Something I have noticed with the whole “hush hush” part of the movie is that it seems to have rubbed off onto the thousands of extras out there. Must be a pride factor. Oh and the confidentiality agreement they sign. But most likely the pride factor. That smug look on their faces when they tell you where they have been the last couple of weeks. It’s no fun for spies like me! I mean, surely there is at least one who can’t keep their trap shut about such a huge project.
So I thought I’d be a bit more cunning, and send out my little trainee, one who is not known in the ranks. Using her amazing powers of psycological tactics, she talks to the extras, and rubs their egos up the wrong way, and get’s all the answers.
The recent filming down in Ruapehu was indeed part of the prologue, one of those “flash-back” type of things, which will most likely happen during an interlude between Gandalf and Frodo in the first couple of minutes of movie 1. It envolved hordes of Elves, charging down a rocky hillside, running headlong into the camera style shots. Some Department Of Conservation people standing by, yelling “don’t step on the 300 year old moss!”. The actors couldn’t give a damn. If it was a choice between avioding the slimy stuff and risking slipping and falling, or trudging all over it, they’d choose the later. Naturally.
They speak of Hugo Weaving (Elrond) being on set, and what it’s like to work with a 6’4 tall person. Apparently he’s not the weed he looks like in The Matrix. Tall, big build, and looks nothing like agent Smith – once he’s doned hair extensions (he’s grown it longer anyway) and his ‘gear’. Then again, he looks remarkably short, standing next to one of New Zealand’s taller people, a 7’2 Elf. And after all that sweaty stuff, the extras are invited to have a preview of the work they have just completed. Yep, they got to see what they looked like, as millions will in 1 1/2 years time.
Then Bernard Hill (Theoden), cracking jokes during the siege of Helms Deep. A shot of all the Elves trying to hold the gates shut, and Mr. Hill yells out “c’mon chaps, it’s the Jehovahs Witnesses trying to get in!”
But all in all, the extras have reported time and time again, that two of the nicest guys to work with have been Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), who would come down to the pub afterwards with the lads for a drink, and Hugo Weaving, who lines up with the extras during dinner time. That is, no sign of Hollywood down under. Just people doing their jobs.
Finally, the extra’s confidence in the movies. Comments are dropped like “The feel is right”; or “Everything fits, costumes and casting, everything”. Sounds like PJ is doing his job, and doing it well. And this is coming from real staunch Tolkien supporters.
Xtem signing out