Evangeline Lilly chats about her last day on the set of The Hobbit
Question: She’s going to be new and fresh to everybody, so why do you think that they going to fall in love with her? What made you say, “I want to be her for a while,” and think that people are really going to respond to her?
Lilly: There’s a couple of reasons. The first one I just described, which is everybody likes a BAMF. And especially if it’s female, and especially if it’s female wearing tight pants and long hair. I mean, that appeals to everybody, right. Lara Croft proved that to the world. But on top of that what I particularly like about what they’ve done with my character is because she is, for a lack of a better way of putting it, perhaps slightly more human than the other Elves, in that we might be able to relate to some of the ways that she acts and some of the ways that she feels, more than we could relate to a High Elf.
She kind of, in my mind, becomes the voice of the audience. She speaks out what the audience is thinking and feeling, and that is such a satisfying thing, I know as an audience member when I’m watching a movie, I grab hold of that character because I need to hear it. I need them to say what is going on in my head. And Tauriel does that through the whole film.
And then on top of that– And I know you guys are all under lock and key, so I can say whatever I want, right? On top of that, it’s hard not to love an Elf who loves a Dwarf! That’s amazing that she, for lack of a better way of putting it, lowers herself to that place of being able to love a Dwarf. I think the world’s already fallen in love with Kili. And so the fact that she falls in love with him too, again, is just making her relatable.
Question: Peter King was talking about the design of your ears, actually, and how it’s slightly more mischievous even in design to match your character. Do you find that Tauriel has that mischievous–
Lilly: I’m going to– She’s definitely mischievous. And I’m going to tell you the truth about the ears.
Question: (overlaps) Yes, please.
Lilly: Okay? Here’s the true story. I was given, at the beginning when I first sat down for make-up tests, I was presented with three pairs of ears. One of them matched Orlando’s perfectly. One of them was slightly larger. And the third one was completely different, was pointy as shit and was humongous! And I was like, “I want those ones!” “Those are my ears.” So, they gave them to me.
Question: And they look good.
Lilly: Well, the idea– In the end how I convinced the make-up department was that I said, “Look, they follow the line of my cheekbones. Isn’t that lovely?” And they went for it.
Question: They bought it.
Lilly: They bought it, they bought it.
Question: Peter also praised your ability to work with the long hair. How much of a struggle was that initially, to work around having hair as long as your character did?
Lilly: It’s constant. It wasn’t just an initial struggle. It’s a constant struggle, when I described that very difficult day of stunts and emotion, and how by the end of the day I’d never been so physically spent in any film set. For any of you who watched Lost, you’ve seen me work my butt off. You’ve seen me work hard physically, and I’ve still never been that exhausted.
And a very huge contributing factor is the fact that I’m carrying around like twenty pounds on my head and my neck, so I think that’s part of the reason I started to feel so sick. Was because I got such a terrible headache from whipping my head around in all of my fight motions to create that beautiful flow of hair, which is a huge strain on my neck and then in this particular scene I’m doing a lot of whipping motions because I’m being thrown to the ground. And doing that with a huge amount of weight on your head, it just takes a toll on my body and I started to just really get a pounding headache, and that headache turned into nausea and that’s my wig! But it looks great!
Question: There’s kind of an interesting dynamic– Listen, this isn’t the kind of movie where you’re trying to explore these things but as an actress maybe– You’re playing an Elf, with enmity between Dwarves and you’ve already said that barrier is kind of broken and there’s a lot of parallels to the real world and real problems. Do you think of those kinds of things when you’re doing what you’re doing, or is just simplified action?
Lilly: No, I think of those things from the very beginning of even choosing the role. Some people, once in a while, ask me, “What is the criteria? How do you choose the roles you choose?” And one of the first and foremost criterias for me is usually that there’s a message that’s being given to the audience. I don’t find films that are just empty entertainment entertaining. I find them really terribly boring. So, without having that altruistic message behind whatever I’m doing, I lose incentive, I feel dis-incentivized to even give my best to that performance. I think in some ways, my character Tauriel has been infused more and more with that, the more I’ve gotten involved, and I love that she says things like, “When did we allow evil to become stronger than us?”
Because that speaks to everyone all over the globe. It speaks to tiny problems, it speaks to huge problems and it drives to the heart of justice. I’m very passionate about justice. And I think Tauriel is very passionate about justice, and in that passion for justice is where she finds the opening to fall in love with a Dwarf. If she didn’t care so much about justice, she would’ve never put herself in a position to even get to know him in the first place. And so I think she’s incredibly lovable in that way and I’d fall in love with her! And I used to be very nervous about the fact that I wasn’t in the book and now people are going to hate me, because I’m going to ruin these movies.
And I feel a lot more confident about it now, knowing that I’ve fallen in love with her and that’s really all that matters at the end of the day, as long as I can hold my head up and say, “I think she’s great!”
Posted in Evangeline Lilly, Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on January 1, 2015 by Demosthenes