Cheshire Cat writes: This transcript from Collectormania 4 is as accurate as I have been able to make it, however there are parts where it was difficult to understand what was being said because of audience noise, cheering, more than one person talking etc.
Transcript of Q&A Session with Elijah Wood and Sean Astin
At Collectormania on 5th October 2003
By Cheshire Cat of the TORn Discussion Boards
The Collectormania manager entered the room at around 6.35pm to say that the guys were just having a 5-minute break, they had had a hectic day signing autographs and just needed a quick rest but they would be with us shortly. Before too long the announcer says, Ladies and Gentleman! Mr Elijah Wood at which point Elijah enters the room and runs at full pelt three times around the auditorium high fiving as he goes with members of the audience who by this time are screaming and laughing. After the third laps he leaps up onto the high stool sitting at the front of the cinema and wobbles to a halt, just as Sean Astin arrives at his stool and quietly takes a seat next to him. What an entrance!
[Elijah looks at a painting of himself that someone has leaning against the end of their row of seats]
E: You did that? [the girl comes forward with it and gives it to him] Its for me? [He sounds genuinely pleased and surprised].
S: Hands up anyone who was in the audience last night! [no hands] Nobody saw us last night? Oh okay. How many people were in there getting autographs today? [hands shoot up] How many people have gotten Elijahs autograph? [show of hands] How many got my autograph? [hands up] [to Elijah] I think you got more!
[Lots of crowd shouting] What? You couldnt get Elijahs? Hands up if you gave Dom a lollipop?
Audience: We gave a lollipop to all of you!
S: Yeah! I got mine.
E: You know its funny, your parents always told you not to take food from strangers [laughter]
S: [in west country voice] Taste these nice mushrooms! Dare I? [roguish twinkle]
Aud: Can we give Elijah his jellybeans? [as she goes to throw the bag over the audience..]
S: Dont hit anyone with them!
[Sean is given a black sparkly cowboy hat, Elijah is given a red one they put them on. Laughter] [Sings] Im a Rhinestone Cowboy You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away and know when to run Down, down, down in a burning ring of fire, down, down, down and the flames are getting higher.
E: New Line wants the Hobbits to do an album [cheering] They want us to record at Abbey Road. [referring to audience] They want us to sing the Hobbit Song! [after two failed starts when they cant remember the words they sing] Youre supposed to join in! Hey Ho! To the bottle I go, to heal my heart and drown my woe! Rain may fall and wind may blow, but there still beeeee, many miles to go. Sweet is the sound of the pouring rain and the stream that flows from hill to plain. Better than rain or rippling brook is a mug of beer inside this Took [Huge cheer]
[Elijah does his silly high squeaky voice much to the amusement of the audience I cant hear exactly what he says because the laughter from the crowd.]
Aud: We have some presents for you!
S: Theres been so many presents today. [Sean is given a box of chocolates] I think we should share it with the whole audience! [passes chocs to the audience I open them and pass them along] What presents do you have? This is like The Price is Right! Does anyone watch that show? [cheering]
People ask me in interviews Do you collect anything? And the first real collection I had in my entire life except for Smurfs I stole hundreds, but we wont go into that. I got in trouble was Lord of the Rings fan art. Basically the fans who reinterpret the work create stills, write poetry. All around the world I would pick this stuff up. [says something about Japan] Are there any Japanese in the audience? Germans? Austrian? Belgian? French? Bit of Earth [odd voices shout out each time] There are no English people in here, are there? [huge cheer goes up] Americans? [cheer]
E: Canada? Canadians! [crowd shouting] Oh! Italians!
S: French people? Anyone here from France ? Espania? Im sure theres about 180 other countries we could mention.
S: Scotland? Norway! ..Finland?
S: Holland? Brazil??? [lots of crowd shouting]
E: Bit of order! Bit of order!
Aud: What is your favourite part in the first two films?
S: First film? – Cave Troll sequence!
E: Yeah! I think the whole thing in the Mines of Moria!
S: The Mines of Moria sequence, yeah!
E: In the Two Towers Gandalf fighting the Balrog.
S: Mmm. Thats good.
E: Its a hell of a way to open a film!
Aud: What about fighting Gollum?
S: Watching Gollum arguing with himself is good!
E: Thats one of my favourite parts. Gollum is incredible!
S: [to audience member] Mmm. You really like capturing Gollum? Why? [crowd laughs] No! Why that out of all the others?
