Transcript: ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ world premiere press conference
Press: Evangeline, your character was a warrior. Did you do anything like learn to shoot bows and arrows to train? And then also, what did you think when you saw yourself on screen for the first time with this fiery red hair and pointy ears?
Evangeline: Yeah, I went through five different types of training. I did weapons training, stunt training, movement training, dialect training, and language training. In the weapons training there were two different weapons – I had double daggers and a bow and arrow. Believe it or not I used to teach archery [laughs] to little kids at – yeah, Peter didn’t know that either – at a kid’s camp when I was a teenager, I used to teach archery but I’m not a good marksman [laughs].
Peter: Don’t say that… just say… just stop at the first part.
Peter: You just say you taught them and it will be fine.
Evangeline: Yeah, ok. [laughs] and you know, I think that one the great gifts of CGI and working in the imagination is that you can imagine that you’re much more talented than you really are and if you can imagine it, than it can appear as so with Peter Jackson’s magic CGI brush and then, you know, seeing myself for the first time on screen as an elf, there was — it was a double-edged sword because I am — I’m a real Tolkien geek and I had dreamed about being an elf since I was a little girl so there was an incredible amount of a sort of satisfaction and dream realization that when I first got to see myself as an elf.
But I’m also unfortunately an actor which means that I’m very self-critical and it’s very hard for me to ever give my…anything that I do the stamp of approval without having the (voice) that says all the things I did wrong and what didn’t work but just the ears and the wig and just the actual visual was very, very exciting.
Peter: I mean, I’ve said this to Evangeline but it’s like I have spent more time in her company with just wearing the wig and the ears and I do look here and find it a bit strange. [Evangeline laughs] Strange, weird hair and (missing word) because honestly, I’m much more used to hearing your voice, looking around and seeing the red wig and the ears. That sort of actually one of the strange things because I never see the actors, you know. They walk on set ready to go, they shoot and they go home at the end of the day and I’m just not used to any of this stuff. I see them as humans, it’s rather disturbing.
Press: Luke, you also spent a lot of time in the movie with a bow and arrow over your shoulder, how many little kids have you taught archery to?
Luke: Ah, none. Thankfully.
Evangeline: But he’s much better than me.
Luke: The long bow… it’s 2 meters 10 [centimeters] in height so it was actually…it was taller than me. It was different to your bow and arrow but mine was very, very big so it was learning how to pull the arrow differently than you would with a normal bow and arrow because it was just such a long…it’s was a long bow but no, never taught any children, thankfully. But there’s still time – probably not.
Press: Good morning. Mr. Jackson, about making three movies instead of two. Did that allow you to make the second chapter so much action-packed and what character benefited the most from that decision?
Peter: It’s an interesting question. I don’t think any character really benefited from that decision. It was like we, I mean, we didn’t really change a lot. We made that decision after we had shot… we made the decision to…I mean after we had shot most of the film, I mean it was a decision based on what we had shot and we just thought you know what we’re going to have to…you know, we’re going to have to somehow cut a lot of this stuff out and we can reshape it and then we did some more shooting.
We did 10 weeks of shooting this year as well – pickup shooting for the second and third film. Look, what it does is it allows you to let the characters drive the story because in a novel, you know, the writer of the novel is the … you’re often the person who writes the story, who kind of takes you on the journey and Tolkien’s voice is obviously fantastic at doing that. You feel like he’s right beside you telling you a bedtime story, but in the movie, you don’t want me on screen talking about what’s happening, so in a film, you know, the discipline on the film is you have to have the story told through the dialog of the characters, through the actions.
Peter: We’ll just do that privately Benedict back in your hotel room. Don’t worry. I’ll read you a bedtime story. But you know you want your narrative of the film to be told through either the dialog that your characters are saying or the actions that they do. That’s really why we ended up wanting to give it the sort of the depth and the characters and explore some of the character depth that we had done on The Lord of the Rings. I was also acutely aware that, you know, there is going to be ultimately when the cycle of releasing a movie each year is done, you know, you’re going to end up with six films – the Unexpected Journey being the beginning and The Return of the King being the end and I did want to have a unity – I didn’t want to make The Hobbit feel anymore simple. We just wanted it to feel like it was the same filmmakers.
Evangeline: And in the end, Peter, and Fran and Phil brilliantly I hope I can give this away – brilliantly tied the last Hobbit film to the first Lord of the Rings film through the one character who could do that which is Legolas.
Peter: Well, I mean, that’s actually, I mean that’s a good point because people always ask about Evangeline’s character Tauriel and why we felt the need to create her.
You know in The Hobbit novel, they are captured by the elves and they escape in the barrels and it’s a memorable part of the book but you — actually the elf king is not even named — he doesn’t have a name and it was only later on that Tolkien decided he should be Thranduil and then he also decided that he had a son when Lord of the Rings was written, you know, 18, 19 years later, he created the character of the son of the king.
So, you know, you’ve got material there, but you can’t — I mean you can’t have a scene in a film that’s a memorable scene and not have just one person as the elf. I mean, we wanted like, you know, three elven characters who were all different. I mean, that’s the thing too is to create characters that have conflict with each other and they have different agendas.
Thranduil, Legolas and Tauriel are all on different flight paths which makes for much more interesting ability for Philippa, Fran, and I to sort of write the narratives through their eyes. So that was it, yeah. Sorry, I rambled. Sorry.Posted in Aidan Turner, Benedict Cumberbatch, Characters, Crew News, Dean O'Gorman, Director news, Evangeline Lilly, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie FAQ, J.R.R. Tolkien, Luke Evans, Martin Freeman, New Zealand, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien on December 6, 2013 by MrCere