Go back to Special Reports Archives


January 30, 2002 - February 06, 2002

2-06-02 Latest News

Elijah on Letterman: Corrected transcript
Tehanu @ 7:43 pm EST

For those of you who missed this interview back in December, TORN put up a transcript. Now thanks to Lisa we have a more accurate version:

From "The Late Show with David Letterman" (CBS)

[Earlier on in the show, when Dave is announcing whoís on the show]

DAVE: Elijah Wood is here this evening. (applause) Heís the star of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring". It opens December 9th (mistake!). This is gonna be another one of those blockbuster movies like the Harry Potter Movie.
PAUL: Oh yeah.
DAVE: Itís gonna be a huge, big thing.
PAUL: Oh yeah
DAVE: And heís a kid, heís only like 20 years old. Yeah, when I was 20 I had a paper route.
PAUL: Yes. (laughter and applause)

[Interview with Elijah Wood]

DAVE: Our next guest is a talented actor. He stars in the new epic motion picture "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring". It opens December 19th. Hereís Elijah Wood. (applause)

[Elijah comes out, waves to the audience and says "Hello" to them, then shakes Daveís hand and sits down]

ELIJAH: (points to mug on the edge of the desk) Is this for me or is this for you?
DAVE: Itís all yours.
ELIJAH: Oh, cheers, man (takes a sip).
DAVE: How ya doiní?
ELIJAH: Very well.
DAVE: Good.
ELIJAH: Overwhelmed. This movieís coming out; itís the biggest thing Iíve ever been a part of.
DAVE: Well, why donít you tell us a little bit about yourself and then weíll talk all about the film. Youíre... I was right, youíre like, a kid, right? Youíre gonna be 21? Is that right?
ELIJAH: Iím gonna be 21, yeah.
DAVE: Yeah, thatís a kid. (applause)
ELIJAH: Thank you, thank you. Iíve always felt older than I was, so finally I feel like Iím catching up with myself.
DAVE: Tell me about your early life. How did you begin in show business, that kind of stuff; where are you from, whatíd you do?
ELIJAH: Uh, originally from Iowa, actually, um, and IÖ.. (scattered applause)
ELIJAH: Oh! Are there people from Iowa here? Fantastic! Uh, and then I sort of moved to Los Angeles and started auditioning, and one thing led after another.
DAVE: You moved with your family? Is that what you did?
ELIJAH: Yeah, we all moved out together to pursue....
DAVE: And why did the whole family go to California from Iowa?
ELIJAH: Uh, basically for me and my brother to kind of pursue acting, and my brother got out of it early and I kind of kept going, so, here I am.
DAVE: Itís turned out pretty well, hasnít it?
ELIJAH: Pretty well. Iím very lucky.
DAVE: And you did this movie in New Zealand, is that correct?
ELIJAH: I did. I lived there for 16 months, unbelievably.
DAVE: Wow.
ELIJAH: Yeah, it was a life experience.
DAVE: What was....
ELIJAH: It was truly profound.
DAVE: I understand itís physically quite a lovely place, but other than that, what was it like? Just...were you there on your own?
ELIJAH: I was there on my own, had my own house, had my own car. So, aside from making the movie, I had my own life there, which is pretty incredible. And we got out some pretty crazy stuff. I learned how to surf while I was there, which is amazing, and did this thing called parapontingÖ
DAVE: ParaÖ Iím sorry, what is the word? ParaÖ
ELIJAH: Paraponting.
DAVE: Ponting?
ELIJAH: Yes.
DAVE: P-o-n-t-i-n-g?
ELIJAH: I...I think thatís how you spell it, yeah.
DAVE: Iíve not heard of that.
ELIJAH: You get a parachute and you jump off a hill and you kind of ride the uh... the air.
DAVE: Mmmm.... (scattered laughter from the audience, Elijah laughs)
ELIJAH: Exactly.
DAVE: You can also do the same thing by jumping out of a shnook. (laughter)
ELIJAH: A shnook. As... as...I was watching. (applause)
DAVE: Jump out of a shnook.
ELIJAH: A Chinook, as she was saying. Right. (applause)
DAVE: Uh, and the people in New Zealand have a real zest for life, they love that kind of dangerous stuff, donít they?
ELIJAH: They do. They love bungee jumping, jumping out of planes, you know, snowboarding, that sort of thing. I didnít do bungee jumping. I think I was a little too nervous for that. Admittedly.
