This week I had the pleasure of chatting with Stephen Hunter (Bombur) about his latest projects, his new website and his Vlogs. Enjoy!
Kelvarhin: What inspired you to start your vlogs?
Stephen: It’s something I’d been thinking about it for a while. I had posted a few sketches on YouTube, but they can be a bit sporadic, and not easy to do by yourself. You really need a crew and actor friends etc, which can be harder to plan. The actual idea of a regular video blog came from my friend and creative coach Andy, he suggested the idea of getting into a regular routine of recording and releasing content. I’ve also wanted to find a way to replicate the panels that we have at conventions. With my personal vlogs I can cover particular topics and answer questions. With the longer Actors Talk About Themselves, we can get into a little more detail and tell a few stories! I’d like to start producing more creative content now, like Sketches and short films.
Kelvarhin: I’ve heard you’re taking part in Steptember, can you tell us about it?
Stephen: I saw a TV commercial for it while I was sitting on my sofa, watching the Olympics for the 8th, 9th, 10th? night in a row. I really needed to get moving, get fit and lose some weight. It seemed like the perfect way to do it, as I also get to raise some money for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Which is such a great cause.
Kelvarhin: Can people follow your progress and cheer you on?
Stephen: Sure. I put regular updates on social media, so just follow me on twitter: stephenjhunter1, Facebook: StephenHunterActor. And if you’d like to donate too, just go to steptember.org.au and click on DONATE, then either type in Stephen Hunter or ShuntSteppers(my team) and go from there!
There’s also a direct link.
Kelvarhin: Who or what inspires you as an actor?
Stephen: I get inspired by people who are much more courageous than I have been, by telling their own stories and by getting their projects up and completed. It’s certainly easier to just audition and go and do the job than it is to have your own projects realised. It’s one of those things that is calling me pretty strongly these days. I just have to take the leap and produce more of my own stuff. I also get inspired by just watching something that moves me. It could be laughter, wonder, sadness, inspiration. To me, that’s what it’s all about. Creating something that gives people an experience that they remember. I always laugh at Will Ferrell. He’s just a big kid, and I love his style of humour. I’m also a big fan of Jason Bateman. He does deadpan like no one else. In drama, I’m hooked on Netflix shows like House of Cards, Bloodline and Stranger Things.
Kelvarhin: Do you have any upcoming projects that you can share with us?
Stephen: I did a short film with legendary Australian actor David Gulpilil in April. We spent 10 days in the Eastern Kimberly in Western Australia. It’s called MESSiAH, and I play an Irishman. It’s doing the Festival Circuit at the moment. It’s at RAINDANCE in London Sept/Oct.
I’ve got an episode in a new comedy series called ROSEHAVEN, starting October 12th on ABC Australia. The show is hilarious. And my feature BLUE WORLD ORDER is almost ready for the festival circuit. I play Madcap – one of the leads. It features Billy Zane, Jack Thompson & Bruce Spence, alongside myself and Jake Ryan as the other lead.
Kelvarhin: Which is your most favourite role? Why?
Stephen: It would have to be BOMBUR of course! I’ve had meatier acting roles, like Felix Murphy on series 2 of JANET KING, but The Hobbit was such a special time of my life and is something that will never be replicated. I probably don’t want to even try and do that, it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
Kelvarhin: You’ve done some adverts, do you have a favourite one?
Stephen: Yep. Heaps of ads. A lot of people recognise me more for my commercials than my film work (unsurprisingly). The Toyota ad I did in NZ was great fun, and it actually got me noticed by the casting directors of The Hobbit in NZ. Being one of the XXXX Gold boys was also a hoot. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing comic directors in Australia. Including a number of ads with ex-pat kiwi Paul Middleditch and fellow ginger Tim Bullock.
Now a few Tolkien/Hobbit based questions 🙂
Kelvarhin: If you could have met J.R.R.Tolkien, what would you like to ask him or talk about?
Stephen: Where did all that come from! Seriously, to create that world was just amazing. Also, I’d probably ask him how the dwarves got so skilled in hairdressing with such fat fingers – I mean they really were sausage fingers…
Kelvarhin: If you could play any character in Tolkien universe – movie or book what would it be?
Stephen: I get asked this all the time at HobbtiCon, and I always say Galadriel! But seriously, I kind of always saw myself as Sam Gamgee.
Kelvarhin: What is your most favourite memory from making The Hobbit films?
Stephen: So many memories. We knew it would always come to an end eventually, but a lot of us really didn’t want it to! I think just the fun we all had being together on an off set. It really was like an exclusive little boys school (and yes we did behave like little boys quite regularly)
Kelvarhin: Would you share with us any embarrassing moments you had on set?
Stephen: Again. Too many to think of! To be honest, we were having so much fun, and we were all dressed up so ridiculously in those suits, prosthetics and hair, that all self-consciousness went out the window. There were a couple of times that I had to be told to get into line or to stop talking or something. It’s always a bit embarrassing to be told off! Most of the time it was either because we were just being naughty little boys or simply we couldn’t hear because of all the hair and makeup. But I’d say it was always pretty good fun and low stress. And that was for us lucky actors. The crew worked ridiculous hours. They were such hard workers.
Kelvarhin: Can you explain your Calendar pose for the Peter Jackson calendar?
Stephen: In a word. Disturbing. Actually, that’s how I would describe all of them. Particularly William Kirchers photo. Some things you just can’t unsee. For my nude Bombur photo – well semi nude, just imagine a drag, middle earth version of Marilyn Monroe…can’t unsee that now can you… (Kelvarhin: Um… nope! 😀 )
Don’t forget to check out Stephen’s new website where Stephen told me you can get personalised autographs and video messages from him in the merchandise page. Also don’t forget to look at his Vlog page or his Facebook Fanpage-Stephen Hunter Army.