These are paraphrases *not* quotes, I am not a court reporter!
Dom notes: He was wearing a green scarf wrapped around his neck and chewing gum, probably to sooth a sore throat. His ears really are big and stick out, but you don’t notice except at certain angles. Towards the end, he was sitting on his stool, lounging back, grabbing the stool between his legs.
Q: Does he ever get back to Manchester?
Dom: yes, his parents are there though they may be moving to Spain soon. He goes back for Manchester United games whenever possible. His friends are there. He talks about the city center renovations, says it looks great now.
Q: what would they do if they weren’t actors?
Lawrence: would still be a street cleaner or doing road maintenance Bret: is a librarian [much clapping, I wave my arms, Dom asks if there any other librarians, looks at me, asks if I am, when I say Yes, he says “Congratulations”, much laughter, go me!]
Dom: says if he had his choice, he’d be a professional surfer. But he thinks he’d probably have been a teacher. Some rambling on about Pembrokeshire, Cornwall, sailing and fishing. Dom says that they have big waves in Cornwalll, underestimated, he wiped out a couple of times.
Q: Do they have any say in the merchandising. Can they create figures that lose their clothes?
Dom: no, not really. They get mock-ups and he always says Merry’s ears are too big and could they make them smaller and they say no.
Q: Do they ride motorbikes?
Lawrence: Harley of some kind. I’m missing details.
Dom: riffs on riding a Lambretta, kind of cool he says, when going downhill
Q: about the script he and Billy are writing
Dom: they’re taking it back and forth, Dom 1/3, Billy 2/3, hope to finish soon and get help from the Glasgow playwright David Greg. They have both New Line and Dreamworks interested. They want it to be really good, not average, a [long-term] vehicle for them working together.
Q: about when they knew it would be really big
Dom: London premiere of FOTK in Leicester Square, kindof trippy. He’d been involved in a few hectic evenings and press things. Drove up in the limo with his mom and dad, saw 15,000 people freaking out. He thought they were all there for Elijah but they knew who he was too.
Learning about dealing with this kind of pressure, talking to Billy about it, reminds him of the Beatles. What they went through for thirty or forty years. “That’s why they went fucking insane”.
Lawrence tells how they closed off a lot of Wellington, he didn’t like the people hanging off the buildings. They found him in a bar, PJ wanted him but he told them to f-off. Complicated story about the Black Riders. Could see Elijah, Dom and Billy wandering around with camcorders.
Dom: tells the standard story, very sincerely, being there all day with the others, writing in each other’s diaries, etc. Admits that the tattoo is on his arm, but declines to show it, citing the agreement.
Q: answer fanmail?
Lawrence: if it’s got return postage (had spent thousands on photos and postage). He reads them and tries to respond.
Dom; (return postage required). All the mail goes to his mom and dad’s house, piles in the dining room. Every so often, they go through with a bunch of photos. His mom reads the letters and saves the special ones for him to answer. He can’t supply some things, like “photos of me with Elijah” [audience laughter] or “photos of me in the bath with Billy” [lots and lots of laughter]. If sending mail, be patient it could take three months to nine months.
Q: What could beat being a hobbit?
Dom: Playing for Manchester United, or competing against Kelly someone in halfpipe [not sure about that]
Dom: “Playing a hobbit, beautiful character, genuinely open, beautiful and smart.” He wants to play other parts, show other sides. But he’s conscious of having faith with the audience, of not changing Merry, doesn’t plan to play a real bad guy right away.
Q: You were robbed at the Oscars.
Cast agrees, Dom makes devil horns with both hands.
Q: What celebrities have been fun to meet?
Lawrence: Pierce Brosnan, who’s a big LOTR fan
Dom: met Manchester United team when he went to a game in Los Angeles with Elijah. Ruud van Nistelrooy wanted to meet them, get autographs.(just like that Manchester United fan story). Also met Madonna, Robin Williams, Ed Norton at the charades a couple of days ago.
Q: what did they learn?
Sala: “Friendship”Dom, “What a beautiful thing to say”Someone says “Orlando learned to do *everything*” and everyone laughs
Q: Is Orlando scared of sharks?
A: [look a little impatient] Yeah.
Q: did they get to keep props?
Dom: when they wrapped the final time, he got feet. They let him choose any one of the swords he used. He chose the Rohan sword that Merry uses in the last movie to stab “certain people”. Also ears and elven brooches.
Q: [not sure of this question, I think it was Dom’s favorite scene]
Dom: [noisy bit] The scene where Boromir is fighting Lurtz. He’s such a hero. Sean’s having such a good day [laughter] being a hero. Being very manly. [laughter]
“Meanwhile Billy and me are sitting in a trench [laughter]. Throwing stones.” [Gales of laughter] Goes on like this a little while, miming throwing stones in a very wussy way, holding his arms down at his sides, pretending to toss with just his forearms and hands flapping around.
Q: About people saying the movie has changed their lives.