DAVE: And, you were there, you say, a year and a half, and... and everybody got to know one another, and got along pretty well and you did stuff as a... as a family after a while...
ELIJAH: As a group, yeah. I mean, we really became a fellowship like that in the film.
DAVE: Mmm hmmm...
ELIJAH: Some of the best friends of my life, I made on this, soÖ it was pretty incredible.
DAVE: What kind of things would you do, when you werenít shooting the movie, with your buddies on the film?
ELIJAH: Uh, well, we did the surfingÖ I got a, you know, a wetsuit and a surfboard, got involved in that. A lot of bars, went to a lot of bars, just... (laughter and applause, Elijah laughs) The local pubs, as you do. I got very ingrained in the English culture so, very familiar with that.
DAVE: And....and was there talk of everybody getting tattoos, did that happen? (scattered laughter)
ELIJAH: That did... that did happen. Uh, we became so close on the movie, as a fellowship, we felt that, you know, the experience and the profundity of the experience deserved to be branded physically.
DAVE: Mmm hmm...
ELIJAH: So we all went to a tattoo parlour about a week before we finished and got branded together, which was really incredible...
DAVE: Really?
ELIJAH: And Ian McKellen actually got a tattoo as well.
DAVE: Mmm, and...and uh, you...I donít see it, but...and I donít know if I wanna see it, but you...
ELIJAH: Itís...itís here (points to lower right torso) so I donít think I can show it.
DAVE: And then what...
ELIJAH: I donít think that would be a good idea.
DAVE: And what...what is it? (laughter and shouts from the audience of "show it!"; Dave grins at them)
ELIJAH: Itís actually Elvish, which is the language....
DAVE: You got a tattoo of Elvis?
ELIJAH: No no.... (he laughs, and laughter from the audience). Itís...itís Elvish, which is actually the language of the Elves.
DAVE: Oh, oh, oh, I see.
ELIJAH: And it stands for the...it stands for "nine," the nine members of the fellowship.
DAVE: Was it painful, when that happened?
ELIJAH: REALLY painful, and...and....(laughter). Yeah. And the funny thing about that is...is I was asking various people whoíd had tattoos if it was painful, and they were like "No no no, itís fine, youíre.. youíre gonna be fine."...
DAVE: Yeah... (he laughs)
ELIJAH: My GODÖ. (Dave and audience laugh). Ridiculous. Iíve never been in so much pain in my life.
DAVE: And... and how long before you got over, where....whenever youíd take a shower....you... how long did it take you to get over "Oh, jeez!" that? (looking at his lower right torso).
ELIJAH: Umm...it...it... (he laughs and the audience begins laughing).
DAVE: O God, what is....you know where you got....you know what Iím saying?
ELIJAH: (putting his hand where the tatoo is) The....the "Oh! Itís there."
DAVE: My God. Oh, itís my thing, uh...yeah...
ELIJAH: I know.... I know. It took about... it took about a....a couple of months, I think. (Dave and audience laugh). Iím very proud of it, though. I still look at it when I get out of the shower.
DAVE: Yeah, and uh....(audience laughs).
ELIJAH: (looking at the audience) Sorry. Itís a little personal, I know...I know. (laughter and applause). Take a look down. Forever remember the fellowship.
DAVE: How long do you think you can go in a pool? Nevermind. (laughter and applause, Elijah laughs)
DAVE: Uh, and when is your 21st birthday?
ELIJAH: January 28th.
DAVE: Oh, you got a big celebration planned?
ELIJAH: Um, Iím...Iím thinking about going to Vegas. I think itís time to go to Vegas.
DAVE: Thatís...thatís the thing to do, yeah.
ELIJAH: Absolutely...weíre gonna uh...a prerequisite to wear suits, do the old Rat Pack thing, you know, bring all my friends. I think itíll be good. Lots of debauchery (Dave laughs), lots of drinking. (scattered laughter). As you do.
DAVE: Now this...uh, this movie, as...as you talk about it, youíre very excited, because it...it looks like itís gonna be uh....a very...and has been widely anticipated...
ELIJAH: Mmmm...
DAVE: ... and decidedly so, and itís gonna be an enormous film, so that must be a real thrill for you. Is it already making a difference in....in your life, your daily life?