Aud: I like the way you grab him around the waist [laughter]
S: We didnt have in mind what YOURE thinking of! [laughter] ..Helms Deep the Helms Deep battle sequence! When the Elves show up and they sorta do that thing when they all turn at the same time and Haldir says hes come to honour the allegiance between men and Elves. I was like Yeah..Ha..Haaa! And I like it when Orlando looks at Gimli and says Shall I get you a box? and theres John Rhys Davies about 9ft tall!
E: and the part when Gimli says Toss me! [cheering]
S: I cant believe they got away with that!
E: I think it went over the Americans heads but certainly the British would understand that.
Aud: Will there be any dwarf tossing in the third one? [laughter obscures the answer but I think it was a yes]
S: Well what you do in your own time ! [laughter]
TORn/BoE member Greenwood Hobbit/gardenersmate says: I have two small gifts [goes up to them and presents BoE C4 bookmarks in a similar style to those produced to help raise money for Project Elanor – a garden in a childrens literacy centre in Oregon]
S: Did you hear me say Bit of Earth about 5 minutes ago when we were going through the countries? Does everyone know what Bit of Earth is? [positive response from audience] Yep?
E: [about the gift] Oh brilliant!
gardenersmate: and my question is a costume one. The backpacks that the Hobbits wear
S: [interrupting] What do you mean Hobbits. I wore the backpack!!! [laughter] And its not a Goretex, new-fangled ergonomic mutter mutter
gardenersmate: Its the straps that are driving me mad! I cant work out how they went over the shoulders like normal rucksack straps and didnt ruffle the cloaks and didnt seem to fasten anywhere!
E: [knowing nod] Interesting, eh? Ill explain that. Well basically they were straps that had to be tied behind the back. [indicates how straps come over shoulder, under armpits and connect at the back between the shoulder blades] They werent like regular rucksack straps that go over your shoulder. They would have ruffled the cloaks.
Greenwood: Thats what was really annoying me! ..that would explain why they bounce a lot when you move around!
E: Oh yes, and we had to put up with Elven Brooch stabbings [pointing to his neck] And there are some occasions when the wardrobe people put my Elven brooch on backwards. Ill let you into a little secret there are a few times when they put the whole wardrobe on the wrong way around because they were planning to flip the scene in Post Production. So there was tons of backwards things.
Aud: How do you feel about the commercialisation of the films and what do you think about the merchandising?
S: Like in the first year there was this Burger King thing and at first I thought Hmmm? Is this selling out? and I thought Yeah its selling out. But the franchise had to prove themselves worthy and in the end it brought people to the literature and thats what its really all about. If it was any other filmmakers who was mostly interested in money, if the merchandising was driving the process, I think that would be unlive-able. But the filmmakers had a total passion for this and I guess it doesnt really bother me.
E: There is a lot of passion and talent that goes into the merchandising. When Tolkien created this he wanted to make a mythology for the British people and he expected it to be reinterpreted by people throughout the ages and that merchandising things happens in all different ways around the world.
Aud: Would you consider doing any theatre work?
E: Id love to eventually, but it really scares me. Thats a muscle that Ive not worked yet.
S: Ive thought about it a lot and Ive done some in the past. Not on Broadway or anything! [bursts into song lots of clapping from the audience] Ive been thinking of doing theatre, and actually filming it with a camera. Getting a little acting troupe together and doing one act plays. A lot of times the economics of it you know if youre offered a film thats so much more money and if you have a family and a lifestyle and all sorts of stuff, its hard. Actors a lot of the times forego a lifestyle in order to really explore their craft and I dont think Ive personally been willing to make those kinds of sacrifices for the craft, but Im starting to identify places where there can be overlaps. One thing thats great about theatre is that it doesnt take a lot of money in order to explore some really interesting and philosophical ideas.
Aud: Do you miss the theatre?
S: Since I havent had THAT much of it, I dont really miss it, but both my father and my mother are doing a lot of theatre. My fathers teaching drama at John Hopkins and hes doing a production of ??? Right now and hes got a one-man show about Edgar Alan Poe. I go and watch him. He loves it to be on the stage. He lives for it. I dont have that particular need.
Aud: What film are you most proud of?
E: Ice Storm. [cheer]
S: I couldnt walk into a restroom again since seeing that! If you have seen that then you probably dont know what Im talking about.
E: Yes, its true you eat your own shit [quoting the film]
Aud: [to Elijah] What is your favourite Pumpkins track?
E: Ahhr I dont know, maybe between Drown and Glynis maybe?
Aud: What would you have studied if you had gone to college?
