From a “Got News Precious” contributor.
Billy Connolly, the 69 year old musician, comedian, actor, and professional scot who has been cast in the role of Dain Ironfoot, has caused something of a furore among Tolkien fans after some unguarded interview comments.
Cornered by vulture.com (part of New York Magazine) at a premiere, Connolly was asked about returning to New Zealand to film his role, before being asked how many times he had read The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. Surprisingly, the Big Yin responded that he had never read either, before going on to express his opinions on Tolkien’s writing and Tolkien fans –
I could never read Tolkien. I always found him unreadable … I didn’t read [the books], and I normally don’t like people who have! The people who love it, they’re kind of scary. They talk all this gobbledygook and they think of it as the Holy Grail….invariably, there seems to be a sector of the press that is consumed by The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and it’s indicative of that notion, that it’s the Grail. So whatever I say is rubbish, but then I become answerable for it! People get all upset, they get terribly upset about anything that has to do with it, as if it were real! It’s a story! Just relax! It’ll go away and you’ll be just fine. Don’t panic.
What do you think of Billy Connolly’s comments? They certainly are consistent with comments he made about Tolkien fans and hating the Lord of the Rings films in his “World tour of New Zealand” comedy-travelogue show. Do you agree with some Tolkien fans who have even called for the role of Dain Ironfoot to be recast? Do you think that Connolly is right in his assessment and people take it too seriously? Or perhaps it is all just intentional publicity seeking?
Whatever your opinions, let us know your thoughts on the furore in the comments below!