As we all know, Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves and Men come in all shapes and sizes, but in the real world the actors who are playing these characters are of average size and build. We have all heard about the digital ‘shrinking’ that WETA and Peter Jackson are planning to use, but there are more realistic (yes I said more realistic) than CGI and much cheaper ways to get the process done:
And in this case, it seems that almost every character has their ‘Large’ or ‘Small’ double waiting on the sidelines to step in front of the camera.
We realize that the actors playing the hobbits would need doubles of much smaller stature to stand in at certain parts of the story, but why would, say Gandalf and Legolas need ‘large’ doubles? Well, just flip the coin, and look at it the other way: if we have a shot of the Frodo body double walking along with Ian McKellen, it looks perfect, but what if we wanted a shot of Elijah Wood walking along with Gandalf? Elijah and Ian do not match the proportions of Frodo and Gandalf, so in comes the 7 foot tall Gandalf stand-in and suddenly Elijah is Hobbit-sized!
TheOneRing.net has learned the names of some of the ‘small’ and ‘large’ body doubles; these folks are unknowns, but work just as hard as the stars themselves!
From an earlier report we know that the Hobbit body doubles are mostly from India. I do think, however that most of the rest are local Kiwis, here they are:
Gimli (Small): Brett Beattie
Legolas (Big): Paul Randall
Gandalf (Big): Paul Randall
Pippin (Small): Fon
Merry (Small): Kiran Shah/Murugan
Sam (Small): Bhoja Kannada
Most of the Hobbits, and as you can see Gandalf and Legolas, have the same body doubles… they must switch around from time to time.