Dom: says he’s a big Beatles fans, reads all the books and collects memorabilia. It’s like being in the eye of a storm. But when he watches the movies, it’s more memories of the days. “I had a zit on the side of my head, or my mom and dad were there, or Billy was in a *mood* because I threw a pancake at him… that really happened.”Lawrence: tells a story about a guy who says he cries every time he sees the Boromir – Lurtz scene. It makes him feel like a real bastard.
Q: What next?
Dom: Spivs, London gangster film.
Q: Will it be in general release?
Dom: It will be in general release.
Q: Because Insomiac’s Nightmare isn’t
Dom: it’s a short film, made by a student, she can’t afford to release it.
Dom: In Spivs, “I play a greasy-haired bearded stoner — very different from Merry”
Dom: In the Purifiers… “I play a peroxide blond martial arts expert.”
Q: did you learn martial arts?
Dom: [didn’t write down, much the same as on Sharon Osborne]
Lawrence: should be in NZ shooting the “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” but is here instead. Next project called “Spooked”
Q: How do you learn parts?
Dom: has a pretty photographic memory, learns songs fairly quickly, pages quickly. When he was a kid, he learned huge chunks of movies, Star Wars and Life of Brian [Monty Python]. Now he tries not to learn movie roles too well. Not theatre, there you have to know it. And to do that, you just read it over and over again, say it out loud. But in movies, “I like to just barely learn the part, so you’re still kind of searching for it.”
Q: about getting the part
Lawrence: started doing stunts, moved into acting. There was a big audition, a set of silhouettes, from hobbit sized to big, to Tall Paul, and they just matched people up with the body type. In ROTK, he plays the Witch King, and Gothmog (an orc sergeant) so he plays his own boss. Also another orc, who reports to the sergeant, so he gives himself lots of orders.
Q: what do they think of the things written about them on the Internet?
Lawrence: “I’ve seen Sala porn” which makes everyone crack up and Sala get up and walk away like he’s about to leave.
Dom says, and these are paraphrases *not* quotes, I am not a court reporter!
Elijah and I were reading a story (could have been report) about how I was masquerading by going out with his sister so I could be with him. [laughs]
And, in a sarcastic voice, that they read rumors of a contract they signed with New Line that they wouldn’t come out as gay until after ROTK. Laughs again. They’re thinking of walking down the red carpet holding hands for Return of the King. Then someone says then “it would be the Return of the Queen” and everyone laughs.
A little miscellaneous about how they’re having the premiers all over the and they went away.
The Two Towers looked great on the big screen too.
I was at the Saturday Two Towers showing at which the guest stars were Brent McIntyre (BM), Lawrence Makoare(LM), Sala Baker(SB) and Dom Monaghan(DM). They were slightly late sowing up but Collectormainia staff kept wondering around trying to appease everyone with phrases such as “a wizard is never late Frodo Baggins
The following covers the parts of the evening I can remember in no particular order, so I’m sure there’s a lot left out – very little of what I’ve written is a direct quote, the rest is just the general gist.
They started by introducing themselves, with DM announcing himself with “and I’m Orlando Bloom ( much laughter) but I’ve had a bit of a facial readjustment”
Q: When did you first realise what a great phenomenum and commercial success LOTR would be?
LM: Description of the complete madness of the Wellington premier of FOTR with people hanging off balconies, out of windows, climbing up lampposts etc. When it was his turn to do the red carpet people were sent out to look for him, eventually tracking him down to a bar over the road where he was hiding out – “no way am I going out there, you must be insane”. Meanwhile Dom and Elijah were running round with video cameras (Laurence does impression of Dom with camera!).
AUDIENCE CALL OUT: do it on your motorbike next time! (it had already been established that LM had a Harley Davidson)
LM: Yeah good idea maybe I should suggest that to Peter ..
DM: For me it was at the Leicester square premier of FOTR – I was there with my parents and there were all these people screaming who recognised me and knew who I was. The Beatles had to put up with that for 30 years so it’s no wonder they all ended up f***ing insane!
Q: Do you ever read rumours about yourself on the internet/ visit forums or discussion groups?
LM: I’ve seen Sala porn!!
(SB pretends to walk off stage!)
DM: yeah sometimes I’ve been on forums at TORN or special Dom websites, but on the internet as a whole there are some really interesting rumours out there. There’s a popular one that Elijah and I are dating, but we’ve been forced to sign a contract by New Line saying we won’t come out until after the ROTK! So Elijah and I have been thinking about walking down the red carpet holding hands or something . (Dom waves his arms around comically and starts yelling things like “I’m free at last”!!)
SB/LM: Yeah, but then they’d have to call it Return Of The Queen ..
DM: I dont like to quash the rumours really – it’s so fun reading about how they always have things “from a reliable source”
Q: How much say do you have in what merchandising is produced, because we were hoping they’d make heat sensitive mugs, so when you get them hot the clothes come off!!
DM: Errrr.. not a lot really – they always send things for you to comment on, and I always request that they make the ears smaller, but other than that
AUDIENCE CALL OUT: What about the mugs?!?
DM: Not yet that I know of I’m afraid!