E: What would I have studied? Er.. English .Literature.
Aud: Can we see your tattoo?
E: Yeah! [pulls down the waistband of his trousers lots of whooping and clapping]
Cheshire Cat (TORn poster) (Me): Can we see your appendix scar? [Elijah pulls up his shirt to reveal a red patch on his abdomen, which looks quite sore and inflamed -See picture here: http://www.bagendinn.com/group/images/events/2003misc/c4/elijah%20tattoo%201.jpg
Sean takes off his shoe and pulls down his sock and holds his foot up in the air to reveal the tattoo on his ankle]
Aud: Dom wouldnt show us his!
E: Wouldnt he? Ian McKellen broke the pact first.
S: Ian McKellen showed it first.
Aud: He showed it on the Parkinson show on national television.
E: He did? Some wizard he is!
Cheshire Cat [my big moment!] Hi, there are a few of us here from TheOneRing.net who met through the discussion boards. We were wondering if you ever lurk on the discussion boards to find out the opinions of people?
E: I dont go on the boards. I look on the front page to find out the news, see what our friends are doing! Discussion boards? Er no I used to when the website first started out and I was so excited and we couldnt find any other websites and Billy or Dom and I would write messages and stuff. Now Id rather just talk to him on the phone though.
Aud: Wherever you went today screaming girls were following you and I was wondering How terrifying is that to have people following you around?
E: [smiles and says humbly] Ahh..no that kind of thing doesnt happen every day. Its to be expected I think at things like this its not terrifying. I think if it were to happen in life and I was walking down the street and that happened it would be pretty scary.
Aud: Did you say Life?
E: [leans into the microphone and deepens his voice to say a husky] Life! [it was a saying used by a young group of fans who met at the event several times and it became a bit of a catchphrase for us. It was funny to hear Elijah say it]
Aud: [and this was my favourite question of the evening] Who do you think is the real hero of Lord of the Rings? [cheering and clapping]
S: Good question!
E: Sam! Its Sam who keeps going when Frodo cant continue anymore. Its Sam that remains strong until they make it home and he still maintains his loyalty to his friend its in the book! [laughter]
S: My thoughts on the matter are a little different. Sam isnt . [interrupted by Elijah ]
E: Just accept your heroism! [cheering]
S: I ROCK! [laughter] But Sam is really nothing except what he is in relationship to Frodo.
E: Oh! So humble. The two kinda work together.
E: But one wouldnt be what that person is without the other and vice versa, I think.
S: Sam would have killed Gollum and they never would have got to Mordor!
E: Its an intricate puzzle.
S: Ive been using a metaphor for other interviews today. Frodos told Hold this 10,000lb weight and dont move!..and if you drop it Everyone dies! So how innately dramatic is that? Youre just watching him. Its hurting him. Its psychological. Its inside his mind and hes dealing with the torture of that evil poison in his soul. Right! And people are running in and trying to get him to drop it and Sam is knocking them away. But hes still the one holding it. So I had the privilege of watching Peter Jackson try to communicate with Elijah..the two of them worked to figure out How do you dramatise what is essentially an internal struggle and just wait and see where Elijah goes with this! Its incredible!
E: Whoa! [laughter]
Aud: Can I just ask a favour could I take a picture of you when youre both looking at me? [they both lean forwards off their stools towards the girl and grin stupidly] [laughter] Thank you!
Aud: Did you get hurt any time when you were making the movies?
E: You mean, you didnt hear about Seans foot?
S: I cant even remember which foot it was now.
E: Wait wait! [Elijah jumps off stool and goes over to Sean and picks up his left foot]
S: Elijah was poking a stick at my blood when it had clotted and it was lying on the ground. [Ewww!]
E: There was a, like, GLOB of clotted blood. And then he got whisked away in a helicopter. . I was quite impressed.
S: And a loom fell on my head [makes TOK! Noise into microphone] and knocked me out cold.
E: Great sound effects! [Sean does a few more TOKs]
S: When we were in Rivendell. I was hit on the head by an Elven loom. Viggo said it was because I was having impure thoughts. I went a got a CAT scan.
E: and when he got back all he could say was about how large his brain was! We didnt hear if he was healthy just how large his brain was! [laughter] [Sean describes how, when it happened the lump on his head started to drag the wig up]
E: So you do have a big head! [Gasp from the audience followed by an Aaahh! for Sean] They dont like it when we dig at each other!
S: They dont understand.
E: We love each other Guys!
