Martin Freeman talks ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ with TheOneRing.net
FREEMAN: Yeah, fair point. I honestly don’t know and I guess the answer is I hope it doesn’t.
I hope that you can find ways that you can learn the helpful stuff and the good things and the things that could actually steer you into a better position and forget everything else. I mean, I don’t know that it’s possible, actually. To not be affected.
There were things that I did that I saw that annoyed me about what I did and I’d rather not do. But then I think, “Fuck it, that’s Bilbo.” That’s kind of what it is. That’s the part. And I think like anything else, normally you finish the job by now. So I haven’t got the time to rectify that or to get tired of my own decision making. But in this you have definitely got time to bore yourself. So the danger is like seeing a film the size of The Hobbit is like going to read all your reviews, while you’re still doing a play.
It’s a very silly idea. And obviously there’s no way of avoiding seeing The Hobbit, and of course I was curious and I wanted to see it and I’m very glad I saw it. But in a way it can– I don’t know how helpful it is. Yeah. So in answer to your question, I don’t really know if it changes or effects things. I mean, obviously I hope not. Because that’s why you don’t read your reviews, because if it’s good then you play the good stuff and if it’s bad then you just try and make up for it in unhelpful ways, so…
But of course, watching yourself in a film like that, you cannot watch it neutrally, of course. You can’t watch it as an audience member, you are just you. Invested in hating some things and being proud of some things.
When I’m in the midst of it, and I think I speak for all of us, the first film is of no relevance. It’s like it hasn’t come out. Because we’re just back on the shop floor doing the slog, and as you see these are long fucking days.
There aren’t many opportunities to go, “Jesus! That was a good film!” “I was so good.” So it is, and thank God. So you’re just with the cold face trying to make today happen. So, in that sense, it’s quite good. This a real leveler. Because work is work. Whatever the size of the job is, you are always just trying to so the same thing, which is get the day shot.
MEDIA: Working with Peter over such a great length of time, what were your thoughts about him at first blush as you started working with him? It would’ve been sort of the fun revelations as you’ve had time to, you know, deepen and refine your relationship together.
FREEMAN: He’s fun, and he’s got a very mischievous side to him, I think. He’s very unpretentious. He’s very cluttered in his direction. He won’t try and bamboozle you or himself with weird illusions or reference points. He’s kind of– He wants you to sort of do it like this, you know. And to try it like that. So, he’s very straightforward, which is a good thing, really.
He likes a laugh. he keeps his head down, really. He’s got so much to do, that you don’t really have a lot of hanging out time. On set or off set, he’s just completely, excuse me, embroiled in this. More so than anybody else. I mean, I’m fairly embroiled in it, but he’s more embroiled in it that I am, because he’s editing three films in his head as well.
Yeah, how’s it changed? It hasn’t changed that much. It hasn’t changed that much, actually. Because I still wouldn’t claim to know him particularly well. Not really well. It’s not a hanging out kind of thing. I know his working methods now. I know his working methods with me, and he knows mine with him. But that would change from film to film as well, because the way I work on this isn’t the way I work on everything, because inevitably that changes depending on the dynamic of the people you’re with.
I don’t know, I like him. I liked him when I first met him. When I first met him for another job, he seemed like a very decent human being to me. And I think he is. I’m always pleased that he has tried to stay like a man instead of a sort of demigod or something like that. Which is certainly how some people, I think, either view him or want him to be because their admiration is so great for him.
But I think he’s quite good at batting that off and just scraping everything away and just saying, “Well, I’m doing my job and I’d like you to do yours.” And that doesn’t seem to be a pretension with him. That seems like a genuine thing. I would guess he’s not really changed much since he was making films in his twenties. You know, that’s my guess.
FREEMAN: Thank you, folks. Thank you.
* If you won the foot massage, go tell your mom, she will be the one awarding your prize.
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