinary,” says Andy Serkis

Andy Serkis talks about the Hobbit Films to BBC Radio 5 Live. The Hobbit Films production he says has “been a long time coming and it’s finally happening”.


He further adds, “I have just literally got back a couple of days ago from shooting our first block. And it’s in huge kind of blocks really with little kind of hiatus periods in between.”


On being asked about the shooting in New Zealand, he responds to Phil Williams by saying that “It’s absolutely amazing – it’s very similar [to the Lord of the Rings shooting over a decade ago].” He even went so far as to say that “99% of the crew have come back from the Lord of the Rings and it’s a wonderful – wonderful atmosphere! There is a whole new raft of new characters/actors [and] it’s joyous – it’s extraordinary!”


Naturally, even he has to curb his enthusiasm and rounds it off with: “I have to hold back on talking about it too much. It’s been a long time coming and we are so, so thrilled that its finally happening!”


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McCoy talks Radagast

Cast as Radagast the Brown

In an interview given to  Simon Brew, on Den of Geek, Sylvester McCoy talks to us about The Minister Of Chance, burning TV backdrops, the anarchy of Tiswas and, of course, Doctor Who and The Hobbit…

You’re heading off next to New Zealand to do The Hobbit, then! This must be the biggest adventure of all now?

I think it is, yeah. I think it’s a big one. I’ve had quite a lot of wonderful adventures in my life, and this one, I’m so excited.

Is it pinch yourself time? Because presumably, after coming so close to landing the role of Bilbo Baggins in Lord Of The Rings, this must be the one you thought had slipped away for good?

Yeah, yeah. I nearly got Bilbo, nearly got it, and it was down to two of us in the end. And, of course, Ian Holm got it. I was hugely honoured to be in his company, as it were, but I thought that was it, really. This one, I’m told by the producers and writers, is a better part.

Is that the worst thing, knowing just how close you came? Is it tougher to deal with than thinking you’d come nowhere near?

No, actually. I was rather flattered. Wow. If Ian couldn’t have done those weeks, I would have got it. It would have been great. In acting quite a lot of the time you’re not the first choice. Usually, you’re second or third. And it can turn out to be the best thing that ever happened. You get used to that.

When did you first hear, then, that you were close to landing a part in The Hobbit? Because the rumour mill had been going for a while.

Well, last summer, Peter Jackson, Fran [Walsh] and Phillippa [Boyens] flew over, and invited me for tea. So they got me a car, and drove over for tea. I thought it was more auditioning, because I’d screentested for it. But when I got there, they said would you play the part? Would I? No! Of course not!

They knew you from before…

Well, they saw my screentest for Radagast The Brown, and Guillermo del Toro, who was going to direct it, he’d okayed it. He was keen that I play the part. I didn’t know this, but I got it from the screentest. It wasn’t until I went to see them for tea that I knew. They were asking my permission to be in it!

Do they make good tea, too?

Oh yeah! The tea and biscuits were great!

There have been, of course, many times over the past year when it looked like The Hobbit films weren’t going to happen, what with del Toro leaving, and the budget collapsing at one point. Do you fear it might be doomed?

Yeah, but every actor is always prepared for the worst when it comes to work. I was pleased that I’d got it, so that would have made me pretty happy anyway if it hadn’t gone on. But this makes me even happier!

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An Interview with the Casting Directors

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