[audience aaaahhhs and claps]
Aud: Give him a kiss! [and Sean stands up whisks Elijah off his feet, throws him over his arm, puts a hand over Elijahs mouth and then plants a big smacky kiss huge roar from the crowd]
S: And that wasnt the first time!
Aud: Ive just got back from New Zealand and I was staying in Queenstown.
Meliana (TORn member): Oh Ive been there!
S: How many of you have been to Queenstown?
Aud: Did you bungee?
E: No, I didnt bungee. I snowboarded. I did fly-by-wire. Nah, Im a pussy.
S: Hands raised if your offended!
S: Yep! Bungee jumping, motorcycle riding. Had fun.
E: We went fishing a few times in New Zealand.
S: I hurt myself that day as well. I got a hook through my thumb. [he describes how it got stuck in his thumb and uses another TOK sound effect for when it was pulled out]
E: Again with those sounds!
[Elijah giggles hysterically the audience laughs at Elijahs giggle]
S: I think were tired, were getting a little loopy here, Guys.
Aud: [describes an LOTR embroidery she is making couldnt hear question]
E: Is it going to be large, like a tapestry?
S: Hands raised if anyones done any artwork or music or poetry and put it in one of the casts hands? [just a smattering of hands goes up] Right, I would have thought it was more.
E: Ive received a ton of stuff today. [to the embroidery lady] Good luck!
Aud: My friend is too embarrassed to say anything but she brought a picture that she had drawn herself for you to sign [to Sean] but you spilt ink on it and shes really upset.
S: [caringly and rather upset] So what can we do about it? What can be done?
Aud: Well see you tomorrow.
S: OK, with a different version or shall we try to clean it up? [laughter] Allllright.
Aud: How important was music to you when you were filming?
E: For us? Yeah! Massively important. We spent our days with it, went and had naps in our trailers with it. Wrapped out with it, which is more important. To get out of all our make-up at night it would take about 45 minutes..and it was like Hey, weve just done and 15 hour day and now were going home!, so we played music at that time. But massive! And Dom and I D.J.ed at parties and things in New Zealand. We are kinda music idiots!
S: Wed try to jam together too. Billys incredibly musically gifted.
E: He plays and writes.
S: Wed go around to Peters house and there was a drum kit and a piano.
E: We also had that Thanksgiving too, when Billy had the drums! Incredible! Really cool.
E: I made him buy a lot of new CDs too.
S: Whats wrong with The Eagles? [whooping] [they go on to discuss the new Led Zeppelin CD and say jokingly that it would be a good soundtrack for Lord of the Rings.]
Aud: Elijah! Have you got the hang of Tig yet?
E: Ahhh Tig! Youve heard the stories from that? I couldnt believe they did that. They were playing this game and I wanted to join in but I couldnt figure out what the rules were. You cant tog on a tig, you cant tig on a tog!..Oh my God! And then they told me 6 or 7 months later and it was all a lie! Everything that I knew was a lie! My world came tumbling down. Yep! It was like Father Christmas! The time I found the wrapping paper in my moms drawers. [laughter steadily rising as he realizes the connotation of drawers which in the UK is ladies underwear] Not THOSE drawers
S: [in English accent] In the bureau. [laughter]
Aud: Do you still play Cup?
E: Cup? Yeah! Cup were good at! Cup is great.
Bill the Faithful Animal (TORn member): What was it that led him to make the short film (the Long and Short of It) while working on Lord of the Rings. Did you have too much spare time on your hands?
[Elijah goes into a fit of the giggles and every time he laughs with that really high pitched giggle of his, the audience laughs at him. Every time Sean speaks, Elijah giggles]
S: [sing song in an English accent] Well some folks look at the world and say Why? and some folks look at the world and say Why not? [Elijah laughs hysterically and the audience cracks up]
S: Our Gaffer, Brian Bansgrove, on the second day of filming..we were doing a scene where were standing at the base of a tree cooking up some [puts on English accent] tomatoes and mushrooms and potatoes [Elijah giggles again] and we hear this voice from off in the distance and it was Brian Bansgrove and he has a face that looked like a soccer ball leathery. He was wonderful and as soon as I heard his voice I thought Man! Theres got to be some way of capturing that voice and that face on screen. The idea, months and months later I was looking for something the whole time because its in my nature, number one, but also Peter Jackson had said that there were 24 motion picture cameras and if at any point at night or at the weekend, if we had the time and some of them were available we could make a movie. Hes a pretty cool guy. When we were doing the Bridge of Khazad-Dum sequence I was coming up with the idea. There was Fon and all the scale doubles. They worked for a year and a half, every day, worked harder than we did, having their faces and their limbs painted to make their skin colours look like us and, you know, it was noble work on the one hand but it was also thankless. I mean Fon was never going to be seen on the screen but she was this incredible touch of feminine beauty around us all the time. [clapping]
Aud: Did you read Lord of the Rings before you made the film?
