Here’s a transcript of a long but interesting roundtable question and answer session that Evangeline Lilly conducted with a number of reporters on her final day on the set of The Hobbit as Tauriel. As you’ll gather as you read along, the contents were under strict embargo until recently.
The transcript traverses not just her role, but also Lilly’s recently released children’s book, The Squickerwonkers.
Question: What did you do today? What were you shooting today?
Lilly: Today was a piece of cake. Today I just, thank you so much, I got to spend all day today watching Orlando work. He does all the talking in this scene and I sort of nod and smile and look cute, which is unusual, because normally I spend most of my time on this film killing Orcs, which is a lot of fun.
But I’ve earned the day of rest because I’ve just spent the rest of the week absolutely annihilating myself. I’ve never been so physically exhausted in all of my career. I spent, what was it, Tuesday, I think it was. I was doing stunts all morning. And then I was doing massively heavy emotions and stunts combined, all afternoon.
And by about, I would guess it was probably around eight P.M., I’d been here since about five-thirty, I actually started thinking to myself, “I think I’m going to throw up. And if I do it on camera, I’ll be really embarrassed.” Because you just can’t stop working, it’s not an option for an actor. You have to keep going. The show must go on. But I thankfully did not vomit in front of camera and in front of the world, because I’m sure Peter would’ve used it on a blog post if I had!
Question: (overlaps) Probably on Facebook.
Question: What kind of stunts were you doing? What kind of action were you getting to–
Lilly: I was killing Orcs, as usual. What was particularly exhausting was that for the first time ever in the films, we’ve been filming– I filmed for over a year. For the first time in that year, I’m actually getting my ass kicked by an Orc. Because he’s a particularly large, powerful, strong and incredible Orc. And he catches me off-guard, which is hard to do. It’s very hard to catch an Elf off-guard. Unfortunately, this Elf gets a bit blinded by love and she gets caught off-guard and she is in a deep pile of doo-doo in the scene that I was shooting on Tuesday…
So, I was doing a lot of stuff that caused me to believe that I would have whiplash the next day and I was getting my head bashed into stones and getting thrown across huge expanses of space and screaming and yelling and crying! It was exhausting.
Question: And this was all being done by the men in the green suits?
Lilly: Of course it was! We love the men in the green suits! They’re non-committal.
Question: We were speaking to Lee earlier about Elves being very Zen and obviously your character is a lot more aggressive, shall we say? How were you drawing your inspiration from for this? Because obviously, the Elves that have gone before you have been slightly more…
Lilly: That’s absolutely right. I’ve intentionally ignored their incredible performances because I fear that I will try to copy them because they’re good! They did a great job and they’ve established what everyone believes is an Elf and so, I’m in deep, deep water right now because I’ve done something completely different and people are going to probably hate me for it. But it’s true to Tolkien’s creation. The Silvan Elves were a very different breed of Elves than the High Elves, and in Tolkien’s own words, “They were less wise and more dangerous.” And that is what I’ve been playing.
Sometimes I watch myself, because I’ve seen most of the second film now doing ADR and that sort of thing. And I think, “Have I over– Have I gone too far with being aggressive and a little ball of fury?” But hopefully not. Hopefully, people love it. And hopefully people just really enjoy watching a female Elf kick butt. I think online the technical term is that Tauriel is a “B-A-M-F.” I think that’s the technical term.