Question: Can you give us a brief background of your character Gimli?
JRDI play Gimli the dwarf who is fierce loyal, brave, and he is about four feet in height!
Question: Has Gimli rubbed off on you in any way?
JRD: Yes of course. I found the inner dwarve and he lives with me all the time!
Question: What was it like working with Peter Jackson?
JRD: Peter Jackson is a director of genis and he has made a masterpeice after being in New Zealand in two weeks I am proud to say I was the first person to say that we are making a masterpeice, a film bigger than Star Wars. When you look back in time this film will be in your list of top ten of all times!
LIVEJessicaMae: Wow! I can’t wait to see it! Did any antics or pranks go on behind the scenes?
JRD: Ha Ha Ha! In 14 months with high spirited hobbits of course there were pranks. Of course we worked very hard, days were always 12 hours and generally 13 to 15 hours. That does leave some time for play, but largely you are preparing the next day. That said, we all had time to go bungy jumping and parachuting! I bought five boots myself and I can’t wait to go back!
LIVEJessicaMae: Sounds like fun! How would you describe Middle-Earth?
JRD: Middle Earth is New Zealand and New Zealand is Middle Earth. I urge all viewers to go to New Zealand. It is a fabulous place.
LIVEJessicaMae: RonZ28 would like to know, Which of your co-stars was your favorite to work with?
JRD: They were all magical. Every single one was just superb! I learnt from my old friend Chis Lee, who is now 79. and from my new friend, Elijah Wood, who is now 20. All of them are fabulous people!
LIVEJessicaMae: Here’s the question that everyone seems to be asking, I’ve heard that the fellowship all got matching tattoos. Where are they located and what’s the meaning behind them?
JRD: The fellowship decided after a drunken evening in Queenstown which I was not present for. It was designed around the elfen symbol for mine. Wise actors always let their stunt double be involved with blood. Nine tattoos were made, however, you will have to ask my stunt double where it is! 🙂
LIVEJessicaMae: LOL RowBot40 is wondering, Have you read all of the books?
JRD: I hadn’t before I started doing the film, but I did read them a couple of times during the course of making the films. I agree now that Tolkiens work is a remarkable peice of fiction for the later half of the 20 Century.
LIVEJessicaMae: Yes, I have to agree with you John. I love the books. I’m curious to know, Which scene from the movie is your favorite? In this movie, it would be Boromirs death. Do you have a favorite line and character?
JRD: You mean what is the line I am going to be deviled with? “Nobody tosses a dwarf!” I think all the characters are so magical, I love Frodo and Gandolf and Liv Tyler is just so great in her role! And Chistopher Lee’s performance is just staggering! He has all the energy he had at age 25 and it is just a tour de force performance!
LIVEJessicaMae: CraNKs asks, What can we expect from the sequels?
JRD: Well, as I like to say, if you are impressed by this one, you haven’t seen anything yet. Peter Jackson is a great director working in absolutely perfect conditions and in top form! By the time these three movies are put together you will realize that these are one of the best works of film of all time!
LIVEJessicaMae: Here’s an interesting question from Ring9Lord, If you could keep one prop from the movie, what would you pic?
JRD: I have the most valuable prop, the memories. I guess I would take one of the double headed axes! Those from Balins Tomb. But you know since we will have a lot of reshooting to do all the props will have to be there. I understand that on EBay there is a Ring from the production there (supposedly).
LIVEJessicaMae: Elijah has the true ring right?
JRD: I can tell you that this is NOT true! If Elijah said it then it is true. I know that the EBay ring is not true.
LIVEJessicaMae: Here’s a few personal questions from our adoring audience, Do you believe in true love?
Question: What’s your worst habit?
JRD: It would be hard to pick my worst habit from so many. Uh, but … ha ha ha … my worst habit … All our lives are habits in a way 🙂 My worst habit is never actually learning how to catch fish properly. I have always intended to put time aside to learn how to do that properly.
LIVEJessicaMae: Scooty would like to know, Do you have any other projects coming up?