E: I hadnt no. [sheepishly] I like to not answer that one. [laughter]
S: [springing to Elijahs defence] Hes read a lot, hes read a lot!
E: Let me just explain it. Because I, um, Id never read the books before, Id read the Hobbit! Id always owned Lord of the Rings. I got to New Zealand. I started reading the books when I got there, but the movie took over and I was surrounded by everything Tolkien and everything Lord of the Rings totally, so it felt redundant to then get the book and jump into that world when I was already surrounded by it. So I kind of let my character, you know the character of Frodo, take me on my own journey in the world that was created around me and that was kinda the process that I went through. If that explains it at all maybe it doesnt [humbly] OK.
S: I read a lot of passages.
E: Well it was always around and I feel like the book was always referenced.
S: I got my degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in History and AMERICAN literature, so I had never heard of Lord of the Rings until my agent called me and said Peter Jacksons doing a Lord of the Rings trilogy for New Line and you have to have a flawless English accent by Thursday. And I said er, alright. Lord of the Rings? and she said you know The Hobbit! the sequel to The Hobbit [scratches head] The Hobbit, The Hobbit. Er, yeah, I know what it is. And then I went to the bookstore and said Have you got anything by Tolkien? Ive read them 3 times. I love them. Especially the single edition with Alan Lees illustrations.
Aud: We know you are all really good friend but do you still see each other?
E: We still see each other. Do you mean like seeing Orlando in a film? I wasnt keen on Pirates. [gasp from the audience]
S: They invited me to the premiere in Disneyland but I didnt go. I grew up in Los Angeles and I would go to Disneyland at least once a year and ride Pirates of the Caribbean. So the fact is when Orlando got to be a f****** pirate. Now hes doing Troy or something bastard! [laughter] Yeah we watch each others stuff. I love Viggos stuff, I cant believe how good it is.
Aud: says something about the monkey in Ned Kelly
S: Apparently, someone gave you a monkey today with a letter on it and you didnt like it and you were saying dirty things about it. Thats what the person told me!
E: Thats not true. [hurt little voice] Thats not true.
Aud: Were there any props that you stole from the set?
S & E together: No!
S: of course if you were to come to the house and find a pair of Hobbit feet .
E: Although Ian Holm stole the keys to Bag End [gasp] he did. Both sets! The large ones and the small ones.
Aud: Will we ever see your audition tape?
E: They are thinking about putting all the auditions on the special edition of the trilogy and that would be cool. Also some deleted scenes and a two-hour documentary that Peter is doing.
Aud: Ive heard that the costumes werent washed and that Viggos costume was really smelly. Did your costumes smell?
E: They did smell. And why not? It smelled like Frodo and I was comfortable with the costume.
S: Somehow I was never allergic to horses before, somehow my histamine level just got crazy when I got around Bill the pony and I would have an allergic reaction. When the hair was still on my clothes my eyes would start running.
E: Hobbits are very in touch with each others pheromones.
S: You can tell when theyre randy. [laughter]
E: Naughty little Hobbitses.
Aud: Are you going to all the premieres of Return of the King?
E: Yeah! Were going all around the world. [sings] Around the world, around the world Yeah!
Cheshire Cat: Are you going to the TORn Oscar Party?
E: Oscar party?
Cheshire Cat: The TORn Oscar party.
E: I missed that last year! Honestly it was nothing against them. (I think he say that he was making a film in New York at the time)
S: Ill have to write a better speech for next year!
Aud: I have two things to ask. This is a question for Elijah, Im afraid.
E: Sorry Sean.
Aud: What was it like meeting Ozzy Osbourne?
E: Sooo cool. It was like meeting a legend, but a legend that, um I love him. Hes amazing and Im a huge Sabbath fan as well. So I was like [in scared squeaky voice] Im really nervous and then I couldnt understand a word that he said! [laughter]. It was like Am I going to understand him? and then he starts talking to me and I can, I can sort of follow what your saying.
Aud: The other thing is Can you give my mum a hug?
E: Your mum! Yeah! [clapping as he runs around to the seat where shes sitting and hugs her shes in tears]
Aud: Do you ever look back and think there are things in the film that you could have done better?