ELIJAH: Itís...itís kind of scary...
DAVE: Yeah.
ELIJAH: Iíve never been a part of anything quite this big before, so...yeah, a bit. I think, um, actually, while we were still filming, I came home a few times... people were already calling me Frodo, which is the name of my character. So itís...itís starting to have an impact.
DAVE: Mmmm hmmm, and...and is that all right with you, to be called Frodo? (Elijah and audience laugh)
ELIJAH: Iím very familiar with it. Iím...Iíve taken the character on as a piece of me, soÖ.
DAVE: Yeah...
ELIJAH: Thatís all right. You can call me Frodo. (Dave laughs) Go on, Dave, itís okay.
DAVE: (laughing) All right, Frodo. (laughter and applause, Elijah laughs) Whatever you want. Now, letís um...(reaches to the side of his desk to pull out the action figure wrapped in plastic)
ELIJAH: Oh, what do you have there?
DAVE: This looks like it uh...I think itís your action figure, is that right? You...you canít have a movie anymore without an action figure? (takes it out of the package and places it on the desk in front of Elijah) This just looks like a...a chess piece.
ELIJAH: Oh my god.
DAVE: Is that you?
ELIJAH: Is this from Burger King?
DAVE: I donít...I donít...you know I just...(audience begins laughing)
ELIJAH: Okay, but here, I have one question...
DAVE: ...it comes with a deal here....(fumbling with package)
ELIJAH: Why is one foot invisible and the other not? What is that all about? You see this? (pointing to the action figureís feet). Invisible foot....
DAVE: I assumed it was part of the movie.
ELIJAH: No, itís not, actually.
DAVE: Does it....it goes on that thing thereÖ you gotta... you gotta put it on the thing...(struggles to fit figure on its base)
ELIJAH: Oh dear.
DAVE: Some assembly required. (laughter from audience, Elijah tries to help him). Iíll get it. (pulls the toy to the middle of his desk)
ELIJAH: (leaning towards Dave) Put it...put it the other way, the other way around, I think.
DAVE: Just....please, Frodo.
ELIJAH: (puts his hands up and sits back) Alright. Alright. (audience laughs, applause) Just trying to help. (more applause as Dave struggles with the figure; Elijah laughs) You all right, Dave?
DAVE: It...it looks like heís standing on a...a pork chop. I donít knowÖ.(laughter)
ELIJAH: (laughing) It kinda does resemble a pork chop.
DAVE: Is that part of the story? There. (puts the assembled figure, on stand, in front of Elijah)
ELIJAH: There it is.
DAVE: Wow. Thatís a nice piece of work, isnít it? (laughter)
ELIJAH: Very nice.
DAVE: Now, do you get a little uh....a little taste of this, whenever they sell these things? Are you...do you get a piece of it?
ELIJAH: I...I do, Iím...Iíve actually....I went to New Line recently and said "I need to be on the mailing list. I want all the merchandise."
DAVE: Wow.
ELIJAH: I donít wanna be on eBay in 20 years having to search this stuff down. (Dave laughs) Iím a total geek for this stuff. Iíve been collecting action figures for years, so... itís really cool to have my own figure.(Dave continues to struggle with the figure)
DAVE: Whoopsie....alright. I donít know, I uh....
ELIJAH: Oh, come on, get it right! (he laughs, and audience laughs)
DAVE: Uh, letís uh...letís show them a little bit of the movie here. Do you know what the clip is weíre gonna see?
ELIJAH: I...I donít, actually. (looking at Dave)
DAVE: Oh, come on.
ELIJAH: What...what is the clip?
DAVE: You gotta know what the clip is!
ELIJAH: (looking toward the cameras and the audience questioningly) Whatís...whatís the clip?
DAVE: I donít know, Iím not in the movie!
ELIJAH: Uh....itís..... (he laughs, audience laughs)
DAVE: You gotta know!
ELIJAH: Oh, I think Iím being....Iím being....
DAVE: You were in New Zealand for a year and a half, for Godís sake!
ELIJAH: Iím being chased by a Ringwraith. Thatís what it is.
DAVE: Iím sorry....
ELIJAH: Iím being chased by a Ringwraith, a Black Rider. Itís very scary.
DAVE: Okay, here we go, being chased by a Ringwraith. Here we...
ELIJAH: A Ringwraith.
DAVE: Thatís right. Elijah Wood. Take a look.

