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Courtney writes: I typed up the interview Elijah Wood (E), Billy Boyd (B), and Andy Serkis (A) did on MuchMusic’s MuchOnDemand show on Thursday. It’s not 100% verbatim, more about 90% because Andy Serkies rambled quite a bit, and all three actors tried speaking at the same time at some points in the interview.
Rick and Jen introduce the guys. Much screaming. Someone, maybe Elijah, says ‘Holy S**t!: tsk tsk tsk.
R [to Elijah]: I like how you led the pack there it was like doing a conga line or something.
*all nod heads, and mumble*
R: it’s a huge movie man. December 17th
E: that’s right
R: 12:01 am. How pumped are you guys?
E: so pumped.
R: if you know they’re pumped (the audience), how excited are you?
E: Oh my God I didn’t even see outside.
R: *mumbles* They’re shutting everything down today
E: that’s insane. We’re so excited, we haven’t even seen the movie yet so we’re jazzed man.
R: you haven’t seen it yet?
E: haven’t seen it yet.
R: you get to check it out December 1st at the world premier *all three mumble and nod*
R: I don’t know if you can hear us?
E: I can’t hear a word you’re saying
B: I can’t hear a thing. I’m just nodding.
R: I think Jen has something here for you as well.
J: Yeah that’s right we have a phone call.
[they try to get a girl on the line but the connection goes dead}
J: we have an e-mail request for some Coldplay. I know the three of you are music fans. Do you like Coldplay?
All: various forms of ‘yes’ answers
Cut to video
R: I keep stepping on someone’s foot back there. We’re back. We’re joined by 3 actors in Lord of the Rings. You got Elijah, Billy, Andy. Thanks for coming down guys.
R: We gotta calm things down here. Oh here we go again. *fans outside on the street chant*
E: what are they chanting?
R: ‘Come outside.’
E: I wanna go outside.
R: we will we will. *mumbles* It gets very hot in here so we gotta cool down by going out there. Let’s get some more questions out of the way. Cause we haven’t really talked about the movie yet. It’s a big adventure just watching this movie. How much of an adventure was it for you guys filming this? It must have been overwhelming.
E: it was comparable to that of the ?book? for us in some ways
B: yeah I mean actual filming it really kind of reflected what we were doing. You know we were on top of mountains. We were getting exhausted. People were getting ? at each other it was just a incredible time.
R: You guys were over there for a good what 18 months to two years?
E: about 16 months of principle photography. And we’ve gone back every year since to work on each individual movie for like pickup shots and additional footage so it hasn’t really ended.
R: How much of an impact do the people and the culture of New Zealand have on you guys by spending that much time in a country like that?
A: oh man *mumbles* These people are really fantastically generous human beings and are very compassionate very passionate. The films couldn’t have been made anywhere else. It’s totally New Zealand. What you see on screen is like one hundred percent New Zealand.
E: Ah, so true.
R: And it’s weird cause they got 30 million sheep over there and you never see one sheep in the movies [author’s note: I could have sworn I saw one in Hobbiton]
B: there’s no sheep in Middle Earth. Or chickens.
R: *mumbles* that’s why there’s no sheep in middle Earth. But it’s hard not to run into sheep in New Zealand.
E: I think there’s twice as many as people or something like that.
R: I think the ratio is ten to one.
E: oh my God.
R: ten sheep per person. We gotta get to the shot the trailer, the scenes from Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King. Let’s check it out then we’re back with the dudes.
R: oh my Lord. We’re back. Right there Lord of the Rings in theatres Wednesday December 17th at 12:01. I love when they do that these days.
E: it’s so cool.
R: you’re there
E: around the world
R: it’s beautiful. I’ll be back with you guys I gotta go check on the video game [there are two people playing what I think was the ROTK game off to the side} We gotta get the guys to check that out. After seeing the footage from the movie you’re on the journey on Mount Doom. You’re on this journey to destroy this ring. It looks like there’s going to be a major ass kicking dude. There’s going to be a massive battle taking place.
E: there’s some serious battling. In fact the second film with Helm’s Deep everyone thought that was the huge battle. In this film it’s the Battle of Pellenor Fields and Minas Tirith with two separate battles.
