Jennie writes: “Bernard Hill was interviewed on Mix 107.3 FM in Washington, D.C. this morning, on the Jack Diamond Morning Show. Unfortunately, I was in the car and so unable to record the interview or I’d have transcribed it for you. He mentioned how wonderful all the fans had been, and remarked how even the die-hard Tolkien geeks (I think he means us) were with them every step of the way, and very much appreciated. He also said that they’d filmed the movie, “with one foot on the book,” contrasting the filmmaking to how other book-to-film projects are often made. He said that normally, they read the book, put it aside, go on holiday for the weekend, and then sit down to write the screenplay. Not so with this film. The book was always there and they were always trying to slip more of Tolkien into it throughout the process.
“He did mention something I’d never heard, and something Bernard claims he’s never told anyone before.
“When the warriors are returning to Helm’s Deep, he was supposed to be riding a white horse. But his horse had pulled up lame, and he’d wound up riding a brown one. (They had several horses trained for the set, but the only one available to him was the brown.) This horse wasn’t used to him, nor he to it. So the horse went up when he went down, and when you see him about to dismount at Helm’s Deep, you see a pained look on his face, as though he’s had a hard ride and a difficult time getting there, and is devastated by the loss of Aragorn and so many men, etc. etc. Really, he’s just thinking, “Ow! I think the pommel just cracked my sternum!” Which is what had happened. So look for the wince. It’s real.”