Q: I was wondering how much of your fanmail you actually read or reply to personally?
(everyone looks slightly uneasy!)
BM: What’s this “fan mail”?!?!?
LM: general comments about the importance of sending an international reply coupon, as at one stage it was costing him thousands of dollars a week in photos, envelopes and stamps etc and he just couldn’t afford to keep it up.
DM: Yeah, if you want a reply you MUST send a stamped addressed envelope. All my fan mail goes direct to my agent who passes it on to my parents – there’s massive pile of it at home, so naturally my parents hate me! My mum’s really good – she goes through it and puts aside all the really special letters for me to read, and every now and again I sign a massive load of photos, but I’m afraid it can take anything: 3months, 6 months, 9 months Some people send things that are a bit weird that I can’t really meet though, like a request for a photo of me and Billy in the bath! (the bath scene was a running joke through out the evening!) Things like that tend to get “lost in the post”
Q: If you could have been another character in the films, who would you have liked to be?
LM: (jokingly) well I auditioned for a hobbit so .
DM: Ummmm, well at the end of the fellowship of the ring when Sean Bean was doing his amazing death scene
LM: you wanted to be Borimir?!?!?!
DM: well yeah, Sean was having a great time doing all this tough warrior fight stuff with Laurence, and getting shot full of arrows and stuff, and I was stuck there standing in a ditch to make me look hobbit sized chucking stones around like a girl! (cue Dom to re-enact lots of “girly” throwing actions – lol!)
Q: How does it make you fell when some one tells you how much the movies have effected their lives?
(general comments from all about being moved/proud/humbled etc)
LM: Yeah but yesterday this full grown guy came up to me to get my autograph and told me that the scene with Lurtz and Borimir always makes him cry. I had to sign his thing “I’m really sorry I made you cry, from Lawrence”! I can tell you I felt like a right bastard!!
Q: Which other celebrities/ famous people have you enjoyed meeting most?
LM: well, I met this guy called Dom
LM: For me it was probably Pierce, Pierce Brosnan when I was doing Die Another Day. He was a big fan of FOTR, but he didn’t know I’d been involved – a really nice guy
DM: Getting to meet the Man U team was really great. (Dom had already admitted he was a big Manchester United fan to loud boos, at which point he jokingly threatened to leave!). I was in LA with Elijah when they were playing over there and they actually asked to meet me, so that was really cool. I met Ruud Van Nisteroy and lots of others.
(Dom also talked a bit about Celebrity Charades and meeting Robin Williams)
Q: What do you think you’d be doing now if you weren’t into acting?
BM: well I’m a librarian .
LM/SB: I thought you looked a bit pale! Is any one else here a librarian?
(about 4 people put their hands up)
LM/SB: see you’re all a very pasty looking lot!
LM: I’d probably still be working as road worker (?) – really physical labour that was.
SB: People need roads.
(All the actors stare at Dom)
DM: Can I chose what I’d like to be doing, or do I have to say what I think I’d actually be doing?
AUDIENCE CALL OUT: both!
DM: Ok, I’d like to be a professional surfer. But I’d probably have gone into teaching, because my Dad’s a teacher, and so’s my brother (?)
(more cheering from the Audience)
Q: Do you have any special techniques for learning lines?
SB/LM/BM: well, we didn’t actually have any lines
DM: Well, I’ve always had a fairly photographic memory – when I was a kid I used to memorise huge chunks of films like “The Life of Brian”. For movies I like to only just learn my lines, but obviously for plays you just have to keep practising and practising ’til you’re perfect.
Q: What do you think could ever beat playing a hobbit?
DM: Scoring a hat-trick for Man U at Old Trafford!
DM: Yeah, but in a way you’re right, I may well always be thought of as Merry, a bit like lots of people will always think of Arnold Schwazenegger as The Terminator. Or the Govenor, we’ll see. But hopefully not – there you go, there’s a bit of controversial politics for you!!!
Q: Do you have any particular memories of the filming process?
DM: When I watch the film I don’t really see the story, I just see the scenes and think “that’s the day my parents came to visit” or “that’s the day Billy was in a mood because I threw a pancake at him”
DM: that actually happened you know!
Q: How’s the surfing movie going?
DM: Well, we’ve split it into thirds and Billy and I have currently got a chunk each and then we’ll swap. That will probably take about 7 months. And then it will be at least another year after that . We have got some studios interested, but because we’re hoping this will be a vehicle for Billy and I to work together a lot in the future we want to make sure it’s REALLY good, not just mediocre.
Q: How did you get involved in LOTR in the first place?
BM: Well I went along to audition for a giant and then I realised there weren’t any giants !
LM: What happened when I went along was they had all these sillouette things on the wall going right up from hobbit to Orcs and so on. You had to stand there and see which one you matched up with, and I ended up as an Uruk-Hai. I was hoping to play King Kong, but apparently I’m not hairy enough
Dom was also asked to show his tattoo, but declined, explaining how it was supposed to be a private bond between the fellowship to celebrate their friendship, not to be shown of in public all the time. This speech got a big round of applause.