Ringer Celebriel reports Sunday’s highlights included main stage sessions with Billy Boyd and Miranda Otto, as well as the chance to see a rare first hard cover edition of The Lord of the Rings autographed by J.R.R. Tolkien, on display at the Red Carpet Tours booth.
Billy was in top form and really seemed to enjoy sharing stories and answering fan questions. In terms of upcoming projects, he will be working with the National Theatre of Scotland (Billy is a patron of the Scottish Youth Theatre and the organization is supported by his Loons Charities) and there are some film projects in the works as well. (The National Theatre of Scotland launches February 25th with ten performances opening simultaneously in venues across the country – Billy will appear in a piece recreating an MI5-style surveillance operation in a high rise in Soutra Place, Glasgow.)
Some stories and facts about Billy I hadn’t heard before:
-Billy once locked Dom in the cupboard of his trailer because Dom brought him the wrong flavor of Haagen Dasz ice cream. Note to fans: it’s OK to bring chocolate, but not chocolate ice cream.
-While filming Master and Commander, Billy was accidentally hit in the legs almost every time Russell Crowe swung his sword.
-Other than Pippin, the role he would like to have played is Gollum, because of the creativity and technology he knew the part would require to be successful.
– Billy’s Fellowship tattoo is on his ankle, which seemed appropriate because the role had so much to do with feet. However, because it was done a few weeks before the end of principal photography, he was still wearing hobbit feet on the set, and having the glue in the unhealed wounds from the tattoo was not fun.
-Billy is a big fan of both Peter Sellers and George Harrison
About the only question Billy couldn’t answer was identifying the most unusual gift he’d received from a fan, but he said he’d think about it!
This was Miranda’s first US convention appearance, and fans greeted her enthusiastically and with many questions about her role as Eowyn. Many questions concerned Eowyn’s complex relationships with other characters. Miranda talked about the changes in the relationship between Aragorn and Eowyn that were made in the films, noting the films kept the relationship ambiguous, keeping open the possibility they could get together while in the books Aragorn respects and likes Eowyn but makes clear he is pledged to another. Miranda feels Eowyn believed Arwen was going or had gone into the west, so she saw Aragorn as a free man.
She enjoyed working with Brad Dourif (Wormtongue) and felt that their scenes effectively created a complex emotional backstory in which Gryma had probably loved her for years and was the one person really paying attention to her while others, including her own family, were occupied with other things. Their scenes communicate the simultaneous feelings of attraction and repulsion she felt for him.
Miranda noted that one basis for Eowyn and Merry’s close relationship was that both were often belittled and overlooked among the Rohirrim.
She also enjoyed working with Bernard Hill (Theoden), explaining that Theoden’s departure scene, in which he asked her to be responsible for the kingdom, was filmed on the last day of principal photography and his death scene was done on the last day of reshoots, making them especially poignant.
Miranda had her own stories about the rewrites and reshoots that characterized life as a Lord of the Rings actor. She got the lines for the song sung in Theodred’s funeral scene only the day before, and they weren’t planned to be a song. She and other women were filmed chanting the lines, and only later was the final song recorded. The work was often hard both emotionally and physically. For example, Eowyn’s reaction shot after seeing Legolas return the Evenstar to Aragorn was done on a reshoot, without the other actors present. Often she played to ping pong balls on sticks. Examples of physical hard work were many bruises on her legs from falling, and being crushed by Karl Urban’s armor in their scene together on Pelennor Fields.
Miranda revealed that Eowyn’s horse Dublin was a gelding originally acquired for Viggo Mortensen but then given to her. Dublin was later sold to a very caring owner – when the horse was brought back for reshoots, he had gained a lot of weight. She also mentioned a fight sequence in the Glittering Caves that was filmed but not used – hmmm, perhaps we’ll see it in some future DVD anniversary release!
Lord of the Rings Signed First Edition on Display – And For Sale
ORC guests had the rare opportunity to see a first United Kingdom edition (1954/1955) of the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings signed by J.R.R. Tolkien (the signature is tipped in front of the title page). The three volumes were on display Sunday at the Red Carpet Tours booth. The Los Angeles area-based owner has had them for about fifteen years and is now offering the set for $22,500.
Dork of the Rings
Dork of the Rings Director Jack Peterson and cast members were in evidence in the main stage room and elsewhere in the hall and held court at their booth in the vendor’s room. Ringers need a new film every year, and 2006 is the year of Dork of the Rings, so sign up for their newsletter to stay informed on plans for the film’s official release.
ErinRua writes: I’ve posted just over one hundred ORC 2006 event photos, if you would like to share them with fellow Ringers. These are mainly costumes and the actors’ panels. I promised several of the costume folks that I would try to get their photos online for them, so if you would like to announce this link, it would be a great favor. 🙂 This was my first convention ever, and I had the absolute time of my life! Thank you, TORn! [More]
Arwen: Check out these great pictures of all three days of The One Ring Celebration 2006 at Genrefans.com – including Red Carpet Tours’ presentation, Daniel Reeve, the Iron Artist Challenge, the Costume Contest, John Noble, Elijah Wood and Sean Astin, The One Ring Awards show, Billy Boyd (charity breakfast and stage Q&A), and Miranda Otto. [More]