E: Done better? There is always a feeling that you could do better. No matter how proud of the work you are. You can always do better.
S: When we go back to do pick-ups or additional photography the next year or the next year or the next year and you live with it and talk about each others publicity tours and somehow during the publicity you learn things about the character that you didnt realize the whole time you were doing it and then you go back and youre that much smarter. And you think if this was then, imagine if you could go back in time. I wouldnt have been as fat!
Aud: Thank you for coming to see us [applause and cheering] and do you ever get a chance to get back together?
E: Regularly. Yes. Weve managed to maintain the fellowship, keep it together airports, restaurants, hotels [laughter] Dom moved out to L.A.
S: Dom lived with my brother for 2 years. I sold him my car.
E: We keep it in the family.
S: It was a BMW. I told him it needed a new top. [laughter]
Aud: Something about would they like to get into directing more.
S: Yeah well, well if there was an opportunity presented itself and there was something cool to do. Id probably do it. Ive figured out a way to get the job on there. So I just really just wanted to do some directing of episodic television. There was Buffy. I wasnt a fan of Buffy, but I could tell just by osmosis that there was some real genius going on. Once I got talking to the writers, producers of the show (Angel) it was great. It was great.
Aud: It was a really good episode.
E: It was my favourite episode of the series and I didnt even know that youd directed it until after.
S: Ive been hearing that all day. I think maybe we should get some Internet thing going to vote for your favourite episode [laughter]
E: Yeah, they can vote for that as their favourite show.
S: I mean be honest! Dont lie or anything!
Aud: What do you do with the presents you are given?
E: Keep em, yeah I keep em.
S: I treasure them, I treasure them. I have them all around the house. One of the coolest things Ive got I love books and I love rare (books) and all that literacy and stuff and at Comic Con a fan handed me a book that was in wrapping paper which turned out to be a signed first edition of So Long and Thanks for all the Fish by Douglas Adams [Wow from the audience] Some of the stuff is so creative. I am writing this book about the experience and um I really want to give a feel about the fan art.
[someone in the audience asks Elijah for a hug, but he politely declines and says he doesnt want to have to keep getting out of his seat]
E: Were not all that interesting folks.
Aud: Are there any roles that you regret playing like Sandy in Flipper?
E: [sings] They call him Flipper, Flipper
E & S together: Faster than liiiiightening
E: Yeah, I made that movie mostly because of the dolphins. I wanted to work with the dolphins. I didnt mind Sandy. Hes not horrible though!
S: You mean movies that make you wince at when you look back on them are the movies that you did, you know, for money, or you did because it seemed like a good idea at the time and it didnt turn out as well as you thought it would. You think Boy! Thats not emblematic of the way I like to perceive myself and so, you know? But most of the characters If you choose to do a character, you agree to do a character, then youd be hard pressed to look back on it later and life and tend to think Oh yeah! I hated that. It seems ungracious to be working a lot and then have to look back and regret. Oh yeah theres Dishdogs.
Aud: What about White Water Summer?
S: I like that character!
E: What about Kimberley.
S: Kimberley? Yeah! Very proud of that film. Gabrielle Anwar.
[taking another question from the audience]
E: Hello! I love your hat
Aud: (cant hear question very well, but I think it was..) Is it true that the Hobbits dressed up as the Beatles for Peter Jacksons Birthday Party?
S: Did she call him SAINT Peter Jackson? [laughter] He is a HUGE Beatles fan and during rehearsals he told me, he took me aside in his house and he said Listen! If the hobbits were The Beatles then youd be Ringo [laughter] we watched Its a Hard Days Night and Help
E: Yeah! Its got a ring in it. Aaaa! [knowing nod] [ooo from the audience]
[Seans mobile phone rings in his pocket]
S It might be my wife. [down the phone] Hello? Hello? Yeah Its Mack [his brother] Yeah, hold on Elijah wants to say Hi! [stifled giggles from the audience]
E: [down the phone] say hello in 5 seconds [puts phone to the microphone but puts receiver part, not ear part closest so we cant hear anything]
S: [takes the phone off Elijah and says down the phone] OK say hello now!
Mack: Hello! [Huge cheer from the audience]
S: My brother would be happy to answer any questions from the audience. [laughter] hes calling from Los Angeles.
Aud: Is Dom difficult to live with?
S: [down the phone] Is Dom difficult to live with? [puts phone to microphone]
Mack: [tiny little voice] No more difficult than any other hobbit! [screams of laughter]
Aud: What was it like growing up with Sean as a brother?
