Getting to know Jed Brophy
Kelvarhin: If you could choose, what three actors would you really want to work with?
Jed: I would love to work with Johnny Depp. He is so eclectic. And of course Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. And would love to do a bad guy opposite Benedict Cumberbatch, I think he is just amazing. Oh that is more than three. One more, Richard Armitage! Anytime, any place, any part, I would be there.
Kelvarhin: Do you have other film projects coming up besides The Hobbit?
Jed: Yes I am due to Direct a short film for an Actor friend of mine in early December, and there is the feature film version of an Audio series called The Minister of Chance, which I am due to film next year. I am enjoying some downtime now because I have a theatre show in January which we start rehearsing next month as well, and who knows what is just around the corner.
Kelvarhin: Do you have a favourite food to eat while on set?
Jed: Not really although I need my protein. I do love a good steak sandwich. However I found it hard to eat while in makeup so really I only ate at meal times unless it was a protein smoothie.
Kelvarhin: If I recall correctly, you first started working with Peter Jackson on his cult horror-comedy Braindead and you’ve been involved in many of his productions. How do you feel that things have changed over the years? How is working with Peter different now? On the other hand, what’s remained the same?
Jed: Peter’s process is largely the same, but the technology he has developed has changed the way the entire set operates now. He still likes to give actors input, but still requires his vision is met. He has always worked Actors hard, but no harder than he works himself. He is still the generous but demanding Director I know from those heady early days of shoestring budgets. There is always a lot of humour on his sets, but also, an attention to detail and excellence. I still have the same relationship we have always had…a mutual respect. But of course there is a shorthand that develops when you work with someone a lot. I am pretty sure I know when Peter is about to give me a note and he very seldom has to tell me twice.
I think the thing that sets him apart from other Directors is his vision. He see’s it all in his minds eye, but then translates that to the end result so well. I have often said, and it remains true, there is no part big or small I would not do for Peter.
Kelvarhin: And as a follow-up to that, what do you miss about the Braindead days? And what don’t you miss?
Jed: To be honest it is only the part where I would love to have known then what I know about the Industry now. I think back then I was not as disciplined in my approach to the work. And when you are younger the long days do not affect you so much. Otherwise …..not much.
Kelvarhin: How would you describe Peter’s growth and evolution as a filmmaker- from the early days before and during LOTR, and now having finished shooting The Hobbit?
Jed: One of Peter’s most significant strengths is his ability to surround himself with other very talented people. And he never stops learning about the new Technology. I think this is the area he has most grown in. His ability to find ways to solve seemingly impossible problems. It is the Team he has built around him, and the Loyalty he engenders.
Kelvarhin: Having worked with Peter Jackson on a several of his movies now, sometimes with a lot of prosthetics and at least once riding a raging beast (a warg in TTT). Have you ever been in a situation on set when you have wondered what on earth you had gotten yourself into?
Jed: I think the only time I have felt that way was as one of the Black Riders. It was a very dangerous ride, and every take was slightly scary. However it is those moments when one feels most alive.
Kelvarhin: What do you like about working with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh?
Jed: They have called me one of their family of filmmakers. I treasure that. It is a gift to be able to have a working relationship like I have with my two favourite film makers. When you work for this formidable team you realise you are at the very top end of artistic achievement. I feel like the luckiest person here. They like you to have input and to love your Character, and they push you to be better every day.
Kelvarhin: You have done a lot in your movie career. Is there anything you haven’t done and would love to do? Is there anything totally different that you’d love to try?
Jed: I have publicly said I am mad keen to be in a western I don’t care where it is shot as long as it is a good script. I was born to be a cowboy and will be very disappointed if my dream does not come true.
Kelvarhin: How did you become involved with The Minister of Chance?
Jed: Dan Freeman the director and I became friends on facebook and I loved the series, so asked him cheekily if he had any parts for a kiwi actor. He wrote me a part and we recorded it whilst I was in the UK for the royal Premier. As simple as that. I love it when you can cut through all the politics and just work with folk you admire.
Kelvarhin: What’s the worst part of the makeup process?
Jed: The havoc it plays on the body probably. It is tiring wearing prosthetics all day. A type of lassitude that you can only relate to if you have worn it. I am lucky that my skin seems immune to the problems others have. Having said that the artists themselves do a very good job of keeping us all looking our best for after work functions. The makeup team are the very best in the business.
Kelvarhin: Do you have any rituals that you do before going on set?
Jed: A strong cup of coffee, and a bit of a laugh with the crew and other Actors…..I love being on set so it is just the waiting I find hard.
Kelvarhin: I’ve heard that you are doing a two person play in the new year with your son. When and where will it start? Do you plan on taking it to the Edinburgh Festival? Do you hope to do more theatre work in the future?
Jed: Riley and I are doing a great little two hander called “An unseasonable Fall of Snow” By playwright Gary Henderson. He wrote a play I toured for about ten years and won a fringe first with at the Edinburgh Festival in 1998. That play had its world first at Bats Theatre here in Wellington. And we are performing this play there as well with the hope of a season in Edinburgh next year.
I love the theatre, and if you could make a decent living doing it here I would. I cannot wait to do this play with my son. He is a great actor and I will have to be on my game to keep up.
Kelvarhin: Was there a particular actor that inspired you to go into the business?
Jed: Not really I fell into the business rather than planned to be an Actor. Of all the New Zealand Actors of the time though I closely followed Sam Neill. He is the benchmark here in NZ.
Thank you Jed, for taking the time to talk to us this month.
As always a big thank you to all our message board regulars, DanielLB, Ataahua, Brethil, Rosie-with-the-ribbons, Rembrethil, The Grey Elf, dernwyn, grammaboodawg and zarabia, and Staffers, Demosthenes, MrCere, deej, Quickbeam and Elessar for our questions this month.
Also a big thank you to Julie J, Gothy (@LTGothmog), Bofurs Wife, Dane I, Tamara C and Deanna C who emailed questions through.
If you would like to ask any questions yourself, just head over to our Message Boards, the sign up process is pretty painless. A lead post for questions is made at the beginning of each month on the Main board, if you don’t want to sign up to the boards just email me your questions at email@example.com.
Till next time from TORn’s resident Tiger.
KelvarhinPosted 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