Getting to know Jed Brophy
Kelvarhin: How much of your personality is there in Nori? Taking all 13 dwarves into consideration, which (if any) would you liken your personality to?
Jed: I think there is a fair amount of me In Nori…there always is when you play a Character, the hard part is defining what is not alike. I am not a thief for instance, but certainly growing up I was a bit of a scoundrel, and not above trying to get away with naughty behaviour. Also I am a bit of a Gypsy and very happy being out on my own. I am also fiercely loyal to my family and friends, so those aspects I can relate to. Also my Irish roots can relate to having lost land and identity. I think in reality I am most like Nori….I think the director and his writers got the casting pretty spot on. Although I am a lot more verbose than Nori…..I do like to tell stories.
Kelvarhin: OK, it has to be asked, because a lot of the fans asked: what did you think of that amazing Nori hair when you first saw it?
Jed: I have to admit I was a little taken aback. My concern was…how does he keep it looking so good? And If he has been living rough, would he care? But the Dwarves are very image conscious, especially amongst each other. There is a Pride element to them that other Races can’t hope to understand. They were Leaders and Kings and had access to great wealth and prosperity, and that Pride runs deep within the ancestors of Durin.
However I fell in love with his look almost as soon as we started gathering as a group because it sets him apart from the crowd…shows his unique individuality, and as you will see, his hair and the stress and distress it undergoes, matches the trials the Dwarven group go through.
Kelvarhin: I’ve gotten the impression that filming The Hobbit was quite gruelling at times for the actors involved. Did you find that it required more physical preparation than other films/roles you’ve had?
Jed: Yes, without a doubt this is the toughest film physically I have ever been a part of. I am sure it is the same story for the Other Dwarves as well. We were lucky to be given so much time and help to get us to the fitness levels required for this shoot. I was lucky enough to train alongside Richard Armitage a lot during the early part of the shoot and again on location, and he inspired me to train the hardest I ever have for anything. He is so strong mentally and physically and like his character I felt compelled to follow him. Graham McTavish too. And the great team of Stunt performers, we all pushed each other to succeed. Myself and Mark Hadlow and Adam Brown occasionally trained together and that was great for our bonding.
Kelvarhin: Did any of you–the Dwarves—then have to go through additional “dwarf boot camps” for pick-up shooting, or did most of you continue a workout regimen in some form?
Jed: We all knew that when we came back for pickups we would be required to be ultra fit as we had lots of fighting to do. I think everyone kept the training up over the break. And we were straight back into Stunt training and Gym sessions when we returned. We knew by then that Peter would push us and so we had to be ready. Having said that there were days when it was very taxing. But oh so rewarding. I would do it all again tomorrow if asked. I think we all would.
Kelvarhin: What was your favourite part to film in An Unexpected Journey, and which scene took the most amount of takes?
Jed: I personally loved being in Bag End….because it is such an iconic part of the story. It was also the start we had been working towards for weeks. And there we were the company of Dwarves and two of the best actors on the planet, Sir Ian and Martin. Or rather Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf. We all knew….this is it we are ON. Apart from that probably the Goblin caves….it was such a visceral scene…I love combat and there was plenty.
The most amount of takes? To be honest with you scene 88 when we were being pursued by Wargs seemed to go on for weeks.
Kelvarhin: If you could swap characters with anyone in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, who would you be, and why?
Jed: As a young man growing up on a large farm I rode the hills pretending to be Aragorn I’m sure all young men dream they could be that cool So yeah, he for me is the ultimate Tolkien character. He has doubts and all but in the end he is willing to put aside his own wants for the good of mankind. Having said that there is only one Actor on the planet who can really do Aragorn justice, and that is the wonderful Viggo. He is and will always be for me…..and I think I speak for all here, the one true Aragorn.
Kelvarhin: You have played a variety of characters in Peter Jackson’s films. Do you have a favourite? Are there any other Tolkien races that you would like to act as or any that you wouldn’t?