B: yeah absolutely huge. The biggest battles ever seen on film.
R: is that right? *all nod*
A: they make Helm’s Deep look like *?* scrap.
R: how many people were involved?
E: well I mean lots of animators.
B: yeah but we had the New Zealand Army at one point as well and if you’ve ever run into battle with the New Zealand Army, which you probably haven’t, it’s quite scary.
R: Billy Boyd from Glasgie [that’s how Rick pronounced it] Scotland. Let’s get to one thing. We’ve all been on this journey with you guys for two years on the trilogy. Can you give us a little bit about the ending. Is it going to be a surprise? Are we going to be cheering with you guys? Will we be cheering these characters on?
E: you’re going to be cheering these characters on and I think there’s going to be some tears shed.
R: there’s not going to be a twist is there?
E: not really
A: wait and see *all mumble*
R: We go to get to a video
*cuts to a video*
[Billy and Elijah are off playing the ROTK game with those two people}
J: Andy Serkis who played Gollum is joining me we’re online at muchmusic.com
A: *mumbles something in what might have been a Gollum voice*
J: the Return of the King Lord of the Rings fans have an idea of what Gollum is. What role did you have in character development?
A: well quite a lot. The whole way Gollum is really essentially an addict was an idea I had which was really important to link him into the modern age so people could really understand. Not just treat him as an alien and then get kind of bored with him. He’s sort of psychologically quite complex and screwed up you know. I thought people would really appreciate that and therefore feel a certain amount of sympathy for him and connect with him which people have. It’s amazing really, you know for a CG character it’s extraordinary the response we’ve had to it.
A: that there’s kind of an emotional connection.
A: yeah. I think people really respond to the fact that we all have flaws in our characters. You know out of all the characters in the book he’s the most screwed up and I think it’s interesting the way people kind of have veered towards feeling sorry for him.
J: What’s this I head about Gollum porn?
A: well there’s a site.
J: There’s a website?
A: there is a website out there , it’s people who kind of find Gollum attractive which I don’t think is far from the truth
A: in his own sweet way.
J: I guess so. It seems so bizarre. The Academy denied last year your chance being eligible for an Oscar because we can’t see you as an actor. That could change with the new Lord of the Rings movie. Do you think that the Academy is behind the times?
A: I just think it takes time. You know books, all sorts of awards, technological awards, take time to sink into the fabric of filmmaking. You know the Steadycam when it was invented or whatever, that took time to become part of it. But I think eventually that the actors will be awarded or given acknowledgement for virtual roles. It’s just a matter of time.
J: when you see your character on screen do you see yourself?
A: for sure yeah.
J: you do?
A: all my family and friends, my wife and kids they just go ‘Oh Dad look it’s you.’ And they see it’s no different. It’s like so much personality comes from the performance.
J: let’s take a look at some of that footage. [footage of Gollum, Frodo, and Sam climbing up that nasty high flight of stairs]
J: I see your face.
A: well the face was kind of designed around the way my face moves.
J: you’re a father of two. Have you read Lord of the Rings to your kids?
A: I’ve read them The Hobbit and I’ve read them segments of Lord of the Rings, they’re a little bit too young. Ruby my daughter, who’s 5, she was in New Zealand for like the whole of filming and principal photography. She saw me all dressed in the makeup and stuff and she used to go ‘Oh silly Daddy,: you know but she was really into it.
J: I have to ask, in character, would you read us something from the new book [not his Gollum book, she meant ROTK]. I’ve highlighted a passage.
A [as Gollum]: Wicked master! Wicked master seeks us seeks Smeagol gollum gollum. He mustn’t go that way, no he mustn’t hurt the Precious. Give it to Smeagol yes give it to us.
J: Wow. So cool. More after this.
*cut to an ad break*
R: we’re back with Much on Demand and Elijah, Billy, and Andy, they’re all joining us today.
E: we’re back to madness central.
R: it must be like this wherever you go.
E: not like this no no no. We’re not used to this by any means.
R: I’m sure it gets a little worse than this in some locations.
E: it depends.
R: Before we get down to this quiz I want to talk about Viggo and how Viggo is actually featured in the title track, the song he’s singing in the song [all the actors looks rather perplexed]. Isn’t he isn’t his voice featured in the title track to Return of the King?