[clip of "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" - hobbits being chased by Black Rider onto the dock at Buckleberry Ferry]. (applause from the audience)

ELIJAH: Run! (watching and referring to the clip)
DAVE: Wow. (clapping) There you go. All right, well listen, happy birthday.
ELIJAH: Thank you.
DAVE: Enjoy yourself in Las Vegas.
ELIJAH: Thank you.
DAVE: And uh...December twenty....first? Is that what this...
ELIJAH: Dec...uh...December 19th is the release of the film.
DAVE: December 19th, great.
ELIJAH: Yes.
DAVE: Well, good. I know itís gonna be a big hit. Congratulations.
ELIJAH: Thank you very much.
DAVE: Thank you for being here.(they shake hands, cheers and applause)
ELIJAH: Thanks.
DAVE: Elijah Wood everybody. Weíll be right back with Stereophonics.(applause and music)

2-04-02 Latest News

LOTR Weekend Box Office - February 1st-3rd
Strider @ 2:05 pm EST

Brandon Gray
Boxofficemojo.com

"The Lord of the Rings" moved up one rung to No. 7 over the February 1-3 weekend, dipping just 16 percent to an estimated $6.575 million. The total after 47 days stands at $267.145 million, putting it right on the heels of "Shrek's" $267.665 million to become the second-highest grossing picture from 2001. On the all time chart, "Rings" now ranks No. 15 and No. 82 when ticket-price inflation is taken into consideration.

The strong hold and the likely Oscar nods bode well for "Rings'" chances of crossing the $300 million mark, but at its current pace, it'll be a squeaker. Still, it has already become one of the few movies to turn a profit from its domestic theatrical release alone. The movie cost a reported $93 million to make and $50 million for prints and advertising. Studios on average get around 55 percent of the gross returned to them, meaning at $267 million, New Line Cinema is easily in the black now. And that's not including the nearly $400 million the picture has earned overseas.

For the Top 15 estimates and more detailed stats such as theater counts, est. costs and much more, go to:
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/2002/05.htm

Weekend Round Up
Xoanon @ 1:35 am EST

Media Watch: Dreamwatch Magazine

Box Office: Greece

Astronomers admire 'Lord of the Rings'

Lord Of The Olympic Rings

Lee & Howe Join LOTR Fanclub

TTT Involved In Battle To Save Goldmember

Csokas's xXx Teaser Released

Media Watch: The UK Mirror

Bloom Is One Of 2002's 'Sizzling 16' - E! Online

Mouse Humbled By Hobbits

FOTR Gets Closer To Worlwide Top 10

Media Watch: SFX Magazine

Merlin Sticker Collection Features Cut Scenes

Rings Lords Over Canadian Bestseller List

Hall Of Fire Chats For February 2nd & 3rd

Korean Fellowship Poster Translated

Official Site: Conceptual Paintings

Elijah Voted Most Likely E! Sizzler To Win Oscar

Warner Poised To Purchase 'Rings TV Rights

Fellowship Beats Titanic To Argentine Record

Review Of The First Two Towers Trailer On AICN!!