S: [down the phone] He want to know be careful! what it was like growing up with ME as a brother.
Mack: I was always the tallest one.
S: One more question for Mack and then Ill call him back later.
Jordan the discursive (TORn member): Who are you going to vote for in the recall election?
S: Oh hold on, she wants to know who are you going to vote for in the recall election. First of all, you have to answer for or against the recall and then tell us if you are going to vote for The Terminator! [laughter]
Mack: The recall is a waste of the taxpayers money. It will either be Arianna Huffington or ???
Jordan: she dropped out last week.
S: Do you know that Arianna Huffington dropped out a week ago! [laughter] Hell vote for Gary Coleman. [down the phone] All right, speak to you later. [Huge cheer of goodbyes from the audience]
Aud: Which part would you liked to have played in Lord of the Rings?
S: My brother auditioned for Legolas but he wasnt tall enough. [ahhh] My dad auditioned for Gandalf.
E: Youre kidding!
Aud: What are you working on at the moment?
E: Er, um Im doing a movie called Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which Charlie Kaufman wrote which Im really excited about. It should come out sometime next year, I think.
S: Er, I did a TV show called Jeremiah and I directed an episode of Angel. I did a movie with Drew Barrymore called Fifty First Kisses and I played Drew Barrymores brother whos addicted to steroids, sort of.. [howling laugh from Elijah] and I have a ridiculous tan and speak with a lisp [high-pitched giggle from Elijah audience laughs at Elijah]
(cant catch the rest of this conversation)
S: Somebody today pointed out the exits. I have been made Safety Monitor [shows us the yellow tag hanging around his neck] with number one security clearance.
Aud: What do you think about the rumours about you and Dom being gay?
E: I just found out about that about 3 months ago. That is the funniest thing Ive ever heard in my life particularly the fact that we had contracts written up with New Line to say that wed keep it secret until the movies are made. And that he was dating my sister to cover it up! [laughter] No!
S: While we were down in New Zealand, Ian McKellen pointed out something on the internet that was pretty filthy and er, especially with rumours, some people go on stream of consciousness affairs with people and pairing up people together and doing all these kinds of things .yeah! But..you know as long as theyre not hurting anybody. As long as were not talking about Internet paedophilia you have got to be careful about that. But, yeah, um.
E: There were rumours that all the hobbits were gay on set for a while. We used to play it up all the time. It was hilarious. Wed make a lot of homosexual jokes which perpetuated the rumour [laughter]
S: Thats good! All kinds of healthy male bonding.
E: What is it about great male friends that they have to make gay jokes?
Aud: Did you have to be naked for the Tower scene in ROTK or will Frodo have everything taken from him in ROTK? [screams from the audience]
E: Er, hang on, just let me think (He has to think about this???)
S: Well I know what he looked like when we were filming.
E: No, not everything. Im not naked if thats what youre asking [screams]
Aud: Who would you most like to meet of all the other guests at Collectormania?
E: Probably Doug the guy who played Pinhead. Im a big Hellraiser fan.
S: Wow! No applause for that! Not a horror audience! Strictly fantasy.
E: I met the guy at breakfast this morning. I had no idea who he was. He said, I played Pinhead. I thought Oh shit! but he was this lovely guy! [laughter]
S: I met Peter Weller last night and we got talking and stayed up until 2.30 3.00 in the morning listening to stories about Renaissance History and what he told me about was unbelievable! I wouldnt want to be him because there wasnt enough room inside his brain for more than him. [snert]
Aud: Are either of you disappointed that you didnt get a solo singing spot like Viggo and Andy?
Cant hear the reply but when I asked the question if Sean would be singing alone in Cirith Ungol just before he finds Frodo, they went coy and wouldnt answer, saying they didnt want to spoil it for anyone (fair enough)
Aud: Im going to take a sicky tomorrow to get to meet you. Who would you take a sicky for?
E: Oh, I dont know, probably someone in music. Radiohead. And for Sean it would definitely be the President of the United States, wouldnt you?
S: [grinned and then said sternly] Not that we advocate you take time off work or school to be here. Id like to meet Kofi Annan.
Elijah asks the audience what changes from the book to the film most upset them and the cries were mostly Faramir
E: Ill tell Peter and get it changed. [laughter]
Aud: have the British fans introduced you to any UK sitcoms?
E: Brass Eye, The Office, anything by Steve Cougan, the Royle Family. Yeah, theyve educated us.