Jed: Of course I would love to say I have played them all, but it is not possible to be physically right for every race. A hobbit I am not….too lean. Do I have a favourite…..Nori has become my favourite , because of the opportunity to once again visit the world I love so much. Before these films I probably would have gone with Snaga ….he was fun to flesh out. To be honest I love them all. Peter and Fran are such great writers and Directors, I have always had great characters thanks to them.
Kelvarhin: Following on from this, you filled several minor roles in The Lord of the Rings, a Nazgul, an orc and a few other roles. In The Hobbit, your role is more prominent. How does this make things different for you?
Jed: It was great being more part of the ensemble. And knowing I go right the way through. There is more at stake when you have to define a character through all three films. Also I was on almost everyday, and I love shooting, so it was awesome from that point of things. And of course I get to do the premiers and that is something I have never had the pleasure of being a player in. It is so cool seeing what these movies mean to the Fans. I am a great believer in Peter’s view that it is the Fans we put the extra effort in for. We make these films for those who love the world as much as we do.
Also I had my own makeup and Prosthetic team, and so it was a team effort. I loved that every day I would go to work and see the company I belonged to…and when you have that close a bond on an everyday basis you start to mirror the story you are telling. That is unique to these type of epic story telling. We have become friends for life. Having said that, LOTR made me friends for life as well, but I didn’t feel as part of the fellowship as I do In the Hobbit.
Kelvarhin: What was your favourite thing to do after a day of shooting, to relax?
Jed: Have a beer and a long bath. And then try and eat something. Long day meant often eating was something you knew you had to do rather than wanted to. But the bath was Important to ease the aches and pains.
Kelvarhin: What do you think GROND means?
Jed: Obviously it is the large Battering Ram used to break gates down, but what its roots are I am not sure.
Kelvarhin: Working with so many people/stunt/scale doubles at the same time, does it get terribly confusing?
Jed: No never confusing .If we were on then our scale doubles were not, .and my stunt double has been my stunt double since Rings so I know him very well. And nearly all the other Stunt performers are Men and Women I have worked with for years. They all walk and act differently to the actors in ways that we could tell. I do think it was confusing at times for the crew however and I know Al Smith my stunt double had various conversations with folk who thought he was me.
Kelvarhin: What was the hardest thing you had to do while filming (AUJ)?
Jed: As I said earlier the chase scene with the wargs, sprinting in full costume up hill and down dale and really sprinting, was hard. Then there was the wet set for the Stone Giant sequence. The rain and water added 40 kilograms to our already heavy costumes and so that was a tricky day for sure. I do not think anyone of the group would disagree that those two sequences in particular were challenging.
Kelvarhin: What were some of your first impressions, upon meeting the other actors?
Jed: I was in heaven to be honest. We were all so excited to be there and there were so many great Actors all in one place. I had spent time showing Adam Brown around my home city of Wellington and there were, of course, familiar faces, Ian and Andy in particular, who I had worked with before. It was like the first day at school and a bit like groundhog all rolled into one. I think we all knew we were a part of something very special and we were all vey humble to be asked to deliver on these Iconic Characters, but I personally felt in very safe hands. The Production Team had assembled a group of very skilled actors. I was, I have to say nervous to be in such esteemed company, but having worked with Peter and Fran and Phillipa before I knew I could deliver what they expected. That first meeting is etched in my memory for ever. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.
Kelvarhin: Is there a particular role you’ve really wanted, but weren’t cast in?
Jed: I have been close to getting parts I really wanted only a few times and it is always disappointing, but you have to learn to live with those missed chances. I always wish the actor I missed out to well.
I wouldn’t want to single out any one instance, as that wouldn’t be fair to the person who did get the role. You have to have faith in the casting process and move on. I have been so lucky to make a living doing what I love.Posted in Adam Brown, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Fans, Graham McTavish, Headlines, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, Jed Brophy, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Mark Hadlow, Martin Freeman, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, New Zealand, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, TheOneRing.net Community, Viggo Mortensen on October 6, 2013 by Kelvarhin