Pirate Videos On The Rise

Only Funny If You Are Canadian

DVD News

Box Office: Turkey

Tolkien Comic

LOTR In The Ukraine

TTT: Karl Urban Interview

GAMING Media Watch: PC Zone Magazine

Elijah Wood reveals fave scene in Rings II

SHOP: 2002 Toy Fair News!

Cate Blanchett Card

2-03-02 Latest News

TTT: Karl Urban Interview
Xoanon @ 9:33 pm EST

Check out this interview with Karl Urban (Eomer) on LOTR!


DVD News
Xoanon @ 5:00 pm EST

The following is from the January 18-24 2002 issue of Screen International magazine (from an article on DVD Special Features):

This August, New Line will release one of the most anticipated DVDs of the year: Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring.

The DVD will come with an array of extras; the full theatrical version, an extended version that runs 35-40 minutes longer and possibly a 'making of' documentary.

In fact, the DVD and its extra features were a key concern during the shoot - Jackson says he had a dedicated video diarist on set for nearly all 274 days of principal photography in anticipation of the extra DVD materials.

Jackson told Screen International that he values the format for its ability to showcase different versions of the film and show behind-the-scenes material. "It breaks the film-making process open," he argues. For that reason he instructed the production's video diarist to capture everything. "I wanted a warts-and-all approach."

Pirate Videos On The Rise
Xoanon @ 12:25 pm EST

From: Ringfan

The Lord of the Rings:The fellowship of the Ring.will be on television any day,and it's already out on video-that's if your in the Cook Islands,where the film is available on pirated video before the movie has made it to the local cinema.

That thriving business in pirated videos and dvds in the south pacific means about 600 inhabitants of Atiu,a volcanic island half the size of rarotonga,will soon geta lounge-roomshowing of the first film in Peter Jackson's epic trilogy.

Former policeman Piho Rua,owner of four video rental shops in Rarotonga,is reportedly considering selling copies of The Fellowship of the Ring to Atiu Television and two other television stations on the outer islands. He already rents out LOTR videos for $5 a night.Locals says he owns 100 pirate copies of the film which is in constant rotation.Roadshow Films,the New Zealand distributors of LOTR,are considering taking legal action but said it was too early to comment further.

Because of antiquated copyright Laws in the Cook Islands,pirating videos is not illegal,Before films even make it to the cinema they are usually available on video and often shown by the islands nation's six television stations,some of which are nothing more than a basic monitor,transmitter and antenna serving as few as 200 people.

The herald was unable to contact Mr Rua but he told the Cook Islands Herald he was not the only businessman making money from pirated films,just the only one who admitted to it.Cook Islands Copyright Commitee chairman Geoffry Bergin,who leads a lonely campaign to protect intellectual property,described the 1962 Copyright Act as a" toothless tiger"because it did not safegaurd new technologies,such as DVD's,CD's and videos.

A new act was drafted five years ago but has yet to be made law. New Zealand Motion Picture Association spokesman Kevin Holland said if the Cook Islands Government passed legislation in line with copyright laws in New Zealand and Australia,they would provide support for the local police and customs officials.But untill they that happens their is little that can be done to punish those who make use of the loophole ,especially for Cook Islanders,who rely on pirated films and television shows for much of their entertainment,do not complain.

Years of watching incomplete films with barely audible dialogue-often recorded off cinema screens with handy cams-has taught residents not to expect too much.Cook Island Television owner George Pitt,who does not air films untill the cinema and video shops have had a crack at them,says their is no political will to clamp down on dodgy DVD screenings of Hollywood's latest offerings because voters like watching TV."What else is their to do on the outer islands?".

