Hitfix.com was able to conjurer up three delightful interviews with two brilliant cast-mates and the genius master who made The Hobbit films possible, Peter Jackson. These interviews reveal some classified secrets about life on set and off; Gandalf and his highly functioning cloak and Martin and his tennis balls are just a small taste of the entertaining stories you’ll find below.
Even prior to it, and especially since the production of The Hobbit trilogy began, Peter Jackson had some immense plans in store for the screening. And more than any one of us, the sources of his apprehensions must certainly be the perceptions of the viewers and the concerns of the Tolkien scholars.
Since the first film came out in 2012, the director was forced into some heavy explanations for the painstaking critics that obviously raised an issue over the 48-frames.
“My feeling about forty-eight frames is… I’ve got two schools of thought about it, really,” says Jackson in his interview with HitFix, “[Cinema] audiences are dwindling. And the audiences that are dwindling the most, that are more reluctant to come to the cinema than in years gone by are the young teenagers, mid-twenties. They’re the ones that are happier to stay at home on their iPads or playing games on TV…”
“If people want to see the movie exactly as they saw The Lord Of The Rings twelve or thirteen years ago, that opportunity is there. There’ll be plenty of cinemas running it at twenty-four frames. But let’s give this forty-eight frame idea a go.”
Many critics burst with negative reviews indicating that the HFR format “flattened” the picture and took you out of the film rather than absorb you entirely, as the director had hoped, and many theaters chose not to even screen the movie in 48 frames but stick to a traditional view. Still, the fact remains, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey stormed the box office with the majority of the tickets sold in such a small period of time.
Read the full interview: CLICK HERE.
“All I had heard before this film started was that I was the only person who could ever play Bilbo. I know that’s not true,” says Martin Freeman during his Q&A with HitFix on the New Zealand set of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. “That’s clearly not f***ing true, because no actor is the only person who can do anything.”
As sometimes the actors do not usually film in sequence while working on a movie since there is a lot of having to move around, not to mention pick ups, it is definitely difficult for one to see the final picture of his work, especially if it is a film is as immense as The Hobbit. So, when Martin actually saw the trailer for the first installment for the first time in the Wellington cinema, some aspects definitely crystallized in his vision.
“I didn’t get a tear in the eye, but I got kind of excited,” he says. “Because you go, ‘this is real.’ It’s very easy to go through this period and not really think it’s going to come out, because it’s like an elongated Big Brother or something… And you can’t quite believe it’s real.”
It is also known that Martin Freeman denied the role of Bilbo for the first time, but then the whole production actually bent for his convenience in the Sherlock season 2 filming schedule so that he could take the part.
“They did,” he confessed, “and I’m realizing there is a limit to how modest I can be about this. Yes. I don’t know how self-effacing I can be and it not sound like absolute bullshit. Yes, they love me. They love me. I can’t help it. I said it. Yeah, it’s an amazing compliment. It’s an amazing compliment and one that I still find quite hard to fathom. I couldn’t believe it at the time. It was like my agent was playing a joke on me when he said, ‘They’re going to put it into different sections so you can do Sherlock.'”
Speaking of which, another thing that we are all awaiting impatiently for is to hear that glorious voice of the Great Dragon, being none other than our beloved Benedict Cumberbatch. However, this time, Martin did not have the chance to share the set with his Sherlock costar.
For more information or to read the full interview (complete with possible spoilers!), CLICK HERE.
Sir Ian McKellen
In his interview, Sir Ian McKellen outlines some matters on the inside of the film-making machine: the hobbits and dwarves, Galadriel the Elven Queen, the change of his character in the movies, and most intriguing, how Gandalf takes a pee.
“Well, there are two Gandalfs”, he says, “there’s Gandalf the Grey, who was in Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, and Gandalf the White who was in the other two films. And our favorite, Peter and my favorite, was Gandalf the Grey. We liked…his human qualities and he is the guy who liked to visit Hobbiton because he had a good time there, as well as going about his business. Gandalf the White is very focused and a commander. He had a short beard as if he meant business. He’s a bit of a stick. You know that expression? A bit formal, but very concentrated on saving the world…well, fair enough. Now we’re back with Gandalf the Grey…meddlesome, trouble, good humor, generous. And dirty clothes, dirty fingernails. So it’s back with him now.”
And while Sir Ian McKellen agrees he had some doubts as for coming back to the role of Gandalf, he does note that he missed the spirit of the four hobbits greatly. “I don’t think anyone could love the dwarves like we loved the hobbits,” he said.
Apart from his ideas on Gandalf’s hat being that big for a reason and that it could be made a lot more use from than just sitting on his head, the actor does favor the idea of getting more intimate with the characters, for example, showing how they get up or wash in the morning, because, let’s face it- ” it’s about time someone in Middle-earth washed.”
And on the most intriguing part, aka the pee, he confesses-
“We see the dwarves eating a lot and drinking a lot. They never seem to go to the loo. I suppose it’s those costumes. Perhaps they have some machinery inside I don’t understand. And it’s easy enough for Gandalf to relieve himself, it’s just a gown. Lift it up. Sometimes don’t even bother.”
Just scroll down below and head over to the HitFix page where you will also find a scoop on Gandalf’s grooming habits and a nose job. Enjoy, me mates!
CLICK HERE for the full interview.