Aud: (the question is something like) Do you think the environmentalist message in the Lord of the Rings is relevant to our society or is it too simplistic
Both Sean and Elijah agreed that the environmental issue was one of the most important themes in Lord of the Rings. The Orcs are capable of creating beautiful things but they were only used for evil. It was no good being able to create amazing things is you could not cultivate a garden. Tolkien was against industrialization and there has to be a balance between development and environment.
Aud: What is your favourite place in New Zealand?
E: My favourite yeah! Its really close to the Milford Sound and probably my favourite place in all New Zealand because of its proximity to Milford Sound and Queenstown in its own right is beautiful.
S: When people tell me they may go to New Zealand I say, You gotta go to Queenstown! You absolutely have to go!
E: The South Island thats what its all about. Wellington we loved. Living in our houses with all the coffee shops around. Lets get a house there.
S: All right well get a house.
Aud: (I think) Which directors would you like to work with?
E: There are a lot of people Id like to work with Wes Anderson, Latino Rushmore (?), David Lynch, Mike Jones, Chris Cunningham, who hasnt made a film yet hes a video director. Mike Mills a lot of people.
Jordan: Is that the REM Mike Mills?
E: No a different one.
S: Anyone that has a vision for a film. You know, Woody Allen, Brian de Palma or Coppola or any of the directors who you know their whole life is consumed with whatever theyre working on.
Aud: I just want to say how pleased we are that you came here today. [cheering]
E: We want to thank all of you. You were standing around for so long. Some of you came here SO early in the morning and waited for so long. You have to understand that we appreciate that as well.
S: Yeah we do.
S: Lets have like five questions in rapid fire and then well answer whatever we can remember.
Aud: (asks something about ROTK)
S: Petes been saying thats its better than one or two for the last two years and Ive seen almost all of it and I entirely agree.
Aud: Whats it like coming to an end with LOTR?
E: Its weird. Its a weird thing. Its been 4 years! Its the breaking of a family.
Aud: Is the filming finished now?
S: Yeah, last night
E: Although I had heard a rumour that Lawrence was going to do some extra footage.
Aud: (Sean is asked about the time he supposedly walked out on a show)
(the answer is not clear, but this is what it sounds like)..
S: No I had made an appointment and it was to go and introduce Joey Pagliano (?) and a ??? Festival. He was M.C.ing it and we had plenty of time to (spare) but we were having so much fun getting re-acquainted with each other that we started the commentary very late. I explained in great detail while leaving and introduced Sam Gamgee before the first (song) came up and Warner Brothers cut it all out. Thanks a lot! And now I have to explain 500,000 times for people who think I just walked out.
Aud: What was the most difficult thing to shoot?
E: Peter is talking about doing like an hour-long blooper reel [cheers]. They did small blooper reels for the wrap parties, from the principle photography, that was like 10 or 15 minutes [whispers] but theres so much more! We could certainly have like a two hour blooper reel but I dont know how long its gonna be.
S: I think the hardest thing to film I mean there were so many things that were really hard to film – but the Council of Elrond was I think the hardest thing because of all the different plot lines and all the exposition, trying to make it dramatic and stuff. [to Elijah] What would you say?
E: The hardest? Probably on the mountainside with you! [aaah] In terms of making it right because that moment is so difficult and its so important and we had to get it right.
S: Any fight scene with Gollum!
Aud: What was your worst memory of it?
E: Probably getting up in the morning 5 or 4.30 in the morning to have rubber feet put on and a wig. Yeah! I would say that.
Aud: What do you think Tolkien would think of the films?
S: He sold the film rights. Thats what Peter always said.
E: I feel like it was filmed with so much passion and love
S: and respect.
E: and utmost respect for his work so [thinks] theres no way of knowing.
S: He wanted to create a mythology for the British people, like I said before. And mythologies can only exist if people continue to interpret it. So Ive got to believe that somewhere in the universe he is getting a kick out of it.
E: I hope so.
S: Last question
Aud: Would you like to direct a music video?
E: Direct a music video? Yeah. Oh and that was actually the first thing I wanted to direct. I thought I could cut my teeth on that, because I love music so much. So yeah! Id love that.
[both don their sparkly cowboy hats and stand side by side to sing
E & S together singing the Van Halen song:
Happy Trails to you,
Until we meet again,
Happy trails to you,
Keep smiling on til then.
(you can hear the song sung by Van Halen here: http://www.fye.com/catalog/musicProduct.jhtml?itemId=10006515)
HUGE CHEERING FROM THE AUDIENCE as they leave the auditorium.