Fellowship Beats Titanic To Argentine Record
Strider @ 11:28 am EST

From muffinman:

As reported today, Sunday the 3rd, in La Nacion news paper, FOTR has rocked this country. Here's a little traslation of the small article (which has a pic of Saruman on the top of it by the way):

Record for The Lord of the Rings
In its opening day, Thursday, the movie "The Lord of the Rings" was seen by 66,792 spectators, a record in Argentina. Until now the films with the best Thursday initiations have been "Titanic" (64,483 people) and "Star Wars: Episode 1" (59,780). In only two days, in the pre-showing of Wednesday and the [official] opening of last Thursday the cinematomic version of the famous novel of J.R.R. Tolkien totalled 151,246 sold tickets in the country, a mark that many titles, however sucessful, go to great difficulties* [to achieve] in the course of one week.

So there's my little traslation. What "great difficulties" (duras penas) is literally translated is "hard pains". :D People have waited long enough for LOTR here, with me included, and can finally enjoy Legolas' double arrow shot into the Cave Troll. Sweet....

2-02-02 Latest News

Korean Fellowship Poster Translated
Strider @ 8:17 pm EST

From Galadrielle:

As a Korean runemaster, I thought perhaps you may be interested to know what the Korean alphabet (h'an-gle) said in those posters of yours which I delighted me exceedingly. As you probably already noted, they both say the same thing. Here I will give you my best rendering line by line:

the one who takes (appropriates, conquers, wins) the last ring
SHALL WIELD ALL THE POWER!
Emperor of the Ring
"Lord of the Rings" ring party (scouts, agents, missionaries)

Now I will give my rendering word by word, as ordered in each sentence:

Last ring taking person
ALL POWER WIELD SHALL BE!
Ring (separated by middle word "oui" - propositional counterpart of "of")
Emperor
"Lord of the Rings" ring party/scouts

Grammatically, Korean sentences are arranged in an order opposite of English. The word "banzi" in the Korean website address stands for "ring", except it isn't a faithful phonetic rendition. There are no Z sounds in Korean. The right pronunciation for the Korean word RING is not "banzi" but "bahn-ji". All Korean vowels are pronounced short and abrupt. Each block of letters represents a syllable, by the way. And Korean alphabet is a phonetic alphabet, rendered as it's pronounced. Unlike Chinese, they are not characters depicting abstraction or a concrete object.

Media Watch: Dreamwatch Magazine
Xoanon @ 12:11 am EST

Ringer Spy Jaimie from musingsofviggo.com sends along these great scans from February and March issue of 'Dreamwatch' Magazine.


2-01-02 Latest News

Korean Film Posters
Xoanon @ 11:12 pm EST

Ok, I thought that Chinese film poster was cool, but that was before I saw these Korean ones!

Loorien Lee, from our comunity fan site has sent along these great pieces of art, very nice!

Media Watch: Starburst Magazine
Xoanon @ 10:58 pm EST

Ringer Spy Lee sends along these scans from 'Starburst Magazine' Take a look!


Media Watch: Total Film Magazine
Xoanon @ 10:22 pm EST

Ringer Spy Rachel sends along this scan from 'Total Film' Magazine. I'm not too sure where they get the idea that Harry Knowles was the only reporter allowed on the set...Tehanu was there twice and our very own Quickbeam was on the various sets for a week, with Ian McKellen as his tour guide. Ah well, I guess Harry forgot to tell them (yeah right).





'Lord' a-leaping to Frog
Xoanon @ 10:01 am EST

WB launches film foray with $160 mil deal

NEW YORK -- The WB Network is going to the movies -- big time.

Although New Line and the WB were still discussing the fine print on Thursday, WB has agreed to pay at least $75 million for New Line's "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" and its two forthcoming sequels in a 10-year shared window with Turner Broadcasting's TBS and TNT.

The total license fee for all three could end up at $160 million or more, depending on the box-office performance of the sequels; "Fellowship of the Ring" has already grossed $258 million, and it's still tracking.

The "Rings" transaction is a family affair because the WB, New Line and Turner are all divisions of AOL Time Warner. But the deal is by far the biggest movie buy ever engineered by the WB. Insiders say the WB is so juiced by the pickup of the "Rings" trilogy that it's planning to go after more theatrical movies in their first network window.

