Choice of Lzthien
I just got back from the FSF convention in Sydney that had three LOTR guests–John Rhys-Davies, John Noble and Noel Appleby (Proudfoot). It was a great event. Here’s a report on their talks:
Noel Appleby was the first to speak–his first talk. He was great. He talked about how he was happy to be here and how it had come about when he went up to Auckland earlier in the year for the Armageddon convention to get John Rhys-Davies’ autograph (he paid and stood in line and everything!). On the subject of Peter Jackson, he said “if ever a man knew what he was doing…” then he talked a bit about his role in the Navigator, which I hadn’t seen.
Then it was John Noble’s turn to speak. He did the entire 45 minute session as Q &A. Overall it was great:very entertaining, informative and him just having a good time. LOTR things of note:
-the EE scene where Denethor falls down was filmed 17 times! He had quite a large bruise by the end.
-in LA when he saw the movie, the audience cheered two times when Denethor got hurt
-ROTK EE will be 50% better than the theatrical–you have the complete storylines
-in response to a question, he talked a lot about the scene where he dismisses Faramir. He said by that point he knew what Denethor was about and it wasn’t hard to be so cold to Faramir. He told us to think about it in simple terms. You’re having this big domestic argument and suddenly you get that question. What else are you going to say? And to look at Denethor as a human being–the leader of the free world, he’s lost everything, he’s lost one of his sons, he knows they are going to be overun, etc… the last thing he wants is to have a “petty argument” with his son.
-he hadn’t read the books when he auditioned, he read them when he got the callback.
-He also auditioned for Saruman, but wasn’t tall enough! Then he read on the internet that Chris Lee got Saruman and thought “well, I can’t complain”. Then he read that Donald Sutherland got Denethor, and well, that didn’t happen.
-the subject of the lack of palantir was brought up. Very interesting response. He says that Denethor doesn’t need the palantir to instigate his demise. And in fimmaking terms, it doesn’t make sense to introduce Denethor that way. Filming the palantir bit was never even discussed and he’s glad it wasn’t done. It wouldn’t add much at all.
-he related the story about when Billy first sang the song. There were about 200 people on set when Billy sang it as rehearsal and within 5 seconds you could hear a pin drop. By the end John was in tears, he said it was very magical. He called that whole sequence (the song intercut with the charge) one of the finest pieces of cinema.
-his latest project is a film shot in the Czech republic where he plays a big Russian guy-“the most unlikable character ever met”. He got to die and do all sorts of stunts and loved it.
After a short break it was John Rhys-Davies’ turn to speak. He started out by saying “no, I don’t have Orlando’s number. But if I did, I would give it to you.”
-Indiana Jones info: theoretically they will be making a new IJ movie next year and it will be the best of them
-his favorite character is always the next one, though Gimli is written in pain on his heart
-his next movie is called “One with the King” and is shooting in India next month.
-he related the story about how he remembers standing halfway up a mountain watching people bring up his costume in parts and then having to run with it on.
-a great quote about not being able to film one night in Queenstown (I think) “the lake is under water”
-lots of talk on directing and what makes a good director and a great director (PJ)
-a person asked about the poll on TORN for who was the cutest guy and did he care to comment on Gimli coming in at 0.3%, same as Theoden, Elrond and Wormtongue. Response: “if I had pointy ears and a long blond wig I’d have come out of it better”
-in response to a question about the “canoe incident in FOTR”: while training, the boat with him and Orlando capsized. “the ungracious little pointy-eared blond person of no significant stature, I name no names, Orlando, pointed at the dwarf and said ‘it wasn’t me, it was the dwarf.’ the dwarf said nothing due to his magnanimous personality.” Several months later the elf was in a canoe with someone else and it capsized. Only this time there was no dwarf to blame!
-he ended by saing that the whole thing was a con. He came because he wanted to meet us. He said it’s easy for an actor to get lost and forget who their audience is.