Irascian writes: ‘Lord of the Rings’ won three prizes at tonights Empire Awards at The Dorchester Hotel in London. Best Scene went to Ride of the Rohirrim and was collected by Bernard Hill. Best British Actor went to Andy Serkis for his portrayal of Gollum. Best film went, for the third consecutive year, to Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson sent an acceptance speech he filmed of himself as he went around a rollercoaster, and Billy Boyd, Andy Serkis and Bernard Hill accepted the award on his behalf. Dominic Monaghan, who had also been expected to attend, was not present presumably because he was suffering from jet lag having only just returned to the UK from LA.
In the press area where each recipient goes for a few minutes after winning their award Bernard spoke of the pride in the work process where he was able to influence the Rohirrim scene after seeing lots of spears in Weta Workshop and thinking of kids running with sticks along railings and being determined to get something similar into the movies. He praised the collaborative process that the film makers and writers encouraged. Andy Serkis spent much time explaining that good script writing won actors awards and that Gollum had done so well because of the script writing of Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens. He claimed to have turned up to the awards not knowing hed been nominated and appeared to be genuinely shocked that hed won. He was asked again about The Hobbit (and referred questions to Peter Jackson, saying he believed there were problems not with making the film but with being allowed to distribute it) and also King Kong to which he replied hed love to do it and would absolutely be up for it but nothing had been decided yet. Billy Boyd later answered questions about the differences between Master and Commander and Lord of the Rings (one was six months long, the other was four years. One was very very wet, the other one wasnt) and said that both being up for Oscars lowered the odds in his favour. He said the screenplay that he and Dom had worked on was now being written by David Greig and that the current title was Fish out of Water but that he was pretty sure the title would change before completion because it wasnt a very good title!
Lots of other celebrities were in abundance (Ray Harryhausen and John Hurt were two of my favourites) but for me most gracious lady went to Sigourney Weaver who indulged the photographers far more than we deserved standing for a seemingly endless period turning this way and that and smiling with what looked like a heavy award. When asked what films she had really liked this past year answered Lord of the Rings and In America. Ray, although not a fan of CGI, paid tribute to Peter Jacksons work and described Gollum as amazing. When asked about King Kong he said there could only be one original but that he thought Peter Jacksons version would be terrific.. wonderful.
Photo’s attached (three jpegs in zip file): Andy Serkis with his Best British Actor award, Bernard Hill with his Best scene award, Andy Serkis, Billy Boyd and Bernard Hill with the Best movie award.
Here’s the press release about the awards detailing all the winners:
LORD OF THE RINGS, LOVE ACTUALLY and KILL BILL WIN BIG AT SONY ERICSSON EMPIRE AWARDS
WEAVER RECEIVES CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD; CORMAN CONFIRMS HIS INDEPENDENCE
Film fans across the UK showed their overwhelming approval for three films at the glittering ninth annual Sony Ericsson Empire Awards held at the Dorchester Hotel.
The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King won the coveted Empire Award for Best Film ( the third year running for the trilogy), while Best British Actor was awarded to Andy Serkis (Smeagol). ROTK also won the Sony Ericsson Scene of the Year for the dramatic “Ride of the Rohirrim” sequence.
Richard Curtis’ smash Love Actually won Best British Film and Best British Actress (Emma Thompson).
Quentin Tarantino walked away with Best Director for Kill Bill Vol. 1 (collected by one of his stars, Julie Dreyfus) while Uma Thurman kicked and slashed her way to Best Actress. The award was accepted on her behalf by comedian Johnny Vegas (looking fetching in a facsimile of The Bride’s iconic yellow tracksuit.)
Johnny Depp sashayed and swashbuckled his way to Best Actor for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The award was picked up on his behalf by Pirates co-stars Mackenzie Crook, Kevin McNally and Jack Davenport.
Hosted by comedian Bill Bailey, the Sony Ericsson Empire Awards are the only major awards bestowed by moviegoers, readers of the number 1 film magazine in the UK.
Sony Ericsson is the sponsor of the Empire Awards, and for the first time, the ceremony was broadcast live tonight on Sky Movies 1 at 8pm, with highlights and exclusive backstage interviews airing on Sky One Mix on February 5 at 10pm and on Flaunt on February 8 at 10pm. Sony Ericsson will also sponsor the Awards’ coverage across the Sky channels.
Stunning and versatile Sigourney Weaver received the Empire Career Achievement Award from her “Alien” co-star John Hurt and the Michaelangelo of the B Movie, Roger Corman, received the Independent Spirit Award from funnyman Phill Jupitus.
Empire’s website, Empire Online, will be the first place to find out who the winners of this year’s Sony Ericsson Empire Awards are. The site will also be featuring video interviews with the stars, a behind-the-scenes report, a full picture gallery and soundbites from the speeches all of which will go live on the night of the awards www.empireonline.co.uk
Best Newcomer: Martine McCutcheon/Love Actually
Sony Ericsson Scene of the Year: Bernard Hill collected for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King for “Ride of the Rohirrim”
British Actress: Emma Thompson/Love Actually
British Actor: Andy Serkis/Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Best British Film: Love Actually
Independent Spirit: Roger Corman
Best Actress: Uma Thurman/Kill Bill Vol. 1
Best Actor: Johnny Depp/Pirates of the Caribbean
Inspiration Award: Ray Harryhausen
Best Director: Quentin Tarantino/Kill Bill Vol. 1
Best Film: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Career Achievement: Sigourney Weaver