1-31-02 Latest News

John Rhys-Davies Talks Indy 4
Xoanon @ 1:15 pm EST

In an Exclusive interview with TheOneRing.net, John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) spoke about the possibility of a fourth Indy film.

'I would love to do (another Indy), the thing is, all these great men, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford and George Lucas, would need to come together and really want to make a great film.

'These guys don't need to work for money, they work to increase their already amazing careers and they work for pride. If there was any chance that they would even consider making a fourth Indy, they would all have to think they could make one of the best films ever made'

Look for the FULL John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) interview online soon!

Best of Times, Worst of Times
Xoanon @ 12:37 pm EST

Best of Times, Worst of Times: Dominic Monaghan, who plays Merry the Hobbit in The Lord of the Rings

Dominic Monaghan, 24, plays Merry the Hobbit in the Lord of the Rings films. For him, the 18-month shoot in New Zealand was a fine adventure - even if the make-up wreaked havoc on his face and feet.

By Kathy Brewis

Being immersed in such a stunning location, you couldn't not be swept away by the romance of it all. On our days off we would hang about on set and soak up the atmosphere. Nobody kept themselves to themselves.

The fellowship - who go on the quest - were encouraged to spend as much time together as possible. We did a lot of boysy things - surfing, horse-riding, bungee-jumping. The camaraderie was great. We became brothers. It was one of the best experiences of my life - it was such an all-encompassing thing. And it's probably had the biggest influence on my career and on my personality of anything I've done. New Zealand is such a healthy country, it made me love that outdoorsy and bohemian way of living. It was a lot less hectic than living in London. I've always had a lot of energy - I still do - but it used to come out in a more aggressive, manic fashion. I was like a Tasmanian devil running around, never able to keep still, always wanting to get onto the next thing. I'm a lot more philosophical, a lot calmer now. It really chilled me out.

I got homesick a few times - we were working so hard, the days were so long, and I really missed my folks. Mum sent me a cute toy dog and she'd sprayed it with her perfume, so when I opened it there was a powerful smell of back home, which made me feel a lot better.

But the highs were always a lot greater than the lows. One time, we flew in a chartered plane in a thunderstorm and had to turn back, make an emergency landing, and drive for about five hours in the rain. At the time, you're exhausted, but they're the real adventure moments, the things you'll remember for the rest of your life.

The first couple of weeks' shooting, the press were really keen to get photos of the Hobbits. So to get us to the set, we were bundled into cars in hoods and dressing gowns. We Hobbits had big hairy feet, pointed ears and a wig. I think it still looks like me in the film, hidden away under all the stuff. The feet were made of latex, which took an hour and a half to apply every day. You slipped your foot in, and then they poured in glue, which was freezing cold and annoying. So you were stuck fast in this very, very tight shoe. Your toes tended to hit the end and curl a little bit, which would be really painful by the end of the day. And you'd trip over when you were running, or stand on your toes and they'd rip off, and there were splinters and cuts all the time.

My feet are ruined, because they had to shave them every day, toes and everything, to put the glue on. Now they grow quite hairy and they're covered in scars - it's gruesome. At the end of each day they shoved metal brushes down your feet, poured alcohol in them to loosen the glue, pulled off the feet and shredded them - people tried to steal them out of bins.

Hobbits have clean, blemish-free faces; they're very childlike. So we weren't allowed stubble. It was horrible, horrible. You get up at ten to four in the morning, and you're stood there ripping the crap out of your face because the day before you've sweated buckets or caught the sun or had fake blood all over your face.

Then, in the afternoon, the make-up people do checks and you have to shave again. It killed my face.

Peter Jackson,the director, had told me to get fat for the part. But I wanted Merry to be very quick on his feet, so I wore a fat-suit, which is made of foam and makes you sweat, then trousers over that, then a waistcoat, a cape and a hood. I had to drink three litres of water a day so I wouldn't get too dehydrated. We trained by going to the gym and canoeing and horse-riding. It did get tiring running around in the middle of a hot forest for 10 hours, but at the end it was just boys having fun.