JRD: Well I do actually, I was talking to a director about a project in Bolgaria. But I hate talking about projects that are not signed and sealed and then they don’t happen for some reason and then you look like a liar. I believe I will be destined to play dwarves for the rest of my life! So I should be a shoo in for the next Snow White.
LIVEJessicaMae: lol, haha Here’s another great question from one of our members, What has been the defining moment in your career? Was probably being cast in Shogun. By a marvolous casting director, Mort Spector. Was the filming of ‘LOTR’ somewhat of a personal journey for you at all?
JRD: No I am a professional actor I learn to play what I am to play. When it is over I leave it behind.
Question: If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?
JRD: I would be writing. If I wasn’t writing, I would be directing. If I wasn’t any of those three I would be a mechanic engineer.
LIVEJessicaMae: Thornsonarose13 asks, How did it feel to move to New Zealend for 16 months, and adapt to a totally new life style?
JRD: Liberating! I cannot emphasize how beautiful New Zealand is and how wonderful the people are. Go see the country for yourselves. I think that 3 of 5 households have a boat. Their actual standard of living is lower than Britain today. Their quality of life surpasses that of any country I have ever worked in. Wonderful country, wonderful people, I can’t wait to get back!
LIVEJessicaMae: wizardgenius427 asks, how was it being in the movie and all the weird makeup?
JRD: Well you have to understand seeing Hobits get their makeup on was not riviting. It was rather silly seeing their big hairy feet. I had a full prothetic face so much of me can’t be seen. For those interested, the beard was made a yak hair, which I believe came from the behind! My makeup people were brilliant but it took much time to put it on. Months into it I developed a reaction to the makeup and could have the makeup put on for at least three days. (Couldn’t have the makeup put on). I don’t look forward to that again.
LIVEJessicaMae: Yak hair, that sounds like a lot of fun 😉 JHawkinsB would like to know: Does the movie have most of the contents of the book or did it leave some scenes out?
JRD: It is hard to make even three films, which is nearly 9 hours, maybe over 9 hours, from 1000 pages. Lots of good stuff had to be left out. But the writers decided that the core was Frodo’s journey with the Ring and that is what we stuck with. I think fans are going to miss a preferred moment from the book, but the response I’ve heard so far that the film is remarkable and definitely Tolkien!
LIVEJessicaMae: Here’s a question from Tigre042, How close did you get to the other cast members?
JRD: The great thing about being an actor is being on the set and getting to know the people on the set. I missed out on much of that because I spent half my working day in makeup and touch ups and sitting very still in my trailer until the time I was needed. So I missed out on that camaradre. That was rather sad. Once I really started developing a reaction to the makeup, it made me gun shy so I kept to myself and didn’t go to dinner much. Spent time by myself, trying to heal. The time I did spend with the cast was absolutely enjoyful!
LIVEJessicaMae: John you are such a hard worker! We all appreciate your sacrifice for the film! Darkwater26 is wondering, What do you like best about Gimli, what drew you to the roll?
JRD: Nothing drew me to the role! Peter Jackson saw me as Gimli. I was astonished when he offered to me and I didn’t really want to play it. My eldest son said I was nuts if I turned this down. He is a fan of Tolkien. He tried to tell me of the potential audience for the film. It is hard for an actor to get his face known and you are going to do a movie under a ton of makeup. That is tough. Nothing really drew me to Gimli. However, having done it I find him to be a marvelous character.
LIVEJessicaMae: I’m sad to say that we are out of time.! Thanks for stopping by to chat with us John.
JRD: Thank you for your great support for all of us in the making of this film. It is a labor of love for us all. I think this will be the biggest film of all time. Go and see the movie, at least twice! I think you will need it the second time so you can concentrate on the detail. If you are in the cinima and there is no great cheer at the end, it will be because people are stunned! But I guarantee this, 99% of that audience will come back and see the movie of again. Regards and Best wishes to you all and Merry Christmas to you all!
LIVEJessicaMae: We can’t wait to see the movie on the 19th! Come back and see us soon!