E: is it?
A: I dunno
E: he sings on the record (points to Billy).
E: he sings in the film
A: that he wrote himself
R: you wrote yourself and you sing in the film?
B: yeah so that’s I don’t know is Viggo sings does he?
E: I dunno
R: one of the hundred of Lord of the Rings websites I read that somewhere. And so you sing and you’re actually a singer and a guitar player and a drummer aren’t you Billy?
B: yeah I used to do a lot of music before I started acting and I get asked to write a song for the film so I wrote this kind of Celtic tune that now appears in the film.
R: and the soundtrack is doing so well. I think its *?* over 3 million world-wide.
E: Wow, already?
R: you guys didn’t know this?
R: c’mon guys.
B: we just go from hotel to ? to
R: you know you guys are like rock stars. Let’s get to this quiz quickly. What are hobbits most afraid of? Would it be 1. A lack of food 2. Ringwraiths or 3. Jennifer Hollet’s [the other VJ] mad dancing skills?
E: I’d say lack of food
B: I’d go lack of food
A: definitely lack of food and I include myself in that.
R: and your character used to be a hobbit a while ago. What’s the one thing in today’s world that would have made your journey a lot easier: a cellphone, an ATV, or a courier?
E: oh right.
B: courier yeah.
E: cause you could ship the Ring to Mordor *all mumble*
B: and once you’re there just throw it in the volcano.
E: put it in a package you know ‘Crack of Doom’ To Sauron, and send that thing to Mordor that would be quite good.
A: that’s very cool.
E: an ATV though would be quite nice.
R: you would need a few of them.
E: you couldn’t navigate the mountains and rocks though.
R: lastly, which was your favourite movie to watch. Was it Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, or Dude Where’s My Car?
B: a classic of the genre.
R: you all agree?
E: I’ve actually never seen Dude Where’s My Car? *group mumbles* I’ve actually heard it’s really funny.
R: maybe tonight you could rent it.
R: we’ve got to go outside they’ve been begging for us to go outside. Well they’ve been begging for you guys to go out there
*much screaming, camera flashes all around, actors frantically sign autographs*
R: we’ve also come out here for another reason. If you guys could just keep it down we came out here for a question and Amanda you have a question for the guys?
Amanda: if you guys weren’t hobbits what other characters would you have liked to been?
E: I was always a really big fan of Gollum. Gollum’s one of my favourite characters.
R: I don’t know if Billy and Andy heard us [asks Billy said question]
B: so many good characters, probably Gollum. That’s a really interesting character. Or Arwen cause she gets really nice dresses.
R: good answer.
*chit-chat, and cuts to a video*
J: how do the actors deal with the cult of Lord of the Rings *?* Saturday Night Live giving a *?* to all the Trekkies? How do you deal with all the fanatics who probably know more about everything than you do?
E: it’s beyond our own comprehension. It’s amazing. I think they’re great. It’s fantastic.
A: these movies are for the fans. Pete would say so. Pete Jackson would say that these movies are for the fans primarily. I mean they’re such huge support to the films it’s incredible.
B: yeah totally. It’s more than just having good films, it’s kind of affected people’s lives and that’s amazing to be part of something like that.
E: it’s been wonderful to have been able to touch people in that way.
B: It’s nice to be able to touch people.
E: he had to turn that around didn’t he?
R: as you know this is the majority of your careers right now. What’s next for you guys and other projects. (turning to Billy) You’re in Master and Commander.
B: yeah, that was just released here this week I think. That’s a great movie, and it gives you some idea what life was like on one of these old ships. It was a lot of fun to make.
R: Better than Dude Where’s my Car?
B: I dunno.
E: it’s a different kind of thing.
B: It’s not Dude Where’s My Ship.
J: I have a bag of gifts. [actors looks excited]. We have a ring [one of those Ring Pop candies;
J: We have some munchies. [hands Billy a bag of carrots]
B: oh carrots very nice [looks right into the camera and makes a psycho-sexy face, very funny].
J: and a t shirt, I hope it’s the right size (has ‘Say No to Wraiths: on it)
E: Say no to wraiths! (appears to very much like the shirt)