They concentrated very hard on making the fight scenes look genuine. Sometimes you'd be fighting Orcs, sometimes Uruk-hai, big gorilla-like animals, and sometimes Oliphaunts, which are four times bigger than normal elephants. If you'd rehearsed that you were going to duck at a certain time, you'd better do it, because somebody's going to come at you with a sword. Once, I got hit in the head with a stunt axe. I was on my knees; I got to a move too early. It knocked me to the floor - enough to give me a warning.

You were always expected to be in a good mood on set, which could be exhausting. But I embraced being a Hobbit. They are very positive, very up, very confident. They feel emotions easily and they're open with them - if they want to cry they'll cry, and if they want to laugh they'll laugh. They enjoy eating and drinking and smoking and company and a good time: they really indulge in life. They live in the Shire, which is like heaven, quite carefree. They're only 2ft 6in, but being short isn't an issue for Hobbits. Which is cool, I think. In their world it's who you are from the inside that matters.

I got really used to being a Hobbit, to the extent that I'd be sitting there playing with the hair as if it were my own. I'd go to a party out of costume, and someone would say: 'Hi... oh, it's you.' That was quite weird. We were comfortable being Hobbits. We used to sleep in our wigs and costumes.

At the end of the shoot I remember thinking: 'I don't want to give you back this coat. It's mine.' I'm sad that I didn't keep it, because if I had kids I'd like to have shown them it, and instead it will end up in a museum. But I did get to keep a pair of feet - which wasn't allowed, but f 'em. It wasn't fair that they should just get shredded.

At the end of the shoot it was really sad to think you're not going to be seeing those people you've been with seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

We'd become such good friends. But it never ended, really. I speak to those guys all the time.

1-30-02 Latest News

Media Watch: Juice Magazine
Xoanon @ 3:16 pm EST

Ringer Spy Rachel sends along these scans from 'Juice Magazine', take a look!


Neil Gaiman Talks LOTR
leo @ 1:24 pm EST

Well-known fantasy author Neil Gaiman went to see LOTR:FOTR en put some of his thoughts about the movie in his online journal which can be found at NeilGaiman.com. However since it dates from a while back it doesn't seem to be online anymore. Ringer Spy Shana was kind enough to send us the parts that mentioned LOTR:

"Saw Lord of the Rings last night, and thought it was thoroughly wonderful. It was a movie in its own right, and it mapped so strangely onto my own mental Fellowship of the Ring: my Saruman is not Christopher Lee, although he was astonishing; my Gandalf, on the other hand, is the one in the film portrayed by Ian McKellan. Jackson had done an amazing job of staying faithful to the book in all the right ways.

"I would have liked to have seen more of the world from a hobbit's point of view: the Elves gain so much in the book from Sam's delight in and obsession with them, for example.

"When I was a kid you'd get amazingly faithful BBC adaptations of classic books -- eight or twelve one-hour episodes to build a minor Victorian novel, recreating all its felicities. Sometimes I found myself sighing for that. But not often... Because how often do you get taken into a personal vision, by a group of people who care enough about the vision to create it, and to recreate it, in detail and in nuance?

"The film of Lord of the Rings is a map to the territory which, every now and again, becomes the territory itself. And if half of the kids who walked out of it last night going 'Huh? What kind of an end was that?' go and get the books to find out what happens next, I'll be happy. Reading Lord of the Rings can be -- possibly should be -- an initial journey to a world as real and dense as this one."

2 LOTR:FOTR DVD's Next Fall?
Xoanon @ 8:21 am EST

Seamus writes:

Peter Jackson has revealed, in an interview with New Zealand's The Evening Post, that there will be 2 versions of the Lord of the Rings DVD - the "theatrical" version in August (on VHS and DVD), and a special edition DVD in November, which will include about 30 minutes of additional footage. "I don't really want to call it the director's cut," said Jackson in the interview. The special edition DVD is also expected to feature the first part of a documentary by filmmaker Costa Botes on the making of the trilogy, among other extras.


Go back to Special Reports Archives