At I-Con in New York today, Billy Boyd had another Q&A session from 1PM-2PM. I've paraphrased some of the questions and answers below. He was very gracious, and thanked everyone who asked questions. He repeated the 'second breakfast' line for a fan who asked, and once referred to the quest to destroy The One Ring as a 'mission...quest...thing.' The crowd was just as large as the Saturday session, but unfortunately there was no Stormtrooper escort.
Were there any funny/exciting things that happened on the set that you haven't already shared?
Billy told us how Sean Astin was always very concerned about safety. During one of the many helicopter rides, the Hobbits were goofing around and having fun talking over their headsets, saying things like "Bogey at 5:00!". Sean began telling them to quiet down so the pilots could hear each other. After they'd landed, Sean apparently was waving his hands about, directing the helicopters from the ground.
What person would you like to meet, and why?
Billy answered John Lennon, which was met with applause.
If you could have any job other than acting what would it be?
Billy said he would like to be a professional surfer, though he came to the sport late.
What is your favorite weapon for swordplay, a foil, a claymore, a shortsword, etc.?
Billy replied that he liked the shortswords that they used in LOTR. He said he'd seen William Wallace's claymore, and it was about 8 feet long. He wondered how a person could possibly fight with a sword that big, and that William must have just taken a big swing and "hoped for the best"!
What is your definition of evil?
Billy explained how he didn't understand how us, as humans, could keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again throughout time. He said that he thought that doing immoral acts to obtain something - just to have it - was what he thought true evil was.
What did you think about when you had to cry after Gandalf's death?
He explained that for a particular scene, they might be doing it over and over again all day. He had to cry in the morning, then stop for some lunch, then start crying again after lunch for a different camera angle, etc. Billy said that just thinking about all those takes were enough to make a person cry! He then said that he would often listen to music he found sad just before coming on the set, and sometimes while on set to help him with the crying scenes. He also said he basically just thought about things that made him sad.
Can you tell us anything about Pippin's upcoming Palantir scene, and was it the point that he lost his innocence?
Billy said he couldn't remember exactly, but he thinks it's in The Two Towers. He didn't think that's when Pippin lost his innocence, but that it was an event that changed him greatly and helped to really ground him in the seriousness of the quest.
How were the scenes of big people and Hobbits achieved?
Billy explained a little about forced perspective. He said for instance, Gandalf would be standing close to the camera, while Pippin was further away. They were both given marks to look at while they were talking. Since a camera is two-dimensional, it appears as if the two are standing close to each other and looking at each other's faces.
He talked about the scene where Gandalf punishes Merry & Pip by having them wash dishes. He said the table that was used was quite complicated and had these different levels. The dishes were also of different sizes and arranged in the proper places so that they appeared normal to Hobbits but small for Gandalf. He said that because of that, it was a complicated scene to film for the actors. He joked that he thought that the staff just had the actors work with this complicated set for kicks, but then added the special effects later!
He was asked again to show his tattoo.
Billy (very patiently) explained about the pact that the Fellowship had made about not having the tattoos photographed. He did say that the tattoo was on his ankle. He chose his ankle because he had just spent a long time being very involved with his feet and he felt that made it an appropriate place.
Who are you?
He jokingly replied that he didn't know who he was this morning! He then said he thought he was just a normal guy trying to make his way in the world (awwww).
After your experience with this convention, would you attend others, and possibly with other cast members?
Billy said, yes, he had enjoyed himself and he would attend other conventions if he could. He explained that he was likely to be very busy in the near future, so there was nothing planned currently. It just so happened that when he was asked to do I-Con it worked into his schedule.
He then told us that Viggo was in the city (which most of us knew), and almost came to I-Con! This was met with many wistful sighs from the audience! Most of us had been at I-Con Friday and couldn't attend Viggo's event in the city.
What was it like wearing the Hobbit feet?
Billy talked about how water would seep into the feet and then freeze. Then the water could not get back out again and it generally made for a miserable time. He said the staff tried several tricks to help such as standing on heating pads, our putting fur on the inside, but nothing worked. He said they basically had to learn to live with it!
Do you have a girlfriend?
He replied that there was no one with a ring.
After the Q&A, my husband and I headed to the restrooms in preparation for the long drive home. The ladies' room just happens to be near the green room. As I was leaving the ladies' room, Billy was being escorted down the hall. As he walked past several of the young fans who had just attended the Q & A they did a double-take! We were following him across the room, and remarkably he made it across without being stopped, though he was smiling and nodding at people who apparently were saying "hi" as they passed.
As I was leaving I noticed one fan was getting her picture taken with him. He was, of course, being very gracious, even though he was probably tired from two days of events. He signed autographs for over two hours the night before (we were among the last in line), and likely did it again tonight. Most media guests at cons are very appreciative of the fans, but I think Billy really went to extra lengths. Two Q&A's and two autograph sessions as well as panels and other events made sure that his fans got to see a lot of him.