Our geeky Swedish message board member “macfalk” has pointed us to a couple of interviews with Mikael Persbrandt over at SVD.se concerning his role of Beorn in the upcoming Hobbit films.
A rough translation as provided by “macfalk” on our dedicated Hobbit Movie message board follows:
In Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, Mikael Persbrandt plays Beorn, who has the ability of transforming himself into a bear. It was revealed that Tolkien was a childhood hero for Persbrandt.
“I read all the [Tolkien] books. I went to second-hand bookshops searching for the first “Bilbo books”. I was a fantasy geek. Jackson’s Tolkien-movies are absolutely magnificent. He’s the man. The whole project will be so exciting. It is about 700 people in the crew, I am to stand in a corner and try to be pliable.”
Persbrandt compares his role in The Hobbit to his first job as an extra for Ingemar Bergman, and the performance anxiety that occurs.
“I think I share that sense with many of the people in my profession, we never allow ourselves to be truly happy – instead, we begin thinking about the impacts. How am I as a bear? One start thinking about stuff like that instead of thinking that this could be damn fun.”
“I will play in both movies and will be there [New Zealand] five times this year and at least one more time next year. I am contracted for 25-28 days of shooting but it would not surprise me if it turned out to be more. I have only read 5 pages of the script, it was top secret, they sent somebody to a hotel in Los Angeles and I got to sign them: “Now they are yours. Bye”, he said. I am currently waiting for my call, but it can not be delayed too much since the filming for “Hamilton” begins soon [March 21, in Sweden].”
Asked what he would have said if he knew back when he was a 12-year-old that he would one day play Beorn, Mikael says, “Incredibly strange. I was never going to be an actor, I liked contructing buildings in balsa wood and wanted to become an astronaut, and it turned out like this.”